Top 8 Fundamental Tips on REST API Design

Make sure to use nouns in endpoint paths

We should always use the nouns that represent the entity that we’re retrieving or manipulating as the pathname and always in favor of using plural designations.

JSON as the main format for sending and receiving data

JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) has largely become the “standard” format for sending and receiving API data in most applications.

Use a set of predictable HTTP status codes

It is always a good idea to use HTTP status codes according to its definitions to indicate the success or failure of a request.

Return standardized messages

In addition to the usage of HTTP status codes that indicate the outcome of the request always use a standardized responses for similar endpoints.

Use pagination, filtering and sorting when fetching collections of records

Collections usually grow overtime thus it is important to always return a limited and controlled amount of elements.

Provide extended response options

When a system grows, record properties grow as well in that process but not all of those properties are always required for clients to operate.

Endpoint Responsibility

The Single Responsibility Principle focuses on the concept of keeping a function, method, or class, focused on a narrow behavior that it does well.

Provide Accurate API Documentation

Consumers of your API should be able to understand how to use and what to expect from the available endpoints.