The WordPress REST API is one of the newest and most interesting features that has landed in the WordPress Ecosystem in quite some time. There has been quite a lot of buzz about it, and just about as many questions. So what exactly is it? And what is the implication of this new technology to the legions of WordPress developers and site owners out there?
REST API = Powerful Client-Side Access to WordPress Functionality
The WordPress REST API In Action
Although it’s still early days for the REST API, there are several examples that illustrate the potential of this new technology. One of the best examples is the Calypso project developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com.
The Calypso project is a reinvention of the WordPress Dashboard (WP-ADMIN). Calypso allows a user to centrally manage multiple WordPress sites and create content within a user interface that is very mobile-friendly. It also loads significantly faster. You can read all about the story of Calypso here. The creation of Calypso also allowed for the creation of a WordPress desktop app, available on IOS/Windows/Linux. These features are available for everyone at Pressable just by installing the Jetpack Plugin and enabling the site management module.
If you are a developer and are interested in looking at the code, Calypso is an open-source project. You can download it from the Calypso Github repo. Many members of the WordPress community have already been contributing code to the project.
Aesop Story Engine
Another good example of using the WordPress REST API is the Aesop Story Engine. This very cool WordPress plugin enables users to create compelling content by simple dragging and dropping style components in the WordPress page or post editor. The bulk of the plugin uses the REST API to pull post content from WordPress and presents everything using a very sleek and interesting user interface.
There is also a very interesting front-end development tool called ‘Lasso’, which was developed by Nick Haskin, founder of Aesop Story Engine. Lasso is a tool that allows for front end editing of WordPress content. It dramatically lowers the barrier of entry to WordPress for non-technical users. The idea is that a writer or editor can make changes to posts through the front end of the WordPress site, instead of having to log in to the dashboard and edit posts there. The code is available on Aesop Story Engine’s Lasso Github repo if you’d like to check it out.
This is Only the Beginning
The WordPress REST API is still brand new, and it’s being actively developed. The REST API gives developers the ability to develop sleek, modern, and fast features. The next big feature for WordPress will likely use the REST API, so what is next?
That’s up to you and the rest of the WordPress Community. Anyone can actively contribute to WordPress and the development of the REST API, and developers are just starting to explore different possibilities. We could see new themes, with features entirely driven by the REST API. What about new approaches to content management and site management? What about new tools for developing new themes? The possibilities are endless.
All of this is good news for clients hosted by Pressable. It means that there will be a lot of new features that will be faster and more sophisticated. It also means more advanced, engaging, and immersive user experiences can be added to a WordPress site, all without a major sacrifice to site performance.