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I have created some reports for some web pages that use JavaScript HTTP Requests to retrieve some data from an API. I would like to use the reports on some WordPress pages. I have done a lot of searching and reading. I am a complete beginner at customizing a WordPress page. While I don't mind experimenting, I would rather get some guidance for how to proceed.

The options appear to be:

  • Use a plugin to allow JavaScript on a WordPress page.

  • Use PHP to call the API, and then use PHP to create the HTML to display the data returned returned from the API.

I think the second one would be better because learning to use PHP on a WordPress page would allow for more options in the future.

I have worked in software development. I have done some programming on my own in JavaScript and Python3. I am currently going through some courses at Lynda.com to learn PHP. I am confident that I can pick it up or find what I need online to create the code I need.

I have found this plug-in: https://wordpress.org/plugins/php-everywhere/ It appears to allow me to use PHP on a WordPress page.

I also found this: WordPress has the HTTP API. https://codex.wordpress.org/HTTP_API

There are linked pages that explain how to make a request and get a response code and data: https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_remote_retrieve_response_code https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/wp_remote_get

I have no problem understanding this because I did the web pages using JavaScript to get API data.

I just don't understand how to start using it. Is this a plugin? I don't think so. I think it is built-in code that I can just use.

So, can I just use the GET and Response Code functions in this reference in my PHP code once I have installed that first plug-in? (Did I mention that I am a complete beginner with customizing a WordPress page?)

I have found a number of websites explaining how to install a plug-in. I have found some websites explaining how to use the WP HTTP API. But, I need an even more basic explanation as to how to start with the WP HTTP API, and how to combine all of this. I haven't found that anywhere.

My next steps appear to be:

  1. Install that plug-in (php-everywhere). Write some simple PHP code to create some HTML to test it on a test page.

  2. Write a simple API call using the GET and Response Code functions from the Codex pages. Once I get some data successfully returned, I can then write more PHP code to incorporate the returned data. (I can use the web pages written in JavaScript as a guide to write the PHP to display the data.)

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@Gina, and welcome!

I'm fairly new to the craft too, but I would love to share what I wish I knew from the very beginning.

Install that plug-in (php-everywhere). Write some simple PHP code to create some HTML to test it on a test page

When it comes to that I think it's better to just dig into the themes that produce the front-end. So here's some resources for you to read.

  1. Understanding the WordPress themes. Here's a link to the Theme Handbook. This will help you get around any theme, including the ones that come with every installation of WordPress;

  2. making and editing a child theme. I think editing a child theme is easier than creating one from scratch because one can just go back to the parent theme and copy an original file if one made a mess in his child theme' code;

  3. another thing that I think will be very helpful and will eliminate the need of using the php-everywhere plugin is the knowledge of how to make a page template. This will allow you to make a blank page that you can fill with whatever you want;

  4. of Course, if you get through the entire handbook you might want to start your own theme and there's a nice tool for that one too — _s gives you a barebones theme that you can upgrade.

Write a simple API call using the GET and Response Code functions from the Codex pages. Once I get some data successfully returned, I can then write more PHP code to incorporate the returned data. (I can use the web pages written in JavaScript as a guide to write the PHP to display the data.)

Once you have a child theme with your own page template you can write in it whatever you fancy. Some functions are better suited for the function.php file, but that, I think, will come with the practice and the knowledge.

Hope I helped, good luck!

  • So, if I learn themes/child themes, I won't need that php-everywhere plug-in. Is that correct? I can use PHP on a WP page. But, will that require me to install/use cURL for an API request? Or, can I just use the WordPress HTTP API ? – Gina Oct 12 '18 at 17:11
  • Hmm...OK...I found this. It appears that the WordPress HTTP API uses cURL, and could make things simpler: wordpress.stackexchange.com/questions/185251/… – Gina Oct 12 '18 at 17:24
  • Oh, wow. Thanks to your information, I did some reading and searching, and found this video about how to add PHP to a WP theme. So, now I am going to read the pages you linked more thoroughly to learn about Themes, Child Themes and page templates. I want a good understanding of what I am doing. youtube.com/watch?v=6-ivr_ECyXY – Gina Oct 12 '18 at 17:28
  • @Gina I'm very glad to hear that! :) I'm not very familiar with the HTTP requests since I do mostly theme based front-end and I use pretty much only WordPress' functions, but I think one can hook some JavaScript and do some AJAX requests too. There's also jQuery that comes with the WP installation. – Valentin Genev Oct 12 '18 at 18:21
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    You gave me a clear path to find out what I needed to do! Here is one page that helped me understand JavaScript API requests. The code examples are very good: taniarascia.com/how-to-connect-to-an-api-with-javascript – Gina Oct 12 '18 at 18:36

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