WordPress plugins are helpful tools designed for blogs’ owners. These extensions allow expanding the functionality of your website or platform in various ways. Some focus on social networks’ integration to increase the audience, while others help insert videos to create better visual content.
However, some plugins stand out because of their better compatibility with APIs – specific sets of interfaces and protocols which allow different software products to understand each other. Let’s find out more about the best visual plugins compatible with APIs.
So far as WordPress desires to become more flexible and convenient for developers, it tries to adapt interfaces like this one. REST allows websites and platforms outside WP to interact with blogs built on WP. For instance, Facebook widgets, Twitter lines, and Windows with the option to log in using Google profile – all these features can be integrated into WordPress owing to the REST API.
There are a few plugins compatible with API and also some web applications or custom interfaces. We’ve selected the best of them.
This plugin allows web resources to play media, adjusting it to different browsers and screen sizes. Any videos and pictures will be played and viewed automatically. The version of Shadowbox can be customized – page owners can include only those features they need.
2. Custom Contact Forms
The main goal of this plugin is to create unique forms for contacts. With this tool, you can launch more visually attractive forms, modify all fields like names or addresses, block spam, check previews, and create reminders. With more than 40,000 active installs, Custom Contact Forms is the most famous tool with the REST API at the moment.
3. Store Locator Plus
Here we have a pretty simple but useful tool which helps visitors of your site to find locations. It’s easy: a user needs to enter an address, create a page, and insert the plugin’s code. Store Locator Plus will launch the search field and the map. The plugin supports thousands of addresses, different languages, and HTML/CSS. The REST API allows launching mobile apps and custom interfaces.
The plugin also has numerous premium extensions like highly customizable search or complex directories. The basic version has more than 10,000 installs.
4. WordPress Crosspost
This plugin probably has the best functionality. WordPress Crosspost synchronizes your self-hosted blog and WP-based website, so you can turn the former into back-end system. Check some of the options – with this tool, you can edit posts and automatically update the synchronized copy, change privacy settings for both texts, choose the schedule for both texts, download media and save it to the self-hosted gallery.
The plugin allows synchronizing metadata, formats, styles, and attachments. The REST API stands for the proper connection between the two versions. It may be really useful for different purposes.
5. The Lightroom Addon for Envira Gallery
There’s a wonderful premium WP plugin which embeds video in your posts and supports various templates. Apart from basic features, this tool has several extensions. The Lightroom Addon utilized the REST API to create and synchronize beautiful galleries directly from your Lightroom desktop app. It may look too simple but it is a really useful feature for designers and photographers.
The addon is available in both Pro and Agency versions of Envira Gallery which cost $99 and $299, respectively.
This plugin is the best visual example of the REST API integration. Hugh allows your website’s visitors to change color schemes. More of it, any new scheme will be visible for other users. This widget has the history section, so everybody can check the previous colors and even start massive battles to determine who can set the next scheme. Hugh is designed primarily for entertainment blogs and sites. Even though this extension is not that popular now, it is worth your attention.
This API stands for providing interactive content smoothly by using an open synchronous connection which is always open. Unlike it, HTTP protocols are asynchronous, so connections between users’ browsers and servers aren’t held open all the time.
The platform can handle WebSocket API integration but it will be too difficult and power-consuming. Owners aren’t ready to allocate enough resources for such compatibility. Some shared hosts may allow plugins to use WebSockets but official papers state that such tech is for experimental purposes only.
This protocol was developed for institutional traders and exchange markets. It allows transferring large data packages quickly. FIX API makes it possible to create trading systems with automated market analysis, so traders can facilitate the process of placing and stopping orders.
But being useful for investors, FIX API is nearly futile for WP plugins. There are no popular examples, so developers don’t focus on this API.
As you can see, most WordPress extensions are compatible with the REST API. The platform can theoretically support WebSocket API but it’s too complicated and resource-consuming to implement. Finally, FIX API, designed for financial exchanges, can hardly be helpful for WP. Even though APIs are used more successfully in unique client projects but not plugins, there are high potentials of customers accessing API-based extensions.