10 Web Design APIs: Build, Validate and Show it Off

When designing web pages, we use any tools we can get our hands on to make the experience easier and faster. Today we're going to take a look at 10 web design APIs that, in different ways, can be very useful.

  • Site Builders:
  • SiteKreator is an API and web application system for designing, maintaining and hosting sites. It allows for creating and adding new sites, databases, and basic objects, as well as changing the above things, and accessing account and billing systems. It uses a RESTful HTTP interface.

    Pen.ioPen.io allows users to dynamically create usable web pages on the fly through a simple API call. This can be really awesome for rapid prototyping pages, or when it's useful to generate new persistent pages with content through an API call. Users can create, delete, or edit pages, after generating an API Key, which takes nothing more than a button click.

    jsFiddlejsFiddle allows users to make page plugins, called fiddles, and access them and alter them at a later date. Although to create and edit them you'll need to use the Web Service, you can display them using their simple API.

  • Language Tools:
  • W3C CSS ValidatorW3C XHTML Validator W3C offers two extremely useful validators, one for CSS and one for XHTML, via a SOAP/ XML protocol through their simple API. They'll send you a list of validation errors, if there are any, or tell you that there aren't any.

  • Other Tools:
  • Google FontGoogle Font is an API that helps people deal with and add cool web fonts to their pages. Those interested might also want to check out their WebFont Loader JavaScript Library, which allows for more robust use of web fonts including using multiple font providers.

    RandomText.meRandomText.me allows users to generate random text simply, and is intended for use within a CMS. It uses RESTful calls and formats responses in JSON.

  • Designer Communities:
  • ForrstForrst, which we covered previously, allows access to the Forrst developer community, including allowing things like code sharing. It's still read-only at this point, but it hopes to add write access soon.

    DribbbleDribbble (yeah, that's three Bs) is a community focused on sharing pieces of designs, called "shots." Then others can riff off each other, creating "rebounds" as responses. Dribbble is currently private, with designers "drafted" with invitations to join.

    CSS ManiaCSS Mania's API allows searchable access to CSS Showcases that have been submitted to CSS Mania, including screenshots and ratings. The API accepts only HTTP GET commands, and responses are formatted in JSON.

Be sure to read the next API article: Calculate Distances Intelligently With The Google Distance Matrix API