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Creating a Recipe

A recipe is the basic building block of the Uncanny Automator WordPress plugin.

Recipe types

There are two types of recipes:

  • Logged-in Recipes: These are typically triggered directly by logged-in users. For example, a recipe may include a User completes a course trigger, which then fires an Enroll user in a course action.
  • Anonymous Recipes: Introduced in Uncanny Automator Pro version 2.0, Anonymous recipes expand the power of recipes beyond logged-in users, extending automation of your WordPress site to the user creation process itself.  Anonymous recipes can be triggered by both logged-in users and Anonymous users, and they enable recipes to create new users or modify existing users.

Only Logged-in recipes are available in the free version of Uncanny Automator.

Recipe parts

Every recipe has 2 main parts: triggers and actions. A trigger is what happens first to tell the site to run an action.  A recipe effectively tells your WordPress site, “if this happens then do that“. Triggers are the “this” in that example; actions are “that”.

There can be a bit more to it, of course. Sometimes triggers and actions have conditions, like if a page must be viewed 3 times, or a quiz must be passed with a score of 80% or higher, the number of views and the score are conditions for the associated triggers. Some triggers and actions can have even more settings, like when you want to send an email. In that example, the email needs a recipient, subject, body, and maybe those fields will include some variables. Finally, on completion of a recipe you may want to redirect the user to a new URL. That’s another element of a recipe that can be optionally included.

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Create your first recipe

Creating your first recipe with Uncanny Automator is easy.  We’ll create a Logged-in recipe to start, as this is the simplest type of recipe.

After installing the plugin, navigate to Uncanny Automator > New Recipe as an administrator in /wp-admin/. This starts the process of creating a new recipe.

In the recipe type selector, choose Logged-in and click Confirm.

There are 3 main sections on a recipe pages, and all are required: a recipe title, triggers, and actions. Each recipe must have at least one trigger (and can only have one if you use the free version) and at least one action.

Parts of a WordPress Recipe


Live and Draft SwitchesAfter adding triggers and actions there’s one last step. You need to turn them on! Every trigger, every action and the overall recipe have Live and Draft switches. See the screenshot to the right. For recipes to work properly you must have the associated triggers, actions and the recipe itself set to Live.

The default state when you add new elements is Draft. This allows you to set up your recipes completely before they’ll start to get completed. Only set the switches to Live when you want users to start completing them.

Remember too that a recipe will still run if some elements (like a second trigger or action) are set to draft if the recipe itself is live. It just means that those triggers or actions will get skipped. Be very careful about leaving things in a draft state.

Also remember that each recipe needs a title, at least one trigger and at least one action. If your recipe is missing any of those then you cannot make it live.

Now that you’re familiar with the basics, learn more about triggers, actions, or how to use Anonymous recipes.

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