Wednesday , February 21 2024
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Software Review: WP Robot 2.0 from Lunatic Studios and Thomas Höfter, Part I

At its base, WP Robot is a WordPress plug-in that allows you to automatically generate posts for your WordPress site. At its extreme, WP Robot is an automation marvel that gives you the ability fill your site with Amazon products, eBay auction information, YouTube videos, Yahoo News and much, much more.

WP Robot begins with a keyword or phrase of your choice. This is a critical factor that you have to work with based on the focus of your Web site. There are some basic guidelines that are outlined on the WP Robot website that will help you get started, but each instance is derived from this keyword.

WP Robot 2.0Once you have the keyword, depending on the modules that you have purchased, you choose which to enable. Then you set a category that you want the post to appear in, and how often you want WP Robot to generate a post. This can be as quickly as once an hour or as long as every so many days.

While I will have a more complete breakdown later in this review, there are a number of ways that you can purchase WP Robot. With three types of cores and ten modules, as well as a developer's version, there are a lot of combinations that you can use to create your package. In my case, I am reviewing the WP Robot Elite which contains all ten modules along with the Elite Core.

What are the ten modules? Amazon, Article, eBay, ClickBank, Yahoo Anwsers, YouTube, Translation, Flickr Image, Yahoo News, and RSS modules. For all but the Article, YouTube, and Translation modules, you will want to have an account ID to use and/or make money from this information.

What do you need to run WP Robot? Well primarily you need a Web site that is running on WordPress 2.7 or greater; while the author believes that it will run on earlier versions, it has not been tested on them. If you need to run it on an earlier version, there is a free demo version you can use to test it out. You also need to be running on PHP5 with cURL as well. This should be pretty standard on most hosting platforms.

If you buy the complete version, installation is pretty easy as you can either upload the expanded WP Robot directory to your Web site, or upload the Zip via your install plugins screen. If you purchase individual modules, you will need to FTP them to the location of the core version you bought (or there is a free core available if you did not buy one).

WP Robot 2.0Once installed, you fire up your WordPress admin page and go to the WP Robot dropdown. The first thing you will want to do is to set up your options. These are pretty extensive and give you a lot of freedom. You first have a set of general options that control the overall site and then a set of options for each of the modules. I will only go over the set of general options in Part I and include the module options in Part II where I cover those modules. Suffice it to say that the primary requirements for the modules is the affiliate/subscriber IDs.

The general options cover how things are posted. Here you can specify if you want your automatic posts to go to draft (which I recommend until you are comfortable with how WP Robot works) or to be published directly. You can reset the post count which has to do with making sure your keywords stay relevant. You can randomize the time of your first post as well as all your other posts. This means that when you want something to post every three hours, one time it might post after 2hrs 49mins and the next after 3hrs 10mins making it look more natural. You have the option to automatically create tags as well as exclude words from tags. You also can cloak your affiliate links. What this means is that when someone hovers over a link, it will look like it points to somewhere on your site instead of to someplace like Amazon.

Once you have your options set up, your next step is to creating your Robots. This is where your core module comes in. There are three cores. Among some other differences which you can check out on the WP Robot site, the Basic (free) core gives you 20 keywords, Advanced Core ($15) gives you 50 keywords, and the Elite Core ($30) gives you unlimited keywords.

Creating keywords is done from the main WP Robot selection. You are presented with a number of sections but the basic one is the "Add New Keyword" box. Here you choose your keyword that you want to use, you assign the postings a category, and you determine how often you want it to post and what you want it to post from. This is dependent on which modules you have purchased, the keywords chosen, as well as the ultimate goal of your site.

WP Robot 2.0You also have some optional settings as well that allow you to choose your Amazon department and BrowseNode, your eBay category, as well as your Yahoo Answers category. This gives you a lot of flexibility when choosing what to display on your site.

There are three other options also available on this page. First you can specify to have some posts back-dated. For this you specify some number posts, the start date and the number of days between posts. You also have the ability to post directly from Amazon BrowseNodes which dig down into a product listing, as well as setting up auto-posting RSS feeds from these pages as well.

Once you have done this, you are essentially in business and your system will begin publishing immediately (unless you told it to randomize your first posts). Within a few minutes you will see your posts appearing.

Now, like I said before, when you are starting off, you probably want to set the posts to go to draft and along with setting them more frequently. This gives you a feel for both what kinds of posts you are getting, how they look, and that you are getting the info that you are expecting. You also have the ability to adjust the way that the posts look through the templates on the option page, but more about that in Part II.

While you could go hog wild and just start pumping out all sorts of posts on all sorts of products and subjects, you should probably think things through. If Google sees that you are just blasting things with no apparent reason, you are likely not to get very good ratings and not much traffic, thinking it is just a spam site.

On the other hand, if you use WP Robot as just another tool in your arsenal, you can probably generate some decent revenue as well as adding filler to your site even while you sleep.

WP Robot 2.0

The version I am reviewing is the WP Robot Full Elite and it goes for $169, which is a savings of $51 if you bought everything separately. The WP Robot Money Edition goes for $70 and contains the Elite Core plus the Amazon, eBay, and Clickbank modules. The Content Edition also contains the Elite Core and comes with Article, Clickbank, Yahoo Answers, and YouTube Modules and goes for $75.

You can also do a total customization as well by checking out the price menu. The licensing for WP Robot is based on the core module. The Basic Core (free) gives you the ability to use it on 20 Web sites, the Advanced Core gives 40 Web sites, and the Elite Core is for unlimited sites. Now keep in mind that these are to be used on Web sites that you own. If you want to develop for someone else you would they would need to purchase a setup or you could buy a developers license.

I found WP Robot very easy to set up and get running. Even though I have been playing with it for a while, I still find myself fine tuning it on a daily basis. While I have it on auto-post, I still go back and check on what it has generated and will delete a post now and then that doesn't seem appropriate.

While I know that this is a very strong and well thought out and well done product, as I work with it, I find myself saying, "Ooh, if it could only do this, too." But, because this is a version 2 product and since there was a lot of features added for this version, I suspect that version 3 will be that much better. To date, I have only found one annoyance: When I edit a keyword set and save, it gives me a blank screen that says "Go Back." I wish it just took me back to the list of keywords.

WP Robot 2.0Still skeptical? If you want you can try a demo version which contains the basic core and the Clickbank module. If you purchase WP Robot, along with a 14-day no questions money back guarantee, you get free support and free updates as well.

If you want to see what it looks like in real life, you can check out the online demo. In Part II I will look at what's new in version 2 as well as a breakdown of the individual modules.

I found WP Robot to not only be well made, well thought out, but also a lot of fun to work with. Whether you need something to fill in a site that you already work with, or want to create a totally automatic site, I very highly recommend that you checkout WP Robot.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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