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Store Locator Plus Updates: SLP 4.3.20 patches, geocoder fallback, and translations, Contact Extender 4.3.01

NASA Image blue marble east
NASA Image Blue marble-east
NASA Image Blue marble west
NASA Image Blue marble-west

 

Where in the world?  

We’re in the world!

 

 

Enhancements, patches and changes have been made to Store Locator Plus in version 4.3.20.

The extended data systems have been improved with several “corner case” issues resolved for users that are migrating data to new systems or creating a fresh install of location data within a new system. In some cases, the extended data was not being correctly saved to the locations table. Another major focus in this update involves language translations. A number of bug fixes included the setting of the default labels for fields such as “Email”, “Hours”, and “Fax” to non-English values when performing an initial install in a non-English language. This should assist our international customers in managing their SLP data. Another feature that has been added is the “fallback” latitude/longitude to provide a better location than 0,0 (which is off the coast of Africa in the middle of the ocean) when Google query is offline and comes back with “no results found”. An explanation of the Google MAP API is discussed in previous blogs in the SLP news.

SLP 4.3.20 Highlights:

  • Enhancement: Use Language Translations for the SLP INFO tab that includes the Plugin Environment
  • Enhancement: Use Language Translations for the back end under Experience/View/Settings
  • Enhancement: Google Geocoding fallback to a specified latitude/longtitude when Google query is offline
  • Fix: Data extension fields not importing when imported for the very first time. (Note: Import features only available to ProPack users)
  • Fix: When importing call to the special identifier field in Contact Extender
  • Fix: When updating an existing location and the address does not change, make sure that lat/long is retained.
  • Add: Hide SLP menu in the WP admin bar if user does not have manage–slp–admin capability
  • Fix: Load the proper default language settings for data driven default strings
  • Fix: Rename the language files to match the Translate.WordPress.Org standard of ‘store-locator-le’
  • Change: Swedish, Dutch and Azerbaiijani(Turkish) translations come direct from the WordPress Plugin Translation updates instead of the store-locator-plus.mo directory.
  • Contact Extender 4.3.01:

  • Fix: Special identifier field matching to work with external database identifiers when imported
  • Watch the author/developer’s tutorial video and commentary regarding Store Locator Plus update to version 4.3.20 and Contact Extender update to 4.3.01. If you have any questions regarding this update or any SLP products, please be sure to sign up for the free support forum. As always, we appreciate the SLP community and forum users who provide us with their plugin environment and details when posting.

    Change Log

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Contact Extender Speaks Dutch

Old School Netherlands Map

The 4.2.01 release of Contact Extender for Store Locator Plus was published today with the latest Dutch translation included thanks to DeBAAT.  In addition to the new Dutch language files, Contact Extender has been upgraded to use the Store Locator Plus 4.2 add-on framework.  This makes for a smaller footprint and faster performance when using Contact Extender.

This version of the add-on pack requires you have upgraded Store Locator Plus to version 4.2.03 or higher.

Contact Extender Production Release Details

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Contact Extender Prepped for 4.2

Old School European Map Aspoen

Store Locator Plus Contact Extender is ready for testing with SLP 4.2.

Contact Extender has been updated to take advantage of the Store Locator Plus 4.2 add-on system.  This will reduce the memory footprint while increasing stability and performance of the add-on pack.    DeBAAT has provided an updated Dutch translation file for the plugin.

Contact Extender 4.2.01 is available for all Premier Members via the downloads page.  Production versions of 4.2.01 should be available to the general public later this week.

Contact Extender Prerelease Details

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Extended Contact Details for Non-English Locations Updated

SLP Contact Extender Banner

Contact Extender 4.1.02 is now available for download. This version fixes the field names for all Contact Extender data columns.

If you had installed the interim 4.1.01 release with translated field named and modified you search queries, headers for location import/export, or order by queries and are not using English as the default language for WordPress you will need to revise your installation when upgrading to this release.

Most users will not be impacted by this update.

Contact Extender German Translation

Details

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Updating Enhanced Results / Contact Extender to 4.1

Store Locator Plus Map Banner

There are some changes to the way the data extensions work, as previously noted, with Store Locator Plus 4.1.   As of Store Locator Plus 4.1 the Super Extendo data extensions are no longer needed.   The extensions are built into the main product.  However, to take advantage of this new feature you must update the Enhanced Results and Contact Extender add-on pack to the latest version.    If you mix-and-match Super Extendo with the updates in the SLP 4.1 release you can run into problems, especially if you disable Super Extendo with the new base plugin installed and have not updated all the data extension add-on packs.

Follow these steps to make the update in the proper sequence:

  1. Deactive Enhanced Results and Contact Extender.
  2. Deactivate and Delete Super Extendo.
  3. Upgrade Store Locator Plus to 4.1
  4. Upgrade Enhanced Results to version 4.1+.
  5. Upgrade Contact Extender to version 4.1+.

