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Google API Key Changes for WordPress Plugins

Updates to the Store Locator Plus WordPress plugin version 4.9.15, released today, includes patches to the Google API Key management.

Let’s start by letting users of our fully managed MySLP SaaS service know that you don’t have to worry about any of this.  You can skip this entire article.

Google API Keys

For our SLP WordPress plugin users there has been a notable change in the management of Google API Keys.

We now support a Geocoding Key and a Browser Key.    The Browser key is used to display the map and handle user-input addresses during a location search.  The Geocoding key is used on your WordPress server to geocoding locations you’ve entered via the Google API.

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Privacy Policy Update

You probably deleted 759 email messages already this week with a title “Updated Privacy Policy”.    Here is another one to add to the stack.

If you are really interested in our Privacy Policy, you can read it here (https://www.storelocatorplus.com/privacy-policy/):

Privacy Policy

You are very likely to get a LOT MORE of these types of emails over the next few weeks as WordPress rolled out their 4.9.6 release that is very specifically tailored to support and encourage the creation and publication of a formal Privacy Policy on every single WordPress-driven site on the Internet.

Why All The Privacy Policy Updates?

You can thank Europe and the members of the European Union for passing a privacy law.    Known as the General Data Protection Regulation, known by the the now infamous GDPR moniker, it requires every single web service and application to have an explicit Privacy Policy.   That Privacy Policy must be made known to all users of a site or service, which means anyone with a mailing list, blog, or social media presence is going to use at least one of those services to send a “Hey, read our updated Privacy Policy” message.

Enjoy.

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Location Page Listings Enhanced

One of the few features that is not currently available for our MySLP SaaS users is the dynamic location details pages that are hosted on WordPress sites.  Users that employ the Pages feature of the Power add on can link the web links for locations shown in the locator to a SEO friendly details page hosted on the website for every location in the database.

Another important feature of the Pages interface is the ability to list all pages that have been generated in a directory format via the [slp_pages] shortcode.   This list provides an easy way to show locations without requiring site visitors interact with the map interface.

More Page Listing Controls

With the 4.9.14 release of the WordPress plugins, the Power add on now provides even more control over the page listings.    When using the default “full listing” style, which shows the entire page template one-after-another, there are some new options available.

Hide The Map

Hide the map, is one such option.  Most users opt to show a map showing where the business is when a user looks at the details page.    However, loading a dozen maps stack one on top of another on a page listing slows down page rendering.    The new no_map attribute allows you to turn the map on or off as needed.

Custom CSS Classes

In prior releases web designers could style the layouts for the page listings by adding custom CSS to their WordPress theme and reference the Store Locator Plus specific classes that wrap the page list as well as the SLP classes that wrap each individual page entry.

New Pages CSS Class Overrides

In the Power 4.9.14 release users can now replace the previously “hard-coded” Store Locator Plus classes used with these HTML elements with their own class names.   This can be especially useful when using WordPress themes that are built on a standard library such as the common 12-column Grid Layouts in Foundation, Vuetify, and Bootstrap.    That means you can let the theme’s default row and column controls manage the layout for the page listings instead of writing tedious responsive CSS rule stacks just for Store Locator Plus.

Even better – you can set these CSS classes with [slp_pages] attributes.

Like our recent location editor update, this is one more step on our journey toward moving Store Locator Plus toward modern web design standards.

We’re already using this on a couple of projects and think you’ll like the new implementation.