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Connectivity is the backbone of your site. Interconnecting your network of devices, applications and resources can provide the most accurate data and solutions to meet your needs. Follow along as we examine what an API is and how to leverage them for your site. Educate yourself on the capabilities of your website and learn how you can maximize user interactions. We may not all be developers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn the functions of our website.
What is an API?
An API, also known as an Application Programming Interface, is a set of rules and specifications that software programs use to communicate information with each other. They’re commonly used to collect data from outside sources. In other terms, APIs are the behind the scenes that create interactivity. APIs help tremendously to improve the functionality of your site.
The API processes a request made on your site, tells the system what you are looking for and then receives a response which is then translated back to you. APIs can be built to take care of repetitive and common requests on your site. Implementing APIs will free up the time to focus on other important functions, instead of repetitively recoding these complex functions. Developers and strategists will likely work side by side to select effective APIs for your website, providing the most efficient results.
Why Use APIs?
There are many benefits to using APIs, both for you as the developer and for your user. Using APIs will help cut back on the time spent building and managing a site. APIs help you to organize, display and collect information. In an ideal situation, APIs provide the building blocks that are simply put together to assemble the desired end result. As a user, APIs allow for easy completion of a task without leaving the website. Ultimately, APIs result in a simplified experience for both parties and lead to an increase in actions completed.
APIs can be used for a wide variety of actions, from booking a flight to interacting with social media. We’ve outlined a few popular APIs that can be used to maximize user interaction and produce the most effective outcomes.
- One of the most popular APIs is Google Maps. This API embeds a location map into your site, allowing visitors to see a plotted map, suggested path, or location markers.
- Twitter is another common API as it enables users the ability to quickly share your information with their network. This API is very valuable because of the opportunity to interact with Twitter’s large user base.
- The MailChimp API allows easy access to mailing lists, providing you with information about your subscribers, etc.
- Google Calendar is another popular API. This API will take information about an appointment, flight, meeting etc. and add it to your personal calendar. Thus, cutting down on the steps necessary to fully complete an action.
Still interested in learning more about what APIs can do for your site? Contact us now to chat with one of our developers and get the full inside scoop!