APIs for Non-Developers: Getting Your Clients Up to Speed

Author: Tom Cottrill | Date Posted: Sep 10, 2019

So, use this guide to help your client learn a little bit more about the importance of proper API calls on their website and to get buy-in from all areas of their business.

What is an API and How Does it Work?

API stands for Application Programming Interface. This is just a fancy way of saying that APIs are a way to push and pull data from other sites and services to and from your site. Basically, an API is a way for your applications to interact with your website.

APIs work by acting as a software intermediary that makes it possible for two applications to talk to each other. There are many different types of APIs for operating systems, applications or websites.

The way APIs work might seem complicated, but it’s really not. An API is the interface application that finds and delivers the data from your site to your customer. And, it takes your customer’s response and sends it back to the application on your website.

To put it in a context that anyone can understand, when you place an order on Amazon, someone behind the scenes has to fill the order before it’s ever delivered to you. This person is responsible for taking your specific order, gathering the items, and packaging them up to send to your address. This person is acting as an API call. They are the facilitators for interactions happening behind the scenes.

How Are APIs Used?

APIs are used for a wide variety of very useful web applications. Anytime you visit a site with Google Maps built-in, you’re seeing an API call. Whenever you scroll through a live Twitter feed on your favorite website, you’re experiencing an API call. APIs are everywhere. You can run from them, but you can’t hide.

Some tactical examples of APIs include:

  • Adding subscribers from your contact form directly to your MailChimp or Constant Contact mailing list.
  • Syncing leads from your website directly to a CRM system.
  • Adding dynamic charts and graphs to your site.
  • Mapping applications.
  • Displaying a Twitter feed on your site
  • Showing a weather widget.

So, if you’re currently not taking advantage of the many useful applications of APIs, you could be missing some valuable ways to connect with your customers and improve the overall user experience on your site. Still have questions about APIs? Let us help simplify things for you.

Contact the pros at Ignitro and we can help talk through all the API opportunities for your website or your client’s website.

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