Why we create bespoke API integrations and avoid using WordPress plugins


What is an API?

An API (Application Programming Interface) is a way for two applications to communicate with each other. APIs work behind the scenes to request and retrieve the relevant information that is needed.

Why are APIs used?

APIs are used for a number of reasons in website development, offering numerous benefits that improve functionality, efficiency and integration.

Where are APIs used?

An API integration can be used anywhere within a website when wanting to talk to another application – whether that is to retrieve the data or send it to another application.

Why create your own API rather than using a plugin?

There are hundreds of WordPress plugins that hook in to an application and retrieve the data, which in most instances is perfectly fine. However our preference in most circumstances at Dawn would be to create our own custom API integration instead. This gives us full control over what data we are retrieving and/or sending and allows us output this data in the most optimal way too.

By going down the route of developing our own API offers other advantages too, such as:

Customisation

When building your own API it allows us to design it precisely to fit into the exact intended use for the website, providing the exact functionality required without the need of unnecessary features and code bloat.

Performance

Creating your own custom API will allow you to optimise for performance much more easily too – such as handling high volumes of requests and large data sets from applications.

Security

Developing a custom API integration allows you to implement your own security measures tailored to your website or applications needs – which will ultimately offer better protection than off the shelf plugin solutions.

Using third-party plugins can also introduce security risks if the plugin isn’t well maintained or has undiscovered bugs.

Scalability

Having full control of the integration allows you to build with scalability in mind by ensuring that it can handle growth and increasing demands that may occur over time. As the website or application grows, you can expand the functionality by adding new features and endpoints as needed.

Dependencies

By creating your own API integration you can reduce the dependency on third-party WordPress plugins, which will require regular updates and could be discontinued in the future, which could cause the website to go down.

Compliance

Certain industries will have strict compliance requirements, therefore a custom API will be required to meet those regulatory standards.

Looking for help in creating a custom API?

Get in touch

When are WordPress plugins a better solution?

There are certain circumstances where using a WordPress plugin for an API integration is the better solution. For example if the client has a smaller budget or the integration is really simple, with minimal data being retrieved then a plugin may be the way to go.

 

Contact us today

Contact us today to speak to one of our experts who can try and understand your requirements and advise on which route would be best.

Get in touch