Custom JSON API Routes in WordPress Plugins

Custom routes in WordPress plugins can significantly enhance your website’s functionality, allowing you to create unique and dynamic interactions with your users. By leveraging the WordPress REST API, you can expose custom endpoints for various purposes, such as communicating with a front-end application, fetching data from external sources, or building a proxy to other services to hide secret access keys.

In this article, we’ll explore implementing a custom WordPress plugin with a custom JSON API route, which can be used in JavaScript Ajax calls to send data to a specific function.

Implementing the Custom Plugin and JSON API Route

To create our custom plugin, we’ll start by creating a new folder in the wp-content/plugins directory. Name the folder custom-api-route. Inside the folder, create a new PHP file called custom-api-route.php and add the following code to initialize the plugin: 

Now, let’s register our custom JSON API route. Since we focus on the specific custom route and function, we’ll keep it simple and avoid using PHP classes or any other boilerplate code.

This code snippet registers a new POST route at /wp-json/custom-api-route/v1/submit. The process_data_submission function will handle the submitted data.

This function takes a WP_REST_Request object as an argument and processes the submitted data accordingly. In this example, we return a successful response with a status message, but you can modify this function to process the data as needed.

Using the Custom Route in JavaScript

Now that we have implemented our custom JSON API route, let’s create a JavaScript example to interact with the API using an Ajax call. In this example, we’ll use the Fetch API to send a POST request to our custom route immediately after the DOM is ready and print the result of the function.

First, create a new JavaScript file inside the plugin folder, and name it custom-route-script.js. Add the following JavaScript code to interact with our custom API route:

This script will execute immediately after the DOM is ready, sending a POST request to our custom route with some example data. The result of the function is printed to the console.

Next, we need to enqueue this script in our WordPress plugin. Update the custom-api-route.php file to include the following function to enqueue the script:


This article shows how to create a custom WordPress plugin with a custom JSON API route. By following this straightforward process, you can quickly and efficiently implement custom routes in your WordPress plugins to extend your website’s functionality.

For more information and documentation on the WordPress REST API and plugin development, check out the following resources:

  1. WordPress REST API Handbook
  2. WordPress Plugin Developer Handbook

With a better understanding of custom API routes, you can now take your WordPress plugin development skills to the next level and maybe create more powerful, interactive experiences for your users.

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