With all the powerful functionality in Automated Editor, it is ever important to understand what you are doing before you stroll in there and start schedules with new rules. There are lots of ways you could use Automated Editor badly and end up scaring, maiming and generally beating the crap out of your content, powerful features can go be used for bad, as well as all that good. In our series on What not to do with the plugin today we are going to look at creating loops. Not infinite loops, but near enough. Loops can be good, if your a programmer, bad if your using Automated editor to just replace something.
The simplist of rules could soon get out of hand.
So you want to start by making a rule? Good idea, that’s the starting block. So you want to use string replace? Ok go ahead. You want to switch out Automated editor for your last “search and replace” plugin which used filters? Good idea!!
So you go right ahead, create a rule, name it and choose string replace. Hmmmm now what to replace. Ok lets go with replacing the string “Amazon” with a link out to Amazon “<a href=”http://www.amazon.com”>Amazon</a>”. Nice and simple, stick the two strings in the boxes and save it. Great. Or is it?
Next you go ahead and create a schedule, makes sense to put it to fire hourly, yeah? and why not hit all posts, it’ll update the old ones then! Might as well go ahead and unpause Automated Editor! NO. Step away from the plugin!
Did you see what could of happened?
Well left unchecked this rule, combined with this schedule (which targets all posts <- key point) would replace Amazon every time, creating a link in a link in a link in a link (one more time each hour!) because Amazon would be matched, even if it had already been replaced!
This of course could be a good rule, if properly scheduled (targeting just posts published within the last minute and running at point of publishing, for example – depending on the way you blog there may be more sensible options still.) But in our example could of ended up slaughtering your html, whats more its unlikely you would ever even notice!
So there we have it, another stupid thing you don’t want to do with this plugin, with future versions we will perhaps see an “undo changes” and post backup feature added, certainly the next version will have a loop warning to make this more detectable. You have been warned users!!