Automation is becoming more prominent and critical to regional freelancers and agencies. The industry suggests that you create a blog item at least two per week with customer work who has the time to put out quality content unless you have some downtime. For me, I take my daughter to the gym on Friday mornings which is next door to a lovely Cafe I sit in for about an hour and smash out a few words. Did you notice I didn't say quality words? 🙂

I've been working my way through automation with so many of the processes involved in making a site live and potential onboarding customers. Even automating the maintenance of email lists has become easier using third-party tools like Zappier and Pabbly from the RWD website.

Today we look at pushing this blog to LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter from my humble WordPress website by choosing tags and which platform I want to push the article to. We're going to use Pabbly as our webhook handler. I recommend having a look at Pabbly over Zappier. It's a cheaper alternative and has an Life Time Deal (LTD). Oh, I love an LTD.


Let's start with how the data gets from WordPress to the managing or routing system Pabbly. I've set up a webhook that will accept data as part of my workflow.

To send the webhook, I've used a plugin called WP Webhooks. This will allow me to select the action that triggers the push of data and where to push it to.

I've also configured WP hooks to fire when I click update on this post and push the data to Pabbly. I didn't expect it to fire earlier as part of a draft save. It's therefore essential to have a field that releases the post to social, which I created with a METABOX field.

Pabbly makes it easy to figure out from a simple JSON packet and see what was on offer. It allows me to place those fields exactly where I want them and manipulate the text along the way.

Often putting together a post like this one in the RWD blog could take multiple sessions to get all the content together and do all the research. For me I needed to have a way to push this to numerous networks all at once and save me time. I know I could probably use other social specialist platforms like Buffer, but it wouldn't give me the control or flexibility.

Consider your actions and plan your workflows on your Pabbly, and put as much error handling in there as possible to problem areas out until your posts are good to go.


Creating the one workflow in Pabbly can respond to multiple scenarios; however, you may also note that, as expected, it adds complexity and more room for failed actions. Plan, plan and plan your workflows.

Once you've released the post "the horse has bolted"  your words have gone to your social platforms requiring you manually to go to the platforms and edit these. Oh, the pain of multiple edits again. So make sure you have a final trigger.

There are two critical points that I wrestled with for almost eight hours, trying to figure out the best workflow not because I didn't plan them out but because of unexpected bugs.

It seems simple enough; what if you do update the post and it's marked to push to social. How do you manage duplicates and not publish twice? The key to this was a Google Sheet and creating a log as part of my workflow to check before pushing to the social networks.

The second most important point was a bug caused by the Gutenburg editor that duplicated my webhooks upon clicking update. WP Webhooks has a setting that says don't do this, but unfortunately, this didn't work, not the way I thought it would.

I swapped out WP Webhooks (free) for another plugin called Notifications also allows you to push JSON webhooks. But, again, I experienced the same problem. I then thought it's got to be Pabbly, and because i have several routes in my workflow for the different social platforms, I thought it was the cause of the duplication.

WP Webhook

Simplifying the workflow to next to nothing resulted in the same issues. Almost at my wit's end, I was suspicious of METABOX and ACF requiring additional update actions on the post as these are plugins and could require an after-action update.

Again after a bit of debugging and adding the REST API plugin from METABOX, which did make things work better this also failed. 

Eventually, I found the problem. "Gutenburg" editor in WordPress was causing the double push for some unknown reason. I still don't understand or want to understand like most of you; I just wanted it to work. So classic editor, here I come. 

After many hours I'm finally at the end of this post just praying that when I click the update it pushes it to all of my networks ONCE.


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