Function and usage of print_footer_scripts() in wordpress

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    2024-01-08T12:56:06+00:00

    The print_footer_scripts() function in WordPress is a part of the WordPress Script Loader system. This function plays a crucial role in managing how scripts are loaded on a WordPress site, particularly those that are intended to be placed in the footer of the HTML document.

    Function Signature:

    print_footer_scripts(): array
    

    Purpose:

    • Prints Scripts for the Footer: The primary function of print_footer_scripts() is to output the scripts that are either specifically queued to be loaded in the footer of the website or were added too late to be included in the HTML head section.
    • Optimization: By allowing scripts to be loaded in the footer, this function aids in optimizing page load times. Scripts loaded in the footer do not block the rendering of the page content, which can improve the user experience, especially on slower connections.

    Usage:

    1. Registering Scripts: Before you can print scripts in the footer, they need to be registered using wp_register_script(). This function allows you to specify a handle, the script's URL, dependencies, version number, and whether it should be loaded in the footer.

      wp_register_script('my-custom-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/custom-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true);
      
    2. Enqueuing Scripts: After registering, you enqueue the script using wp_enqueue_script(). The last parameter in wp_register_script() which is set to true indicates that this script should be loaded in the footer.

      wp_enqueue_script('my-custom-script');
      
    3. Automatic Printing: In most cases, you don't need to directly call print_footer_scripts(). WordPress automatically calls this function at the right time in the page lifecycle – usually at the end of the HTML document just before the closing </body> tag.

    4. Manual Usage: In rare cases, you might need to manually call print_footer_scripts(). This is generally not recommended unless you have a specific reason, as it can lead to scripts being printed in unexpected locations or multiple times.

    Return:

    • Array of Printed Scripts: This function returns an array of the script handles that were printed when the function was executed.

    Sample Usage:

    // In functions.php or a custom plugin file
    function my_theme_enqueue_scripts() {
        wp_register_script('my-custom-script', get_template_directory_uri() . '/js/custom-script.js', array('jquery'), '1.0.0', true);
        wp_enqueue_script('my-custom-script');
    }
    add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'my_theme_enqueue_scripts');
    
    // Automatic printing in the footer happens by default
    

    Note:

    It's important to ensure that your WordPress theme calls wp_footer() at the appropriate place in its template files (usually just before the closing </body> tag). This is where print_footer_scripts() is typically triggered automatically.

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