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Why enqueue/register stylesheets/scripts?

Why not just list them in header.php as we would do normally?
In the same vein, why not do the same for scripts and add them to footer.php?

1 Answer

Because you run the risk of having conflicts, and unless you're coding in if/else statements, you're probably loading all scripts/styles on every page, even when you don't need to.

Particularly these days with so many frameworks, plugins, etc. you don't want to be trying to load jQuery multiple times or in multiple namespaces, etc. Some scripts also have dependencies that you want to make sure are properly loaded.

So, simply put, enqueue/register allows more control, and is generally considered the 'right' way to do scripts and stylesheets.

Some articles on the matter: