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SLP versions: Power add-on, Experience add-on version 4.6.1 updates to import functions

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Store Locator Plus 4.6.1 Highlights

• Allow add-ons to load JS on a per-admin-tab basis. Reduces browser overhead and memory footprint on admin pages.

• Simplify and improve the new option manager. More consistent option handling, more security option management, better performance.

•  Checkbox on/off validation for all add ons – fixes instant checkbox saving on admin panel for some add on options

• All language files are now pulled from the MySLP website.  • Missing translations? See MySLP and add your translation updates there.

Change Log for SLP Power Add-on

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Power add-on Release 4.5.10 fixes short code only_with_

Surprise!  He did it again…..our world traveler and developer supreme fixed a bug (..truth be told..he probably introduced the !oops! by muddling around with making a good thing great) that was discovered by one of our loyal customers who upgraded to the Power Add-on and shared it with us in the Store Locator Plus Support forum.

We also would like to thank the many new Power users and Premier Members who took advantage of  the latest sales campaign to  upgrade their Legacy add-ons.   Although our summer sales event is alas coming to a close,  you die hard Legacy add-on users can still request a coupon to upgrade to the new and improved Power add-on (with faster than ever importing functions, )  Experience Add-on group or our platinum Premier.  The coupon value will be determined as shown under the relevant  Product Descriptions.

Power Change Log

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Store Locator Plus 4.5.09, Premier 4.5.09 and Add-on updates

Store Locator Plus 4.5.09

SLP was updated to version 4.5.09 to allow for compatibility with those users who have a lower PHP of 5.5 or lower. WordPress recommends PHP 5.6 but we realize not everyone can get their host to upgrade. WP does provide verbiage (click on the link) to send to your provider host if you are interested in helping put the pressure on. When you upgraded the base plug-in to 4.5.09 and if you had a lower version of ProPack installed, you will see a notice that disabled 4.5 version of Pro Pack. You still have access to it and can upload the latest version (4.5.07). All you need to do is log into your account and download the latest version from there as noted in an earlier blog.

Pro Pack, Tagalong, Pages = Power

As many of you have noticed there have been changes that affect some of our most popular add-ons.  The latest updates to these add-ons were made for compatibility reasons as Store Locator Plus continues to evolve on its way to become lighter, more efficient and will use less of your overhead.  Pro Pack and Tagalong have joined the ranks of LEGACY add-ons and will not be updated further since the functionality and features have been moved or added to the newer Power add-on. Legacy add-ons will continue to work with the SLP version in use at the time the add-on was purchased
Continue reading Store Locator Plus 4.5.09, Premier 4.5.09 and Add-on updates

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Improved Import Notifications In Store Locator Plus 4.2.43

The WordPress location finder and directory building plugin, Store Locator Plus, released version 4.2.43 today.   The new release adds improved import notices and works in tandem with both the Pro Pack and Tagalong add-on packs to provide better notification of problem imports.   The new release is also better at testing CSV headers and file formats and stopping the import process before grinding through thousands of potentially errant data entries.

Location Import in SLP 4.2.23 with Pro Pack 4.2.08
Location Import in SLP 4.2.23 with Pro Pack 4.2.08

CSV import processing allows businesses to load thousands of locations at once into the locator plugin.   Sites employing a Google Business or OEM license can load and geocode up to 100,000 locations per 24 hour period.   Sites using the standard, and no-cost, Google API service that is built into the product can import and geocode up to 2,500 locations per day.

Store Locator Plus provides the “enter your zip code and get a map of our locations” feature for web sites and mobile apps.   The product requires little-to-no technical knowledge to list locations and implement the interactive search-and-map interface.    Over 10,000 active installations range from small businesses with “a handful of locations” to organizations with over 250,000 locations being served.

Pro Pack brings the “enterprise-level” services to the free Store Locator Plus base plugin.   The Pro Pack includes CSV import for locations, the location sensor that allows the web pages to get GPS coordinates from a mobile device or GPS-aware desktop web browser, and search-and-results reporting.   Pro Pack version 4.2.08, being released in tandem with the Store Locator Plus update, utilizes the new features in the base plugin to extend the processing and reporting of location imports.