The 4.1 versions of Store Locator Plus, Enhanced Results, and Contact Extender can be upgraded via the WordPress built-in upgrade system if the 4.1+ versions are available.    Always upgrade the base plugin, Store Locator Plus, first.

To upgrade plugins manually:

  1. Download the latest .zip files from your Store Locator Plus account.
  2. Deactivate the plugin (add-on packs first).
  3. Delete the inactive plugins (any order).
  4. Go to Add New in your WordPress admin panel.
  5. Select Upload.
  6. Upload the slp4.zip or store-locator-le.zip file (they are the same, the name may vary if it comes from the WordPress directory or this website).
  7. Activate the Store Locator Plus 4.1 plugin.
  8. Upload and activate your new add-on pack downloads.

There are a couple of unique situations that can break the plugins during the upgrade process.  If your WordPress admin panel comes up blank you will need to remove the store-locator-le directory to re-enable the admin panel.   When the admin panel is back deactivate your SLP add-on packs.    Start the upgrade process again, make sure to update the SLP plugin first.

Contact Extender Updates

What was updated on Contact Extender 4.1?  The only update is to have Contact Extender use the Store Locator Plus 4.1 data extensions in place of the Super Extendo extensions.

Contact Extender adds contact data fields to the basic location data fields.   This add-on pack is often used with medical directory installations.   Fields can be displayed on Store Pages, in the results layout, and in the map info bubbles.

Enhanced Results Updates

What was updated on Enhanced Results 4.1?  A similar update to have Enhanced Results use the built-in data extension.  There were also some fixes that were causing the rank and featured flags on locations to not be installed on all sites.

Enhanced Results provides more control over the location results in the locator user interface.  The goal of Enhanced Results is to provide admin settings that make it easier to change the look and feel of the results below the map, enabling a custom user experience with minimal effort.

Added ER and CEX Data.
The additional Enhanced Results and Contact Extender data fields. Super Extendo is no longer needed.

Find the latest releases of all SLP add-on packs on the Release Notes page.

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Status of Store Locator Plus Updates

SLP4.1 Advanced Themes Random Pic

As you may have noticed, I have been “in hiding” for the past couple of weeks. Part of that was due to some recovery time from a 3-week illness followed by a father/son trip during the extended weekend this past week. However, I have not been siting idle and I will get back to the forums and try to catch up on some questions people have been asking over the past 2 weeks.

What have I been working on? The upcoming Store Locator Plus 4.1 release and coordinating efforts with a couple of other developers for some future add-on packs. I’ve also been working on updating Contact Extender and Enhanced Results as Super Extendo will be dropped, at least for the near future. Here is what’s coming soon:

No More WPCSL Framework

This is purely behind-the-scenes.  It makes the code slightly smaller and “lighter”.  More importantly it vastly simplifies the code and build logic.  That means less errors when producing builds.  It also means I can get other developers involved in the patch and update process to get even more features bug fixes out on each release cycle.

Super Extendo No Longer Required

The extended data management functions that once resided in Super Extendo have become part of the base plugin.   This means you will need to deactivate Super Extendo and upgrade your Contact Extender and Enhanced Results plugins when SLP 4.1 comes out.   Eventually I hope to work with the original author to add the “add and manage your own custom fields” interface, at which point Super Extendo will be re-introduced with that feature.

In the meantime, having the ability to extend the location data when needed as part of the base plugin will provide a better user experience.  The location database will remain small and lightweight for all users.   Only when you add a new “extended data” add-on pack like Contact Extender, or to a lesser extent Enhanced Results, will the database table add more columns.   Since this is now part of the base plugin, many of the problems that occurred when users activated an extended data plugin before activating the Super Extendo plugin are gone.   A smoother process and the opportunity to build a myriad of new data extensions with ease is a win-win in my opinion.

Advanced SLP Themes

The SLP theme system has been overhauled.    The existing themes still work and remain intact, however the new theme system can now read the hidden metadata in the CSS file headers and, if you desire, set all of the layout options for you.    This vastly simplifies the process of building new layouts with the map interface.    The initial release may only have one or two advanced themes but they will be updated on each patch to give users more creative choices.    Start with a built-in theme and adjust the page layout with Pro Pack or the results layout with Enhanced Results.   It will be far easier than before.

Various Updates

There are a number of other smaller updates in the base plugin and add-on packs.  Much of it is behind-the-scenes patches to reduce the front end memory footprint.   The Twenty Fourteen theme with a basic install is now running at about 14MB per SLP-enabled page load compared to 18MB on pre-4.1 releases. Multiple bug fixes have been made within the product.    Code has been simplified to speed up processing in some interface elements.   A few basic wish list items have been updated.  For those of you that use the Janitor, there is a new “reset a single option” feature and a “clear out extended data settings and data” option coming to help with managing under-development sites.

A lot going on this month.

Hopefully testing will start soon and if all goes well the SLP 4.1 update along with some add-on pack updates will be out by February 1st.

I’ll also get some of those forum questions answered.

– LC