What is a WordPress REST API and Why You Should Care

Matt Mullenweg, Co-Founder of WordPress, has been beating one drum in particular from last year. His followers surely know what the tag on that drum says. The Importance of WordPress REST API are the echoes coming out of that drum. But before we go into the depth of WordPress Rest API and find out its capabilities, let’s brush us up with few basics.

API – What is it?

Abbreviated from Application Program Interface, API is an approved set of standardized rules that define how a specific software can be utilized and how the other parts of the same software can communicate to a program and how it will respond to it.

REST – What is it?

REST or Representational State Transfer is a very simple way to organize communication between two independent applications or systems. It also permits to communicate with marginal overhead with clients as varied as cell phones and other sites. In simple words, REST is not knotted to the Internet but since it is inspired by HTTP, it is implemented like that. Hence, REST can be implemented wherever Hypertext Transfer Protocol can.

WordPress REST API

It is a specific architectural approach that put together the rules that help in defining the interaction of the software with the world. It has been designed in such a way that it lets the programs communicate to each other in an as simple manner as possible, and thereby, creating no clutter at all.

This plugin uses JSON or Javascript Object Notation as a data format. So, one looking forward to retrieving or updating a WordPress website simply needs to grab the website in JSON extension. It could even include posts, taxonomies, users and more. For instance, to get all the posts from the website hosting, which contains the word “amazing”, a request code needs to be send and it is: get /wp-json/wp/v2/posts?filter[s]=amazing. WordPress REST API also bestows developers with easy Javascript based models. It makes developers proceed with the request without needing them to learn details of the connection.

Since we have learned the basics of API and WP REST API, our focus shifts on a major query that is why we should care about REST API and how it will transform the WordPress platform? By offering an agreed interface between WordPress and outside world, it changes the development environment through the following points:

1. Breaking connection with PHP: WP REST API give languages Python, Go, and Ruby, etc., an instant access to the native functionality of WordPress hosting.

2. Integration with Smartphones: REST API will allow developers to treat the installs of WP just as other servers having their endpoints defined from the mobile apps perspective. True integration with iOS and Android will now be possible with REST API.

3. REST will put Front End to rest: With REST API, the use of front end will be stringently optional. It will make front end mere an external application.

4. Re imagine of WordPress Admin: Developers will be able to define their separate take on REST API rather than just customizing it.

5. Will Partner with Competitors: Rather considering Javascript, Angular JS, React, Backbone, etc. technology as a competitor, it will make them a potential partner. This amalgamation will surely hone the WordPress skill of the developer.

Irrespective your area of interest in WordPress, REST API surely piques curiosity to know the transformation in the platform coming down the line, which will affect each and every one linked with WordPress.