Can you remember those dark days when clients expected you to include difficult, time-consuming, or even impossible website development features? If so, application programming interfaces, or APIs, must feel like a gift from the gods!
Web APIs allow you to create a direct link from an application to your website, allowing you to draw on its data or features. From Google APIs explorer (aka the one-stop-shop of super-useful website APIs) to lesser-known offerings such as Twilio, APIs make it much easier to streamline code and get the job done faster.
But what are some of the most useful web APIs around? Let’s take a look!
1. Google Maps
Google Maps might just be the most significant API around. Countless websites now use Google Maps while widespread mobile use makes Google’s geographic service an essential component of any web development toolkit. Other ways to use this API to your advantage include making customized embedded maps and showing real-time route data.
2. Google Analytics
Tracking site visitors with Google Analytics is essential these days. But you can use this API to do a lot more than monitor web traffic. Google Analytics is also suitable for monitoring custom data, such as conversion rates, creating special dashboards for your site backend, and going deeper with sales tracking.
Uploading video files to your server can create a whole host of problems. But thanks to the YouTube API, that’s no longer necessary. Instead, you can embed video players into your web code and customize the playback settings for a flawless viewing experience.
4. Google Fonts
With the Google Fonts API, you don’t need to host cumbersome font files on your site server. Instead, you can let Google handle the load as you take advantage of their extensive font directory.
As this guide to Citrix ADC explains, trying to troubleshoot some APIs can be an arduous task. Luckily, with the Twilio API, that won’t be an issue as this powerful tool is all set up to make life easy for businesses and their customers.
Specifically, Twilio enables businesses to integrate SMS, voice, chat, or AI bots into their websites. Such a function is a must for sites that allow customers to schedule appointments or request call-backs.
6. Google Calendar
If you’re building a site for a business that hosts a lot of events, some kind of integrated calendar is a must-have. With the Google Calendar API, it’s easy to set that up and start displaying both public and private events in a clear and shareable way.
7. Google Translate
Nothing beats professional website translations. But, if you’re building an international website and need to translate it into numerous different languages in a flash, Google’s Cloud Translation and API services are the leading services for making short work of this mammoth task.
Some of the Most Useful Web APIs
As this list shows, Google has a monopoly when it comes to useful web APIs. That said, this is by no means an exhaustive selection of some of the most popular APIs. And, with new APIs emerging every day, you can bet that this list is subject to change!
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