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What are APIs and what advantages do they offer your website? Part 1 of 5

 

Acronyms-- are you getting sick of them yet? From HTML to SMTP to W3C, do you hear these short forms getting thrown around and wonder what the heck half of them mean and, more importantly, SHOULD you know what they mean?
 

In most cases, no. Being in the industry we are in, we use acronyms constantly. Not necessarily because we are too lazy to say the full terms they stand for but rather, because the acronym has become the actual “name” for the term itself.
 

This is also the case with a relatively newly crowned “buzz” word (well acronym) known as the API. API stands for Application Programming Interface which I’m sure does nothing to help clarify what they are so alternatively, they can easily be referred to as “widgets”. These “widgets” allow a website or service to communicate with another website or service. So, they basically give you the power to embed media or information from another website or service into your website.
 

Throughout this 5 part blog series I will review different types of APIs (in respect to the type of media/news/information or data they present) what advantages they offer to your website/organization and what potential risks are associated with using third-party services on your site. Since the term API is somewhat broad I will also discuss/recommend some other widgets and modules that fit within this scope.
 

From Searching, social media, travelling, media management/access to accepting payments on your site, there are so many great APIs so stay tuned!

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