load_template( string $_template_file, bool $require_once = true, array $args = array() )

Require the template file with WordPress environment.


The globals are set up for the template file to ensure that the WordPress environment is available from within the function. The query variables are also available.

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$_template_file string Required
Path to template file.
$require_once bool Optional
Whether to require_once or require.

Default: true

$args array Optional
Additional arguments passed to the template.

Default: array()

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More Information

Uses global: (object) $wp_query to extract extract() global variables returned by the query_vars method while protecting the current values in these global variables:

  • (unknown type) $posts
  • (unknown type) $post
  • (boolean) $wp_did_header Returns true if the WordPress header was already loaded. See the /wp-blog-header.php file for details.
  • (boolean) $wp_did_template_redirect
  • (object) $wp_rewrite
  • (object) $wpdb
  • (string) $wp_version holds the installed WordPress version number.
  • (string) $wp
  • (string) $id
  • (string) $comment
  • (string) $user_ID

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File: wp-includes/template.php. View all references

function load_template( $_template_file, $require_once = true, $args = array() ) {
	global $posts, $post, $wp_did_header, $wp_query, $wp_rewrite, $wpdb, $wp_version, $wp, $id, $comment, $user_ID;

	if ( is_array( $wp_query->query_vars ) ) {
		 * This use of extract() cannot be removed. There are many possible ways that
		 * templates could depend on variables that it creates existing, and no way to
		 * detect and deprecate it.
		 * Passing the EXTR_SKIP flag is the safest option, ensuring globals and
		 * function variables cannot be overwritten.
		// phpcs:ignore WordPress.PHP.DontExtract.extract_extract
		extract( $wp_query->query_vars, EXTR_SKIP );

	if ( isset( $s ) ) {
		$s = esc_attr( $s );

	if ( $require_once ) {
		require_once $_template_file;
	} else {
		require $_template_file;

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Version Description
5.5.0 The $args parameter was added.
1.5.0 Introduced.

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User Contributed Notes

  1. Skip to note 1 content
    Contributed by Codex

    Loading a template in a plugin, but allowing theme and child theme to override template

    if ( $overridden_template = locate_template( 'some-template.php' ) ) {
    	 * locate_template() returns path to file.
    	 * if either the child theme or the parent theme have overridden the template.
    	load_template( $overridden_template );
    } else {
    	 * If neither the child nor parent theme have overridden the template,
    	 * we load the template from the 'templates' sub-directory of the directory this file is in.
    	load_template( dirname( __FILE__ ) . '/templates/some-template.php' );
  2. Skip to note 2 content
    Contributed by Web Builder

    Send variable with load_template()

    you can send additional variable with load_template(). load_template() extracts all of the WP_Query query variables, into the scope of the loaded template.

    use set_query_var() to make your variable available to the template part.

    $template = locate_template('template.php');
    if( $template ){
    	set_query_var('my_variable ', 'Hello Template File' );
    	load_template( $template );

    In template.php file you can access this variable like this

        //Output will be "Hello Template File"
    	echo $my_variable;

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