How to Use jQuery in WordPress: 2 Methods (Manually and Using a Plugin)


1. Download the jQuery library from the official jQuery website.

2. Upload the jQuery library to your WordPress site’s root directory.

3. Add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function my_scripts_method() {
wp_enqueue_script( ‘jquery’ );
add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘my_scripts_method’ );

4. Add the following code to your theme’s header.php file:

5. Add the following code to your theme’s footer.php file:

Using a Plugin

1. Install and activate the jQuery Updater plugin.

2. Go to Settings > jQuery Updater and select the version of jQuery you want to use.

3. Click the “Save Changes” button.

4. Add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function my_scripts_method() {
wp_enqueue_script( ‘jquery’ );
add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘my_scripts_method’ );

5. Add the following code to your theme’s footer.php file:


How to Use jQuery in WordPress: 2 Methods (Manually and Using a Plugin)

WordPress developers use JavaScript and libraries to create interactive elements on a web page and simplify the coding process. Among the most popular options is jQuery.

What makes using jQuery in WordPress special is the extensive plugin ecosystem. Instead of writing a jQuery script from scratch, developers can save time by employing reusable code snippets to customize WordPress plugins and themes.

If you want to create engaging websites using jQuery, this article will guide you through the entire process. We’ll also discuss what jQuery is, its key advantages, and how to add jQuery to WordPress.

jQuery is a JavaScript library used for creating dynamic front-end components, such as rotating sliders. Its lightweight code enables web developers to manipulate HTML elements and validate data more efficiently.

Why Use jQuery

Apart from its plugin ecosystem, other reasons to use a jQuery library in WordPress are:

  • Beginner-friendly. Since it uses a simple and short text format, jQuery code is easy to read and write.
  • Compactness. A jQuery file is usually smaller than plain JavaScript, letting you perform the same tasks with fewer characters.
  • Cross-browser compatibility. Popular browsers that support jQuery include Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, and Opera.
  • AJAX support. Developers can implement AJAX to build a responsive and user-friendly website.
  • Lower bandwidth usage. jQuery can execute animation effects directly on the user’s browser, resulting in lower bandwidth usage.

How to Use jQuery in WordPress

There are two ways of adding jQuery scripts to a WordPress site – manually or using a WordPress plugin.

Let’s start with the manual method.

Adding jQuery Manually

If you have experience with JavaScript and WordPress development, follow these steps:

1. Switch to the Compatibility Mode

Before you start adding your own jQuery scripts to WordPress, it’s crucial to understand jQuery’s compatibility mode.

By default, jQuery uses the $ sign as a shortcut:

$(document) .ready (function() {
$("button") .click (function () {

However, other JavaScript libraries on your site also implement the dollar sign in their syntax. To avoid conflicts, enter the compatibility mode by replacing the $ sign with jQuery.

Take a look at the following code:

jQuery(document) .ready (function() {
jQuery("button") .click (function () {

The only problem with this mode is, writing jQuery instead of the shortcut means incorporating more characters, leading to bloated scripts.

To solve this issue, pick a new variable name to replace the dollar sign. The most common one is $j.

Simply add this code at the top of your jQuery scripts:

var $j = jQuery.noConflict()

2. Make a Script File

After that, create a custom script file with the .js extension. Hostinger users can follow these steps:

Important! For beginners, we recommend creating a WordPress child theme first. This way, you can customize the styling, layout parameters, and scripts without changing the parent theme directory.

  1. Access hPanel Hosting Manage.
  2. On the left menu, select Files File Manager.
  3. Enter public_html wp-content.
The wp-content folder in hPanel's File Manager
  1. Open the themes folder and select one of the installed themes.
  2. On the left menu, click New Folder and name the folder js.
  3. Click New File to create a new .js file – for instance: new_script.js.
Newly created .js file in the theme's folder
  1. Add jQuery scripts to the file.
  2. Repeat the same steps to customize WordPress plugins.

3. Add Code Into the functions.php File

Before adding inline scripts to WordPress, locate the functions.php file in the theme’s folder.

The functions.php file in the theme's folder

Open the file and add the following jQuery function at the top:

function add_my_scripts() {
    wp_enqueue_script( ‘new-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/new_script.js', array( 'jquery' ), '1.0.0', true );
add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'add_my_scripts' )

Make sure to replace new-script and new_script.js with the actual file names.

By inserting the wp_enqueue_script function into the PHP code, users can add a custom script and inform WordPress that it relies on jQuery.

It also helps WordPress locate the script file and customize the theme based on your jQuery scripts.

