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What is: JavaScript

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JavaScript is a programming language. It is used to add interactive elements to your website by running scripts in the user’s web browser. This is known as ‘client-side scripting’.

JavaScript is used by WordPress and WordPress themes and plugins to create faster, more interactive, and better web applications. It is used in combination with other programming languages such as jQuery, Ajax, and others.

What Is JavaScript in WordPress?

Which WordPress Features Use JavaScript?

WordPress itself relies on JavaScript for certain user interface features, including the Gutenberg block editor, the Media Library, the Theme Customizer, and dashboard notifications.

It can also be used by WordPress themes and plugins. For example, it allows theme developers to add dynamic elements to their websites, such as a slider, display alerts, buttons, popups, and more.

How Is JavaScript Used by WordPress?

A JavaScript file can be added with a WordPress theme or a plugin. Technically, it is typically called using wp_register_script() and wp_enqueue_script() functions.

JavaScript can also be hardcoded into a WordPress theme template. However, this is not the best way to use JavaScript in WordPress themes.

Many WordPress themes come with a separate JS directory inside them. This is where theme developers keep their JavaScript files and call them in their WordPress template files only when needed. This approach of queuing scripts makes pages load faster and avoids loading unnecessary scripts.

WordPress also includes several JavaScript libraries that theme and plugin developers can use in their own projects. This includes jQuery, many jQuery plugins, Underscores, JSON for JS, and Backbone JavaScript libraries.

We hope this article helped you learn more about JavaScript. You may also want to see our Additional Reading list below for related articles on useful WordPress tips, tricks, and ideas.

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Additional Reading

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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