Tagalong brings location categorization features to locations.    Businesses with multiple types of locations can allow users to filter the search results based on what segment of the business is being served.   Manufacturers use this feature to show which retail outlets carry specific lines of a product offering.   Medical services mark various providers by their areas of expertise.   Tagalong can also provide custom map markers and per-location icons based on the categories assigned to a location.

Store Locator Plus Change Log

Pro Pack Change Log

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Category Management of Locations Improved

Restaurant Icon Reflection Banner

Tagalong, the category management add-on pack for Store Locator Plus, was updated today with several improvements. The improvements will help with the management of location categories on sites with large numbers of locations.

CSV Export Improvements

CSV Exports from Pro Pack now export the plain text category not the category slug for easier import/export.   Prior releases exported the category slug.  This made it easy to validate location data against the WordPress taxonomy table but made for more work when re-importing to a new site.   The new CSV export puts the plain text name in the category column and a new column “category slug”, that is not imported on a CSV import,  holds the category slug for users that wish to perform cross-check validation against the taxonomy data.

Location Results Order Improvement

The sort order for locations now uses an intelligent array which presents a more consistent and stable operation with multiple add-on packs in place.  Tagalong now leverages this new array, which appeared in Store Locator Plus 4.2.31, for better sort order processing for Tagalong category sorting.

JSON (AJAX) Response Updates

The category_count and category_names are now part of JSONP response coming back from the server.   This provides mechanisms for website developers to display category data or to leverage that information in custom JavaScript processors that manage the results of the search.  For example, the shortcode [[slp_location category_count]] can be used to show the count of categories for a store within the Enhanced Results Results Layout setting or [[slp_location category_names]] can be used to show the list of category names.

TAG 4.2.03 JSON Response
TAG 4.2.03 JSON Response

Location Manager Filter Fix

The filter locations by category on the manage locations interface has been fixed.   You can once again filter the locations by selecting categories via the filter dialogue box.

TAG 4.2.03 Category Filter
TAG 4.2.03 Category Filter

Tagalong Change Log

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Tagalong 4.2, With Per Category URLs, Released

Map Square Boxes Banner

Tagalong, the add-on pack for Store Locator Plus that helps manage location categories is now available.  Version 4.2 is built on the new Store Locator Plus add-on framework giving it added stability and performance along with consistency between how the add on packs operate.    In addition to the 4.2 framework, there are some new features in the 4.2 release including:

Per-Category URLs

Every category can have a URL as well as a target window for the URL.    When a category has a URL attached the icon will be linked to the URL when it is rendered in below-the-map results.    The target window determines whether to open a new browser window or tab when a user clicks the icon.

Category Rank

Categories can be ranked.    The rank of the category determines which map marker is displayed.  The lower the rank the higher the priority.

Tagalong 4.2 Icons and Markers On Map
Tagalong 4.2 map markers and icons displayed on a map search.

Category Manager UI Tweaks

The built-in WordPress category manager has been updated to show the map markers, icons, and rank for each category when the page is loaded.   Unfortunately I’ve not discovered a way to get the WordPress AJAX interface to render the new data when adding a new location, however future visits to the page will show the icons and map markers.

Tagalong Markers and Icons on WP List Page

Tagalong Details

Prerelease version of ALL Store Locator Plus plugins are always available to Premier Members.    Tagalong prerelease copies are also available to customers that have purchased the add-on pack from the CSA website.  Prerelease software is not for use on production systems.

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Tagalong 4.2 Prerelease Available

Map Square Boxes Banner

Tagalong, the add-on pack for Store Locator Plus that helps manage location categories is now available in prerelease.  Version 4.2 is built on the new Store Locator Plus add-on framework giving it added stability and performance along with consistency between how the add on packs operate.    In addition to the 4.2 framework, there are some new features in the 4.2 release including:

Per-Category URLs

Every category can have a URL as well as a target window for the URL.    When a category has a URL attached the icon will be linked to the URL when it is rendered in below-the-map results.    The target window determines whether to open a new browser window or tab when a user clicks the icon.

Category Rank

Categories can be ranked.    The rank of the category determines which map marker is displayed.  The lower the rank the higher the priority.

