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Legacy Third Party Add-Ons Deactivation

This report does not impact users of the My Store Locator Plus managed locator service.

The WP Store Locator Plus  version release 4.9.15 update will throw fatal errors with third party add-ons if you are using DeBaat User Managed locations (UML)  or DeBaat Social Media Extender (SME).  We are working on the Store Locator Plus 4.9.16 release to prevent the “white screen” and auto-deactivate the outdated add-ons.

Resolving SLP 4.9.15 White Screen

This issue only seems to impact third-party add ons including Social Media Extender and User Managed Locations.  It MAY impact Gravity Forms add ons as well.

To resolve this issue you need to determine how important those add-ons are to you.

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Google Map Services and using Store Locator Plus

WordPress Store Locator Plus plug-in

How do you know if you need to obtain a Google Maps API key?

As of June 11, 2018(update: Google has extended this date to July 6)  all sites using Google map  to geolocate will need a key and a billing account. If you do not have one your map will no longer work.   If you are using any of the WordPress Locator plugins, that most likely means you. If your site worked before without one, those days are history.

Google API changes in service

MySLP Managed Locator Service

This store locator service is a subscription and is managed by the Store Locator Plus team. What does that mean? Besides being able to use it on virtually any platform, it also means you do not need to worry about SLP updates nor  will you have the hassle of logging into the Google developers console to obtain a key with a Google billing account. You subscribe to our service and pay a monthly fee (subscription) depending on the plan you need. You will not see a “surprise” charge on your credit card in the event you go over the limit.

Switching between WP Store locator to MySLP just became easier!!

Contact us to learn how to sign up for the  New “Lock and Load” your Locations from WPSLP as part of your transition process  to MySLP.  Available with  the SLP 4.9.16 release. MySLP plans start for a low  monthly fee.

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Location position and accuracy

Have you ever checked the accuracy of your location marker compared to where it appears on the widely used google maps application?  If you do,  you may notice that the latitude and longitude and position of your marker is not exactly the same as where it appears in the Google Map.

The exact location marker on your map may be slightly off by a few feet or meters from the actual location shown in the Google Maps App. Both are using Geocoding  (the process of converting addresses into geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude), which you can use to place markers on a map, or position the map, so why the difference?

Zooming in on the Google Map site will reflect changes to the lat/long slightly  I found this to be so when I noticed those automatic Google icons populating my map.  Premier  or MySLP/Enterprise subscribers can check off the setting to render those Google icons”non-clickable” but what if you have a business listed at the same exact address or  possibly the same exact business as a Google icon?  I discovered when I clicked on the Google Map  icon and opened it in the browser independently  from  my site, it returned a different latitude and longitude.   I  then tried  to match their coordinates by updating my location address with the same lat/long that appeared in the browser.  To my surprise it moved my location further away then the initial coordinates.

As I  resolved to have my location marker override the Google icon , I decided to use a different map service to see if it would return a different geocoded coordinate.  Using “Bing Maps” I could see yet another latitude/longitude, granted they were all very close to each other , but this one was closer to the commercial Google Maps result.  I found it  zoomed in  closer on the marker then the commercial Google Maps did. Apparently they do not have the ad and marketing presence that Google has built into their maps. They want to show you as many ads and icons on their map as possible, so perhaps they cast a wider net and just get you close enough. Makes sense.

Back to Google Maps. Having surmised this may be a built in quirk for marketing,  I zoomed in on the location.  Sure enough,  a new set of coordinates appeared.   Once I had zoomed in as much as I could on the Google Maps icon I copied the new set of latitude/longitude coordinates and pasted those into my  location field in Store Locator Plus.    Viewing the map on the front end of my site proved my theory was  correct.  I achieved my goal.  With the exact same coordinates , my icon now appears instead of the google centric, auto icon that they had imposed.

Although this may not be an undertaking  you wish to venture  on if  you have a hundred locations sparsely located in a large region, I found this to be an effective way to force my icon to appear instead of one imposed on me by Google. I also came to the realization that even having an exact address in a third party app would not return the exact coordinates.