Using the WP REST API

You can start by creating an endpoint with your content type and adding some sample posts or pages with custom post types.

By: TJ Bryant

The WordPress REST API is a powerful tool that allows you to interact with your WordPress site through external applications and devices. With the WP REST API, you can create custom admin panels, integrate third-party services into your website, or build an application from scratch.

API Basics

  • The WP REST API is a set of endpoints that are designed to make it easy to create and manage WordPress sites.
  • The WP REST API is a standard for building APIs that are compatible with the WordPress REST API.


In order to access the WP REST API, you’ll need to authenticate your requests. There are two types of authentication methods available: basic authentication and token authentication. Basic authentication is what you’re probably familiar with if you’ve ever logged into a website using credentials. Token authentication works slightly differently than basic; instead of sending your username and password in plain text, it uses an access token (or secret key) that’s encoded into every request as a way to prove identity.

Basic Authentication

Basic Auth is enabled by default on WordPress sites running version 4.7 or higher (it was introduced in 4.7). To enable or disable it on a site running an older version of WordPress, navigate to wp-admin>Settings>General and change “Anyone can register” from Yes/No depending on whether or not you want guests allowed or not (by default they aren’t). Then go back into Settings>General and hit ‘Save Changes.’ If no one else is logged in but you are then this means that someone has changed the setting themselves without restarting their browser! Now we’ll work through how easy it can be for someone who knows what they’re doing to hijack another user’s session…

Making API Calls

To make a request, you’ll need to use cURL. The endpoint we’ll be using is wp-rest-api/v2.0, which has several options for making requests. The HTTP method of your choice should be used as the first parameter in your cURL command:

  • GET: POST:
  • PUT:

Creating Your First Endpoint

To get started, you’ll want to create a new endpoint. An endpoint is the end-point of your API, so it’s where requests are sent and responses are received.

To do this:

  • Create a new controller in your project (write the code for your endpoint here)
  • Create a new route that points to that controller (this tells WordPress what URL you’d like the request to go through)
  • Add parameters for each parameter in your endpoint (these tell WordPress what data needs to be sent along with the request)
  • Add responses for each response type in your endpoint (these tell WordPress how it should respond)

Endpoint Properties

Endpoint properties are used to define the type of data returned from an endpoint. They are added as query parameters at the end of an endpoint URL, in a similar format to HTTP methods.

For example, if you want to return all posts on your blog using the WP REST API, your query might look like this:

Retrieving Data with an Endpoint

Retrieving Data with an Endpoint

With the WP REST API, you can retrieve data from your website by sending a GET or POST request to an endpoint. The GET request will return only one page of data, while the POST request will return multiple pages of data. There are two types of endpoints that you can use to perform these requests:

The WordPress core endpoint is located at{REST_ROUTE}&v=4&format=[FORMAT]&[OTHER_PARAMETERS]

The WordPress core endpoint requires a REST_ROUTE parameter, which is used as the unique identifier for each object that you want to retrieve from your site’s database (i.e., post ID). The format parameter allows you to specify whether or not JSON or XML should be returned by default; however, it is possible that other formats may be supported in future versions of this API. Finally, any additional parameters listed will override any existing ones when making requests with HTTP headers like Accept: application/json . If no other header exists then Accept header value has precedence over others like Content-Type header value does not have precedence over Accept header value!

Building Response Data for an Endpoint

To get started, you’ll need to define the response data that is returned to the user. Responses are generally made up of two parts:

  • Response data (example: a list of users)
  • Response metadata (example: pagination data for displaying a list of users)

Filtering Request Parameters for an Endpoint

You can filter request parameters for an endpoint by type, name, and value. You can also filter by a combination of type, name and value, or simply by a single value. Filtering requests is done through the `$filter` parameter in your GET or POST request. Here’s an example:

For example, to get all posts with a category term of “food” in the title field:$filter=category_name%20eq%20’food’&orderby=title&key=YOUR_KEY_HERE

Adding Route Variables to an Endpoint

You may use route variables to customize the endpoint. For example, you can add a filter using an endpoint variable. To do this, add the filter parameter and pass it the value of true .

“`json { “filter”: true } “`

You can also include other data like user information or contextual information about what’s being displayed. This is done by adding query parameters (in addition to filters) to your routes:

Using the WP REST API is best learned through doing!

If you’re not sure how to use the WP REST API, try it out! If you don’t understand the concept behind it, read through the documentation. And if you still don’t understand after reading through all of the documentation (which is quite detailed), ask a question on Stack Overflow!

The WP REST API Community will be happy to help with any questions or concerns that you may have about using our functionality.


Now that you’ve had a brief introduction to the WP REST API, it’s time to get started. The best way to learn is by doing, so I encourage you to try out some of these endpoints in your own site. You can start by creating an endpoint with your content type and adding some sample posts or pages with custom post types. Once you have this set up, create another endpoint that retrieves data from it and makes use of parameters for filtering and pagination.

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