The Events Calendar + WordPress REST API

Extensibility is a key feature of The Events Calendar and Events Calendar PRO. That’s why we’re excited to announce event data is now accessible through the WordPress REST API.

Update: Version 4.6 of The Events Calendar introduces full REST API support. See our guide: Introduction to The Events Calendar REST API

Version 4.5 of The Events Calendar introduces new REST API endpoints, making it easier than ever to integrate your event data with mobile or web-based applications. Though currently read-only, this update paves the way for us to continue moving forward towards full REST API object support.

What Does This Mean for You?

The WordPress REST API provides a powerful way for applications to interact with The Events Calendar.

In simple terms, our 4.5 update means that an app can now pull in data from your events calendar using the WordPress REST API, regardless of the programming language used to develop that app.

Using our built-in WordPress REST API endpoints, app developers can read data from your events calendar by specifying the fields and related objects they want returned, such as event title, event description, organizer, or venue.

All this happens behind-the-scenes – on the front end, your users won’t see any difference to your calendar.

Wait – API? REST?

Before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a quick overview of a few key terms for those not already familiar with the WordPress REST API:

API (Application Programming Interface) – An API is an intermediary that allows one application to share data (aka “talk”) to another application in clearly defined ways.

REST (Representational State Transfer) – REST is an architecture style for creating networked applications. When web services use REST architecture, they are referred to as RESTful APIs.

WP REST API (WordPress REST API) – The WP REST API is a universal connector between WordPress and other applications that utilize the JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format for data exchange. Besides standardizing WordPress core technology, it provides a method for WordPress to communicate with other technologies through a decoupled architecture that can be fully customized to suit your needs.

Since WordPress 4.4, developers have had built-in access to the WordPress REST API infrastructure.

What’s so Great About the WordPress REST API?

WordPress is hugely popular, powering over 27% of the web. It is by far the most used CMS, accounting for nearly 60% of the market share.

Though the idea of integrating WordPress with other systems isn’t new, the WP REST API represents a significant shift towards standardized communications and capabilities as the new universal connector. Using the WP REST API, developers can use the core platform to define how the server should respond to HTTP requests from outside the context of the site itself. That means content managed with WordPress, including event data, can be incorporated into external websites, mobile apps, and the Internet of Things using a well-defined, standardized data interchange.

Why is the REST API Important for The Events Calendar?

Events (and event calendars) are all about connecting people at the right time, in the right place.

With The Events Calendar REST API, we’re opening up our plugins beyond WordPress so you can integrate your events with other application platforms. Regardless of the development environment, there’s now a standardized programmatic interface that not only enables new avenues for you to distribute and promote event content, it also gives more than 27% of the Internet the ability to interact with your events calendar.

Users running our Event Aggregator service can see this in action for themselves – when importing events from other sites running The Events Calendar 4.5, the WP REST API endpoints are leveraged to access data from all standard plugin fields. The result is a more comprehensive data import, which in turn ensures site visitors get all the information they need when they view your calendar.

This update is just the beginning. Though our current endpoints are read-only, we are working towards incorporating full WP REST API functionality with our plugins. WRITE endpoints are in the works, which will give mobile, desktop, and web applications the ability to directly interface with your events calendar.