Best Practices for Naming API Endpoints

Tue Jan 04 2022

3 min read

API endpoints are URLs used to access your API. RESTful APIs have a base URL combined with a name to access the API endpoints. The base URL stays the same while the name changes for each endpoint.

API endpoints are URLs required to access an API and its resources. For example, here are some endpoints of a Recipe API on RapidAPI Hub.




Notice how the last part of the URL changes with each endpoint while the rest remains the same. These are the names of endpoints, and it is important to choose them correctly.

Why Does it Matter?

At the end of the day, an API's purpose is to deliver information; and endpoints are the gateways for this information. A developer can not use your API if your endpoints are confusing.

Moreover, most developers prefer to use an API before adopting it, which often means testing an endpoint to see the response. Inconsistent naming may force them to choose another API.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices you can apply while naming API endpoints.

Avoid Being Too technical

It is easy to get carried away in technical jargon while explaining an endpoint, but you may end up with complex names. It is best to choose the simplest and most commonly used words as endpoint names to allow the users to guess their functionality. Leave the technical details for the documentation.

Use Nouns

Let's say an endpoint returns all the posts of a user. You might be tempted to name the endpoint as a verb like getPosts. However, this is generally considered a bad practice.

The function being performed should be specified by the HTTP Request method (GET, POST, DELETE, etc.) only. Therefore it is better to use simple common nouns like:

GET instead of GET

Action Verbs

Using verbs like get, post, delete, etc., in endpoint names is not advised because the HTTP request methods (GET, POST, DELETE, etc) should specify them. However, you can use action verbs for non-CRUD actions that can not be easily expressed in HTTP verbs. These are also called controllers.

For example, POST Another example from GitHub's REST API is PUT

Lowercase Letters

Endpoint URLs are case-sensitive. Therefore, use lowercase names consistently to avoid confusion.

No Shortened Names

Shortened or abridged names do more harm than good as they can be highly confusing to others. It is better to use the complete form instead.

For example, prefer instead of

Avoid Special Characters

Special characters are entirely unnecessary for endpoint names. Moreover, it is better to avoid using unsafe characters like brackets, spaces, and pipes.


Adjectives do not belong in an endpoint name, and they should only be defined using the endpoint parameters.

For example, Instead of, specify recent as the endpoint parameter.

Wrap Up

That's pretty much it. We hope some of these best practices will help you improve your API's Developer Experience.