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I'd like to manipulate a WordPress website from another program/website. IS there an API already written that provides access, and authentication, to do this?

Ideally, I'll be using a multi-site wordpress instance and I want an outside program to add new sites, send config options to plugins, etc.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

WordPpress platform provides XML-RPC support which you can use to maintain your WP site. You also enable to extend functionality of build in xml-rpc methods to use it for your needs.

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There are multiple API plugins out there that work very well:

WP-API by Ryan McCue https://github.com/WP-API/WP-API

and JSON API by Dan Phiffer: http://wordpress.org/plugins/json-api/

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