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Tools Open Source PHP WordPress


PHP / jQuery tool for super-easy ajax in WordPress.
#What is this?
WordPress have an ajax API. There are zillions of tutorials on the web, discussion in forums, questions on WPSE about using ajax in WordPress. The reason is simple: using ajax in WordPress is not simple.
As an experienced developer you may think it is, but everyday I see people having problems, not understanding how it works or not doing things well.
Tela is a tool that helps junior developers to use ajax in WordPress using best practices with no efforts, and experienced developers to build advanced ajax-based plugin/themes saving time and on a basis of solid architecture.
#Before Start
Few points that can help you if Tela can be your sort of thing or not, without reading further:

  • Tela is not a full-working plugin, so you can’t install it directly, it is intended to be used as part of larger projects
  • If you are not a developer, Tela is not for you. You are just learning coding? Tela can help you a lot, but knowing how ajax works in general, and reading – at least – the Codex page about ajax in WordPress is highly recommended
  • Tela requirements are higher than WordPress ones: you need PHP 5.4+ and WordPress 3.9+ to use it
  • Tela requires Composer to be used inside your code. If you don’t know what Composer is, how use it, than… start learning it, you’ll thank me. Start googling “Composer in WordPress” and give a read to this.

#Ok, but why?
If you are still reading you are a WordPress developer with a vague idea of what Tela is, but why you should use it?
Main reasons:

  • write less PHP code
  • write less JS code
  • write DRY code

##How much code is needed for a single simple ajax task in WordPress?
Have a look at ajax chapter in “WordPress The Right Way” by Tom J Nowell (@tarenday). In code samples there, counting both PHP and JS, there are more than 40 non-comment, relevant, lines of code.
And note that code like that must be wrote again and again for every ajax action: if you have dozen of actions you have to multiply that code for every action… what a pain!
If you are a newbie developer you are probably scared.
If you are an experienced developer I bet you have often used your own architecture on top of WordPress ajax API to overcome this problem, but:

  • write affordable architecture is not easy, and takes time
  • write reusable architecture is not easy, often developers write things from scratch on every project, and that takes time
  • architectures need to be mainteined, and that takes time
  • affordable architecture need to be tested, and that takes time

Tela offers a solid, reusable architecture to handle ajax that take cares of everything.
It is unit tested both on PHP side using PHPUnit and on JS side, using Qunit.
#How Tela works: a preview

$tela = GMTela::instance( 'test' );
$args =  array( 'public' => FALSE, 'side' => 'front', 'send_json' => FALSE );
  function( $data ) {
    return '<p>Hello ' . $data['name'] . '!</p>';


(function($) {
    data: function() { return { name: $('#name').text(); } },
    action: "test::my_action"


<div id="name">John</div>
<div id="greating" data-tela-subject="#sayhello" data-tela-event="click"></div>
<button id="sayhello">Say Hello</button>

Previous code:

  • Generates a nonce specific for the action
  • Adds the javascript needed by Tela, and use wp_localize_script to pass to it data needed (the url for ajax entry point and the generated nonce)
  • Adds the WordPress action (add_action( 'wp_ajax_…) so that WordPress can handle the ajax request
  • Ensures that the action is added only if an user is logged in (look at 'public' => 'false') and that it is added only in frontend ('side' => 'front')
  • When an user click the button with id “sayhello” the ajax call happen, and the registered callback is going to be fired and it will receive the name of the user, taken from the div with id “name”
  • Before the callback is executed, the nonce is checked and callback does not run if it fails
  • If nonce validation passes, the callback runs and returns an html string that contain the user name
  • That html string is automatically inserted inside the div with id “greating”
  • All is done using all WordPress best practices and recomendations

So using 3 lines of PHP and 3 lines of JS with Tela is possible to do what requires 50 or more lines using standard WordPress code: the “right way” code linked above, with its 40+ lines, does quite less.
This is only a very tiny sample of what Tela can do, it has a lot of powerful handy features that make developer life easier.