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Connect multiple WordPress sites together

Having more than one website to support your business goals has several advantages. Multiple sites allow you to group or segment your product and services based on your customer demands.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that we have an online learning and development company. Our company designs, develops, runs, and sells online courses. That means we’ll need an online store to sell our courses and a learning management system (LMS) to run them.

We prefer to have two sites: one site for our store and the other for our LMS. We want two sites because we want to avoid everything clumped onto one site. Having separate sites allows us to:

  • Provide personalized service to our customers based on their interaction with us.
  • Delegate specialized operations teams to efficiently support each function.
  • Handle the different traffic loads that our sites must support.
  • Avoid a single point of failure to help maintain our business continuity.

Given these requirements, we’ll set up shop.bigcompany.com to host our online store. And, lms.bigcompany.com will be our LMS site for running our courses, group forums, and webinar events.

Let’s set the stage with a real-world scenario of how these two sites would work together.

The scenario: taking an online course

Imagine our company has a course called “How to make a website”. We’ll use our shop.bigcompany.com to market and sell the course. Then, our lms.bigcompany.com is where registered participants will attend course webinars, take the course lessons, and participate in class discussions.

Here’s our registration process:

  1. A new student creates a store account and buys the “How to make a website” course on shop.bigcompany.com.
  2. A course admin gets notified.
  3. The course admin creates an account on lms.bigcompany.com for the new student.
  4. The admin enrols the student in the course on lms.bigcompany.com.
  5. The admin registers the student for the course’s orientation webinar.
  6. The admin subscribes the student to the course’s group forum.
  7. The admin emails the student all registration details and instructions for logging in.

You probably noticed that there are a few manual steps involved.

The challenges of multiple sites

We touched on the advantages of having multiple sites earlier. Unfortunately, making these sites work together can introduce additional overhead like those manual steps we just listed.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all a student needed to do is purchase the course and make sure they set up an account on our shop and LMS sites? Then, everything else could be done automatically?

Drum roll. Enter the Uncanny Automator.

Why Uncanny Automator?

If our company used the Uncanny Automator Pro plugin, then our seven steps above can be reduced to these two:

  1. The student buys the “How to make a website” course on shop.bigcompany.com.
  2. Uncanny Automator sees this purchase and kicks off a process on lms.bigcompany.com that creates the student’s user account, enrols the student in the course, registers the student to the welcome webinar, subscribes the student to the course’s group forum, and emails the login details to the student.

Right now, Automator needs an account to exist on both sites to make a purchase. Soon we’ll have an anonymous trigger to automate the process. So, logging in to make a purchase won’t be required in the future.

Are you finding all of this hard to believe? All right then, let’s see how this would work.

In this article, we’ll show you how to create a site-to-site recipe with Uncanny Automator Pro. When we’re done, you’ll see how you can automate transactions between your company’s eCommerce and LMS sites!

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Creating a virtual product in WooCommerce.
  2. Creating an Uncanny Automator recipe on our shop site to send data to a webhook on our LMS site.
  3. Creating an Uncanny Automator recipe with a webhook trigger. With a webhook trigger, this recipe can automatically do: a course enrollment in LearnDash, a webinar registration in The Events Calendar, a subscription to BuddyPress, and an email confirmation.

Tutorial

1. Create an online course product on shop.bigcompany.com

We’ll be using WooCommerce for this tutorial. But, this same technique applies to other eCommerce platforms such as Easy Digital Downloads.

Enable account creation

Log into your /wp-admin/ dashboard on shop.bigcompany.com.

From your /wp-admin/ dashboard, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings.

Click on the Accounts & Privacy tab. Under Account creation, check Allow customers to create an account during checkout. This should be the only setting checked. Leave all other settings unchecked. You can leave the defaults for the Privacy policy and Personal data retention sections.

WooCommerce privacy settings

Add a product

From your /wp-admin/ dashboard, navigate to Products > Add New.
Name the product, “How to make a website”. Select Simple product for Product data and click the Virtual checkbox.

