How to Defer or Asynchronously Load JavaScript in WordPress Without a Plugin

WpFASTER Code 9 Comments

Have a WordPress site with some render blocking JavaScript? Are you using a plugin like Autoptimize that can’t aggregate/concatenate and therefore cannot defer external, 3rd-party JavaScript? Eliminate it with this code snippet for better real world performance and better grades on tools like PageSpeed Insights! Copy and paste this code snippet — in plain text — to your functions.php file, or, add it with a plugin like Code Snippets and adjust accordingly. NOTE: defer=”defer” can also be async=”async”, test both with to see which results in the best real-world performance. This code will work for all properly enqueued JavaScript files.

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/*Function to defer or asynchronously load scripts*/
function js_async_attr($tag){

# Do not add defer or async attribute to these scripts
$scripts_to_exclude = array('script1.js', 'script2.js', 'script3.js');

foreach($scripts_to_exclude as $exclude_script){
 if(true == strpos($tag, $exclude_script ) )
 return $tag; 

# Defer or async all remaining scripts not excluded above
return str_replace( ' src', ' defer="defer" src', $tag );
add_filter( 'script_loader_tag', 'js_async_attr', 10 );

Comments 9

  1. Great site and snippets – so you do not have to use (unsecured) plugins. Clap, Clap, Clap

    I am using this snippet but, if being use as is, this breaks my admin console – nothing loads…

    So enclosing it in

    if ( !is_admin() ) {


    did the trick for me!

    Hope this will help ppl out there

  2. Thank you for your content and code snippets! We are really about optimizing websites for speed. This site is a great help! Appreciate all your work!

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