Function and usage of load_template() in wordpress


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    The load_template() function in WordPress is a crucial part of theme development and plugin functionality, allowing developers to load a specific template file while ensuring that the WordPress environment is fully accessible within that file. Here's a detailed explanation of its function and usage:


    • Purpose: load_template() is used to load a specified template file, making sure that all the global variables and WordPress environment are correctly set up and available within the template. This function is particularly useful when you want to include a template file from within a plugin or theme function, and you need to ensure that all WordPress features and variables are accessible in that template.


    • WordPress Environment: The function sets up global variables, ensuring that the WordPress environment, including query variables and other global settings, are available inside the template file.
    • Intended Use: It's commonly used in theme and plugin development for loading template files that form part of the WordPress site's front-end.


    1. $_template_file (string, required):

      • Description: The path to the template file that you want to load. This should be a full path to the file.
      • Example: /path/to/wordpress/wp-content/themes/mytheme/mytemplate.php
    2. $load_once (bool, optional):

      • Description: Determines whether the template should be loaded using require_once() or require(). Using require_once() will prevent the file from being loaded more than once.
      • Default Value: true
      • Usage: Set to false if you need to load the template multiple times during the same request.
    3. $args (array, optional):

      • Description: Additional arguments that you want to pass to the template. These are made available in the template file, allowing you to pass data and variables to the template.
      • Default Value: array()
      • Usage: An associative array of data that should be available within the template file.

    Sample Usage:

    // Path to the template file
    $template_file = get_template_directory() . '/partials/my-custom-template.php';
    // Arguments to pass to the template
    $template_args = array(
        'message' => 'Hello World',
        'posts' => get_posts(),
    // Loading the template
    load_template($template_file, true, $template_args);
    // In the template file, you can access the passed arguments
    // For example: echo $message; will output 'Hello World'

    In this example, load_template() is used to load a custom template file located in the theme's directory. It also demonstrates how to pass an array of arguments ($template_args) to the template file, which can then be used within that template.

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