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Integrating the WP Media Uploader Into Your Theme With jQuery


A while ago, we had a tutorial showing how to integrate the WordPress Media Uploader in Theme and Plugin Options. Based on this idea, we'll develop another version of it by changing something in JavaScript (basically, the core PHP code is almost same as the old one). In short, we will take advantage of jQuery to create a tiny jQuery plugin to meet our purpose instead.

Planning and Preparing

We will create a sample Options page which contains two form fields: Logo and Favicon. Assuming each of them has 3 components including: a text field for inputting an image's URL, a button for display the WP Media Uploader popup, and a preview field displaying the currently selected image.

In your theme directory, create two files named wptuts.php and wptuts-upload.js. Then open the functions.php in the same directory and append the following code:

Creating an Options Page

Set Default Options

First of all, we should set default options for our Options page. We intend to group all settings into a single option, wptuts_options, in this case. Here is the content of wptuts.php:

The wptuts_default_options function will be executed right after the theme's installation.

Add Menu Page

Then, we need an Options page in which our form fields are displayed. This post won't focus deeply on the Settings API, we assume you understand it. If you aren't familiar with the Settings API, I recommend you refer to other posts about it such as The Complete Guide To The WordPress Settings API, for example.

The code above simply adds a new menu page which has a menu title that reads WPTuts Options and the slug value of wptuts. Note the function callback wptuts_options_page, it will render the content of our options page. Beside that, we also add a function named wptuts_print_scripts which enqueues JavaScript and stylesheet on our options page's hook, this function will be mentioned later.

Register Options

Remember the option named wptuts_options? Now we actually register it to the Settings API. Its submitted value will be validated by the function wptuts_options_validate. The code above also registers a new section that holds our new setting options. The three functions following will render the contents of the newly created section and settings:

Do you see each setting has three main components that we planed above? The text field has the class's value of text-upload, button-upload for the button, and the value of preview-upload for the remaining preview field. We left the body of wptuts_section_callback empty because we don't need to print any additional information, just print all its settings. Other classes we don't mention are the built-in WordPress classes, we use them for better UI.


Embed Necessary Scripts

Finally, as said earlier, we must embed some important built-in scripts including Thickbox and Media Upload:

The last line in the function above will embed our wptuts-upload.js file (it is still empty so far) that we've created before. All our JavaScript code will be written here, so open it and go to the next section.

Create jQuery Plugin

In the wptuts-upload.js file, first thing we need to do is initialize the base of the new plugin:

We've just created a jQuery plugin named wptuts. The selector indicates the HTML element or object that the plugin will take affect on. For example, if we write JavaScript like this:

Then the selector will be the HTML element with the something class. We usually pass the HTML wrapper, the jQuery plugin will then manipulate its child components. Take a look at our two created settings, each of them has a wrapper whose class's name is upload. So in later use, we will do this:

The defaults variable holds all default options for our plugin. We define three default properties whose name indicate elements they refer to and their values are the HTML selector, these values guide our plugin and determine which selector's child element are the Text field, Button or Preview field. Of course, these options can be replaced by user's options (if they are set). The options is the variable that holds that user's options. Finally, we merge two kinds of options into one variable named options.

Next, we must add an event handler to the button element:

When a button is clicked, jQuery fires a click event handler. Below is the flow of this event function:

  • Find the Text field associated with it. Because the Text field is its sibling, we use the sibling method with the Text field's class value as its argument.
  • Show WP Media Uploader popup window for uploading new image, or selecting the one from the library.
  • Re-define the send_to_editor function. This global function was originally defined by WP Media Uploader, its main task is to place a pointer to which the new HTML image element (if user insert an image from popup window) is sent to. Next, we will parse that HTML image element's permalink value and store it in the src variable.
  • Then this value becomes the the value of the Text field. Before closing the popup window by using tb_remove function, we trigger an event named change to the Text field element which is defined bellow.

If the Text field has a new value, this value will be instantly bound to the Preview field for displaying the newly selected image. The final JavaScript creating the plugin will be:


Our jQuery plugin is ready to be used. In the very end of the code snippets above (the place we commented), just add this simple code:

The full way to use this plugin is:

All you need is to fill out your selectors properly (depending on your HTML structure).


To get the value of these images' URL, just do this:

Display Logo

Simply add the following code in any template file you want to show the logo. Try to add it to footer.php, for example:


Display Favicon

In wptuts.php, append this code:


This is just a simple plugin, it will give you the ability to integrate the WP Media Uploader much more easilly and with more flexibility. We don't need to repeat a lot of JavaScript code for each form upload input in case you have many upload inputs needing to be integrated with WP Media Uploader. Hope you like it. Any feedback would be appreciated.

You can download the source code at the top of this post or find it on Github.


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