I'm requesting the wordpress function if (email_exists($email)) { ... } from a file (email_check.php) via ajax. Using this function is causing a server error though.

The origin (from an input text field):

var check = $('#email-input');
var email = check.val();
    url: "email_check.php",
    data: {'email' : email},
    type: "GET",
    dataType: 'json',
    success: function(data) {
        if(data.result) {
            alert('Email exists!');
        else {
            alert('Email doesnt!');
    error: function(data){


$email = $_GET['email'];
if ( email_exists($email) ) {$response->result = true;} else {$response->result = false;}
echo json_encode($response);    

This results in no alert taking place. By going directly to [email protected] it give me a server error page. I also replaced email_exists($email) with the same direct email entered as the url param and it does work.

Does anyone know why this is?

1 Answer 1


This happens because the PHP file you are using has no connection to WordPress, the function is never loaded. Use the built-in AJAX-API instead, and it will work fine.

  • Ah, makes sense. Would it not work to simply reference where the function is? Or not good practise?
    – zilj
    Oct 17, 2012 at 15:38
  • Most WordPress files require other WordPress files to be included without an error. In the end you would include almost as many files as the AJAX file already does.
    – fuxia
    Oct 17, 2012 at 15:41
  • 1
    For anyone else interested, I ended up following w4dev.com/wp/wp_ajax to get it all working. Thanks toscho for the solution.
    – zilj
    Oct 17, 2012 at 16:59

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