Adding REST API Support For Custom Content Types Edit

The REST API can create routes for custom post types and custom taxonomies inside of the wp/v2 namespace, using the same controllers as the default post type or taxonomy term controllers. Alternatively, you can use your own controllers and namespace. This document will cover using the default controllers for your custom content type’s API routes. This is the easiest way and ensures the highest chance of compatibility with third parties.

Registering A Custom Post Type With REST API Support Registering A Custom Post Type With REST API Support

When registering a custom post type, if you want it to be available via the REST API you should set 'show_in_rest' => true in the arguments passed to register_post_type. Setting this argument to true will add a route in the wp/v2 namespace.

/**
 * Register a book post type, with REST API support
 *
 * Based on example at: https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/register_post_type
 */
add_action( 'init', 'my_book_cpt' );
function my_book_cpt() {
    $args = array(
      'public'       => true,
      'show_in_rest' => true,
      'label'        => 'Books'
    );
    register_post_type( 'book', $args );
}

You can optionally set the rest_base argument to change the base url, which will otherwise default to the post type’s name. In the example below, “books” is used as the value of rest_base. This will make the URL for the route wp-json/wp/v2/books instead of wp-json/wp/v2/book/, which would have been the default.

In addition, you can pass an argument for rest_controller_class. This class must be a subclass of WP_REST_Controller. By default, WP_REST_Posts_Controller is used as the controller. If you are using a custom controller, then you likely will not be within the wp/v2 namespace.

Here is an example of registering a post type, with full labels, support for the REST API, a customized rest_base, and explicit registry of the default controller:

/**
 * Register a book post type, with REST API support
 *
 * Based on example at: https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/register_post_type
 */
add_action( 'init', 'my_book_cpt' );
function my_book_cpt() {
  $labels = array(
    'name'               => _x( 'Books', 'post type general name', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'singular_name'      => _x( 'Book', 'post type singular name', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'menu_name'          => _x( 'Books', 'admin menu', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'name_admin_bar'     => _x( 'Book', 'add new on admin bar', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'add_new'            => _x( 'Add New', 'book', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'add_new_item'       => __( 'Add New Book', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'new_item'           => __( 'New Book', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'edit_item'          => __( 'Edit Book', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'view_item'          => __( 'View Book', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'all_items'          => __( 'All Books', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'search_items'       => __( 'Search Books', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'parent_item_colon'  => __( 'Parent Books:', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'not_found'          => __( 'No books found.', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'not_found_in_trash' => __( 'No books found in Trash.', 'your-plugin-textdomain' )
  );

  $args = array(
    'labels'             => $labels,
    'description'        => __( 'Description.', 'your-plugin-textdomain' ),
    'public'             => true,
    'publicly_queryable' => true,
    'show_ui'            => true,
    'show_in_menu'       => true,
    'query_var'          => true,
    'rewrite'            => array( 'slug' => 'book' ),
    'capability_type'    => 'post',
    'has_archive'        => true,
    'hierarchical'       => false,
    'menu_position'      => null,
    'show_in_rest'       => true,
    'rest_base'          => 'books',
    'rest_controller_class' => 'WP_REST_Posts_Controller',
    'supports'           => array( 'title', 'editor', 'author', 'thumbnail', 'excerpt', 'comments' )
  );

  register_post_type( 'book', $args );
}

If you are using a custom rest_controller_class, then the REST API is unable to automatically determine the route for a given post. In this case, you can use the rest_route_for_post filter to provide this information. This allows for your custom post type to be properly formatted in the Search endpoint and enables automated discovery links.

function my_plugin_rest_route_for_post( $route, $post ) {
    if ( $post->post_type === 'book' ) {
        $route = '/wp/v2/books/' . $post->ID;
    }

    return $route;
}
add_filter( 'rest_route_for_post', 'my_plugin_rest_route_for_post', 10, 2 );

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Registering A Custom Taxonomy With REST API Support Registering A Custom Taxonomy With REST API Support

Registering a custom taxonomy with REST API support is very similar to registering a custom post type: pass 'show_in_rest' => true in the arguments passed to register_taxonomy. You may optionally pass rest_base to change the base url for the taxonomy’s routes.

