I need to conditionally add css to a page based on the page content / URL. In the past (D6 and down) I was always advised against using hook_init() mostly because of it's weird load order in the Drupal bootstrap process. It was not uncommon to see the hook fire multiple times on a each page load - this still might be the case.

Looking at the D7 docs for hook_init() the following code example is provided:

function hook_init() {
  // Since this file should only be loaded on the front page, it cannot be
  // declared in the info file.
  if (drupal_is_front_page()) {
    drupal_add_css(drupal_get_path('module', 'foo') . '/foo.css');

The example implies that conditional addition of css makes sense while:

To add CSS or JS that should be present on all pages, modules should not implement this hook, but declare these files in their .info file.

using a modules .info for site wide css additions.


  • What are the options in adding css via drupal_add_css conditionally besides hook_init?

  • Has anyone had luck using the theme hook -> hook_html_head_alter():

    THEME_NAME_html_head_alter(&$head_elements) {

      if (drupal_is_front_page()) {
        drupal_add_css(drupal_get_path('module', 'foo') . '/foo.css');


  • or use the theme engine for the theme hook:



If that CSS is in your module, then the module should really be implementing the hook.

I don't think you can do anything with CSS and JS in a hook_html_head_alter(); that is really to mess with the render array before it is turned into $head by template_process_html(). Personally, I would use a template_preprocess_html(). You can add your logic there. For example,

function mymodule_preprocess_html(&$variables) {
  if (drupal_is_front_page()) {
    drupal_add_css(drupal_get_path('module', 'mymodule') . '/mymodule.css');
| improve this answer | |
  • In terms of the module "implementing the hook", where in the module would you put drupal_add_css ? Would you use hook_init or some other function in the module? – DeeZone Feb 8 '13 at 21:32
  • 1
    I would implement it in template_preprocess_html. Updated answer. – mpdonadio Feb 8 '13 at 23:03

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