If you are currently working as a web designer or web developer or have ever worked on client’s web design projects then, you might be familiar with the rising demands of clients. They want the best web design layout which not only looks great but also function like a charm. That’s not all, you are also asked to design a website that can stand out in millions of websites. The worst part, you only have few days to do it.
Then there are compatibility issues, navigation problems, accessibility and usability issues that you must take care of, which makes life extremely tough for web designers and developers. Ironically, this is only the tip of the iceberg and if I continue to mention the challenges web designers and web developers face, this space won’t be enough.
In all the doom and gloom, there is some bright spots too. Web design frameworks, templates, themes, tools and APIs are some of the best examples. You no longer have to be a coding wiz to create a website thanks to web design tools. Then there are web design frameworks, templates and themes which saves you from the hassle of designing everything from scratch. This saves your time and can be handy if you have to meet a tight deadline.
Application programming interfaces or APIs as they are usually called, help you seamlessly integrate your website with apps and use its data and features. By using these APIs, you can enhance the user experience, add more features and extend the functionality of your website.
In this article, you will learn about ten useful APIs every web designer and web developer must use.
1. Google Analytics
It is important for businesses to know how their website visitors interact with their website. Google analytics is a powerful tool that let you know everything you need to know about your website traffic. Whether it is basic information such as number of visitors or advanced features like heatmaps that help you analyze the user behavior on your website, Google Analytics have you covered.
With Google Analytics API in place, website owners can monitor custom data such as conversion rates and lifetime value of a customers. Want to dig deeper, Google Analytics API let you track and analyze user data at sales funnel level too. You can also create customized tracking dashboards for the backend of your website.
2. Google Maps
Popularly known as geo location API, Google Maps API let you embed different types of maps on your website. You can choose from street view, 360-degree pivot or traditional view. In addition to this, it can also share real time traffic updates and deliver highly specific route information. This API also let you automatically populate form fields with geo location information which includes real world locations.
Incorporating multimedia on your website can be a daunting challenge. Uploading high resolution images and long videos can bring your server down to its knees, which would result in slow website performance. With YouTube API, you can easily integrate video players and control video playback settings. Moreover, you can also import data from YouTube to your website dashboard.
Facebook does not offer a single API but give you a complete suite of APIs that facilitate web developers and designers in playing around with chat, ads, credits and much more. Make sure to check whether the APIs you are currently using is supported or not as Facebook has dropped support for older APIs. One of the most effective API from Facebook is Graph API, which enable users to read and write data to and from Facebook.
Every website owner want people to know about their website and Twitter API help you spread the word out and extend the reach to a global audience. Another benefit of using Twitter API is that you can speed up the login and registration process by offering users option to login or sign up with their Twitter accounts. Yes, it has strict guidelines for developers, which could be a deal breaker for some but you should at least give it a try.
As a business owner, you don’t want your website visitors to land on your website and bounce off it without interacting with it. You want your website visitors to engage with your business. There are many ways to keep the visitors engaged but you want them to fill out a form and share some of their details with your business. That is where website forms come into play. It can help you generate leads, collect contact information and even for selling to customers as an ecommerce business. If you are using MailChimp as your email client, using this API allows you to efficiently manage your email list. This API also has some handy features that ensures that your website and email marketing efforts align with one another.
If your website accepts payments then, you might need a payment processor to process financial transactions. PayPal is one of the most popular payment processors in the world. Downloading and installing PayPal API not only let you collect payments but also enable users to track funds, manage refunds and disputes more efficiently. You can also accept credit card payments by using PayPal.
Your website is generating a lot of traffic and many of them are also converting into leads. Most users can easily share their email address in return of a lucrative offer such as an eBook or guide. Unfortunately, having email addresses of users is not enough. Yes, you can create an email list and promote your products and service or send them a newsletter but that’s it.
Ever wished there could be a tool that can reveal more information about a user by using their email address? Well, there is, and its name is FullContact. FullContact API tells you name, age, location and gender of a user as well as the social media accounts he or she possesses. There is a separate service for business card data, company data and even disposable email identifier. This API can prove to be a godsend for sales.
Storepath is a user management API that let your website visitor’s login through their social networking accounts. This API allows users to handle forgotten password flow efficiently and let you authorize roles. With support for more than 100 websites, you can offer users convenience of logging into your website through their existing social networking accounts.
10. Tropo API
All of us use multiple apps to communicate with our friends and family. Managing multiple accounts and apps can be tough. Ever wished for a unified communication application that combines all your communication in one place? Tropo API grants you your wish. It can combine instant messaging, voice, SMS, Twitter and help you develop a powerful communication application for your website. You can add communication features to your app and website by adding few lines of code, thanks to its powerful scripting support.
Which APIs do you use? Which is your favorite API? Let us know in the comments section below.
Irfan Ak is a digital marketing strategist & a guest blogger on various websites. He is currently associated with Branex Inc which is leading Web design development company He has worked with various other brands and created value for them.