Right now, there are about 40,000 plug-ins and 5000 themes developers and designers can choose from in WordPress. Using a plethora of combinations, you can create your website containing unique features and design elements. Most of these plug-ins use JavaScript libraries like jQuery to execute special operations including optimization of SEO, backlink maintenance, content protection, website protection, database management and more.

How does JavaScript help in extending the functionality of a WordPress site?

In reality, including snippets of JavaScript in the core code of a WordPress theme is not a tough job. Anyone with a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript should be able to incorporate new functions with the help of JS snippets. WordPress produces HTML, and this makes using the “script” tag with the new code snippet exceedingly easy by the SRC attribute.

This would have been ideal in case you were using WordPress alone, but in fact, there are millions of developers using WordPress themes right now. Therefore, these people can go ahead and choose from the thousands of plug-ins to power their websites. WordPress is also incessantly using JavaScript. This means, if each developer using WordPress themes includes their snippets of JavaScript in the core code, it will result in a page that would be excruciatingly heavy and slow.

How can adding code to the main code set of the WordPress site slow things down for the developers?

This is the challenge of using a developing opensource platform with editable core codes for themes. Let us explain this further – suppose you download a theme and you decide to add a few new jQuery scripts to it. You decide to add responsive sliders, photo grids, and thumbnails. For these, you create two separate plug-ins that use JavaScript files. Most developers go with jQuery since they are snappier and crisper. If you do not think about the users, who will download these themes after you, you could directly incorporate these jQuery scripts into the web pages. Therefore, all subsequent visitors would have to download the themes (pages) with the scripts, even though the theme would perform fine without the additional scripts.

Now, think of the millions of developers who share a common interest and liking for WordPress. If they were to include their snippets of jQuery into the core codes, the resulting theme would have been unusable due to the rapidly growing bulk. In case two jQuery inserts serve the same purpose, not only will future users be downloading excess codes, they would also be downloading the excess codes twice. This is what drove most people to create separate tools for optimization, security, account management and database management. We know these small, downloadable jQuery-based tools for WordPress as plug-ins.

Are plug-ins better than adding custom codes to the theme manually?

Social media marketing agencies and website development companies can help you find the right snippets of codes and the correct plug-ins for your website that will not weigh your site down. Check out the list of recommended plug-ins from Social Growr for all WordPress website owners. These plug-ins can integrate their respective Instagram feeds with their WordPress websites. This is true for e-commerce sites as well as blogs, who want to jazz up their websites with Insta-friendly photos, videos, and live feeds.

How to prevent inclusion of repeated codes in WordPress?

Did you know? Today, WordPress loads jQuery directly for the users when a script requires it. This is a part of the smart loading features, while you enqueue the JS files, you need to mention jQeury as the $deps parameter. This will declare your “my-custom-script” dependent on jQuery and the changed code will prompt WordPress to load its copy of jQuery. It is now indeed possible to exclude repetitions of jQuery versions.

The ideal way to exclude repeated scripts for Instagram integration is by using wp_enqueue_script(). This will ensure that WordPress does not include the same section of JavaScript twice. During loading, WordPress will see that the jQuery library is already included and WordPress will not include it again! This is the same for scripts bearing different monikers but with identical URLs.

However, if you indicate the presence of a version number in at least one of the wp_enqueue_script(), then your script has a high chance of repetition even though the number happens to be the same.

A word of caution for all amateur WordPress users

Introducing Instagram elements into WordPress websites using jQuery is easy for the expert developers, coders, and website designers. For the common WordPress users, who are here to create the occasional portfolio site and update their blogs – using jQuery based plug-ins that can include Instagram features is the best option. There are several jQuery plug-ins for WordPress users that can include Instagram feed, embed Instagram widgets and integrate Instagram photos to their websites. This is true for WordPress e-commerce sites using WooCommerce plug-ins as well. Thankfully, due to their JS nature, these plug-ins have high compatibility with the other popular plug-ins that monitor SEO, UI, and UX.

Wrapping things up

JavaScript is extremely useful when adding new elements to your website. Including them in pages, as a part of the main theme, might be a bad idea. Developers and coders have a fair idea of the scripts that can exclude repetitions and prevent the main code of a site from becoming heavier. Most websites for beginners will not mention all the preventive measures. This can result in a heavy website with repetitive codes that do not sit well with Google search results. WordPress does provide all users with several tools that can optimize the action of scripts. You need to understand when or where these codes are required. Find a filter or an action within WordPress that can enqueue jQuery and creates shortcodes for adding new functionalities to your site. When in doubt, always ask an expert for help. Your developer friend should be able to guide you to the right actions, filters and WordPress plug-ins.


Covering most topics technology related, with a focus on small business, startups, and entrepreneurs in particular. PurelyThemes started out as a WordPress theme development initiative, but has since been focusing on publishing quality content for the past few years.