At first glance, the Automator plugin seems almost TOO simple. Its primary function is to integrate the other plugins on your WordPress site, allowing them to talk to each other. By setting up a series of triggers and responses, one plugin can call another, or perform a task without the further input of the site owner.
This is a deceptively simple process, as to accomplish this on your own would require a significant amount of coding and extensive monitoring to ensure that everything remains compatible. If you’ve ever had a plugin simply stop working or change its settings after an update you can understand the nightmare of troubleshooting to get things back on track. Now imagine you have to do that for all the plugins on your site.
Fortunately, Automator does what it says on the tin and takes care of this for you. The plugin currently boasts integrations with over 60 plugins, including some of the most popular such as WooCommerce. You can set it to recognise when an action occurs on your site and use that to trigger subsequent events. Plugins that were never intended to work together can do so using Uncanny Automator as a middle-man.
Features and Benefits
- Simple but powerful triggers
- No coding needed for setup
- Chain actions across up to 12 plugins
- Let each plugin do what it is designed to – no generalisation
- Scaleable from 2-unlimited websites
- 30-day money-back trial
- Next business day support response
- Integrate diverse plugins
- Library of “recipes”
- Plugin-specific triggers and actions to avoid false positives
- Automatically engage with customers, offering extra value on completion of triggering tasks
How to Use Automator
The setup for Automator takes the form of selecting the plugins you want to integrate, selecting triggers and then assigning actions in response to those triggers. A combination of triggers and actions are a Recipe and multiple Recipes form a Scenario. This combination allows for complex sequences based on user interactions.
Each integrated plugin has its own menu of triggers and actions, which can appear a little confusing until you remember that the actions are called by other plugins, not tripped by their own triggers. This is at its heart object-orientated design, calling plugins that can perform multiple actions instead of writing a multitude of edge-cases to handle every eventuality. This makes the system fairly simple to set up, though a few actions require multiple steps. An example in the Automator Knowledgebase is for presenting a popup to the user, which requires two triggers and a recipe to accomplish.
Most plugins require their own accounts, some of them paid for and these are independent of your Automator subscription. Additionally, to use CRM plugins you need a WP Fusion account. Automator doesn’t give you freebies but it does make it much easier to work with what you already use.
Automator promises to save you time, effort and stress by automating tasks that previously required admin input. Emailing a related promotion to a customer who makes a purchase, or offering the next course in a sequence to a learner on completion of the previous one can happen across different specialist plugins. This offers users a more fluid experience and gives you the chance to gather data to improve future offerings.
The team behind Automator, Uncanny Owl, have 5 years experience in the e-learning sector and this shows in the current selection of integrations. The focus is on distance learning and e-commerce, for now, so if you’re using WordPress to deliver courses or sell your wares, this is worth a look.