There are several options for authenticating with the API. The basic choice boils down to:

Cookie authentication is the basic authentication method included with WordPress. When you log in to your dashboard, this sets up the cookies correctly for you, so plugin and theme developers need only to have a logged-in user.

However, the REST API includes a technique called nonces to avoid CSRF issues. This prevents other sites from forcing you to perform actions without explicitly intending to do so. This requires slightly special handling for the API.

For developers using the built-in Javascript API, this is handled automatically for you. This is the recommended way to use the API for plugins and themes. Custom data models can extend wp.api.models.Base to ensure this is sent correctly for any custom requests.

For developers making manual Ajax requests, the nonce will need to be passed with each request. The API uses nonces with the action set to wp_rest. These can then be passed to the API via the _wpnonce data parameter (either POST data or in the query for GET requests), or via the X-WP-Nonce header.

It is important to keep in mind that this authentication method relies on WordPress cookies. As a result this method is only applicable when the REST API is used inside of WordPress and the current user is logged in. In addition, the current user must have the appropriate capability to perform the action being performed.

As an example, this is how the built-in Javascript client creates the nonce:

wp_localize_script( 'wp-api', 'wpApiSettings', array( 'root' => esc_url_raw( rest_url() ), 'nonce' => wp_create_nonce( 'wp_rest' ) ) );

This is then used in the base model:

options.beforeSend = function(xhr) {
	xhr.setRequestHeader('X-WP-Nonce', wpApiSettings.nonce);

	if (beforeSend) {
		return beforeSend.apply(this, arguments);

Here is an example of editing the title of a post, using jQuery AJAX:

$.ajax( {
    url: wpApiSettings.root + 'wpas-api/v1/tickets/1',
    method: 'POST',
    beforeSend: function ( xhr ) {
        xhr.setRequestHeader( 'X-WP-Nonce', wpApiSettings.nonce );
        'title' : 'New Ticket Title'
} ).done( function ( response ) {
    console.log( response );
} );

Application Passwords and Basic Authentication

Basic authentication is an optional authentication handler for external clients. Due to the complexity of OAuth authentication, basic authentication can be useful during development. However, Basic authentication requires passing your username and password on every request, as well as giving your credentials to clients, so it is heavily discouraged for production use.

Application passwords are used similarly, however instead of providing your normal account password, unique and easily revokable passwords are generated from your edit profile screen in the WordPress admin. These application passwords are valid exclusively for the REST API and the legacy XML-RPC API and may not be used to log in to WordPress.

Both basic authentication and application passwords use HTTP Basic Authentication (published as RFC2617) and are supported by the Awesome Support API.

To use Basic authentication, simply pass the username and password with each request through the Authorization header. This value should be encoded (using base64 encoding) as per the HTTP Basic specification.

This is an example of how to update a post, using these authentications, via the WordPress HTTP API:

$headers = array (
	'Authorization' => 'Basic ' . base64_encode( 'admin' . ':' . '12345' ),
$url = rest_url( 'wpas-api/v1/tickets/1' );

$data = array(
	'title' => 'Support Ticket Title' 

$response = wp_remote_post( $url, array (
    'method'  => 'POST',
    'headers' => $headers,
    'body'    =>  $data
) );