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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.
  • Recipes for Everyone: Introduced in Uncanny Automator Pro version 3.1 (and previously known as “Anonymous” recipes), these recipes can be run by logged in and logged out users. In some cases they may require user data, in which case Automator will prompt you to set up user creation or map to existing users, but some recipes for everyone can be run independently of user data.

Logged-in Recipes are available to all plugin users, while most triggers that support recipes for everyone are only available in the Pro version.

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 (more on these later), 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

 

After 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. 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.

Recipe types

In the sample recipe above, we chose “Logged-in users”, but there is also another recipe type: “Everyone”.

Logged-in vs. Everyone recipes

Think of “Logged-in” recipes as automations that always involve a WordPress account and that are tied to a user, like a user updating their profile, publishing a blog post or completing a course. These types of things can only be done by a user and are linked to user data.

“Everyone” recipes, on the other hand, may or may not be linked to a user account. Sometimes they might not even be triggered by a user at all, like receiving data from another site via incoming webhook data.

Some additional examples might help to clarify the differences.

Suppose someone buys a product in WooCommerce. If guest checkout is disabled and the purchase is for an elearning course on your website, so an account is created for the user to access their course, that’s an example of a “Logged-in” recipe. But if guest checkout is allowed and perhaps the product purchase is a physical product, which doesn’t require a WordPress account, that’s an “Everyone” recipe, since or may or may not be tied to a user account. And if an “Everyone” recipe needs user data because actions are performed on users, Uncanny Automator will automatically prompt you to map data from the trigger(s) to a WordPress user.

More information about Everyone recipe types is also available here. Keep in mind too that Everyone recipes can only have 1 trigger (since it’s not tracked against a user), whereas Logged-in recipes can have as many triggers as you want.

If you’re still not sure what type of recipe you need, check the Integration page for your integration triggers from here. For each trigger, we specifically list whether it can be used in a Logged-in recipe type or an Everyone recipe type. So find the trigger you need, and it will tell you the recipe type to use!

Notes about triggers

Only “Logged-in” recipes can support having more than one trigger in a single recipe. If you do add multiple triggers to a recipe, you will see an option to run the recipe when ANY or ALL triggers are completed. If you want actions to run once any trigger has been completed, choose “any”. If a user must completed all triggers to run the actions, choose “All”.

Any or All triggers for a recipe

Triggers do not have to be completed in order and are not listed in order.

Notes about actions

A recipe may have one or many actions. Actions do not necessarily run in order unless a delay or schedule has been assigned to an action.

Automator Pro users have access to many additional features for their actions, like delays/schedules and conditions. When these are added, it will change the layout of the action area and it does allow grouping of actions for conditions. In this situation, you can drag and drop actions to control groupings and ordering to make sure recipes run exactly as expected.

Additional settings

Before taking a recipe live, there are a few extra settings available, including how many times a recipe should run per user and how many total times it will run.

Automator recipe settings

By default, all recipes run an Unlimited times per user. What that means is that the actions will run every time a user completes the triggers. So if the trigger is that a user buys a product, every time the user buys a product the actions will run. If the recipe should only run once or a certain number of times per user, click the Edit button to change the value.

Please note that “recipes for everyone” may not have a Times per user option, since recipes aren’t necessarily mapped to a user.

The Total Times option controls how many times the recipe can run globally before it will no longer fire. Perhaps you want to run a promotion where only the first 50 buyers of a product get a bonus, like a course enrollment; this type of situation is where the Total Times option is useful.

Uncanny Automator 3.0 and later also includes an option to duplicate recipes. Click the button in this section to clone a recipe, open it automatically, and have it prepopulated with the details from the original recipe. Don’t forget to make everything live if you want to continue using it!

The final elements in the section, which allow setting recipe tags and categories, are very useful for organizing recipes in the recipe list. By adding categories you can more easily see which recipes are related (we ourselves typically add categories for each integration included in a recipe so that we can more easily filter by integration in the recipe list).

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

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