There are two giants when it comes to the cloud automation market. Zapier, the automation powerhouse focused on meeting the productivity needs of large enterprises. And IFTTTa favorite site for many bloggers who write about productivity hacks for individuals and small businesses.
But now that IFTTT is moving to a paid model, those already using a free cloud automation service may need to consider switching. But when you compare Zapier and IFTTT head-to-head, which solution is really the best?
In this review, we’ll take a close look at both services and compare them in terms of cost, supported cloud services and applications, and ease of use.
Zapier vs IFTTT: Why Switch?
If you’ve recently signed in to IFTTT, you may have noticed that you can’t create any new apps if you’ve created more than three of them on your account.
This is because to continue using unlimited applets you need to upgrade to IFTTT Pro, which would normally cost $9.99/month. However, for a very limited time, IFTTT will allow existing accounts to upgrade to IFTTT Pro by “setting your own price,” as low as $1.99/month. IFTTT promises to honor that price “indefinitely”.
But if you have liked IFTTT until now most because it’s free, maybe it’s time to switch to Zapier?
Let’s put two services head-to-head and see which comes out on top.
Supported apps: Zapier supports 4x more apps
When it comes to the number of services you use that you can automate, nothing really compares.
If you explore all the supported apps on IFTTT, you’ll see just over 500 available services that you can connect to.
However, when you choose Discover at Zapier, they take you to a page where you can search through over 2,000 apps by category.
On both Zapier and IFTTT, you’ll find all the most popular services like Google apps, social accounts like Facebook and Twitter, and most of the major cloud storage services.
Where Zapier really breaks through is in the kind of marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) services that larger businesses are typically interested in.
IFTTT has also failed significantly as they completely removed Gmail triggers from their services as Gmail recently changed the back-end code for third-party services. Today, if you search for Gmail triggers in Zapier, you still find plenty of flexible automation features that you can enable.
On the other hand, when you search Gmail to activate an applet at IFTTT, IFTTT will appear briefly.
This means that Zapier engineers are a bit more proactive and regularly update the application code to incorporate any changes needed to integrate with your cloud services.
Now that IFTTT is charging users for its service, maybe one day they’ll catch up on this. But to this day, IFTTT only offers partial integration with the cloud services that Zapier does.
Ease of use: IFTTT is intuitive, Zapier is flexible
The process of creating an applet (IFTTT calls them automation) is literally a click-by-click solution.
The interface guides you through each step of the process one screen at a time using Here and That approach.
Basically, “This” is the service and triggering event, and “That” is what you want to happen when the trigger happens.
You start by choosing add above in case and then define the parameters you want to use to start the trigger.
The same is true when you choose an activation service. In this example, you can add a new row to Google Sheets whenever a specific SMS containing certain words arrives on your Android phone.
In IFTTT, each step of the process is a large screen, with a large font filling the screen and fields you fill out specifically for the step you’re taking.
It’s an approach that caters to people who may not be very technically savvy, but can follow very simple, basic steps.
Zapier, on the other hand, takes a slightly more complex approach. When you choose Create a Zap in Zapier, the starting process is similar to IFTTT. You search for the service you want to use as your trigger and select it to get started.
The first step is usually to choose from a list of available events that Zapier can choose from that service.
After you select the trigger event and select Continueyou may need to enter a few details to make the trigger event a bit more specific to what you want to fire.
Zapier conducts checks at each stage of the process to make sure it can get the data you’re requesting from the cloud service.
The process then moves down the chain, when you select the cloud service you want to do something in response to the trigger you just configured.
Zapier allows you to customize the actions you take with the second cloud service based on specific data it can pull from the first cloud service that you used to activate “Zap”.
Often times, you will find that the available Zapier data that you can use in each Zap is much more extensive and flexible than IFTTT. IFTTT usually only provides very specific, preformatted details, limited to the most common pieces of data that people might want to use.
For example, if you’re triggering an email to your Gmail account every time someone posts something to your Facebook page, Zapier lets you get things like:
- App ID
- Creation time
- Category or post type
- More and more…
While IFTTT can be limited to only a few things like the post’s announcement and the name of the person who posted it.
You’ll find this to be the difference with most automations you create with Zapier and IFTTT.
Price: Zapier is almost twice as expensive
The old saying, “You get what you pay for” applies a lot here. While Zapier can integrate 4x more apps than IFTTT and those integrations are much more detailed and extensive, the downside is that you’ll be paying almost twice as much a month for that privilege. The Starter plan with Zapier is just under $20/month, while the IFTTT unlimited plan costs $9.99/month.
And if you take advantage of IFTTT’s referral offer, the monthly savings can be much larger.
Final Verdict: Zapier Vs IFTTT
Both services work great with cloud automation. The final decision really comes down to the level of complexity you need to automate and whether IFTTT integrates with the services you need.
Zapier offers a Free tier where you get 100 missions per month to play with the service. So you can always try and see if it’s worth the extra money.
Otherwise, IFTTT’s current pricing is well-positioned for those who want cloud automation but aren’t ready to invest in the price Zapier is currently asking.