I had heard about imacros but never tried. This time I wanted to give it a go as I need to proceed to through checkout process few times and watch the log. So, to do this repetitive task, I installed imacros extension on google chrome and recorded checkout process from beginning to end.
If you are hosting your Magento store on shared hosting, this is almost required that you have to run re-index through command line. Even if you are on powerful server, you may find from time to time reindex times out if you have big data.
To over come this issue, you can use your command line to run reindex on required indexes.
I use PuTTY to connect to server and then go to your magento install and then to shell folder. e.g.
Here you can check status of current indexes with this command: