When An API is Just What You Need (and When It’s Not)

First published via Duda Blog by Shoshana Brickman

api-square-1-168x168APIs are cool, there is no doubt about it. There are more than 16,000 APIs out there these days, and they are a big deal. Maybe not as big a deal as the Patriot’s Super Bowl comeback…but then again, maybe even bigger. After all, APIs are going to be here for a very long time. As for Super Bowl winners, they have to defend their title every year anew.

All the big companies have APIs these days, and an increasing number of smaller companies do, too. So when it comes to your website building business, you may well be wondering if it’s time for you to integrate a few APIs, and if you do, which ones. Which APIs will improve your offerings? Help you provide better service to your customers? Save you time and increase your profits?

There’s no simple answer to these questions, as not all APIs are suitable for every business. But in the next few paragraphs, I do hope to shed some light on the issue of APIs, in general, and Duda’s API, in particular.

What the Heck is An API, Anyway

Jump to the next section, please, if you already know all about APIs. If you don’t, here’s a quick summary. API stands for Application Program Interface, and it is a set of routines, protocols, and tools that enable two or more platforms, systems or applications to communicate with each other, initiate processes and interact.

There are many great videos explaining how APIs work (you can see one here and here) so there is no need to go into too much detail here. Let it suffice to say that all sorts of websites use all sorts of APIs all the time. For example, if a travel website wants to show a wide variety of flight options to its website visitors, it might integrate a travel API that collects schedules and prices from several airlines. If a hotel wants to show room rates in various currencies, it may integrate a currency API so site visitors can select which currency they want to pay with.

APIs are so plentiful and popular today that entire platforms can be based upon a combination of APIs, without any distinct programming from the website owner. For example, Shufflrr is a presentation organization platform that has based its entire platform on synchronizing a variety of APIs.

Here at Duda, we use several outside APIs within our own responsive website builder to improve its functionality. For example, the Ecwid API fuels Duda’s eCommerce solution; the Locu and SinglePlatform APIs enable easy importing of online menus into websites;  the Yelp API enables restaurant reviews to be embedded.

The Duda API – A Short History

Duda has had an API since 2013, first offering it for our mobile website builder. In 2014, we introduced an API for our responsive website builder. Since then, we’ve regularly updated the API, expanding what can be done when you integrate handy bits of code into your website. In our first release of 2017, for example, we updated our API to enable functions such as injecting content, deleting pages, and more.

Technical Know-How and The Duda API

Some APIs are really easy to integrate; others are more complicated. The Duda API requires a relatively complex integration, one that takes a professional developer anywhere from two to three weeks to integrate. This is a one-time investment, so once you’ve made it, you don’t need an in-house developer to maintain it.

Before making this investment, though, it’s important to note that you don’t actually need to integrate the Duda API to give your customers the best possible website building experience. Thanks to Duda’s white label platform, customers can enjoy all the functionality of the Duda platform without integrating the API. Because Duda’s white label editor is a full version editor (and comes with a comprehensive white label resource center), customers can have an excellent, customized experience, featuring your company brand and logo, all without integrating any API.

Duda’s white label editor means your customers can have an amazing, fully branded experience without any API integration.

Duda’s white label editor means your customers can have an amazing, fully branded experience without any API integration.

The question of whether or not integration with the Duda API is right for you really depends on how many customers you have, and how much time you spend managing those customers.

From our experience, the Duda API is ideal for organizations that have teams of 10 or more designers, and the capacity to build more than a few dozen sites every month. In such cases, the Duda API can be used to send specific team members from a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software or workflow tool directly into the website they need to be working on. For example, if a company uses Salesforce to manage its design team, the Duda API can provide direct access to team members to specific websites that are being designed or edited. This saves team members time they don’t need to spend going to the dashboard, logging into a site, and navigating to where they need to be. With the Duda API, specific team members can be sent directly to specific website pages.

If your teams build websites for many customers, you can integrate Duda into your workflow by automatically having designers logged into the site they need to edit, and only giving them access to that site. If you have a dashboard that ties together many services and offerings, you can enable customers to update and edit their own websites through a link on that dashboard. This link would automatically log them into your own editor and update the site themselves.

3 Main Benefits of Duda API Integration

If you decide to integrate the Duda API, and if have the customer base and management needs that merit it, you will gain three major benefits from the Duda API.

  • First of all, speed. You’ll save time when you build websites by streamlining processes and making everything happen more smoothly. If you are using a CRM, for example, your designers will save time every time they need to build or edit a website, because they’ll be able to access that website directly from the CRM.
  • The next thing you’ll gain is consistency. You can use APIs to bring similar processes together so that everything is synced. For example, if you connect the Duda payment API directly to your billing systems, you’ll be able to manage customers who fail to pay or cancel from a single location.
  • Third of all, ease. Integrating with an API that enables clients to handle certain elements of their website maintenance on their own can make things much easier for you and your staff. For example, if you use the API to enable clients to update business hours or post a new blog, and define permissions accordingly, you can make it easy for customers to handle their own issues (and save your staff valuable time, too). Essentially, you’re making things easier for your clients, which makes this easier for you, too.

The bottom line?

So after all this, you may be wondering whether or not you need the Duda API to build amazing websites for your clients. The bottom line is, though we are really proud of our API, you don’t need to integrate it to give your customers a great website building experience.

To create really great websites with Duda, you, your staff, and your customers can simply use the Duda white label website builder. You’ll get all the functionality you need, simply, quickly, and in a beautiful interface. Saying this, if you DO decide to integrate our API, for considerations such as speed, ease or consistency, you’ll find everything you need for that right here.

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