WooCommerce settings for Automator site-to-site connections

Add a price in the Regular price field in the General tab. Click Publish.

2. Create a recipe for purchasing the course on shop.bigcompany.com

Make the Uncanny Automator Recipe

From your /wp-admin/ dashboard, navigate to Automator > Add New.
When the Select a recipe type popup appears, select Logged-in. Click Confirm.

Automator recipe type selection logged in user

Name your recipe “Course purchase: How to make a website”. Select WooCommerce for the integration.

WooCommerce trigger

For the trigger, select User purchases a product.

WooCommerce trigger

For the product, choose our How to make a website course that we made earlier. Keep the number of User purchases set to 1 times. Click Save.

WooCommerce trigger

We have a trigger. Let’s create an action for it.

Click on Add action next to the lightning bolt icon.

Automator add action lightning bolt icon

A set of available integrations is displayed. We need to choose WordPress. WordPress will send the student’s registration data to our lms.bigcompany.com site via a webhook. Select WordPress from the set of integrations.

WooCommerce action

In the dropdown, select Send data to webhook. The webhook form appears.

WordPress webhook selected

Before we can complete the form, we’ll need to create the actual webhook on lms.bigcompany.com. Let’s do that now.

3. Create a webhook to do the registration on lms.bigcompany.com

If you haven’t noticed yet, the webhook we’re about to create is where the magic happens. Because Uncanny Automator supports webhooks, the websites in our tutorial can send and receive data to and from any other webhook enabled site or service.

This includes systems such as IFTTT, Integromat, or another site running Uncanny Automator. Just think of the possibilities this gives us!

Create the webhook recipe

Log into your /wp-admin/ dashboard on lms.bigcompany.com.

From your /wp-admin/ dashboard, navigate to Automator > Add New.

Uncanny Automator v2.1.4 add new recipe

Select Anonymous for the recipe type. Click Confirm.

Anonymous recipe

Create the trigger

Name your recipe “Webhook: How to make a website”. Select WordPress for the integration.

In the Fields section, enter “email” for the Key and select Email for the Value type. Click Save.

Webhook trigger completed

Note: Copy the Webhook URL and paste it into a text file for safekeeping. We’ll need it later to finish the recipe we started on shop.bigcompany.com.

Onto our actions. If you recall, this recipe needs to perform the following five actions:

  1. Create a new student user account.
  2. Enrol the student in the course.
  3. Register the student for the orientation webinar.
  4. Subscribe the student to the group forum.
  5. Send the confirmation email.

Next, select New User.

Set new user data

You should now see a form displaying the standard WordPress user account fields: first name, last name, email, username, display name, password, and roles. We’re only going to fill in the required fields. We’ll grab the email from our webhook data and we’ll want the username to be the same as the email. Let’s do the email together.

Leave the First name and Last name fields blank. Click on the asterisk icon (*) on the right-hand side of the Email field. This is the token selector. Tokens act like handles to the data in the form. Tokens will get filled in later with actual values when the form is submitted.

Uncanny Automator field token selector

Again, for the Email field for our new user, we want the Email token from our webhook.

Select webhook. From the dropdown menu, click on Field #1 email. You’ll see the email token appear in the text field above.

Set new user email

Follow the same steps for the Username field.

Leave the Display name blank.

For the password, we want the user to reset it before logging in for the first time. We’ll email them a reset link in a bit. Leave the Password field blank too.

Keep the default Subscriber selected for the Roles field. Click No for the Log the new user in? field. Click Do nothing for the What to do if the user already exists field.

Click Save.

Set new user data completed

Create the actions

Now that we know which account to use, we can define our set of actions. Click on Add action next to the lightning bolt icon.

Automator add action lightning bolt icon

The available integrations are displayed. We’ll enrol the student first. Select LearnDash from the set of integrations.

Learndash action selected

Select Enroll user in a course.

