Installing an API – Application Programming Interface – on a website is a great way to add necessary features to the site without having to develop the features on your own. APIs are widely used on websites all around the world. Be it a simple payment gateway or a weather API, they are all important as they provide some sort of utility to the visitors.
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Business websites need APIs too, especially small businesses, as they cannot finance new projects to build APIs from scratch that easily.
Of course, among millions of APIs available worldwide, not all of them will come in handy. However, there are 3 particular APIs that are popular among all sorts of businesses, and in this article, we will take a closer look at those APIs, what they do, and what kind of businesses might need them.
1. Payment Gateway
Payment gateways are some of the most popular APIs on the internet. They are mandatory for any e-commerce website, as well as for various service providers like the internet, telecommunications, etc. The gateways are integral to such online stores and are therefore always in demand.
Making a payment gateway from scratch takes a lot of effort and resources. From getting approval from various cards, banks, and financial management companies, to ensuring security for the transactions, user data, and the system in general, a lot of steps are involved in the whole development process.
Apart from being time-consuming, making a payment gateway for your business will cost a lot of money. Businesses struggle to invest such large sums of money, especially the new or small ones. That is why most businesses deploy existing payment gateways on their websites instead of building from scratch.
For installing a payment gateway, you simply need to register your business with the gateway management company or owner, and they will provide you with a dedicated API for your website. In case you are using a CMS – content management system – you will have to use a widget, which will also be provided by the gateway companies.
You can then simply set it up and be done with it. The gateway will take care of all your security concerns and data collection problems. You can keep track of all the transactions, know where your product or service is heading, how much you are earning, and so on.
2. Real-Time Weather Forecasts
A business would want to install a weather API on their site to serve a wide range of purposes. Firstly, the API can use real-time data from weather radars around the world to provide forecasts.
The forecast for a particular time can then be processed using weather intelligence to provide users suggestions regarding what to wear, where not to travel to, or why they might want to take extra precautions while going outdoors. Besides weather forecasts, weather APIs can also provide useful data regarding air quality, relative humidity, upcoming storms, and so on.
Travel agencies can do their users a great service by setting up a weather API on their sites. Visitors can plan their trips and book tickets accordingly based on the latest weather developments.
You can also benefit from having a weather API on your website if you are running a bed and breakfast or a hotel, or even a campsite. Even news portals, magazines, and blogs often have such APIs installed on their sites, just to do their readers some favor.
Integrating a map on your website is very easy. Google Maps is arguably the best location app you can utilize for this purpose. The application’s API is easy to deploy and super convenient to set up and use. And thanks to its responsiveness, it is also ideal for mobile or tablet viewing.
Businesses would want to set up a location tracking API on their websites for multiple reasons. Transportation and delivery services provide such APIs so that customers can track the vehicle or any packages. Cargo and courier services like DHL and UPS, use this API to keep customers in the loop regarding the delivery of their products.
Ridesharing services use them to let users know where their ride is, and when it is arriving. Besides, many businesses simply integrate the map API on their websites to let people know where they are located, or where people can find their branches or stores.
Apart from the three, we have just seen, there are a few other APIs as well that businesses might find useful. These three, however, are widely used, and you are sure to find some use for them in your business one way or another.