Tagalong 4.2 Icons and Markers On Map
Tagalong 4.2 map markers and icons displayed on a map search.

Category Manager UI Tweaks

The built-in WordPress category manager has been updated to show the map markers, icons, and rank for each category when the page is loaded.   Unfortunately I’ve not discovered a way to get the WordPress AJAX interface to render the new data when adding a new location, however future visits to the page will show the icons and map markers.

Tagalong Markers and Icons on WP List Page

Tagalong Prerelease Details

Prerelease version of ALL Store Locator Plus plugins are always available to Premier Members.    Tagalong prerelease copies are also available to customers that have purchased the add-on pack from the CSA website.  Prerelease software is not for use on production systems.

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Tagalong Supports Multiple Category Filters

Tagalong Banner

Tagalong, the category management add-on pack for Store Locator Plus has passed final testing of the latest release.  The newest feature is the ability to specify multiple categories by using a comma-separated-list of category slugs in the only_with_category shortcode attribute. The new release also has a few internal updates to provide consistency in saving of checkbox data within the admin panel.

Release Details

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Tagalong 1.1 Icon Array and Legend

Tagalong Icon Banner

Tagalong Version 1.1, the Store Locator Plus 4 compatible release,  has some new features bundled into the product that make is easier to manage icon displays for your users.    The two features are the icon array and the icon legend.   Both features work in tandem with other add-on packs to provide you with unique new ways to manage the user experience on your site.

Tagalong Legend and Icon Array UX
Tagalong Legend and Icon Array UX

Icon Array

The Icon Array is a new setting that generates a full array of icons based on the categories you assigned to your location via the Tagalong categorization system.   Prior to version 1.1 only the first category that was assigned to a location was available to display in the results using custom CSS.

With version 1.1 you can now output not only that single icon, which is the default setting for backwards compatibility reasons, you can also display the entire icon array using the [slp_location iconarray raw] shortcode within the results or info bubble layout controls.

Results layout controls are enabled by installing the Enhanced Results version 1.0 add-on pack.

Bubble layout controls are enabled by installing the Enhanced Map version 1.0 add-on pack.

The iconarray attribute of the custom [slp_location] shortcodes used on each of those add-on packs is extended with Tagalong version 1.1 to show all categories.

Icon Legend

With Tagalong version 1.1 you can now add an icon legend on your user interface by adding the new [tagalong legend] shortcode in the Locator Layout control provided by the Pro Pack.   The category label can be turned on or off below each icon via a simple on/off setting in the Tagalong control panel.

Tagalong 1.1 Admin Settings
Tagalong 1.1 Admin Settings

Pro Pack version 3.12 provides the new View layout control.

Tagalong version 1.1 adds the new [tagalong] shortcode to view layout controls.

 

Store Locator Plus 4

These features and more are coming in the Store Locator Plus 4 release and related add-on packs.   The Store Locator Plus 4 base plugin will remain free and fully functional.    All of the add-on packs will require an upgrade if you install Store Locator Plus 4.   SLP4 compatible add-on packs will be a paid upgrade for existing users.  Users that purchased their add-on packs will be offered a discount coupon to upgrade to the SLP4 compatible versions when they are released.

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Adding Custom Fields To The WordPress Category Interface

Adding custom field s to the WordPress Category interface can be tricky.  Not because the concept is overly difficult, but the documentation on the related filters and actions that are built into WordPress is hard to come by.    To make it even more challenging, some of the action names are built dynamically.     Thus I’ve created this post as my personal cheat-sheet guide to help jog my memory.

The notes here are based on my findings in WordPress 3.5.1.

There are 2 parts to the process, rendering the form fields and saving the data.

In the examples below, Replace {taxonomy} with the taxonomy ID.  If you are not sure what this is, hover over the “categories” link in the sidebar menu and look for the ?taxonomy={taxonomy} parameter in the URL after the edit-tags.php call.   For example, my Store Pages taxonomy is simply called ‘stores’ so my actions are create_stores and created_stores.

