Things I Could Build if Every WordPress Site Had a REST API For Content

A pastel drawing of the WP logo with pieces from the WP REST API project logo
A pastel drawing of the WP logo with pieces from the WP REST API project logo

There is a proposal out to add content endpoints to WordPress Core. This got me thinking about things I could build if I could count on every WordPress site in the world having the same content endpoints.  Here is a half-baked brainstorm of ideas.

A Make WordPress Reader

I contribute or want to keep up with multiple WordPress project teams. Right now there is no central well-designed way for me to read all the make blogs. A Make WordPress Reader could be a JS app that pulled from the posts endpoint of each site and showed the title and excerpts of each post. I could have it filter and only show the make blogs that interest the individual.

I can’t do this today since reading RSS feeds in JavaScript is a pain. Additionally, I can’t get one specific post via the feed but need to get all of them. I also have no control as a consumer of how many posts are returned.

A Better Homepage for me

I built a new homepage for myself over the summer. This page lists posts from the various places I regularly publish.  I don’t have control over all of them though, so some are powered by RSS feeds that I proxy and turn into JSON and some by the REST API plugin. They appear differently since the REST API returns the actual excerpt of posts and RSS returns descriptions which go through the_excerpt_rss rather than the_excerpt filters. This design inconsistency bugs me.

Core Editor Experiments

Text editors are something that requires a lot of experimentation. Just evaluating the buttons to have in the WP editor has taken years. What if we could more easily experiment with alternatives? Or have plugins that easily replaced the existing editor? Editors such as

Editors such as draft.js would be really interesting to experiment with in WordPress. Imagine a feature project that looked at a completely rethought post-new.php. Right now, I would need to write a backend to handle saving the content, but if I could count on the content endpoints for WordPress, it would be much simpler to save that data.

Infinite Scroll List Tables

The wp-admin/users.phpwp-admin/edit.php screens and many other are what WordPress terms “list tables”. If you have been around WordPress Core for long enough, the thought of ajax and infinite scroll on those may have just made your cringe. Originally the list tables had an ajax load component that was later ripped out. This experiment would be much simpler to try again if content endpoints existed for all the list tables in WordPress.

Show The Author’s Face Chrome Extensions

Not every site displays the Gravatar of the author. What if a chrome extension made the Gravatar available at the click of a button?  The users endpoint would make this possible. I could then have a better sense of who the author is around the web.

Global Term Analysis/API

A crawler could look at thousands of sites and find the most commonly used terms for both tags and categories.  This could then power an API to make term suggestions.

These are just six ideas that I came up with and I haven’t event finished the beer I am drinking. None of these require authentication beyond the standard WP cookie auth, but all of them require WordPress to have content endpoints in core. What are your ideas?  What do you want to build?

7 thoughts on “Things I Could Build if Every WordPress Site Had a REST API For Content”

  1. I so want these endpoints in core as soon as possible. Things I could build, let’s see: A GUIless app that combines everything from the WordPress.com reader, (which I use all the time, at least on Firefox and NVDA) that also lets me natively right-click and post to my own blogs without loading a browser to do it. Going with the GUIless theme, this app could also include the ability to allow me to edit the content of custom post types like my portfolio, my internal project management thing that I’ve built with WordPress, and I would be able to replace things like DayOne or other services and apps whose accessibility and data portability I can’t count on with WordPress, whose accessibility and data portability I can count on. For the phone, creating a completely accessible, seemless integration between iOS features like the camera roll/photos and videos with WordPress installations at the drop of a hat. Well, at least the WordPress part. Those are just off the top of my head with not enough coffee.

  2. Good one. I love the idea of a Make reader. That would be great. I am also looking forward to the content end points both as a WP user and a product developer.

    BTW first thing I might build would be a CLI for accessing WP sites and all that. Maybe with Go. GUIless FTW.

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