The Future of WordPress
WordPress is a great piece of software that has grown way beyond its meager blogging roots. But the future of WordPress might be as a set of components that allow you to pick and choose what you need from it. With the recent 1.1 version release of the new WP REST API plug-in, the software is evolving into a more flexible content management platform. This API is slated to become implemented as part of the core module sometime on or after version 4.1 but we can see its potential and play with it now .
What is an API?
If you don’t know what an API is, its basically a way to publicly expose the data that you want to share in an easy to work with format. At its core, Word Press is just a great front end for a SQL database. The WP Rest API is a simple plug-in that allows us to access our Word Press database from another piece of software
Retrieving or updating your data from a WP site is as simple as issuing an HTTP request. The data is returned in the easy to use JSON format. It can include posts, pages, users, taxonomies and more.
I used an awesome Chrome browser plug-in called Postman to send this request. This is what the returned data looks like.
Looking Forward with WordPress
The idea of controlling the presentation of data is dying. More and more software companies are creating API’s that allow others free access to their data. This will allow others to manipulate data in ways that the creator of the data may never even have thought of. With just a small hook into a WordPress site you now have access to all the information that you need and you can present it in any way you see fit.
Looking forward, who knows what we can build with this new API. As developers and designers, we have not yet thought about what the most exciting implementations will be. Will this open up a whole new line of entrepreneurship? Probably. Developers are already creating new plug-ins that extend the current API. Soon we will see awesome user dashboards built on top of this new API. These dashboards will allow clients to update their website content in ever more intuitive and manageable ways.
This is also a huge advantage for the mobile app world. Developers can now access a WordPress site and store that data for offline viewing. Something that has not been previously possible. But perhaps the biggest benefit is that web applications that require access to a Word Press content can now be built in any language that you like. This opens up a world of possibilities. For us here at ZenDen, this is an exciting time to be a Word Press developer.