Disable WP REST API icon
Disable WP REST API is a WordPress plugin that blocks access to the REST API for increased performance and security of your website. It is lightweight and easy to setup, ensuring your WordPress website remains secure and protected from any kind of attacks targeting the REST API.
What We Think:
Very highly recommended!

Disable WP REST API: A Comprehensive Review

Disable WP REST API is a WordPress plugin created to provide an extra layer of security and privacy to WordPress websites. It enables an administrator to control access to sensitive data and resources, such as user metadata, comment data, post data, and others from external sources. This plugin restricts access to the data only to legitimate requests from within the WordPress hosting server. Administrators can further customize the plugin to give access to select IP addresses or user groups. It also allows users to customize the error messages displayed to those who attempt to access a restricted resource.

Disable WP REST API: Breakdown

Disable WP REST API is an effective way to increase the security and privacy on a WordPress website. Depending on the settings the administrator chooses, this plugin will guard against malicious behavior from external sources, as well as keep sensitive data protected. Administrators can enable or disable certain settings depending on their needs. For example, they can restrict access to the WordPress Rest API (WP-API) for certain IP addresses or user groups. Additionally, they can choose to always enable the WP-API for certain areas.

The plugin provides an authentication token for those with elevated permissions or admins, so users can securely access the resources they need. This feature eliminates the need to check if the user is authorized to access the data, as only those with the token will be able to access it. The plugin also features an Energy Packager which allows administrators to specify which resource requests and methods will be able to access the data.

Another feature of Disable WP REST API is the ability to customize the error messages displayed to those users who make unauthorized attempted access. Administrators can alter the error messages to meet their preferences or company brand. This can be beneficial to websites looking to maintain a professional image with its visitors when unauthorized access is attempted.

Pros of Using Disable WP REST API

Secure Data: The Disable WP REST API plugin works by blocking access to the WordPress admin-ajax.php file, which is used by the WordPress API to communicate with other parts of the website. This means that only authenticated users that have the proper permission levels for the API can access the data stored there. By completely blocking access to the API, malicious actors are unable to even attempt to access the data, providing an extra layer of security for your site.

Enhanced Performance: Since the API is blocked, there is no longer any communication from the WordPress core with other parts of the website, resulting in improved site performance. This is especially beneficial for websites with larger codebases, such as those with many plugins and themes installed, as larger codebases tend to create more API requests. By blocking the API, site owners can reduce the total number of requests and boost their website’s performance.

Compatibility: WordPress is constantly evolving, and with every new version of the software come new features. By disabling the API, the WordPress core and installed plugins remain compatible with each other. This eliminates potential conflicts that may arise between the core and installed plugins because of API requests.

Modified Development: The Disable WP REST API plugin also allows developers to modify the API by adding extra parameters or methods, if needed. This is helpful because it allows developers to remain in control over the API, rather than relying on a third-party tool to control how the API is accessed and what data is provided by it.

Easy Installation: The Disable WP REST API plugin is free and open-source, and can be downloaded from the WordPress Plugin Repository for easy installation. This makes it a great choice for any website, as it can help reduce the risks associated with using the WordPress API without having to invest in additional plugins or hire a development team to oversee its security.

Cons of Using Disable WP REST API

Difficult to troubleshoot CMS errors: The Disable WP REST API plugin blocks any type of query, which may be difficult to troubleshoot. The plugin also doesn’t display error messages after blocking. Thus, in the event that any WordPress CMS errors are caused due to REST API query requests, it might be difficult for developers or administrators to know the cause of the error, unless the exact type of query request is known.

Security risk: The Disable WP REST API plugin provides limited security benefits when compared to other methods and protocols. It only blocks attacks that contain particular REST API error messages, rather than restricting false requests and violations from other sources, such as plugins or external requests.

Limitations on third-party integration: The Disable WP REST API plugin does not enable third-party integration with applications, services, or APIs. As a result, users and developers may be unable to access their data hosted on external applications for operations such as data extraction, synchronization, migration, or data entry.

No protection against bots or malicious requests: The Disable WP REST API plugin does not prevent or protect against malicious requests to the WordPress site, either from automated bots or other users. It is possible for malicious requests to still be sent and accepted. Therefore, users should still periodically scan for malicious requests and protect their website with other security measures.

False sense of security: The Disable WP REST API plugin can give users a false sense of security if they are using the plugin to protect their website from malicious requests or attacks. Although the plugin does block some WordPress REST API query requests, it does not provide comprehensive protection from malicious requests or bots. Thus, users should ensure that they are implementing additional security measures to protect their website.

96% Very highly recommended!

In conclusion

Disable WP REST API is an effective plugin for those looking to take additional steps in ensuring the security and privacy of their WordPress website. The plugin provides several features, from the authentication tokens, the ability to restrict certain access to IP or user groups, and the ability to customize the error messages displayed to those who attempt to access a restricted resource. With these features, members can give across-the-board access to certain areas of the site while restricting others, all while maintaining the standards of their own website or brand.

Plugin Specifications
  • Version: 2.6.1
  • Last Updated: 8 months ago
  • Installs: 10,000+
  • WP Version: 4.6+
  • Tested Until: 6.4.2
  • PHP Version: 5.6.20 or higher
Use Case Examples
  • Limiting Access to endpoints for certain user roles
    Sometimes you may want to provide access to your site’s REST API only to specific user roles. This plugin will help you to disable certain REST API endpoints when a user does not belong to those set roles.
  • Reducing Server Load
  • Keeping Core Functionality Intact
  • Better Security
  • Improved Performance
  • api
  • disable
  • JSON
  • rest
  • rest-api