WordPress continues to move towards delivering a full fledged application framework. To complete its goal, API access to full WordPress functionality is a must. WordPress originally launched the WP REST API as a project aimed to deliver WordPress functionality without WordPress running as the front end or backend. Although the API is currently under a massive rewrite, WordPress intends the API to hit core sometime this year.
Most know WordPress as one of the world's most popular blogging platforms. WordPress.com represents an end to end platform hosted by WordPress. WordPress.org provides a self-hosted alternative for those who desire to utilize WordPress software but maintain their own hosting environment. The WP REST API leans more towards the WordPress.org offering; however, the API-approach eliminates the need to download WordPress software at all. After full integration, apps, websites, developers, anybody with access to the API can utilize WordPress functionality without any WordPress dedicated resources.
The WP REST API abstracts both reading and writing for WordPress away from the WordPress application that most have come to know. Knowledge of WordPress itself becomes irrelevant once the entire feature set presents itself through the API. The RESTful API utilizes HTTP and returns data in a JSON data form; therefore, WordPress becomes platform and language agnostic.
A number of live websites already utilize the WP REST API in some fashion. The New York Times, Bloomberg Politics, and Mashable all utilize the API in live environments. However, before diving into full production with WP REST API, take caution that proper steps are taken. The plugin is currently the only stable version of the WP API. The Master Branch is the Beta version slated for next release, and the Develop branch is the version where active development proceeds. Do not utilize Beta or development versions for production environments. WordPress continues to actively update code on GitHub. Join 400 followers or almost 50 code contributors as WordPress moves towards one the biggest accomplishments in its history.