WooCommerce Shipping API: Everything You Need to Know

Are you looking to integrate your WooCommerce store with the WordPress REST API? Look no further! WooCommerce 2.6 and above are fully integrated with the WordPress REST API, allowing you to create, read, update, and delete WC data using requests in JSON format. With support for standard HTTP verbs, this integration offers seamless compatibility with most HTTP clients.

API Versions and Compatibility

To make the integration process smooth, it’s essential to understand the different API versions available. In each major version of WooCommerce, the API version evolves, ensuring improved functionality and support. Here’s a breakdown of the API versions based on WooCommerce versions:

  • API Version v3:

    • WC Version: 3.5.x or later
    • WP Version: 4.4 or later
  • API Version v2:

    • WC Version: 3.0.x or later
    • WP Version: 4.4 or later
  • API Version v1:

    • WC Version: 2.6.x or later
    • WP Version: 4.4 or later

Note that before version 2.6, WooCommerce had a separate REST API, often referred to as the legacy API. If you’re using an older version of WooCommerce, you can still access the documentation for the legacy API separately.

Requirements for the Latest REST API

To utilize the latest version of the REST API effectively, you need to ensure that you meet the following requirements:

  • WooCommerce 3.5+
  • WordPress 4.4+
  • Pretty permalinks enabled in Settings > Permalinks (Default permalinks will not work)
  • Preferred use of HTTPS for secure communication

In case you encounter any issues with ModSecurity, resulting in “501 Method Not Implemented” errors, review this issue for more details. You should note that there’s no requirement to install the WP REST API plugin separately.

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Request/Response Format

By default, the REST API responds in JSON format. For requests with a message-body, you can set or update resource attributes using plain JSON. Successful requests will return a 200 OK HTTP status.

Here are some essential points about responses:

  • Dates are returned in ISO8601 format: YYYY-MM-DDTHH:MM:SS
  • Resource IDs are returned as integers
  • Monetary amounts with decimals are returned as strings with two decimal places
  • Other amounts, such as item counts, are returned as integers
  • Blank fields are generally included as null or an empty string

JSONP Support

The WP REST API has built-in support for JSONP. To use it, specify the callback using the ?_jsonp parameter in a GET request. The response will be wrapped in a JSON function, providing flexibility for your needs.

Errors and Troubleshooting

While working with the REST API, you may encounter errors. These errors fall into four main types:

  • 400 Bad Request: Invalid request, such as using an unsupported HTTP method
  • 401 Unauthorized: Authentication or permission error, including incorrect API keys
  • 404 Not Found: Requests to resources that don’t exist or are missing
  • 500 Internal Server Error: Server error

Each error type is accompanied by an appropriate HTTP status code and a response object containing a code, message, and data attribute, aiding in better troubleshooting.

Parameters and Pagination

Most endpoints accept optional parameters, which can be passed as HTTP query string parameters. These parameters allow you to customize your requests, such as filtering results based on specific criteria. Each endpoint’s documentation provides details on the available parameters.

For better organization and performance, requests that return multiple items are paginated by default, with 10 items per page. You can change this default value by modifying the posts_per_page option. Additionally, you can specify the number of items per page using the ?per_page parameter. To access further pages, use the ?page parameter, and you can also specify the offset using the ?offset parameter. The total number of resources and pages is always included in the response headers.

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Libraries, Tools, and Resources

To simplify the integration process, several libraries, tools, and resources are available for working with the REST API. Here are some official and third-party options:

Official Libraries

  • JavaScript Library
  • PHP Library
  • Python Library
  • Ruby Library

Third-Party Libraries

  • Java Library
  • .NET Library
  • Android Library

Please note that while official libraries are supported, third-party libraries may not receive official assistance. If you have any questions about using third-party libraries, it’s best to contact their respective authors for support.

Additionally, various tools can assist you in accessing the API efficiently, including:

  • Insomnia: A cross-platform GraphQL and REST client available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
  • Postman: A cross-platform REST client available for Mac, Windows, and Linux.
  • RequestBin: Allows you to test webhooks.
  • Hookbin: Another tool for testing webhooks.

Learn More and Authentication Using API Keys

For a more comprehensive understanding of the REST API and its features, refer to the official WordPress REST API documentation. It provides detailed insights into various aspects of the API and their implementation.

WooCommerce offers two methods of authentication with the WP REST API. You can also authenticate using any WP REST API authentication plugin or method.


To authenticate the usage of REST API endpoints, you can generate pre-generated keys. These keys can be created and managed either through the WordPress admin interface or automatically generated through an endpoint.

Generating API Keys in the WordPress Admin Interface

To create or manage keys for a specific WordPress user, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Advanced > REST API. (Note: Prior to WooCommerce 3.4, you could find Keys/Apps under WooCommerce > Settings > API > Key/Apps.)

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Click the “Add Key” button, provide a description, and select the WordPress user for whom you want to generate the key. The REST API will conform to the selected user’s WordPress roles and capabilities.

Choose the level of access required for this REST API key, such as Read, Write, or Read/Write. Click the “Generate API Key” button, and WooCommerce will generate REST API keys specifically for the selected user.

After generation, you’ll see two new keys, a QRCode, and a “Revoke API Key” button. These keys represent your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret. If the associated WordPress user gets deleted, the API key will cease to function, as the keys are not transferred to other users.

Auto-Generating API Keys Using the Application Authentication Endpoint

This endpoint makes it easier for apps to allow users to generate API keys. The process involves users granting access to your app via a URL, which redirects them back to your app. The generated API keys are then sent back in a separate POST request.

For detailed information and examples on how to utilize this endpoint and its parameters, refer to the API documentation.

Authentication over HTTPS, HTTP Basic Auth, and OAuth

When it comes to authentication, the REST API provides different methods based on your specific requirements and security preferences.

  • HTTPS: Using HTTP Basic Auth, you can provide the REST API Consumer Key as the username, and the REST API Consumer Secret as the password.

  • HTTP: For secure authentication over HTTP, use OAuth 1.0a “one-legged” authentication. This method prevents interception by attackers. By following specific instructions and generating the necessary parameters, you can ensure secure communication.

For detailed steps and examples of implementing authentication over HTTPS and HTTP using OAuth, consult the API documentation.

Remember, the REST API provides information about all available endpoints on your site, even without authentication. This feature allows you to explore and experiment with the API’s capabilities before integrating it into your application.

Now that you have all the necessary information, start leveraging the power of the WooCommerce Shipping API to enhance your online store’s functionality and provide a seamless customer experience.

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