How to Insert Code in WordPress Header, Body, and Footer

In WordPress, you can easily insert custom code into your website’s header, body, and footer without relying on plugins or directly modifying theme files. This tutorial will walk you through the process of using WordPress action hooks (wp_head, wp_body_open, and wp_footer) to strategically insert code snippets into your website. It’s a straightforward approach that allows you to enhance your website’s functionality and design.

Before proceeding with any customizations in WordPress, it’s essential to set up a child theme. A child theme acts as a safe and efficient way to make modifications without affecting the parent theme. If you haven’t set up a child theme yet, follow this tutorial on How to Create a Child Theme for Customization. It will guide you through the process and ensure that your customizations remain intact even after theme updates.

Adding Code to functions.php

To make use of the actions wp_footer, wp_head, and wp_body_open, you’ll need to add them to your child theme’s functions.php file. Open your child theme’s functions.php file, and make use the following code snippets below.

Adding Code to wp_head

The wp_head action hook allows you to insert code into the <head> section of your website. This is often used for adding custom CSS, JavaScript, meta tags, and other items. For instance, you can add custom meta tags to your HTML head using this action. To learn more about adding custom meta tags, refer to our detailed tutorial on How to Add Custom Meta Tags to HTML Head in WordPress via functions.php. This tutorial provides comprehensive instructions on enhancing your website’s SEO and control over search engine results by incorporating custom meta tags into your WordPress site’s header.

function custom_code_in_wp_head() {
    // Your code for wp_head goes here.
}
add_action('wp_head', 'custom_code_in_wp_head');
Code language: PHP (php)

Adding Code to wp_body_open

The wp_body_open action hook lets you insert code immediately after the opening <body> tag. This is useful for adding scripts or content that need to load early in the page. For instance, if you need to add Google Analytics or Tag Manager code to your WordPress website, you can follow a similar approach. Learn more in our tutorial on How to Add Google Analytics/Tag Manager to WordPress via functions.php, which provides step-by-step instructions on incorporating tracking code into your WordPress site’s functions.php file.

function custom_code_in_wp_body_open() {
    // Your code for wp_body_open goes here.
}
add_action('wp_body_open', 'custom_code_in_wp_body_open');
Code language: PHP (php)

Adding Code to wp_footer

The wp_footer action hook allows you to insert code just before the closing </body> tag, making it ideal for scripts, tracking codes, and other content that should load near the page’s end. If you want to optimize your WordPress site’s performance by relocating JavaScript scripts to the footer, you can follow our comprehensive tutorial on How to Improve WordPress Performance by Moving JavaScript to the Footer. This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions for enhancing your website’s page load times, user engagement, and search engine friendliness by relocating JavaScript scripts to the footer.

function custom_code_in_wp_footer() {
    // Your code for wp_footer goes here.
}
add_action('wp_footer', 'custom_code_in_wp_footer');
Code language: PHP (php)

Save Changes

After adding your code snippets for wp_head, wp_body_open, and wp_footer, click the “Update File” button to save your changes.

That’s it! In this tutorial, you’ve learned how to use WordPress action hooks (wp_head, wp_body_open, and wp_footer) to insert custom code into your website’s header, body, and footer. This approach empowers you to enhance your site’s functionality and design while adhering to WordPress coding standards.

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