What’s the coolest uses and applications built on top of WordPress APIs that you’ve seen? I’m looking for some examples to highlight in the State of the Word next month.

42 thoughts on “Cool Uses of WP-API

    1. Just reinforcing this one: it’s a social network for sharing family stories (think Instagram for slightly long form audio storytelling), building off the popular StoryCorps segment on NPR.

      This TED Prize winning project uses WordPress and a highly scalable AWS infrastructure to power their website and all of the content on the backend of their iOS and Android apps.

      The project was even featured on the front page of Google.com yesterday! http://10up.com/blog/2015/storycorps-google-homepage/

      Here’s our public write up: http://10up.com/blog/2015/scaling-storycorps-wordpress-json-api/

      As well as coverage of the implementation by Post Status: https://poststatus.com/how-storycorps-uses-wordpress-to-enable-storytelling-everywhere/

      New York Observer covered it in a story on WordPress, as well: http://observer.com/2015/07/wordpress-rest-api/ (featuring long-haired-era Matt as the cover photo 😉 )

  1. I’m currently running a site of a BuddyPress social network that pulls the API feed from WordCamp Central to alert users about upcoming ticket sales and speaker calls. It’s a simple example… oh, I just read “coolest uses”. I haven’t been cool since 1988. The site is part of my WordCamp US talk though so i’m happy to share it.

  2. Well, we have a theme prototype built with Backbone.js and the WP REST API (v1), sources available on Github: http://beebeebee.be. (We’re focusing on React so this hasn’t been getting as much love lately, I’m afraid.)

    We also built a fashion directory using the REST API that supports a varied ecosystem of web frontends, mobile applications, kiosks and a videowall slideshow app. It has been deployed to six shopping centres around Europe, like this one in Germany: http://www.alexacentre.com/fashion4me/products/

    1. Following some examples on the Fashion Directory project, regarding the kiosks (with touchscreen) and a videowall slideshow app. This will be deployed in other Shopping Centers across Europe in 2016-2017:

      Examples (Germany):

      Examples Video (Spain):

  3. We created an API for Event Espresso and Event Smart that extends the WP API; event managers can access their attendee and registration data through the API, and soon they will be able to write data into Event Espresso and Event Smart through the API.

  4. This is admittedly self-serving as my wife and I wrote it, but the NarraFirma software we wrote for “Participatory Narrative Inquiry” runs as a “decoupled” WordPress application that uses WordPress as an application server platform. The architecture reflects some of your past suggestions that the JSON API for WordPress is an important part of WordPress’ future. You can try the NarraFirma app either by getting it directly from WordPress.org or by trying a version loaded with demo data here: https://narrafirma.com/

    === More details

    Conceptually, NarraFirma uses JSON to communicate between the client app in the browser and a backend which stores and retrieves requested data. This data is in the form of stored messages with one table per project. The messages usually specify small RDF-like triples that are used on the client side to define most application state (and to support multi-user editing). However, some other messages specify large JSON objects that define the results of people answering surveys involving telling real-life experiential stories on topics of concern. That data storage and communications layer is called “Pointrel” and is potentially reusable in a variety of projects beyond NarraFirma that choose a similar architecture.

    Technically, the NarraFirma client-side app (99% of the code, in JavaScript/TypeScript) calls WordPress’ admin-ajax.php to send POST requests to add or retrieve data as requests defined in JSON. Those requests are handled in the NarraFirma PHP backend (about 1% of the code) by these lines:

    add_action( ‘wp_ajax_pointrel20150417’, ‘NarraFirma\\pointrel20150417’ );

    add_action( ‘wp_ajax_nopriv_pointrel20150417’, ‘NarraFirma\\pointrel20150417’ );

    The PHP part of the code then sends JSON back via calls to: “wp_send_json()”.

    There is also a small configuration GUI defined by server-side PHP to use for administration to define new projects and set permissions as to who can access them.

