With version 2.1 of WooCommerce, many improvements and new features have been introduced. One of those new features that have been integrated, and probably the most revolutionary, is the WooCommerce REST API.
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But before moving on, I would like to clarify what an API ( Application Programming Interface) is so that those who are not familiar with this concept can understand what I am going to cover later in this article.
Also, we will learn about Woocomerce API in this article, and how you can add it.
What is Woocommerce API?
An API could be defined as a set of functions or methods that a certain library offers so that they can be used by other software.
The great advantage of using APIs is that they allow you to implement functions or methods in any project without having to rewrite them again. Which saves a lot of time and makes the software much cleaner in structure.
The REST API, however, is a particular case of API, since all the methods or functions of the library are supported by the HTTP standard. That is, they are used to connect different web applications.
Therefore, the WooCommerce REST API allows other third-party web applications to use the methods of its library to connect to your e-commerce platform in a secure way.
What improvements does the new WooCommerce REST API bring?
With the new WooCommerce REST API, a new world of possibilities opens up for all online stores implemented with this platform.
Now it is possible to connect any external web application to your online store so that it can have access to all kinds of information. Always under your control of course.
By this, I mean that from your WordPress administration panel you can define what kind of privileges you grant to the application that wants to connect to your store. There are 3 types of permissions:
- Read-only. The application that connects to your store can only read information and then process it and display it to its users.
- Write only. The app with written permissions can update the status of the order.
- Reading and writing. You can both read information and modify the status of an order.
How to Activate WooCommerce REST API
To activate the REST API of your WooCommerce store, you simply have to go to WooCommerce > Settings > General > and check the box that says Activate the REST API.
Once API REST is activated, so that the application in question can connect to your store and make queries securely – it is recommended to have an SSL certificate installed – unique keys must be generated.
These keys are called “Client Key” and “Secret Key“. To generate them you have to follow these steps:
- Enter Users > All users, find the user you want to give access to the REST API of your store, and click on it.
- Once inside the user editing panel, scroll to the bottom of the panel to check the “Generate API Key” box and click “Update Profile”.
- Scroll down the panel again and you will be able to see the keys generated for that user. All you have to do is select what kind of permissions you want to give it (Read, Write or Read/Write) and finally click on Update profile to save the configuration.
With this, you will have the keys to be able to connect your application to your WooCommerce store through the REST API.
One consideration to keep in mind to avoid getting an error from the REST API when connecting to your WooCommerce store is to make sure you have WordPress permalinks enabled and configured correctly. You can check it in Settings > Permalinks > and in the Common settings > section, any of the options except Default must be checked.
So this is what WooCommerce API is and how it works. Also how to activate it on your Woocomerce store. I have not gone into details, I recognize that this article has been much more technical than the ones I have been publishing so far.
I hope this article helps you understand about Woocommerce API. If you have any questions or suggestions don’t hesitate to leave below in the comment box.