Updates To Address WordPress 4.8.2 Issues

WordPress 4.8.2 was automatically updated on millions of websites worldwide yesterday.  Some of those sites, including those using the Power add on for Store Locator Plus, lost functionality of some key features during the update.    Today, our WordPress plugins Store Locator Plus 4.8.6 and Power Add On 4.8.6 have been released to address these issues.

We are also testing and getting ready to launch MySLP 17.10 with these updates for our managed MySLP service users to ensure the security patches made in the core platform make it onto our dashboard.

Fixing Your Install

Most Store Locator Plus sites will only experience minor feature loss such as category filtering on locations no longer working properly.   Upgrade to the latest Store Locator Plus 4.8.6 or higher release then update the Power add on to 4.8.6 or  higher.

What Changed?

WordPress 4.8.2 secured internal database queries and in doing so disabled a basic data query lookup that imposed no security risks.  However the change broke some parts of Store Locator Plus.    The Store Locator Plus code was updated to match the new WordPress 4.8.2 data query specification.

WordPress 4.8.2 Impact

Some users have upgraded Store Locator Plus in the past 48 hours and think their website broke due to the Store Locator Plus plugin update.    Unfortunately more plugins and themes than just Store Locator Plus have stopped working with the WordPress 4.8.2 automatic update.  If you disabled the Store Locator Plus plugin and your site is still not working you need to enable the debug logging on your WordPress site and talk to other plugin and theme developers that may have been impacted by this change.

MySLP users will not be impacted by these unrelated changes unless they are deploying the managed locator service on a WordPress site that uses a plugin or theme not compatible with WordPress 4.8.2.

Category Checkboxes In Locator 4.8.4

Store Locator Plus adds the ability to select categories of locations using checkboxes with the Premier add on and Power add on installed.

For WordPress plugin users, you will need an active Premier Subscription to enable the new feature.  It will also require SLP, Power, and Premier to be updated to version 4.8.4 or higher.

MySLP Enterprise level users will be getting these updates in the 17.10 upgrade to the service later this month.

Premier + Power = Category checkboxes with 4.8.4

Related Updates

The Power add on category manager map marker and icon selector has been fixed.

The Premier add on results pagination has been fixed.

 

MySLP Service Levels

Power includes the Power add on features.

Enterprise includes the Power, Experience, and Premier add on features.

MySLP updates are coordinates as part of our monthly maintenance plan.   MySLP users will automatically get the patches and new features.

Version 4.8.2 of Store Locator Plus for WordPress Is Out

The 4.8.2 release of Store Locator Plus , Experience, Premier, and Power is now available.   The update includes multiple updates to the [slplus] shortcode attributes.   The updates include patches to prior shortcodes and some new features.

Store Locator Plus

Removed legacy Taglong , Enhanced Search and Enhanced Results stubs as those products are not longer supported with the 4.8 release.

Experience

Fixed Add Dial Link To Phone.
Individual pages can now set the default map end icon and home icon overriding the global defaults on the Settings tab:
[slplus endicon=”<end marker image URL>”] is fixed and now part of Experience.
[slplus homeicon=”<home marker image URL>”] is fixed and now part of Experience.
Fixed Append To Search
[slplus append_to_search=”<blah>”] is now a possible attribute.

Premier

Adds the ability to filter by tag with URLs. i.e adding ?only_with_tag=red to the map page URL.
Fixes a minor activiation bug.
Fixes availability of settings on individual sites on multisite.
Fixes validation of Premier subscription on multisite.

Power

Improved the CSV import processor, skipping blank lines at the end of CSV files.
Fixes availability of settings on individual sites on multisite.

Add A Locator To Wix (MySLP 17.8.1)

Wix is one of the most popular website “block builder” tools in use today.   Wix makes it easy to build complex websites with advanced functionality.    Adding a Store Locator Plus location finder to your Wix site is easy thanks to their HTML Code embed widget.    Follow these steps to get started.

Create A MySLP Account

Sign up for one of the several MySLP account options available.

Add Some Locations

Log in to your MySLP account and add some locations or use the import feature (for Power or higher level accounts) to add dozens of locations at one time.
Continue reading “Add A Locator To Wix (MySLP 17.8.1)”

Tweaking The Locator Style

A new video that highlights how to change the locator style as we continue our MySLP Weebly example for the South Carolina Ice Cream Quest 2017 site has been posted.   You can follow along with the sister article on the our SLP Documentation site.     The content is also applicable to WordPress plugin users that have the Experience add on.

 

Adding A Locator To A Weebly Site

Weebly is my new favorite “block builder” website creation tool.   Creating a basic website is quick and easy.  Adding a MySLP based locator is no different.    The process is very easy for anyone that can use a web browser.

Create Your MySLP Account

Sign up for your MySLP service. Any level of service will work including the low-cost Advanced level.

