How to Link External jQuery/Javascript files with WordPress

So I’m using Starkers to base my next WP theme on and I’ve run into a small issue, I was including my own version of jQuery in the header.php file but when inspecting my site using Firebug I noticed jquery was being downloaded twice, I did a bit of digging and noticed that not only was I including the file but so was the wp_head() function.

In trying to fix the problem I noticed a comment in the header file, of which originated came from the Twenty Ten theme:

/* Always have wp_head() just before the closing </head>
 * tag of your theme, or you will break many plugins, which
 * generally use this hook to add elements to <head>, such 
 * as styles, scripts, and meta tags

So here’s my problem, I am under the impression that the jQuery file has to be set before any other file that wants to use it and that wp_head() should be the last thing in the <head> element, I’m slightly confused now as I’m wondering should I put wp_head() at the top so the WP included jQuery file will be used for all my plugins, even though it says not to do so.

I did comment out the jQuery line in the wp_head() function but it’s required for the admin page so I had to put it back.

I’d also like to use (at least experiment) with using the Google CDN version of jQuery, but don’t want to include it twice!

I hope you understand what I’m trying to explain, any suggestions on how I can solve this problem would be most appreciated. I’d also appreciate any advice on how you handle your JavaScript files with the header file.



From the wording of your question, you must be adding scripts by writing <script> tags in your template. Add your own scripts via wp_enqueue_script() in your template’s functions.php, appropriately setting dependences on jQuery, and wp_head() will add the scripts for you.

function my_scripts() {
    wp_enqueue_script( 'my-sweet-script', get_bloginfo('template_directory') . '/script.js', array('jquery') );
add_action('template_redirect', 'my_scripts');

See the codex page for more info.

Leave a Comment