    Business-wise, as something to reflect on, while we expect most people to use the NarraFirma application via WordPress as it is most easy to install that way and WordPress has a huge installed base, you can currently also run the same client-side application on top of Node.js using the JavaScript equivalent of the small amount of PHP code. We might also add Drupal support in the future as well, depending on demand. Whether that multiple backend support for a webapp is a plus or minus for WordPress in the context of talking about NarraFirma at “State of the Word” is a matter of perspective perhaps. A big part of the JSON focus you’ve talked about is not quite as general as we do with NarraFirma but seems likely more about using lots of WordPress-specific JSON calls to modify existing posts and such from JavaScript GUIs, which would tie such applications much more closely to WordPress. So, you’d probably want to consider that multi-platform issue and related pros and cons for WordPress before saying anything about NarraFirma.

    Practically, if NarraFirma was to be mentioned at State of the Word, we might want to upgrade the demo site from shared hosting to something better to continue to provide good demo performance? Or Automattic could perhaps host a demo version of NarraFirma on its rock-solid high-performance scalable servers? 🙂

  5. Not publicly available, but we have a single multisite installation providing all data for two different sales conference native iOS apps. That includes all sessions, locations, maps, general information, and authenticating the user’s access to all of that information. Next year we might even use WordPress to power a website for the conference. 😉

  6. We built http://nomadbase.io, a real-time map for digital nomads. It’s all rendering via React/Leaf using the REST API. We have roughly half a million data points and growing (from various social platforms to track past, present and future travels of users on the platform). If you check it out, give it an hour or so to backfill your data. Joe and I are happy to answer any questions.

    Here some screenshots to give you an idea:

    Map of all nomads

    Map of personal travels

  7. I have a database of foods/recipes (with full nutritional facts) on https://focusedonfit.com that I was able to quickly pull in to build my app Simply Smoothies https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/simply-smoothies-smoothie/id975605998?mt=8 , to help people build custom smoothies with no recipe required. I was able to focus on the app and not the content because of how quickly I import all my food metadata. We are also building a fitness app using the api that should be available at the first of the year.

  8. We are building some tools to help people to build coolest web app base on WP-REST API and Montage Framework. Here is an example

    Source codes available on https://github.com/montagestudio/wordpress-blog-flow

    This demo is built by Montage framework, really a nice framework to help quickly build cross device web app http://www.montagestudio.com/

    And also montage-wpordpress package, a data connector for montage to facilitate working with WP-REST API https://github.com/montagestudio/montage-wordpress

    1. Hello Matt,

      Sorry for the trouble, could you please help me remove the comment (https://ma.tt/2015/11/cool-uses-of-wp-api/#comment-584806) I posted a few hours ago please? I used the wrong URL, an internal IP address which access is really slow from US or Europe. I’m working on re-publishing it on our montagestudio.com domain and I’ll get back to you with the new URL.

      Sorry for the trouble,



  9. We’re developing a new platform at Actionable Books in NodeJS, the majority of which is not appropriate for a Content Management System.

    There are a couple of objects that do make sense to have in a CMS through. So, we’ve elected to use WordPress with the REST API. This gave us a few advantages:

    1) Saved development time & dollars
    2) Reduced training, as staff were already familiar with WordPress.

    The REST API makes integrating the two platforms easy! Our staff can work in WordPress, and our NodeJS can make the calls to retrieve the data it needs.


  10. At WebDevStudios, we’re working with a large client where they are running a staging network (multi-lingual, multisite) which sends posts to a ‘queue’. Once the content in the queue is authorized, translated, etc, they can publish from that queue to the ‘public’ network. It’s a crazy cool setup. With that same client, we’re also using the API for their team to pull in results to another client app, as well as providing an endpoint to download files containing the post content to be translated.

    There’s a ton going on there, but if interested in more details, let us know.

  11. We have a killer platform that leverages the wp-api… its under NDA annoyingly. We’ve already pitched Michael Moritz (Sequoias Chairman) and have a few others lined up too for the coming weeks. Its powering 4 different ‘disruptive’ apps that are due to be released on IOS and Android in the coming months. I am keen to try to make elements of it open source and allow the learnings and some of the code to be potentially shared back with the WP community. It really is the most beautiful (future-use) of wordpress and would make an ideal case study too. Happy to share information directly but cannot obviously put anything in the public domain for now i’m afraid.

