GraphQL for WordPress

Desert GraphQL Meetup
Oct 2019

Who Am I?

What We'll Go Over

  • Why WordPress + GraphQL
  • Quick WordPress Overview
  • Installing and Using the WPGraphQL Plugin
  • WordPress as an Application Data Graph
  • Efficient Data Fetching with GraphQL
  • WPGraphQL + Gatsby
  • What's next?

Why WordPress + GraphQL?

Personal Story

  • Distributed WordPress Installs
  • Content Syndication
  • Micro-apps that can interact with any number of WordPress installs

Frustrations with REST

  • Implicit requests are difficult for long-term code maintenance
  • Constant over/under-fetching
    • Unnecessarily moving tons of data over the wire
  • So many requests needed to READ / WRITE the data needed to syndicate

Frustrations with REST

(still)

 

  • Implicit requests are difficult for long-term code maintenance
  • Constant over/under-fetching
    • Unnecessarily moving tons of data over the wire
  • So many requests needed to READ / WRITE the data needed to syndicate
  • Poor performace
    • We wanted REST to provide everything so any client could have what they needed
    • Wrapping a non-performant REST API with GraphQL === non-performant GraphQL API

Why WordPress + GraphQL?

Generally Speaking

  • WordPress powers 28% of the Web
    • Stated Goal of reaching 51%
    • GraphQL Ubiquity
  • Both Open Source, Community Centric
  • Both solve general problems for the web

WPGraphQL is a free, open-source WordPress plugin that provides an extendable GraphQL schema and API for any WordPress site.

Quick WordPress Overview

Content Types (Posts, Pages, Custom)

Content Editor

Taxonomy Terms (Categories, Tags, Custom)

Media Library

Users

Comments

Themes

Plugins

Adding the Plugin to WordPress

Install & Activate the Plugin

Posts

Pages

Users

Comments

Terms

Media

GraphQL

{
     viewer {
          name
     }
}

{

     data: {

          viewer: {

               name: "Jason Bahl"

          }

     }
}

GraphQL Query

GraphQL Result

Post

Category

Category

Category

Post

title

"Hello World"

title

"GoodBye Mars"

Image

Image

Image

name

"news"

name

"crime"

name

"sports"

Image

WordPress as an Application Data Graph

GraphQL

GraphQL lets us pick trees out of the Application Data Graph

GraphQL

query {
  post(id: "cG9zdDox") {
    title
    link
    categories {
      nodes {
        name
      }
    }
  }
}
{
  data: {
    post: {
      title: "Hello World!"
      link: "http://site.com/hello-world"
      categories: {
        nodes: [
          {
            name: "sports"
          },
          {
            name: "crime"
          }
        ]
      }
    }
  }
}

Post

Category

Category

Category

Post

title

"Hello World"

title

"GoodBye Mars"

Image

Image

Image

name

"news"

name

"crime"

name

"sports"

Image

Demo Time!

Comparing APIs

Comparing APIs

Data Requirements:

  • List of posts
  • author
    • name
    • avatar (size: 50)
      • url
  • site
    • name
    • link
  • followLink
  • title
  • featuredImage (width: 300)
    • url
  • excerpt

Comparing APIs

<?php
$posts = new WP_Query( 
    array(
        'post_type' => 'post',
        'posts_per_page' => 4,
        'post_status' => 'publish'
    ) 
);

# Loop through the posts
<?php
# Author Data
$author = get_the_author();
$author_name = $author->display_name;
$avatar = get_avatar_data( $author->ID );
$avatar_url = $avatar->url;
# Site Info
$sites = wp_get_post_terms( 
    $post->ID, 'sites' 
);
$site_name = $sites[0]->name;
$site_link = get_term_meta( 
    $sites[0]->term_id, 
    'link', 
    true 
);
# Follow Link
$follow_link = your_follow_link_func();
# Title
$title = get_the_title();
# Featured Image
$img = get_the_post_thumbnail_url( 
    $post->ID, 
    array( 300 ) 
);
# Excerpt
$excerpt = get_the_excerpt();

Comparing APIs

# Posts

# Assumes follow link is a registered
# field on the post endpoint

HTTP GET 
/wp-json/wp/v2/posts?per_page=4

$posts.map((post) => {
    $title = post.title;
    $excerpt = post.excerpt;
    $follow = post.followLink;
});
# Authors

HTTP GET 
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[0].author}
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[1].author}
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[2].author}
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[3].author}
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[0].author}/avatar
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[1].author}/avatar
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[2].author}/avatar
/wp-json/wp/v2/user/{posts[3].author}/avatar
# Sites 

# Assumes REST API was customized to show
# The "Sites Custom Taxonomy" IDs on the 
# Post endpoint

HTTP GET 
/wp-json/wp/v2/site/{posts[0].sites[0]}
/wp-json/wp/v2/site/{posts[1].sites[0]}
/wp-json/wp/v2/site/{posts[2].sites[0]}
/wp-json/wp/v2/site/{posts[3].sites[0]}
# Featured Images

HTTP GET
/wp-json/wp/v2/media/{posts[2].featured_media}
/wp-json/wp/v2/media/{posts[3].featured_media}

Comparing APIs

            
 query { 
  posts(first: 4) {
    edges {
      node {



        














      }
    }
  }
}
            
        
            
        author {
       name
       avatar(size: 50) {
         url
       }
     }

            
        
            
                        followLink

            
        
            
                        title

            
        
            
                        featuredImage(width: 300) {
   url
}

            
        
            
                        excerpt

            
        
            
        site {
       name
       link
     }

            
        

Data Requirements:

  • List of posts
  • author
    • name
    • avatar (size: 50)
      • url
  • site
    • name
    • link
  • followLink
  • title
  • featuredImage (width: 300)
    • url
  • excerpt

What I've Learned

  • Designing a Schema is HARD
  • The GraphQL and WordPress Communities are AMAZING
    • Devs from Graph.Cool, Apollo, Coursera, Qz.com, New York Times and more have participated in discussions about WPGraphQL at some level
  • Tools that have been helpful
    • GraphiQL
    • Graph.Cool
    • Apollo Launchpad

What's Next?

  • Gatsby hired me to help make WPGraphQL the best API for WordPress, regardless of client
    • Gatsby is investing in WordPress
    • Gatsby doesn't want to replace WordPress, but enhance it

Desert GraphQL Oct 2019

By Jason Bahl

Desert GraphQL Oct 2019

GraphQL for WordPress

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