Best Practices for Designing REST APIs

Tue Oct 05 2021

2 min read

REST API is the most common type of API, and many people often confuse the term API with the REST API. REST APIs allow you to perform CRUD (create, read, update, and delete) operations between a client and a server. It connects your backend with your frontend so they can communicate with each other.

While working with REST API is simple, there are some practices that you should follow if you are developing one. Let’s take a look at them.

Status Code For Error Handling

When developing REST APIs, make sure you use the HTTP status code. This helps your user to know if the request they have made is successful or not.

There are a lot of status codes available. Here are some of the most common ones:

Status CodeMeaning
400Bad Request
404Not Found

Using JSON

Another best practice is to use JSON for accepting and responding to requests. JSON is commonly used to exchange data between client and server. Although it is derived from JavaScript, it is supported by other major languages, either natively or through libraries.

Endpoint Nesting

If you are developing a REST API with categories, then it is good to provide endpoint nesting. The endpoint nesting shows that there is a relationship between the nested points.

For instance, on a website that showcases cars, the developers can list all the cars using the API If they want to see the cars based on the car manufacturer, they should use an endpoint like

Using SSL Certificate

Securing your REST API is crucial for the overall security of your application. You can achieve this by adding a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. By doing this, you will use HTTPS protocol instead of HTTP and make your site less vulnerable to any malicious attacks.

Versioning Your REST API

You should version your REST API if you are introducing any breaking changes. This way, your clients can still access the old version, and their products will not break as soon as you launch a new release.