Adding jQuery via a WordPress Plugin

If adding scripts to WordPress manually is too technical for you, we recommend using WordPress jQuery plugins.

Here’s how:

1. Pick a Plugin

WordPress offers various plugins to create interactive websites with jQuery. Here are our top picks for different use cases:

  • jQuery Updater. While jQuery comes pre-loaded with WordPress, the platform often uses an outdated version. jQuery Updater ensures that your site automatically installs the latest version of this JavaScript library.
  • Advanced Custom Fields. This tool is suitable for adding custom fields to posts and pages. Some of its jQuery-based fields include Color Picker, Google Map, Date Picker, and Time Picker.
  • jQuery Validation For Contact Form 7. This plugin lets you display error messages when users enter invalid data on Contact Form 7. You can create validation rules for URLs, dates, credit cards, and phone numbers.
  • jQuery Post Splitter. Compatible with most WordPress themes, this plugin lets you split posts and pages into sliders.

Although installing these plugins simplifies the website designing process, you still need a basic knowledge of JavaScript and jQuery libraries to use them.


Knowing how to use jQuery in WordPress is crucial for any site owners and developers.

jQuery offers a lightweight solution to create interactive elements, edit pages, and customize the overall look of a WordPress website.

To add jQuery scripts manually, switch to its compatibility mode, create a script file, and customize the functions.php file in your theme’s folder.

For beginners, WordPress jQuery plugins like Advanced Custom Fields will help with the process.

We hope this article will help you develop a more unique and engaging website. Good luck.

jQuery in WordPress FAQs

Below is some additional information about jQuery in WordPress.

Is jQuery Easy to Learn?

jQuery is generally considered easy to learn for beginners due to its concise syntax and intuitive API. Its popularity has led to a wealth of documentation and community support, making it a popular choice for front-end development.

What Are Some of the Drawbacks of Using jQuery?

jQuery drawbacks include increased page load times, overreliance leading to code bloat, accessibility issues, browser feature alternatives, and modern web development trends favoring alternative solutions like native JavaScript and newer frameworks. Careful consideration of jQuery’s use is important.

How Do I Upgrade to the Latest jQuery Version?

Upgrading to a newer version of jQuery makes a website more secure and faster. Upgrading to a newer version of jQuery includes identifying where jQuery is being used, adding the new version of jQuery in a testing mode, and testing areas of the site that use jQuery for issues.


How to Use jQuery in WordPress: 2 Methods (Manually and Using a Plugin)

jQuery is a popular JavaScript library that makes it easy to add interactive elements to your website. WordPress is a powerful content management system that makes it easy to create and manage a website. Combining the two can be a great way to add dynamic features to your WordPress site.

In this article, we’ll show you two methods for using jQuery in WordPress. We’ll cover how to add jQuery manually and how to use a plugin to add it to your site.

Method 1: Adding jQuery Manually

The first method for adding jQuery to WordPress is to add it manually. This involves editing your theme’s functions.php file and adding the jQuery code to it. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Appearance > Editor.
  2. On the right side of the page, you’ll see a list of theme files. Find the functions.php file and click on it to open it.
  3. At the bottom of the file, add the following code:
    function my_scripts_method() {
            get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/custom_script.js',
            array( 'jquery' )
    add_action( 'wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_scripts_method' );
  4. Save the file and upload it to your server.
  5. Create a new file called custom_script.js and add your jQuery code to it.
  6. Upload the file to the js folder in your theme directory.

Now you’ve successfully added jQuery to your WordPress site. You can now use it to add dynamic elements to your site.

Method 2: Using a Plugin

The second method for adding jQuery to WordPress is to use a plugin. There are several plugins available that make it easy to add jQuery to your site. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for “jQuery” and you’ll see a list of plugins.
  3. Find the plugin you want to use and click “Install Now”.
  4. Once the plugin is installed, click “Activate”.
  5. Go to the plugin’s settings page and configure it according to your needs.
  6. Save your changes and you’re done.

Now you’ve successfully added jQuery to your WordPress site using a plugin. You can now use it to add dynamic elements to your site.


In this article, we’ve shown you two methods for using jQuery in WordPress. We’ve covered how to add jQuery manually and how to use a plugin to add it to your site. Now you can start adding dynamic elements to your WordPress site.

Jaspreet Singh Ghuman

Jaspreet Singh Ghuman

Passionate Professional Blogger, Freelancer, WordPress Enthusiast, Digital Marketer, Web Developer, Server Operator, Networking Expert. Empowering online presence with diverse skills.

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