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11 Time-Saving WordPress Automations for Every Website
Bloggers, business owners and developers! These WordPress automations will shave hours off your workday and improve your workflows.
Running a WordPress website isn’t technically manual labor. But, sometimes, between juggling your day-to-day tasks and trying to manage all of your apps, plugins and integrations, it can feel like back-breaking work. Thankfully, this is where Uncanny Automator and our time-saving WordPress automations come in!
Not to sound too conceited, but WordPress automations are kind of our specialty. We do, after all, make automation tools and 5-star rated WordPress plugins for a living. And after 20,000+ active installations and hours spent poring over usage statistics, we’ve learned a thing or two about which automations will save you the most time.
Whether you’re a blogger, business owner or developer, dive into these life-changing WordPress automations. You’ll thank us when you’re on vacation and your website is running itself.
How to Automate Tasks with Uncanny Automator
Before we get into the best time-saving WordPress automations, it’s good to know some basics about Uncanny Automator—a.k.a the #1 WordPress automation plugin. That way, you can easily implement these automations on your own website when you’re ready.
If you’re already familiar with Automator, feel free to skip ahead. Otherwise, download the free plugin so you can follow along. And don’t forget to register your account so you can receive complimentary app credits. It’s basically free money!
Thanks to our no-code policy and intuitive interface, automating tasks with Uncanny Automator is beginner-friendly (and still incredibly powerful). With 100+ integrations, you can create any automation you can think of by following these simple steps.
Step 1: Create a New Recipe
Automator works using recipes, i.e. automated workflows where one event can make other things happen. After you’ve set up Automator (and registered to receive your app credits), head to your WordPress Admin Dashboard. From the sidebar, navigate to Automator > Add New.
A pop-up window will appear in a new screen where you can select your recipe type; either Logged-in users or Everyone.
Select your recipe type carefully (you can’t change this after) and click Confirm.
Step 2: Name Your Recipe
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of naming your automations to make them easy to recognize at a glance. We normally name our recipes based on the integrations involved or based on the particular workflow that we’re automating.
Step 3: Configure Your Trigger(s)
In Automator, triggers are the events on your website that set automations into motion. Triggers can be anything from a user or visitor viewing a page to incoming webhook from outside web applications. To set up a trigger, select from one (or more) of Automator’s integrations in the Triggers panel of your recipe editor.
After you’ve selected an integration, a drop-down list will appear with the available triggers. For example, we’ve selected the WordPress trigger, A user is created with a specific role. Some triggers and actions will have additional fields (highlighted in blue) for you to fill out. Once you’re finished, click Save.
Step 4: Configure Your Action(s)
Actions are the events, either on your website or in an app, that occur as a result of the trigger(s). To set up an action, select from one (or more) of Automator’s 100+ integrations in the Actions panel. For example, we’ve selected the LearnDash integration.
After you’ve selected your integration, select an action from the drop-down list. We’ve chosen the action Enroll the user in a course. Automator will then prompt us to select a course. When you’re finished, click Save. Your action should look something like this:
Step 5: Go Live!
With your trigger and action all set up, you’re just about ready to start saving time with WordPress automations. All that’s left for you to do is toggle your recipe from Draft to Live.
Congratulations! You’ve just made your first time-saving automation! Automating your onboarding workflows is one of the best WordPress automations you can set up. And you did it in five easy steps!Now that you know the basics of Uncanny Automator, let’s jump in to our top 11 time-saving automations for WordPress sites.
1. Automate Your Blog Posts (And Boost Your SEO with AIOSEO)
Combine the power of WordPress automations with AI. Two of Uncanny Automator’s most powerful integrations (and some of our favorites) are OpenAI’s GPT and DALL-E models. Using these integrations, you can generate written and visual content for your blog in one fell swoop.
In the recipe above, we used a WPForms form submission to pass along text and image prompts to OpenAI’s GPT and DALL-E. We then created a new post with the text and image response tokens and some fields from our form.
With this recipe, we were able to turn this:
into this, in just one click:
Once you’ve finished editing your new content, you can give it an added visibility boost with auto-generated titles and meta descriptions using AIOSEO‘s OpenAI integration. In your post editor, just click on the little icon in the Title or Meta description fields and receive AI and SEO optimized suggestions.
Additionally, Automator will add DALL-E generated images directly to your WordPress media library so you don’t have to.
2. Automate Your Social Media Posts
Now that you know how to create endless SEO-friendly content at the click of a button, it’s time to spread the word. While there are dedicated post-to-social plugins and automation tools, none of them can integrate with your broader workflows quite like Uncanny Automator can.
With that recipe, we’re able to decide which blog posts we push out to our social media accounts. Using tokens, we’re also able to decide which image(s) to publish along with our social excerpts so we can customize the experience across our various platforms. To fully integrate our social media platforms into our workflows, we also have some recipes to automatically share positive product reviews, like this one:
3. Capture User Records in Google Sheets
By now, our users have come up with tens of thousands of time-saving WordPress automations. That’s part of the beauty of using Automator—it can automate just about any workflow you can think of! Nevertheless, there are some recipes that all of our users find to be worth their weight in digital gold. Namely, any automation that sends their precious data directly to Google Sheets.
6.1 Send Form Submissions to Google Sheets
Whether it’s contact forms, help desk intake requests, surveys, subscriptions or applications, forms are an integral part of every WordPress website’s workflows.
