Do you want to learn how to create automated workflows in WordPress?
Performing all of the day-to-day website maintenance and admin tasks can be overwhelming. By creating automated workflows, you can save yourself a ton of time and effort, so you can focus on more important things like growing your website.
In this article, we’ll show you how to easily create automated workflows in WordPress with Uncanny Automator.
Why Create Automated Workflows in WordPress?
Many website owners spend a lot of their time doing the same tasks over and over. For example, you might post your latest blogs to Facebook or send customers a coupon after they leave a product review.
Creating automated workflows for these repetitive, manual tasks can save you a lot of time, effort, and money. If you automate parts of the customer service process, then it can also improve the experience since everything happens instantly.
Automation can also make your website and profiles more engaging. For example, you might create workflows that automatically post content to your social media accounts, which encourages engagement.
The problem with automation is that WordPress plugins don’t talk to each other or third-party apps very well. For example, if you’re using WooCommerce and a contact form plugin, then the two can’t communicate with each other unless one plugin has an addon that allows you to link the two.
This is where Uncanny Automator comes in.
What is Uncanny Automator?
It’s the best WordPress automation plugin that helps you create automated workflows in WordPress without having to write code.
It acts as a bridge so you can get different WordPress plugins talking to each other. For example, every time someone completes a form you could automatically add them to your email list.
Think of it like Zapier, but for WordPress websites.
In fact, Uncanny Automator works with Zapier so you can integrate WordPress with over 2,000 external apps, including Google Drive, Slack, Asana, Twitter, Instagram, and more.
That being said, let’s take a look at how to use Uncanny Automater to create automated workflows in WordPress.
Create Automated Workflows in WordPress
There is a free Uncanny Automator plugin that lets you automate many common tasks. However, we’ll be using Uncanny Automator pro because it has more integrations.
Upon activation, you will also be asked to install the free version of Uncanny Automator core. The free plugin has limited features but it’s used as the base for the pro version.
Next, you need to head over to Automator » Settings and enter your license key.
You can find this information under your account on the Uncanny Automator website.
After activating the license, you are now ready to create automated workflows in WordPress. Uncanny Automator calls these workflows ‘recipes.’
To get started, simply head over to Automator » Add New. You’ll be asked whether you want to create a ‘Logged-in’ recipe or an ‘Everyone’ recipe.
Logged-in recipes can only be triggered by logged-in users, but anyone can trigger ‘Everyone’ recipes.
You’ll need to choose a recipe type based on the workflow you want to create, and then click on the ‘Confirm’ button.
We’ll be building an automated workflow that creates a new WordPress user account every time someone submits a contact form on our website.
Next, you can give the recipe a name by typing into the ‘Title’ field. This is just for your reference so you can use anything you want.
Each recipe in Uncanny Automator has two parts called Triggers and Actions.
A trigger is any event that starts the automated workflow, such as a visitor submitting a form. Actions are the tasks the recipe will perform, for example creating an account for that person.
To start, you’ll need to set the trigger by choosing an intergation.
Uncanny Automator will show any integrations that you have already installed on your site. In the following image, you can see that Uncanny Automator has detected WPForms.
To continue, click on ‘WPForms.’
Next, you will need to select the tigger event. In the dropdown menu, simply go ahead and select ‘A form is submitted.’
After that, you can open the dropdown menu to see all the forms you’ve created using the WPForms plugin.
Simply select the form that will trigger the recipe and then click on ‘Save.’
You can now move onto the ‘Actions’ section and click the ‘Add Actions’ button.
Uncanny Automator will now show all of the different integrations you can use.
You may see different options depending on whether you’re creating a recipe for logged-in users, or everyone.
In ‘Actions,’ select ‘Automator’ as the integration.
After that, Uncanny Automator will ask you to select an action.
Go ahead and choose ‘Call a custom function/method’ from the dropdown menu.
To start, type in a name for the custom function that you want to create.
Then, click on ‘Add Variable.’
We want to take data from the WPForms contact form and then use it to create a new user account for the person who submitted the form.
To do this, click on the ‘Asterix’ sign next to the empty field. In the dropdown, find ‘Triggers’ and then select the contact form.
You will now see all of the different fields that make up that form.
To use data from a field, give it a click. This will turn the field into a variable, which you’ll be able to use in the recipe.
You can now add more variables by following the exact process described above.
For example, in the following image we’re taking the person’s name and their email address from the contact form, so we can add that information to the user profile.
After adding all the variables you want to use, click on ‘Save.’
Next, click on the ‘Add action’ button and choose the next integration you want to use. In our case, that’s WordPress.
After that, Uncanny Automator will show all the actions you can perform using this integration.
Go ahead and select ‘Add a new role to the user’s roles’ from the dropdown menu.
You will now see a popup asking for access to user data.
Simply click on the ‘Set user data’ button.
Since we’re creating an ‘Everyone’ recipe, you can either perform this action on an ‘Existing user’ or a ‘New user.’
We’re going to click on ‘New user,’ since we don’t want to create accounts for people who are already registered with our website.
Uncanny Automator will now ask you to set the data that you’ll use to create the new account.
You can map some of these fields to the variables passed from the contact form. For example, you can click on the ‘Asterix’ next to ‘First name’ and then select the contact form as your trigger.
In the dropdown, choose the ‘Name’ variable.
For other fields, you may want to use a combination of tokens and plain text. For example, you might generate a username at random by combining the person’s name with a series of numbers, or even another token such as today’s date.
By default, Uncanny Automator will assign the ‘subscriber’ role to the new user.
If you want to change this, then simply open the ‘Role’ dropdown and choose a new user role from the list.
If there is already an account for the person’s email address or username, then we don’t want to create a new account for that person.
With that being said, make sure you select ‘Do nothing’ in the following section: ‘What to do if the user already exists.’
When you’re done, don’t forget to click on the ‘Save’ button to store your changes.
After that, you can go ahead and make the recipe active. In the ‘Recipe’ box, click the ‘Draft’ switch so that it shows ‘Live’ instead.
Your recipe is now live, and Uncanny Automator will automatically create a new account every time someone completes your site’s contact form.
Viewing Your Automation Logs in WordPress
Once you start creating automated workflows on your website, you’ll want an easy way to track all the tasks that are happening in the background.
To see all of the recipes, triggers and actions performed by Uncanny Automator, simply go to Automator » Logs.
In this guide, we just scratched the surface of how truly powerful the Uncanny Automator plugin really is. You can use it to connect Elementor, WooCommerce, Formidable Forms, GiveWP, and dozens of other WordPress plugins.
This is why we invested in Uncanny Automator through our WPBeginner growth fund. If you would like for us to add integrations with specific plugins, please leave feedback on the Uncanny Automator website.
We hope this article helped you create automated workflows in WordPress with Uncanny Automator. You may also want to see our comparison of the best drag and drop WordPress page builders to create custom layouts, and our step by step guide on how to allow user registration on your WordPress site.