    Please can someone from AUTOMATIC get in touch asap…. thanks Matt!

    I cannot believe the goldmine that the WP-API represents… having built 100’s of apps professionally and managed many high-end clients – there is no better, simpler, way to create a mobile stack. Period! 🙂

    Its the code equivalent of Graphene!

  12. I built a few AngularJS plugins that are in the repo now that use the REST API.

    I built an awesome app for my employer Disney, but unfortunately it isn’t public. However I did build https://codecavalry.com – a place for WordPress and other developers to get code help for $1. It is built on AngularJS + WP REST API.

    It is 100% Client Side App, with lots of custom Stripe and other routing (built on v1). I will be converting it to v2 with a UX overhaul soon.

  13. WPMU DEV uses the REST API for our Dashboard plugin which provides the interface for members to install and update all our products, and draws from a custom post type for management. We are also about to flip the switch when WP4.4 drops to migrating all our APIs from WP Smush (300k+ active installs), to our video tutorials and a few other projects in the pipeline.

  14. I work on a website which implemented a News Stream (our terminology) in which the homepage of the website checks for new content every minute or so on The Press and Journal, a newspaper in Scotland; https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/

    We implemented WP REST API in mid-late May 2014, working off one of the later betas of the project.

    WP REST API is also used to aid tools managing the display of Posts on other websites we look after as well.

  15. I used the WooCommerce API (with a lot of customization) to create a WordPress resource listing site at http://thewphub.com. It’s currently in public beta so still under development but it’s been fun hacking WooCommerce to create something that isn’t a store. I know it’s not a WordPress API per se, but WooCommerce is such a big part of the WordPress ecosystem now.

  16. Montage Studio’s true web-native platform offers tools to simplify the creation of sophisticated mobile, responsive single page applications that rival the native experience. We see an amazing opportunity using Montage Studio and WP-REST API to help WP install base leap forward. Here’s a simple example:


    Source codes available on https://github.com/montagestudio/wordpress-blog-flow

    This demo is built with our Montage framework, which roots go back to Apple and Motorola where it was open sourced. More about our company here: http://montagestudio.com/

    This example uses an early version of montage-wordpress package, a montage data service designed to facilitate the development of applications using WP-REST API https://github.com/montagestudio/montage-wordpress

  17. Hey Mat!

    The WordPress REST API represents a great opportunity for the ecosystem. In particular we want to fix the way websites perform on mobile.

    Worona (https://www.worona.org) is building the WordPress Mobile Experience, making WordPress sites work great on mobile.

    We launched a first prototype (https://wordpress.org/plugins/worona/) almost a year ago, letting users turn their sites into mobile Apps, and we have collected great feedback from the community. WordPress administrators love the possibility of publishing their sites in the Android and iOS Stores, and being able to send push notifications to their users.

    We are evolving the platform in order to give the same “native-like” experience also when sites are accessed from mobile browsers: offline support, near instant updates, no refresh, web push notifications…With no need of publishing an App to the stores.

    The technical approach for our upcoming 1.0 version is really similar to Calypso. A Single Page Application (SPA) on top of a JavaScript – Node App, fetching the info from the WP Site straight from the API. We also want to make it compatible with AMP, so the complete web experience is great.

    Specifically Worona 1.0 uses Meteor (meteor.com) a reactive JS framework, and we are also developing our own Flux implementation meteorflux (https://github.com/worona/meteorflux/).

    Hope you guys like what we are building!

  18. Hey Matt,

    I’ve created a small sorting plugin for posts and taxonomies that’s not very unique in what it does, but I did so by utilizing the REST API and the new term_meta fields in WP 4.4. It requires at least the beta version of 4.4 to work so I won’t be posting it to the WP repo until after the release, but the plugin can be freely downloaded at my github account now. Like I said its not much in terms of what it does, but it is a tool that is very practical for a lot of people, and I think its the best looking sorting plugin out there 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!