WordPress REST API: More Than Just The Sum Of The Individual Parts

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Putting together fully functioning websites which are also great to look at has never been easier. With the power of WordPress at your fingertips, you can do all of that with ease. There are other such systems as well for this task, but none compares to the capabilities of WordPress. Especially with the WordPress Plugins, which you’d have to install separately, it is as good as they come.

However, with what WordPress provides, it owns the majority of the market share of the Web Content Management Systems. And with the new developments that are in production with this technology, it is just going to do a complete makeover in the CMS niche.

In case you’re not convinced of all this, just take a look at the footer sections of different websites. You’ll find the “Powered by WordPress” statement within the majority of them.

What Is REST Then?


Image Credit: https://restful.io

REST is an acronym, which stands for Representational State Transfer, is a style of architecture. It is geared towards the systematic development of applications, accessible from the web and otherwise. Basically, you’ll be able to design network-based applications with this.

One can consider an application programming interface or an API as RESTful if it fulfills these six constraints.

  • Client-server: For this one, the two different applications, namely the client application and the server application have to be independent. What it means is that they should be able to develop separately without any kind of interdependence whatsoever.
  • Uniform Interface: This characteristic implies that there must be only one logical URI which provides a means of gathering extra data. One resource should not be significantly larger than the others.
  • Cacheable: Caching is what makes accessing big and complex websites possible. Without that, loading the pages would be a tough gig for the servers. With the REST architecture, the resources have to be cacheable. Either on the side of the server or that of the client.
  • Code On Demand: Code On Demand is not mandatory by the way. Here, you’ll be sending static representations in XML or JSON. But you can also use Return Executable Code if you wish so.
  • Stateless: To explain this in simple terms, it means that the REST APIs can’t store client information within the server. The request from the client’s part should have in it all the data. With this, the memory requirements will be significantly lower and less scope for errors.
  • Layered System: There are layers within the structure of a REST API which have their particular roles. These are distinct but work in conjunction with one another. Thus, tweaking the API for the better becomes much easier.

Now that we have the base for REST API, at present, comes the main ‘meat and potatoes’ part of this article.

The WordPress REST API

WordPress over the years have been heavily dependent on the PHP system. With that and a few other components, WordPress developers have been creating all these cool features. This is not to take away any credit from the capabilities of the PHP code system and all the possibilities that it can bring.

But, considering the nature of technological WordPress website developments of our time, this particular way is falling behind. Further, JavaScript has more or less stolen the show from it. So, it is imperative for the developers to catch up and they have taken steps in the right direction.

The imperative for this situation was a reliable system with which the developers would be able to tune up the program functionalities. Something that was becoming increasingly difficult with the existing set of tools.

WordPress REST API is what would bridge this ever-expanding gap. Using HTTP protocols, REST APIs make incorporating a different programming language much, much easier. And with that, JavaScript can be brought into the mix easily.

WordPress REST API: Working Components

Image Credit: https://www.cygnet-infotech.com/

This new incarnation of WordPress works with HTTP response and request protocols. Putting in an URL in the necessary location is a request. Where you’re requesting the server to show you the contents of that URL.

When you get to that page, that’s the HTTP response. This is just the brass tacks of it, and as such, there is much more to it than just this. Like there are multiple types of requests.

So, to get down and dirty with the functional processes of WordPress REST API, there are these few other things that need to be made clear. These are the following –

  • Schema: What role this Schema plays is that it lays out the details of the data structures that the endpoints can make use of. And also, it has a complete list of properties that the WordPress REST API could return.
  • Routes And Endpoints: A Route can be defined as an URL which you can map through the various HTTP methods at your disposal. And Endpoint is the mapping relationship between the particular HTTP method and the route.
  • The Controller Classes: For using all the HTTP methods, there needs to be a comprehensive system for use. Well, that’s where the controller classes come in. With that, you’ll be able to get all those things together within one setting.

The requests, the responses, the schema, controlling classes, the routes, and the endpoints. All of these work in harmony with each other. And with that, all the things that we can get, come about.

How It Works.

With this particular API, you’ll be able to perform requests with the GET. That way, you’ll get the responses directly from your browser. You’ll need to start with the route: nameofsite.com/wp-json/wp/v2. From there on, you’ll be able to add on more route information, to get different types of data.

For example, you can add a new search parameter while you’re searching through a particular WordPress website. That way, you can refine the search results, like that!

JSON would be incorporated now with WordPress REST API. Not to say that it will completely replace the good old XML. Another great thing with this is that you’ll be able to access the content of any other website without any error. The difference in functionality from website to website will no longer be a problem.

Considering the sharing of information and connectivity among the publishers of different websites. The same processes would be much more convenient with the previously mentioned benefits.

Things To Look For In The Times To Come

This web technology is in its infancy so to say. Developers are totally on the attack when it comes to WordPress REST API. This would have massive impacts on both the visual aspect as well as the workings of the websites.

The REST API for WordPress is the combination of multiple different similar but small API units. You can think of them as the basic building blocks for things bigger and better. That is a kind of creative flexibility that you just can’t get with the current form.

Custom APIs you can call them, will give a developer all the necessary avenues of functionalities. Then it will be solely up to that person to work their creativity to put together something great. And yes! Profitable.

With further advancements in this field, there is also the possibility of speed optimization for websites. At least for the fundamental functionalities like publish buttons and such. Users new to this CMS will find it easier to use.

What WordPress is like in its current form will be a shadow of what it will be. And also, there is the issue of ever-growing amounts of data to which will need a kind of technological ‘getting used to’. Well isn’t this development in technology shining evidence of that?

 

Author Bio:

I am Sunil Verma, working in the field of Digital Marketing for the last 7-8 years. I love engaging myself in writing blogs about SEO, SMM, PPC, SMO. Apart from this, any kind of technical writing is my passion, which includes Mobile Reviews, Errors with various Technology Products. Furthermore, my field of expertise is in website development which I like to give more time.

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