what is wordpress rest api

What is the WordPress REST API?

Millions of websites are powered by WordPress, one of the world’s most popular content management systems (CMS). Behind its user-friendly interface and extensive plugin ecosystem, WordPress boasts a powerful feature that plays a pivotal role in its functionality – the WordPress REST API. In this article, we’ll delve into the WordPress REST API, exploring what it is, how to access it, its endpoints, and how to enable it for your WordPress development endeavors.

Understanding APIs and REST

Before we dive into the specifics of the WordPress REST API, let’s break down the fundamental concepts of APIs and REST.

What is an API?

Application Programming Interface is the acronym for Application Programming Interface. Software applications communicate with one another by following rules and protocols. The API specifies how requests for specific operations should be made and how responses should be presented.

What is REST?

The REST architectural style is used for designing networked applications. It is short for Representational State Transfer. For communication, it relies on standard HTTP methods and emphasizes simplicity, scalability, and reusability. RESTful APIs, or simply REST APIs, conform to these principles, making them efficient and easy to work with.

What is the WordPress REST API?

The REST API, introduced in version 4.7 of WordPress, provides a way to interact with your WordPress site programmatically, enabling you to retrieve, create, update, or delete data from your site using HTTP requests. As a result of this functionality, WordPress can now be integrated with other application services and used as a backend for custom applications.

Key Features:

  1. Data Access: You can access various types of data, including posts, pages, comments, media, users, and more.

  2. CRUD Operations: Your content can be managed efficiently with CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) operations.

  3. Custom Endpoints: Providing specific data or functionality can be done through custom endpoints.

  4. Authentication: The API supports authentication, ensuring secure access to your WordPress data.

  5. Standard HTTP Methods: Data is manipulated through GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE methods.

How to Access WordPress REST API

A REST API can be accessed via the WordPress dashboard. You need to use HTTP requests to interact with the API endpoints.

  1. GET Request: The GET request is used to retrieve data. GET requests to /wp-json/wp/v2/posts will yield a list of posts, for example.

  2. POST Request: Send a POST request to the endpoint that you want to create new content on.

  3. PUT Request: Update existing content with a PUT request.

  4. DELETE Request: Delete content using the DELETE request.

WordPress REST API Endpoints

You can interact with various types of data using the REST API provided by WordPress. Some of the essential endpoints include:

  1. Posts: /wp-json/wp/v2/posts

  2. Pages: /wp-json/wp/v2/pages

  3. Comments: /wp-json/wp/v2/comments

  4. Media: /wp-json/wp/v2/media

  5. Users: /wp-json/wp/v2/users

Enabling the WordPress REST API

By default, WordPress supports the REST API. However, double-check its status, or in some cases, you might need to enable it explicitly. You can do this through code or a REST API plugin.

Using Code

To ensure the REST API is enabled, add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

add_action('init', function () {
remove_filter('rest_pre_serve_request', 'rest_send_cors_headers');
}, 15);

Using a Plugin

If you prefer a user-friendly approach, install and activate a REST API plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository. It will be easier for you to customize and manage the API this way.

WordPress Development with the REST API

WordPress developers can take advantage of the REST API by using it. It allows you to build interactive web applications, mobile apps, and more, all while leveraging the strength and flexibility of WordPress as a CMS.

Whether creating a custom frontend for your WordPress site, integrating it with third-party services, or building a standalone application, the REST API simplifies the process and offers endless opportunities.


For developers and WordPress enthusiasts alike, the WordPress REST API is a game-changer. It empowers you to harness the capabilities of WordPress in new and innovative ways, enabling your website to interact seamlessly with the broader digital landscape. By understanding what the WordPress REST API is, how to access it, and its key features, you’ll be well-equipped to take your WordPress development projects to the next level.


1. What is the WordPress REST API?

You can access your WordPress site programmatically through the WordPress REST API, which lets you retrieve, create, update, and delete data programmatically.

2. How do I access the WordPress REST API?

HTTP requests are made to specific endpoints using HTTP methods such as GET, POST, PUT, and DELETE to access WordPress REST APIs.

3. What are some key features of the REST API?

Key features include data access, CRUD operations, custom endpoints, authentication, and adherence to standard HTTP methods.

4. What are some standard WordPress REST API endpoints?

Standard endpoints include posts, pages, comments, media, and users.

5. How can I enable the WordPress REST API on my site?

The REST API is usually enabled by default in WordPress. Ensure it’s enabled through code or a WordPress REST API plugin.

6. What are some practical applications of the WordPress REST API in web development?

The REST API is used to create custom frontends, integrate with third-party services, build mobile apps, and develop standalone applications that interact with a WordPress backend.

7. Is the WordPress REST API secure for data access?

Yes, the WordPress REST API supports authentication and provides secure access to your WordPress data.

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