Why the WordPress REST API is a Big Deal

apiIf you have a site that is built on top of WordPress, you may have heard the news that the WordPress REST API will soon be included in WordPress core. This news has generated quite a buzz – a Google search for “WordPress REST API” generates over 2 million results. But why is it so important?

That’s what we’re going to try to answer in this post, but first –

What is the WordPress REST API?

In simplest terms, an API is a way to get or set data. In the context of WordPress, this means that you could do things like get a list of posts on your site, or create a new post.

As the API matures and more plugins and extensions are created for it, you’ll be able to do more and more.

Why does it matter?

There are several REST API solutions for WordPress already. Each have their own pros and cons.

So why all the buzz now? It all comes down to standardization. Because the API will be included in every installation of WordPress, developers can count on it being installed. Almost every plugin or theme will use it in some way as more and more applications are discovered.

The API will also be extremely customizable, making it possible to use it to get or set almost any type of data you can imagine.

Some possible uses…

Enough talk! Let’s get down to some potential use cases for the API…

  • Administration – New administrator dashboards, more services like WP Remote, ManageWP, etc.
  • Automation – All sorts of custom integrations with apps that you already know and love.
  • Data Deployment – It could be used to transfer data between websites
  • Theming – Lots of themes will likely use the API to load posts and pages via AJAX
  • Plugins – Plugins will use the API for real-time data feeds

When to expect all this

Watch for big changes to start happening to WordPress once the API is merged into WordPress core in an upcoming release. Though there’s no set timeline, we’ll be paying attention and possibly releasing a few plugins to compliment it.

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