At Uncanny Owl, our team works hard to understand what people are doing with Automator…
The 2.0 release of Automator is finally here—and for LearnDash users in particular it’s an amazing upgrade. In 1.x you could connect plugins together to build powerful workflows and learner experiences, but users wanted more: to connect to other apps, to trigger things without being signed in, even more integrations. We listened, and now you can do all of that and more! Here’s what’s new in 2.0:
- Webhook trigger support, enabling other systems to control things in WordPress
- Anonymous triggers, allowing users that aren’t signed in to trigger recipes
- The “magic button”, letting users trigger do virtually anything with a button click
- Brand new triggers and actions
The real power of these new features is best understood with some real world examples.
Connect WordPress to other apps
Have you ever wanted to have purchases on one WordPress site create and enroll users in courses on a different site? Or maybe when a new employee is added to a non-WordPress HR system, they get added to a group and membership in WordPress?
That’s where webhooks come in. Using webhooks, you can pass data from one system and make it happen in another. And not only can you make things happen, you can also pass data to and from other systems.
If you follow LearnDash news, LearnDash.com is introducing a new Zapier integration shortly, so you may be wondering what makes this different. Theirs is an exciting integration, but here’s where it differs from Automator:
- Automator can connect with anything that supports webhooks; Zapier use is optional.
- You can do a lot more with Automator. Add the user to a membership level, reset course progress, remove the user from one LearnDash Group and add them to another one, you name it.
- You can do multiple things at once. Don’t just add users to a course, add them to a group, send them an email, add them to a BuddyPress group if you want.
Automator 2.0 lets anyone, signed in or out, initiate Automator recipes. That’s huge, though it may sound simple. Here’s where that might come into play:
- You want a nice registration form on your site and you want it to add users to a LearnDash group, but you don’t want to pay for an expensive solution like Gravity Forms plus Uncanny LearnDash Groups. No problem, use a free form plugin, like WP Forms, set up an anonymous user registration recipe in Automator, and on form submission you can create the user and add the user to a group. You can even set it up so users are added to different groups depending on the values in the form.
- You want to collect survey data from visitors and pass it off to Google Sheets, but your form plugin doesn’t support Zapier or the Zapier integration is an expensive option. With Automator you can just set up a recipe that passes form data to any service that supports webhooks, like Zapier or Integromat.
The Magic Button
This one is a favourite of ours, and it’s as simple as it sounds. When you create a “magic button” recipe, we give you a shortcode that you can put anywhere on your site. When a user clicks the button, it runs the recipe. Simple, right?
Here’s how you might use it:
- Suppose you run compliance courses that users have to complete every year. To create a permanent archive of completions, maybe you have one Automator recipe that sends the record to Google Sheets on completion. Users then need a way to reset their progress and take the course again. That’s easy, add a “magic button” to the course page for enrolled users, and on click it resets the user’s progress! Maybe even add another action to notify the user’s manager or teacher that they’re taking the course again. Or why stop there? If the learner needs to take all courses again, reset all course progress in one click!
- Maybe you need an easier way for users to add and remove themselves from groups. List your groups with “Join” and “Leave” magic buttons, so when a user clicks one they’re immediately added to or removed from a group. If they’re adding themselves, send them a welcome email and maybe even assign them to an extra introductory course that’s separate from the group!
- Add an “I need extra help” button to the sidebar that enrolls the user in remedial courses, redirects the user to a page with instructions and alerts the instructor that the user has self-identified that they’re struggling.
More Triggers & Actions
Uncanny Automator is now up to over 100 WordPress plugin triggers and actions, and that’s of course on top of the unlimited things it can do with webhooks. With the version 2.0 release, Automator is close to 30 LearnDash triggers and actions with the addition of triggers for being added to a course or group. What exactly do those triggers allow? Well, if an admin adds a user to a course, maybe you want the student to a receive a Welcome email on behalf of the instructor and add them to a course-related BuddyPress group. Now you can do something like that automatically with no manual intervention.
We didn’t forget LearnDash actions either. Now you can mark things incomplete for users. Say a student fails a quiz and you want them to retake the associate lesson and topics. Well, now the failure condition can mark those as incomplete so the student has to retake them before they can reattempt the quiz.
Everything from Automator 1.x
Everything so far in this article just covers what’s new in Uncanny Automator. Version 1.x was already a very powerful integration tool for elearning sites that made billions of automated workflows possible.
Automator is still the most powerful way to personalize learning paths. Unlock new courses or resources based on quiz score, H5P activity, xAPI results, whatever you can think of. Reset progress, add or remove users from groups, mark something as completed. That’s right, if a user passes a pre-test you can mark everything as a course as completed so they don’t have to repeat what they already know. Or unlock the next course in a series when one is completed so users always know exactly what to do next.
Try it risk-free
We’re so confident that you’ll find Uncanny Automator a valuable addition to your LearnDash site that we offer a no-questions-asked 30 day money-back guarantee. If for any reason you don’t want to keep using Automator just let us know and we’ll issue a full refund.
So what are you waiting for? Pick up your copy of Uncanny Automator and turn your LearnDash site into an automated, personalized powerhouse!
P.S. If everything above wasn’t enough, the LearnDash features coming in the next release open up even more incredible possibilities. Generating and sending a certificate will be a new action, so you can generate a LearnDash certificate for anything. It could be completing a lesson, a series of courses, getting a certain score in an H5P activity, you name it. Then there’s making a user a Group Leader for a particular group; maybe a purchase adds a user to a group and makes them a Group Leader for it. And, of course, lots more is coming soon!