Add A Location or Ten

After you have created your MySLP account go ahead and add at least one location.     Once you have the locations added you will be able to deploy your locator.
Continue reading “Adding A Locator To A Weebly Site”

How Caching Can Break Websites After Updates

Caching of your site tends to create a superior user experience as pages are served to your site visitors more quickly.  In the modern technological world of “NOW!”, where we expect our requests from technology to delivery immediately, anything that takes longer than a few seconds to deliver what the user asked for is considered slow, useless, or obsolete.

Caching of live WordPress sites is something that used to be a rare occurence.   With more informative articles, better hosting companies, and the user community “leveling up” their technical expertise, caching of WordPress sites has become more commonplace than ever before.   That is a good thing.

Many other web presence services and hosting companies have deployed caching for years.    Some are more advanced than others with their deployment process.   The better web presence platforms will manage flushing the cache for you.

If you are managing your own hosting and caching solutions here are some things we’ve encountered on our own WordPress sites and MySLP deployments.

Security or Proxy Service Caches

A security or proxy service is a “website request agent” that sits between your site and the real world.   It is like the bouncer that only lets the “good people” gain access to your site.    Many, like Sucuri, also have performance options built in.   These “performance” settings are a proxy cache.   They store a copy of the non-dynamic pieces of a website like CSS and sometimes JavaScript on their servers and send those resources from that copy.

That means you will need to clear these third party caches any time you update your site with something that changes the CSS or JavaScript.   Some caching services are more aggressive than others and cache ALL JavaScript files and CSS files.   Some are great at detecting file changes immediately while others could take an hour, day, or even a week to detect the changes.
Continue reading “How Caching Can Break Websites After Updates”

4.7.8 of Store Locator Plus / Power Add On for WordPress

Store Locator Plus and the Power Add On for WordPress were released today.    The updated versions will be published to the MySLP service in the next 30 days once we have completed testing on that platform.

Store Locator Plus, the base plugin for the locator application, includes a minor update that cleans up some basic CSS issues on the admin interface that showed up on a handful of WordPress themes.    This version now uses minified CSS files for the admin pages, slightly reducing the network overhead and allowing WordPress enqueue to work more efficiently.

Power Add On, an extension that manages power features including basic reporting has been patched to fix an issue with the report export feature.   We finally tracked down an issue in an external JavaScript library that is included in this add on that would stop executing scripts on the report tab.   It turns out that the WordPress Core update to a newer version of jQuery was causing problems.    An updated script has been included in the 4.7.8 release of the Power add on.    The features in the Power Add On are also part of the Power subscription level for MySLP which will be updated to 4.7.8 once testing is complete.

 

Where Is My Conference Hotel? Improving Conference Sites With Maps

Attending a conference almost always means travel.   Love it or hate it, the travel experience goes with the territory.  As a conference director, one of the best ways to increase the satisfaction level of conference attendees is to provide not only killer content but to also make them feel as though they are a welcomed guest in the host city.    Providing resources that help get people acquainted with the host city as quickly as possible is one way to make travel more of a perk than a pain for the attendee.    Do a good job playing host in your city and people will want to return year-after-year.

A great way to do this is by providing a resource directory that includes more than a map showing people where the venue is and how to get there.    In our “Hosting Conferences and Events” series we are going to walk through various ways you can build a great online resource that shows people around your city without making it a full time job for you or your online content authors.    The primary tool we are going to use is the My Store Locator Plus SaaS service.    By using the service effectively you can keep costs down while providing easy-to-use interactive maps for your attendees.

In our first video on presenting local resources for a conference we are going to focus on the upcoming SyntaxCon that is coming up in May 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina.   One of the first things people are going to look for is places to stay that are convenient to the main venue.  With that in mind we are going to show how to setup an appropriate level of service and add some hotels to our map then simulate deployment on a live site.    As we add to this series we will show how to refine the user experience and finally deploy to the general public.

 

On a related note, if you are planning on hosting a venue and are in need of a full-service consulting shop to help you get a site setup, please contact our Cyber Sprocket Labs consulting division and we’ll get you setup at a fair price.

Getting A Full-Featured Locations Map On Squarespace

WordPress users have long known about the Store Locator Plus plugin.   Five years later it is closing in on the half-million downloads mark and is deployed on over 14,000 active sites today.  It has become one of the top-rated and most-downloaded map plugins for WordPress thanks to the extensive feature set and regular updates.

Store Locator Plus now brings its full-featured locator service to Squarespace.   The recently-launched My Store Locator Plus service builds on the years of experience behind the WordPress offering to create a “drop and go” option for all websites.    Any Squarespace theme can easily deploy a custom-tailored locator by using the embed feature.  You can read more about that process and follow the video on our Squarespace Integration support page.
Continue reading “Getting A Full-Featured Locations Map On Squarespace”