Have you ever heard of tools like Zapier or IFTTT? Both of them make your life a lot easier by letting you “connect” different apps together and automate various actions. For example, you could use Zapier to automatically create a new Trello card for each new email in Gmail.
Uncanny Automator brings that same type of automation to your WordPress site. You can either “connect” different WordPress plugins together. Or, you can connect plugins to any one of the 1,000+ apps at Zapier. Or, you can even do both at the same time, which is where things start getting really cool!
In my Uncanny Automator review, I’ll show you how this nifty plugin can help you automate…well, a ton of different things at your WordPress site. You can use it to improve your marketing, make administrating your site easier, and lots more.
If you like Zapier, or if you just like saving time with automation, you should definitely keep reading.
Here’s How Uncanny Automator Works In More Detail
If you’ve ever used Zapier or IFTTT, you don’t really need this explanation. Uncanny Automator is “that” but applied to WordPress plugins. It even uses the same terminology, which makes it really easy to get started.
However, I realize that not everyone is familiar with those tools, so let me go into a little more detail about what Uncanny Automator does for the uninitiated.
Essentially, Uncanny Automator lets you create different automation “recipes”. Each recipe consists of:
- One or more triggers – a trigger is what starts everything in action. For example, you could make the trigger “when a user joins a specific BuddyPress group”
- One or more actions – an action is what happens after the trigger condition(s) is met. For example, an action could be “Send that user an email”.
By combining these triggers and actions, you create this sort of If/Then structure (that’s why IFTTT stands for If This, Then That).
So spelled out, it looks like:
If a new user joins XYZ BuddyPress group, then send that user a welcome email to the email address in their WordPress profile.
That’s helpful enough by itself, but Uncanny Automator also lets you use both multiple triggers and actions (depending on your plan).
So you can do something like:
If a new user joins XYZ BuddyPress AND publishes an activity stream message, then send them a different email AND add them to ABC MailChimp list.
What Plugins Does Uncanny Automator Support?
At the moment, Uncanny Automator supports 16 different plugins, some WordPress core functions, and Zapier webhooks (which let you connect to any app at Zapier).
Below, I’ve listed the currently supported plugins. You can also view all the integrations here. Each plugin’s page also shows the specific triggers/actions that are available.
- Gravity Forms
- Contact Form 7
- Ninja Forms
- WP Courseware
- WP LMS
- Easy Digital Downloads
- The Events Calendar
- WP Fusion
As for the WordPress core functions, you can use triggers like when a user:
- Logs in
- Views a post or page
- Submits a comment
And you get actions like:
- Send an email
- Add or change a user role
- Set user meta
The Zapier Integration
Finally, you can connect any of those plugins above to any of the 1,000+ apps on Zapier using webhooks.
Here’s the cool thing, though:
You can also pass up to 5 tokens to Zapier, which Uncanny Automator makes it easy to set. This lets you pass things like:
- User account information
- How a user filled out a form field
I’ll dedicate a special section to this integration later in this Uncanny Automator because it’s one of the unique things about this plugin.
Creating A Recipe With Uncanny Automator
Let’s go hands-on now and I’ll show you how Uncanny Automator works on a WordPress site. To demo this, I’ve installed two plugins on my site:
In this fictional scenario, let’s say that I want to automatically add users to a WP Mayor WordPress course after they submit a specific WPForms form.
There aren’t any general settings to configure with Uncanny Automator, so you can jump straight into creating a recipe by going to Uncanny Automator → New Recipe.
Setting Up The Recipe Trigger(s)
When you create a new recipe, Uncanny Automator will automatically show a list of all the potential integrations that you have installed on your site:
For this example, I want WPForms to be the trigger.
Once you select a specific integration, you can choose the exact trigger to use from the drop-down. The list varies depending on the integration. For WPForms, there’s only one option – user submits a form:
Once you choose that, you can select the specific form:
You can also set the number of times the trigger needs to happen before the trigger fires:
With the Pro plugin, you could continue to add additional triggers. So you could only fire the action if two or more separate trigger conditions are met:
Setting Up The Recipe Action(s)
Once you set up the trigger(s), you’ll configure the actions, which is what happens after the trigger conditions are met.
Again, you’ll see a list of all the available options that you have installed, with the addition of a new Zapier option (more on that later):
For this example, I’d choose LifterLMS. Then, just like before, you get a list of potential actions:
For this example, I want Enroll user in a course.
Then, you can select the specific course to enroll the user in:
Again, you can add multiple actions if needed. And you can also check the box to redirect a user to a specific page after the recipe completes:
A Special Look At The Zapier Action
One action that deserves special attention is the Zapier action. If you choose Zapier, you’ll be able to connect Uncanny Automator to Zapier Webhooks.
In order to use this action, you’ll first go to the Zapier interface and build your recipe by connecting a Zapier webhook to any one of the 1,000+ apps that Zapier supports.
Once you do that, Zapier gives you the webhook URL:
Then, you take that URL and plug it into the Uncanny Automator interface. But beyond just connecting the two, you can also pass up to 5 key/value pairs:
Essentially, these let you pass additional information to Zapier for it to use, which Uncanny Automator will help you configure when you click on the asterisk.
For example, Uncanny Automator can help you pass information on how a user filled out a specific field in a WPForms form:
Or, you can pass basic WordPress user information, like their email or name:
Again, you can pass up to 5 key/value pairs, so you can also do both at the same time.
Making Your Recipe Live
Once you’re happy with everything, you first enable the specific actions and triggers that you want to use. Then, you enable the overall recipe (this is helpful because you can leave a recipe running but disable a specific trigger or action if needed):
Then, your recipe will start working:
Viewing Logs For When Your Recipes Run
Obviously, you don’t want the robots taking over, so you’ll probably want to keep an eye on when your recipes are running and what they’re doing.
To help you do that, Uncanny Automator gives you three different types of logs.
First, there’s the overall recipe log which shows you when recipes run:
Then, you can also use the Trigger Report to see more information about when triggers execute:
And the Action Report does the same thing but for actions.
You can also automatically “prune” these activity logs after a certain number of days if you don’t want to store this information forever.
Uncanny Automator Pricing: Two Premium Tiers
Uncanny Automator has two different pricing tiers depending on what functionality you want.
First, there’s the Lite version which costs $49 per year for use on a single site. This version is affordable but has some limitations in that you:
- Can only use one trigger per recipe (you can set up unlimited actions, though)
- Don’t get access to every single trigger/action (only the Lite triggers, which are clearly marked on the website)
- Don’t get access to Zapier
How to tell which actions/triggers are in Lite vs Pro
If you want to remove all of those limitations and use:
- Unlimited triggers
- All actions/triggers
Then you’ll need the Pro version which costs:
- $149 for use on 1 site
- $249 for use on 5 sites
- $499 for use on 25 sites
Final Thoughts On My Uncanny Automator Review
As an avid user of Zapier, I love this plugin.
It lets you do so many helpful things without needing to write a single line of code.
If you’re familiar with Zapier, you’ll have virtually no learning curve getting started with Uncanny Automator. And even if you’re not, it’s still pretty user-friendly, so you should pick it up in no time.
While being able to connect different plugins to each other is plenty helpful by itself, the Pro version’s ability to connect to Zapier and pass additional information opens up a world of possibilities because of how many apps Zapier supports.
All in all, if you’ve ever wished that you could do “something” at your WordPress site automatically, you should consider Uncanny Automator and see if it can help you out. Again, the applications are diverse and it can help with everything from marketing to basic site administration.
While there isn’t a free version, all of the plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you aren’t risking anything. Head over and check it out.