We’re using the recipe above to track our discount code redemptions. Every time one of our users redeems a code, Automator will check it against our records in Google Sheets and record which user redeemed it.
6.2 E-Commerce Purchases
Syncing your WooCommerce product sales to Google Sheets will help you create custom statistics and KPIs later on down the road.
4. Automate Slack Notifications for Everything
With automated Slack notifications (for literally anything on your website), you’ll never miss an opportunity. Even if you’re tanning on a beach far from the office. Whether it’s an urgent submission, closing a big sale or just part of your customer retention workflows, automating your Slack notifications will save you hours.
For LMS users, you can even send urgent notifications to educators when students fail quizzes or courses so they can get started on remedial actions right away.
5. Automate Email Notifications for Everything
Email is still the best tool for sending detailed notifications to users or customers outside of your organization. And, though e-commerce plugins like WooCommerce allow you to send email notifications throughout the purchasing journey, Uncanny Automator gives you more granular control over your communications.
With the actions pictured above, we’re able to send order confirmation emails to our customers from different email accounts based on which product(s) they purchased using tokens and filters. Recipes like that one can help you and your customers save time by connecting them to the right sales or support team.
6. Automate and Integrate Your CRM
WordPress marketing automation tools like HubSpot and ActiveCampaign help businesses create detailed customer profiles. Those profiles can help improve lead generation, boost conversions, tailor the customer experience and save you enough hours to go backpacking across Asia. With help from Uncanny Automator, you can further integrate your CRM into every aspect of your website and workflows.
With the recipe pictured above, we’re using Uncanny Automator tokens to allow users to create their own CRM tags based on their unique site behavior. Instead of spending hours researching various types of site visitors, simply create Automator recipes that enable users to define themselves.
Here’s how we did just that using an ActiveCampaign action and Automator’s tokens feature.
Pack your bags—this automation is going to save you so many hours.
7. Automate Your LMS
One of the automations that our users tells us saves them the most time is the ability to track their LMS data in Google Sheets. With this recipe, you can use the data-crunching power of Google Sheets to better serve your students and educators.
Another great time-saving automation for your LMS is the ability to grant conditional access to courses as your users make their way through a curriculum. In the recipe below, for example, we keep our users moving through our content pipeline by only enrolling them in additional courses after they’ve completed a feedback survey.
8. Collect Feedback Automatically
Speaking of feedback, is there a more valuable planning tool than the opinions or important customers? Uncanny Automator makes it easy to solicit feedback automatically. In the example above, we’re targeting users that spend at least $100 in our WooCommerce store and sending them an email that includes a link to a survey. Of course, we want to give them a chance to use their product first, so the feedback request goes out 30 days after the purchase (it’s easy with Automator’s powerful delay and scheduling features).
And we don’t want to bombard our best customers with feedback requests, so in the recipe details in the upper right, our recipe makes sure that each customer only gets the feedback request after their first purchase.
More Time-Saving WordPress Automations
Quite apart from the time-saving WordPress automations that you can create with Uncanny Automator, you can save even more time by automating your website’s basic functionalities. These three extra automations are guaranteed to shave hours off your workdays and give you more time for vacays.
9. Automate WordPress Backups
One of the simplest (and safest) time-saving WordPress automations that you can set up is automated backups. Automating your WordPress website’s backups can help you guard against unforeseen circumstances such as hacking, server crashes or accidental data loss. It’s a sure way to save yourself some time—and some sleepless nights.
WordPress plugins like UpdraftPlus and BackupBuddy allow you to backup your WordPress website without hassle. Most managed WordPress hosts also support automated backup.
Setting up automated WordPress website backups without a plugin requires a bit more technical knowledge. However, most web hosting service providers have automated or semi-automated backup features. If you’re not certain if your web host provides automated backups, navigate to your account and find the control panel or reach out to your web host’s support team.
10. Automate WordPress Security Scans
A secure WordPress website is the digital equivalent of a secure shopping center. Your data and proprietary assets, your website’s visitors’ data and your affiliate’s data all depend on your ability to maintain a safe and secure website. Thankfully, with automated updates, you don’t have to worry about accidentally forgetting to lock the digital door after a long day at work.
When it comes to your WordPress website’s security, it’s best to trust in a dedicated plugin. Personally, we swear by AIOS and Wordfence. We’re not saying that they’ll turn your website into Fort Knox, but you should feel confident depositing your digital gold (a.k.a. data) in their trusted hands.
11. Automate WordPress Plugin and Theme Updates
Keeping your WordPress plugins and theme up-to-date are an important part of keeping your WordPress site safe and performant. Updates regularly come with new features, improved security and bug fixes. Additionally, because your plugins often work together, keeping them updated ensures that they remain compatible as developers release new features.
For mission-critical e-commerce, e-learning and membership sites, we typically recommend manual updates for major releases and the use of a Staging environment to assess the impact of updates before they go live. For minor updates and sites that don’t require accounts for visitors, however, automatic theme and plugin updates are a great way to save time and offload some WordPress maintenance.
How can you make sure automatic updates don’t cause problems on your site? Some hosts, like WP Engine, support “smart” plugin updates that automatically check your site for errors and visual changes. If there is a problem, they can let you know and roll back the change.
And with that, we have covered 11 of the best time-saving WordPress automations that you can get started with right now. What are some of the tasks that take up most of your time? Let us know in the comments section below and we’ll be happy to cook up even tastier time-saving recipes so that you can finally kick back and relax.
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