Rendering The Fields

There are two actions built into WordPress to manage the category interface, one for adding and one for editing a category.   Your function or method simply needs to output HTML for your new fields.  The actions are:

    • {taxonomy}_add_form_fields
    • {taxonomy}_edit_form

Saving The Data

AJAX

The main “Categories” interface typically shows an “add category” form on the left side with a list of categories on the right.    This add category form uses AJAX to post the form data back to the server and save any new category you enter here.   This is why the page does not refresh.  As such you will have better luck deciphering what is going on with debug statements if you use a browser debug tool such as Firebug on Firefox and watch the console or net tab for the AJAX (AJAJ really) JSON posts and responses going to/from the server.

Action Hooks and Filters

The AJAX call posts back to ./wp-admin/edit-tags.php, which in turn calls the wp_insert_term method in ./wp-includes/taxonomy.php.

wp_insert_term calls the following actions while processing the insert:

If the slug is empty:

    • edit_terms with $term_id as the only param BEFORE the slug is added.
    • edited_terms with $term_id AFTER the slug is added

After the term is inserted into the term_taxonomy table:

    • create_term with $term_id, $tt_id, $taxonomy as params
    • create_{taxonomy} with $term_id, $tt_id as params
    • FILTER: term_id_filter with $term_id and $tt_id as params

The term cache is cleared and then these actions are called:

    • created_term with $term_id, $tt_id, $taxonomy as params
    • created_{taxonomy}  with $term_id and $tt_id as params

Useful Info

Most of the hooks and filters used to add data to the category interface can be implemented in the admin_menu action hook.  Using admin_menu() with a further admin_init() action hook buried within is one of the best ways to ensure all the setup, filters, roles & caps, and other “niceities” are in place before firing off your custom admin-centric hook or filter.

HOWEVER, you cannot attach your custom methods for the create_ or created_ action hooks deep inside admin_menu() or admin_init().  Why?  Because they run through the AJAX action stack and the AJAX action stack does not fire admin_menu().

Summary

So there you have it, my cheat sheet.   There are likely to be hiccups when implementing so don’t be afraid to add in some debugging code on your development system and be sure to check the JSON posts via the WordPress AJAX engine.

 

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Joomla: Updating The Text For Categories and Sections


In Joomla you often have a page that displays the various categories of articles that appear on your website.   This is especially true for content-heavy sites.

The main “category index” page is typically setup as a section on your Joomla site and is typically connected to a top-of-page or sidebar menu item.  Selecting the section from the menu will display the main section, or “category index” as I’ve called it here, page.   This “category index” will show the header for each category as well as the “lead-in” text, or description, for that category along with the article count.

Here is an example from a client site:

Here is how you change the section text:

  1. Login as an administrative user, typically at http://<siteurl>/administrator/index.php
  2. Select Content / Section Manager from the main menu.
  3. Click on the title of the section you wish to edit.
  4. Update or add your description.
  5. Save

Here is how you change the category text:

  1. Login as an administrative user, typically at http://<siteurl>/administrator/index.php
  2. Select Content / Category Manager from the main menu.
  3. Click on the title of the category you wish to edit.  If there are multiple categories with the same name make sure you are selecting the right category and section (the section is listed further over to the right on the same page).
  4. Update or add your description.
  5. Save
That’s it, your done.

How To Fix Formatting Issues

When editing your content in Joomla! using the built-in TinyMCE editor you will often copy and paste content from other programs such as Microsoft Word or even another web page (that you own, of course).   The editor will make an intelligent guess as to what format the original content was in and will mimic the settings in your article.   Often this is not what you want.  You want the content, not the formatting.

The Joomla! editor makes it easy to clean up the formatting of copied content.

  1. Open the article, section, or category.
  2. Highlight the “offending” text, the part that is mal-formatted.
  3. Click the “Clear Formatting” icon on the toolbar.

    Joomla! Clear Formatting
    Joomla! Clear Formatting
  4. Save.

The text should now default to the format defined by your theme.  This is typically the preferred method of formatting text.

Manually overriding the format on a case-by-case basis is not recommended.  If you ever change the look of your site you will need to manually rework all the articles, categories, and sections to match the new look.

It is highly desirable to let the theme define font styles.  Clear all formatting and only use the basic header, paragraph, and bullet list tags/formatting options.  Stay away from selecting specific fonts or styles.