The default controller for taxonomies is WP_REST_Terms_Controller. You may modify this with the rest_controller_class if you choose to use a custom controller.

Here is an example of how to register a custom taxonomy with REST API support:

/**
 * Register a genre post type, with REST API support
 *
 * Based on example at: https://codex.wordpress.org/Function_Reference/register_taxonomy
 */
add_action( 'init', 'my_book_taxonomy', 30 );
function my_book_taxonomy() {

  $labels = array(
    'name'              => _x( 'Genres', 'taxonomy general name' ),
    'singular_name'     => _x( 'Genre', 'taxonomy singular name' ),
    'search_items'      => __( 'Search Genres' ),
    'all_items'         => __( 'All Genres' ),
    'parent_item'       => __( 'Parent Genre' ),
    'parent_item_colon' => __( 'Parent Genre:' ),
    'edit_item'         => __( 'Edit Genre' ),
    'update_item'       => __( 'Update Genre' ),
    'add_new_item'      => __( 'Add New Genre' ),
    'new_item_name'     => __( 'New Genre Name' ),
    'menu_name'         => __( 'Genre' ),
  );

  $args = array(
    'hierarchical'          => true,
    'labels'                => $labels,
    'show_ui'               => true,
    'show_admin_column'     => true,
    'query_var'             => true,
    'rewrite'               => array( 'slug' => 'genre' ),
    'show_in_rest'          => true,
    'rest_base'             => 'genre',
    'rest_controller_class' => 'WP_REST_Terms_Controller',
  );

  register_taxonomy( 'genre', array( 'book' ), $args );

}

If you are using a custom rest_controller_class, then the REST API is unable to automatically determine the route for a given term. In this case, you can use the rest_route_for_term filter to provide this information. This allows for your custom taxonomy to be properly formatted in the Search endpoint and enables automated discovery links.

function my_plugin_rest_route_for_term( $route, $term ) {
    if ( $term->taxonomy === 'genre' ) {
        $route = '/wp/v2/genre/' . $term->term_id;
    }

    return $route;
}
add_filter( 'rest_route_for_term', 'my_plugin_rest_route_for_term', 10, 2 );

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Adding REST API Support To Existing Content Types Adding REST API Support To Existing Content Types

If you need to add REST API support for a custom post type or custom taxonomy you do not control, for example a theme or plugin you are using, you can use the register_post_type_args filter hook that exists since WordPress version 4.6.0.

/**
 * Add REST API support to an already registered post type.
 */
add_filter( 'register_post_type_args', 'my_post_type_args', 10, 2 );

function my_post_type_args( $args, $post_type ) {

    if ( 'book' === $post_type ) {
        $args['show_in_rest'] = true;

        // Optionally customize the rest_base or rest_controller_class
        $args['rest_base']             = 'books';
        $args['rest_controller_class'] = 'WP_REST_Posts_Controller';
    }

    return $args;
}

For custom taxnomies it is almost the same. You can use the register_taxonomy_args filter that exists since WordPress version 4.4.0.

/**
 * Add REST API support to an already registered taxonomy.
 */
add_filter( 'register_taxonomy_args', 'my_taxonomy_args', 10, 2 );

function my_taxonomy_args( $args, $taxonomy_name ) {

    if ( 'genre' === $taxonomy_name ) {
        $args['show_in_rest'] = true;

        // Optionally customize the rest_base or rest_controller_class
        $args['rest_base']             = 'genres';
        $args['rest_controller_class'] = 'WP_REST_Terms_Controller';
    }

    return $args;
}

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Taxonomies & custom post types have a built-in association within WordPress, but what if you want to establish a link between two custom post types? This is not supported formally within WordPress itself, but we can create our own connections between arbitrary content types using the _link relation.