IFTTT is the power-user’s automation tool of choice and WordPress is the ultimate blogger’s Swiss army knife. Just imagine the kind of world domination you could achieve by combining the two!Imagination not up to scratch? Don’t worry, I’ve done that bit for you. Here are five powerful recipes for automation involving WordPress.
Note: These recipes should also work with WordPress.com, though I’ve written this from the perspective of a self-hosted WordPress install.
Promote All The Things!
The “Any new post” WordPress trigger will fire, as the name suggests, whenever you have a new post published. This is an incredibly powerful tool when used. You can go ahead and publish that link to your personal Facebook, a Facebook page, Twitter, and even Google Plus (with the help of a dirty email hack). No resource-hogging and UI-consuming WordPress plugins required — leave it all to IFTTT.
Promote Only Featured Posts
Blindly posting everything isn’t appropriate if you post a lot. Your friends will simply get bored of your constant self-promotion and add you to their ignore list. Instead, assign a special tag or category for “featured posts”, then use the special “Post in specific tag or category” trigger to limit your cross-promotional efforts to only the best posts.
Truth be told, you don’t even need the special WordPress IFTTT triggers to do this. WordPress has RSS built-in, and RSS is a global syndication standard as well as one of the core triggers for IFTTT. In fact, not only does WordPress automatically make an RSS feed for everything on your blog, it also makes one for categories, tags, authors, and even products if you have a shop plugin installed for your eCommerce site on WordPress.
I use a simple RSS to email recipe on my own MakeUseOf articles feed to let me know when they’re published. What’s the secret to accessing these built-in RSS feeds for WordPress? Just put /rss or /feed on the end of the URL. Seriously, it’s as easy as that and will work on any site powered by WordPress.
YouTube to WordPress
First, there’s this recipe which will create a post on WordPress when you upload a new video. YouTube is great as a video host, but that’s all it does — for advanced monetisation and more creative control, you’ll want your own content posted to your blog as well.
Alternatively, if you’re the kind of blogger who likes to post about cool videos you find, then you’ll probably want to check out YouTube Favourite to WordPress, which will create a post every time you favourite a video. Nifty.
However, a word of SEO warning about both these recipes: posting just an embedded video would most certainly be considered “low quality” by Google, even if it’s your own video. Change the recipe so they only make Draft posts, then go in and add your own show notes, opinion or commentary about each video — add value, and flesh out the content. If it’s your own material, then consider buying an SEO video plugin as well to take advantage of video snippets in the search results. I recommend Video SEO by Yoast (also featured on our Best WordPress Plugins page).
Post By Email
I often come up with article ideas while I’m out walking, but writing them in Evernote is laborious and I don’t want to fiddle with a dedicated app. WordPress does have a touch friendly admin interface and even dedicated apps for popular mobile platforms, but the ability to post by email is still notable by it’s absence.
The Post by Email to a WordPress blog recipe does the job for you. After activating the channel, you can simply send an email to email@example.com from your registered email, and include a tag in the subject. The tag will stripped, while the rest of the subject becomes the title and the body of the email becomes the post content.
One significant limitation though — you have only have a single WordPress channel activated in IFTTT, so you’ll need multiple IFTTT accounts in order to post to multiple blogs. This isn’t such a big deal for promotional recipes since you can use RSS instead, but for those recipes that involve posting to WordPress, it’s certainly a limiting factor.
Make a PDF from New Posts
The Convert WordPress blog posts into PDF is a fascinating recipe that will use the PrintFriendly service to create a PDF version of your new posts, then automatically upload them to a specified Dropbox folder. This can be easily adapted to only work on a specific tag or category. If you have friends or family who aren’t able to use RSS feeds and forget to check your blog, perhaps they’d appreciate PDF updates automatically arriving on that folder on their desktop. Admittedly, this recipe is a little niche — but I wanted to include it to get your creative juices flowing. What can YOU come up with?
Want more? You’ll find the full selection of recipes over on the WordPress IFTTT channel. What’s your favourite?