0 comments on “Why Good JavaScript Code Is Critical To Your Locator”

Why Good JavaScript Code Is Critical To Your Locator

Whether you are using our MySLP SaaS service or our WordPress plugins for Store Locator Plus, having a web page that is loading “clean” JavaScript code is CRITICAL to the functionality of your locator.   Most web pages today, and certainly those including an interactive map, are far removed from static HTML and images.   Today’s web pages are full-on applications.   They are programs that are running locally on your device to draw a page that looks similar to the old-time static HTML pages but with a lot more cool interactions; like maps.

While these new interfaces are cool and certainly make the web easier to use they come at a cost.   It requires that all of the little mini-applets that you are loading on a page to show to your users play nicely together.   Every single interactive component like that Google Ads sidebar, the Recaptcha validation and maps are all separate programs that are playing in the same “pool”.    The problem with this is that it is very easy for any one of those components to “go haywire” and spoil the fun for everyone else.

Part of the issue is that for most web page builders you have ZERO control over WHEN you get your turn to jump in the pool.   Do you get in first?   Or do you get in after someone left their “code turd” in the pool?   How well your app runs can depend a lot on WHEN it gets to run.  To make matters more complicated an interactive page may not “sprout new problems” until AFTER the user starts interacting with the page.   Maybe it happens when a user clicks on an ad that is being tracked which then breaks the code and all subsequent JavaScript is running in a “polluted pool”.

Often the Store Locator Plus map is the most visual an interactive element on the page.  It happens to be what most people notice first when JavaScript is broken.   You won’t notice if your ad-click is not being tracked but you sure as heck notice when you try to look up locations and the map doesn’t change.    Often the cry goes out “you broke the locator” when many times it is something else that broke well before the locator had a chance to do its work.

Check For JavaScript Code Errors

Use your web browser developer tools.   All modern browsers have this functionality and it can give you some clues as to what is really going on.    If you see errors in the console you will want to clean this up and see if it resolves the issues with the locator.

Safari

Go to Safari | Preferences | Advanced and click “Show Develop menu in menu bar”.

Safari Turn On Dev Tools
Safari Turn On Dev Tools

 

To check your JavaScript Console go to Develop | Show JavaScript Console

Look for any red exclamation marks and look at the error logs to suss out JavaScript code issues.

JavaScript Code Errors In Web Console
JavaScript Code Errors In Web Console

Firefox

Older versions of Firefox have the web developer tools enabled by default.  If you do not see the Web Developer menu option check under the Settings menu a this may be disabled by default in future releases.

To view possible JavaScript errors:

Go to Tools | Web Developer | Web Console

 

Learn More In This Video

Check out this video to learn more about the technical details of why JavaScript loading order and errors in other JavaScript code is important.

 

If you are not seeing JavaScript code errors on your page and your Store Locator Plus map is still not working please contact us!

0 comments on “Location Sensor Can Help Visitors Find Your Store”

Location Sensor Can Help Visitors Find Your Store

Finding  Locations Near You

How important is it for people to find a location nearest them?  “Near Me” has been a top-ranked search term on Google for the past seven years. This may be the number one reason to use a location sensor.  Research indicates that the common phrases of “near me” in Google searches is a top-ranked query.   The phrase “handyman near me” might return a  cloud based app that in turn redirects  the users search to some  popular apps but how does your browser,  Google Maps or other platform know where you are?

Location Sensor

Enter location sensor, a browser-based tool that detects where a user is at the time of search.  On GPS-enabled mobile devices it returns the precise location using the device’s built-in GPS sensor.  For the Store Locator Plus users the location sensor can be enabled by checking a box under General Settings.   WordPress Plugin users will need the Power add on.   MySLP service users will need to be subscribed to the Power, Professional, or Enterprise plan.

Mobile App using location sensor
Location sensors in mobile apps can guide people to your store.

Using HTTPS Improves Sensor Performance

Google Chrome’s v 50 and higher ( the most popular browser with the largest market share  at this time)  requires site urls to be served over a secured site before it will allow the location of the user to be transmitted.  They have stated that location is sensitive data and determined that HTTPS versus HTTP  be  required to protect the privacy of your users’ location data.  Other popular browsers , such as Mozilla Firefox, may submit a pop-up box asking the user to grant permission for their location to be known.

In short, if your site is using the location sensor feature it must get an SSL certificate and be serving pages on an https address.   Many browser disable multiple features if you are not a secure site, including the location sensor.   It won’t be long before ALL browsers disable location sensor support if you are not hosting an https site.

Location Sensors Can Increase Sales

If you have a physical location that counts on people walking in the door to make a sale, adding Google Maps and employing the location sensor can have a notable impact on your walk-in traffic.    Your first step is to get an SSL certificate on your site so you can serve secure pages; This also helps boost your Google search rank.   Once you have that completed put Google Maps software that supports the locations sensor on your site.     Add a couple of posts to your site that relate to your business such as “Boutique Near Me” and drop the map code on that post.   It won’t happen overnight, but as your site starts to generate traffic the map will lead people to your store.

 

Have questions?   Contact us.

0 comments on “SLP version 4.8 released : Required Update to Experience, Power and Premier add-ons”

SLP version 4.8 released : Required Update to Experience, Power and Premier add-ons

Store Locator Plus has been updated  to  feature new styles, while  removing old JavaScript commands that were left in the core base plug-in for the sole purpose of supporting the Legacy add-ons.  This release has finalized the process of  phasing out of the Legacy add-ons.

The last two  Legacy hold outs, ProPack and Tagalong are not compatible with version 4.8 of SLP.  Both of these legacy add-ons have been included with the Power Add-on which was released over a year ago.

Manage Locations UX has been updated: uses WordPress-standard Screen Options to set number of locations to show on a page and show/hide columns.

  • Manage Locations Edit / Add has been updated: uses JavaScript interface and overlay windows to edit locations.
  • Adding a location via the Manage Locations form no longer requires the store name to be set.
  • Lighten the data load going to the JavaScript front end to alleviate browser congestion and improve performance.
  • Uses minified JS for slp_core if available.
  • Patch to fix the Power Add On CSV Import duplicate handler.
  • Patch to deal with Experience Add On hide_search_form shortcode issue.
  • New Smart Option interface for add ons reduces redundant code.
  • Tagalong is no longer compatible with SLP, upgrade to the Power Add On.

Note: Premier, Power and Experience add-ons  that were versions lower then 4.8 will be deactivated . You must update those either through the auto updater in the WP admin panel or by logging into your account, downloading and updating manually.