How to Build a Developer Portal that Drives Lasting Engagement

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by Ian Cassidy|Marketing Manager

 

It’s crucial to build APIs that expose your products and services to internal and external developers. So how do you get there? Make your developer portal simple and easy. Create an excellent developer experience by highlighting your products and services in ways that invite the development and use of your APIs.

Do this and you’re on your way to creating lasting developer engagement. Here are five things you can do:

 

1. Create a products page 

This is a great way to boost API adoption. It enables you to define the products your business is offering and outline the capabilities of your APIs in a clear, digestible manner. With a products page that clearly outlines exactly what your APIs can do, developers can quickly understand the value of each. If your goal is to increase API adoption by improving the developer’s experience, a well- designed products page will put you on the right path.

Problems Solved: API Adoption, User Experience

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Products Page DP

 

2. Try 'Try It Now'

An exciting new feature, ‘Try It Now’ bypasses third-party tools like Postman, enabling users to tap into APIs directly from the developer portal. It also provides easy modification of parameter combinations, including a side-by-side view of documentation.

In addition, ‘Try It Now’ can support outputting Curl or other language snippets. It’s a great tool for developers who want to jump-start their API implementation with snippets of code from most of the popular languages. ‘Try It Now’ can also be customized to highlight the results of the API request while showing formatted outputs, which can be displayed side-by-side with other output examples.

Problems Solved: API Adoption, Developer Engagement

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Try It Now 1
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Try It Now 2

 

 

3. Showcase your APIs with an APP Gallery.

This is another proven way to increase your API adoption rate and keep developers engaged. In addition to highlighting your APIs and describing how they can be used, your app gallery can showcase your most impressive API case studies – showing off the ways in which your APIs have been used by others and how well they’ve worked with other applications. This can spark innovative developer ideas. While not all of your APIs will fit this structure, a few can incent developers to further research your APIs.

Problems Solved: API Adoption, Developer Engagement

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App Gallery

 

4. Supercharge your documentation. 

  1. No longer does API documentation have to be limited to basic reference docs. Instead, build on the standard experience by adding leverage tables, diagrams and graphics. This is another great way to improve the UX and further your chance of API adoption. Keep in mind that with the need to create, organize and publish more material, your content team will be of great value in this step. If they can get the job done, your developer portal’s aesthetics, professionalism, and end-user experience will all benefit.  

Problems Solved: API adoption, Returning Users, Greater UX

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Advanced Doc

 

5. Grow your Developer Community with Blogs and Forums.

A well-executed blog and a clearly structured and well-maintained forums page can also ignite developer engagement. The idea is to provide developers with news they can use: You get to promote your knowledge, news, new products and services, and developers benefit. This builds credibility and trust. Forums, with threaded discussions and role-based moderation, can also facilitate valuable interactions between developers, building community support and further boosting engagement. Keep in mind that blogs and forum pages must be tended regularly. Without a solid content team, these pages and can look deserted, which can damage your brand. However, if you commit, blogs and forums can be powerful tools.

Problems Solved: Developer Engagement, Developer Community

 

Are you interested in any of the features outlined above? Or are you struggling with some of the problems outlined? Please feel free to reach out to the Achieve team to find out how a custom Developer Portal can unlock the true potential of your APIs

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