Learndash action

Select our How to make a website course.

Learndash action course

Click Save. Then, click Add another action.

For BuddyPress and Events Calendar, follow the same flow to add the user to the group forum and to create a webinar RSVP. These actions should like this when you’re done.

BuddyPress Events Calendar actions

The final action is sending a confirmation email. We’ll let WordPress handle this. Click Add another action. Select WordPress.

WordPress action selected

In the dropdown, select Send an email. Keep the Send an email to and the From and To fields set to their default values. Add your Subject.

For the Body, we get a text editor complete with a token selector icon (*) to work with. That means we can pull in data from WordPress to compose a personalized message. In my example below, I’m inserting the User first name in the salutation. Then, I provide a reset password link also courtesy of WordPress.

Email body completed

Activate the recipe

We are done with our actions. Let’s activate everything before heading back to finish our recipe on shop.bigcompany.com.

We’ll need to click on all six Draft toggle buttons on our recipe page. Click on each one to make them live.

The trigger and actions toggles will turn green when Live. The toggle for the entire recipe found under the Recipe details will turn blue when Live.

Recipe completed

 

4. Finish the purchase course recipe on lms.bigcompany.com

Go back to your “Course purchase: How to make a website” recipe on shop.bigcompany.com. Find the URL field under the WordPress webhook action we created earlier.

Remember that Webhook URL we copied and pasted for safekeeping? We can finally copy and paste it into the URL field.

Keep Post for the Request method.

Under Fields, enter email for the Key and User purchases How to make a website 1 times for the Value.

Webhook trigger completed

Click Save. Switch the three Draft toggles in this recipe to Live.

5. Putting it all together

Before kicking things off, make sure you have a subscriber test account created on your LMS site. For this test demonstration, we can be Ally Barnes and our email is abarnes@mymail.com. But, feel free to substitute a working email so you can confirm first-hand that everything is working.

Ready? Here we go.

  1. Let’s go to our shop page. E.g., shop.bigcompany.com/shop.
  2. We’ll add How to make a website to our cart.
  3. We’ll view our cart, then proceed to checkout.
  4. We’ll fill in all the required fields. Be sure to use abarnes@mymail.com for the Email address and Account username.
  5. Let’s place our order.

We’re done. No lie!

If you used a real email address, you can verify you got your confirmation email and accept the webinar invite. Then, you can log into lms.bigcompany.com to introduce yourself on the forum and start taking your course. Congrats!

The Automator advantage

If you’re already connecting multiple WordPress sites, you might ask, “Why not use Zapier or Integromat?”

Here are three major advantages of using Uncanny Automator over other integrations:

  • Data security. Your data never goes through a third-party service. Your data is more secure with Automator.
  • Cost savings. There is no cost per transaction. Say goodbye to complicated pricing tables, hidden fees, and service cut-offs. Create as many recipes as you want and run them as many times as you need without any charges.
  • Flexible and scalable. Uncanny Automator is the only plugin that can integrate recipes with an Events Calendar event, a BuddyPress group, and LearnDash. Automator supports connections to dozens of other plugins and thousands of apps!

Conclusion

We looked at a real-world scenario of how a company leverages multiple websites to meet business demands. We realized that exchanging data between sites could be a major problem if the process isn’t automated.

Then, we discussed how the Uncanny Automator Pro plugin can provide an elegant and seamless way for multiple sites to work together.

Lastly, we guided you step-by-step on how to:

  • Create an Automator recipe from one site that sends data to a webhook on another site.
  • Create a webhook using an Automator recipe to receive data from another site.
  • Integrate three completely different plugins to provide a comprehensive yet simple student registration process triggered by a remote website no less.

For demonstration purposes, our tutorial covered only one possible combination of connecting WordPress sites. The real power of Automator is that you can connect any number and any type of site.

If you need to connect multiple WordPress sites together for your business, it’s time to give Uncanny Automator a try.

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