Category: automation

On Developing a WordPress Theme

A few weeks ago I started the process of moving this blog over to WordPress from Ghost—and I talked about why I did that in a previous post—so now that I’ve made the change, the next natural step felt like talking about how I developed a theme for the first time.

Yep, I’ve never done this before, and it turned out pretty well… I think.

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How to Set up Automatic WordPress Blog Post Scheduling with IFT.TT, and Buffer

Let’s be honest. The year is 2015 and nobody wants to do things by hand or manually if they can help it. Companies are hiring people to automate the hell out of everything because like M.I.A (sort of, not really) famously rapped:

live fast, die young, robots do it well.

I’ll admit, I like speeding up the process of sharing what I’ve written but I like controlling it a bit more than some. Here’s how I do it.

You’ll want to create an account with IFTTT and Buffer if you haven’t already. IFTTT stands for IF This, Then That. The premise is that you can take data being expelled from one service, and based on certain criteria, do something with it via another. Things like “Text me with the daily weather report at 5AM” are easy and, well, kind of cheesy. If you become a power user of IFT.TT or already are, you’ll know that there’s so much more you can do with the service like auto-tweet breaking news stories from news sources or trigger your Philips Hue home lighting to change color when a storm warning comes into effect.

In my case, I want to sync IFTTT with my WordPress install. To start, I’ll need to create a new recipe and click on the blue this link (A) and choose the WordPress trigger channel (B). This will be the source for the data that IFTT uses.

ifttt_step1

Once I have that set, I can choose whether I want this action to be triggered by any new post from WordPress, or just when the post has a particular tag or category. In my case, I choose the former, because I want to share all posts.

Screenshot 2015-01-24 20.48.33

We can skip Step 3 as there’s nothing else to set for these triggers and move on to step four. Click Create Trigger.

So at this point we’ve established that if there’s any new post on WordPress Blog then we’ll do something. Now we establish what that something is. Click the blue that link. In my case, I want to share to Buffer.

Screenshot 2015-01-24 20.51.29

Screenshot 2015-01-24 20.51.36

I will want to choose the “Add to Buffer” option since I won’t be pushing photos from my source. My final step is to set up how I want my shares to look and then I create my action.

Note: If this is your first time, you’ll have to set up what account you want Buffer to schedule this IFTTT-pushed content on. 

Screenshot 2015-01-24 20.53.36

There are a couple things to keep in mind when setting this up. Anything pushed from IFTTT to Buffer: 1) will be set to whatever schedules you have created and 2), will only be pushed to whatever social media account you have set up for this channel. You can only have one social media account chosen for this type of setup.

If you want to use more than just one social media account to share you content, I recommend creating separate recipes for each. Granted, only one of them will be scheduled via Buffer, so keep that in mind. In my situation, I don’t really mind, and I use Buffer so much already that I like having the ability to manually schedule for other social media accounts that don’t get as much regular pushing of content.

All Done!

It’s that simple. If you have account with IFTTT and Buffer already set up, this will take you thirty seconds to do. You’ll find this thirty seconds will save you time in the long run and will become something that you don’t even think about at the end of the day.

Sure you could use WordPress plugins, too, and that’s all fine and dandy. I’m not stopping you! This is how I like to do it and I figured someone out there might like to know.

Thanks for stopping by, have a good one!


Ghostly Sharing to Twitter from Jetpack’s Publicize Plugin

A rather odd thing started happening shortly after I implemented Jetpack on this site. I was seeing my posts show up on twitter, which is nice and all, but not through the method I had set up. I describe how I set up automatic post scheduling for the various social networks in this past. These tweets were being written without a fancy permalink, which seemed odd and told me that it wasn’t something of my intentional doing. After doing some research, I discovered someone having an issue with the Publicize plugin not removing a social media account properly. In order to fix their issue, they re-added their account and removed it again.

I figured it would be a stretch but I knew it couldn’t hurt anything so I tried that myself just to see what would happen. I Added my Facebook page, and after authorization, lo and behold, my twitter account showed up, too. It wasn’t previously authorized so I had a pretty good idea this ghost authorization was what was causing these unwanted shares. Un-linking my twitter account immediately solved the problem, and I was on my way to sharing the way I want to: WordPress > IFTTT > Buffer.




Johnathan Lyman
Kenmore, WA,
United States
 
blogging, design, technology, software, development, gaming, photography