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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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As of Wordpress 4.7 (released December 2016), a REST API is provided out of the box on Wordpress.

As you're probably aware, REST APIs are interfaced with by standard HTTP GET and POST requests, so if you have a Wordpress 4.7 installation, you can access it at this URL, by plugging this into your browser:

http://your.site.com/wp/v2/posts

Further reading:


Important side note:

Because this is turned on be default, because this exposes endpoints that can changes your data (via POST/PATCH/DELETE requests), and because Wordpress prefers you not to disable it, you really really ought to turn on some form of authentication. Thankfully, turning on basic WP logged-in authentication isn't particularly hard, and there are plugins that will enable OAuth.

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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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