What Is Pro Pack?
Store Locator Plus Pro Pack is a premium add-on for the Store Locator Plus 4 base plugin. This add-on pack brings enterprise location management tools to the Store Locator Plus product. The goal of the Pro Pack is to extend the administration features to make it easier to import, export, and manage dozens to thousands of locations that are listed in the location finder tool on your site.
Like all Store Locator Plus 4 add-on packs, Pro Pack is an optional side-by-side plugin that works with Store Locator Plus. The Store Locator Plus add-on packs are true add-ons, extending and augmenting the functionality of the base plugin without modifying or otherwise disrupting active location data you have stored in the Store Locator Plus system.
What Does Pro Pack Add?
Pro Pack builds on Store Locator Plus to provide the following enterprise class features:
Turn on the location sensor and whenever a user visits pages where you’ve inserted the Store Locator Plus shortcode the website will request location data from their browser. A great solution for a web based GPS-enabled tool for visitors that are using a mobile device. For desktop users the location sensor will use their desktop browser to approximate their location, which is fairly accurate for most modern web browsers.
When Pro Pack is installed a new “Import” panel is added under the Locations tab in the administrative interface for Store Locator Plus. The import format is a standard comma-separated-value (CSV) file that can read several file formats. The CSV file can be in a fixed pre-described column layout with no header record, a fixed pre-described layout with a header record, or in a “first row contains field names” format. The CSV file can also connect locations to pre-defined Tagalong categories if the Tagalong add-on pack has been installed.
Bulk Data Export
Pro Pack can also export locations in a CSV format, providing an easy mechanism to get data into a spreadsheet format for quick bulk edits. This feature can also be used in conjunction with the import feature to move location data between websites, for instance from a staging or test site to a production server.
On occasion the Google geocoding servers are under heavy load and do not return latitude and longitude results for all locations in your import data set. The combination of the Pro Pack “Show Uncoded” filter on the locations admin interface and the “Recode Selected” bulk action provide a quick-and-easy mechanism for displaying and re-requesting latitude and longitude coordinates for any locations that did not get geocoding data during an initial import.
Want to move the search form BELOW the map? Or put the map beside the search form and results? Pro Pack makes this a lot easier by giving you a simple admin interface to change the order in which the various locator components are rendered. By default the order of elements is a search form on top of a map on top of search results all wrapped in a div. With the simple layout editor you can add your own div tags and move around the [slp_search], [slp_map], and [slp_results] shortcodes in the Pro Pack “Locator Layout” setting. Mix a slightly different order of components with a div and a simple CSS rule and you can make just about any locator page layout possible.
Mix with the Enhanced Search search form layout editor, the results layout editor of Enhanced Results, and the info bubble editor in Enhanced Map and you can quickly build highly custom locator layouts with some simple HTML and basic CSS rules. All without editing a line of code and all from within the Store Locator Plus admin interface.
A Custom CSS entry box on the admin panel allows for quick-and-easy configuration of custom CSS rules without having to write a new CSS file or edit an existing one. The Custom CSS rules will override most CSS files and can be used very effectively with the Layout Control feature to create a custom Store Locator Plus experience without editing PHP or CSS files.
Location Search Reporting
Enable the reporting tool and the Store Locator Plus engine will record both user searches and the locations those searches returned. Find out where your customers are looking for your stores and use the data to plan your next Grand Opening. Search and results reports can also be downloaded in CSV format for further analysis in forecasting and trending tools.
Tags are a free-form text “label” that can be associated with a location. The Pro Pack adds the ability to edit tags via a simple comma-separated list and then filter search results based on these tags. While not quite as performance-friendly or as easily extended as the full-blown Tagalong category system, Pro Pack tags are a great shortcut for building simple filtered location lists. You can even display a search form “tag selector” using a few simple settings on the User Experience tab.
Tags Output Processing
Tags output has a new pre-processor mode. Past versions has a simple “show/hide tags in output” checkbox. The latest update has a new mode to split the tags onto new lines using the br HTML tag. The new settings are “hide” (previously show tags was unchecked), “as-entered” (previously the show tags check), and “new lines”. This setting may need to be re-set on some installations.
There is more information out there about the Pro Pack for Store Locator Plus, both on this site and on the sites I use to help support and develop the product. Here are some places to learn more about the product.
The “change log” showing what is new in SLP4.
The starting point for all documentation on CSA products and the ever-growing stack of videos highlighting features and how-to sessions for the plugin.
The current list of issues as hosted at Bitbucket including bug reports (both unresolved and fixed) and feature requests. You may even learn something about upcoming releases over there.