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Store Locator Plus 3.9.4 / Pro Pack 3.9.4 / Enhanced Search 0.6 / Crowd Funding

Store Locator Plus 3.9.4 and Enhanced Search 0.6 were both released today.

You should always update the base plugin first.  It will be available via the standard WordPress plugin directory and will appear as an available update in your admin panel.  Can’t wait the 12 hour cycle for WordPress auto-polling?  Go to your Dashboard link in the sidebar and visit the updates page.  That should re-poll the WordPress servers.   If it does not pick up the change try clicking “check for updates” for force it to re-poll the WordPress servers.

You can find the changes to Store Locator Plus, Pro Pack, Enhanced Search on the 3.9 Release Notes page.

Add On Pack Update System

Included in the SLP 3.9.4 update was a patch to the add-on pack update system.  For those of you who are not aware how that type of system works, it is a custom application that runs both in the base plugin and on the CSA servers.  To get plugins to work properly with the WordPress update system when they are not hosted on the WordPress directory a custom application-information-and-download service needs to be created.    The service has been in place on the CSA server for a while now, but the WordPress plugin side requires a very specific data format.   There was a bug in the update system on the plugin side that has been patch in 3.9.4.

Hopefully this fixes the add-on pack one-click updates.  At least until WordPress changes the format.

To the new version to work and re-check your add-on packs you will want to update the base plugin, then go to Dashboard/Updates in your WordPress admin panel to re-poll the WordPress and CSA servers for updates.     Your add-on packs will need to be up to the prior version for this to work:

  • Pro Pack 3.9.3
  • Enhanced Map 0.4
  • Enhanced Results 0.7
  • Enhanced Search 0.5
  • Store Pages 3.9.1
  • Tagalong 0.8

Crowd Funding

With the recent interest in crowd funding for new add-on packs and other enhancements, I started researching ways to add crowd funding to my Word Press site.   After a lot of searching I finally settled on a premium-only product called “Ignition Deck“.  It is a cool product, but it is far from ready for “prime time”.  Yes, I can get it working but it is a  LOT of work to make it do what I want.  That means code hacking, creation of theme files, and basically a lot of coding on someone else’s premium project.   No fun.

Believe me, I know the issues the people at Virtual Giant are facing.  I also understand what some of my users go through when trying to bend my plugin to do what they want.   I can say, however, that I am far less embarrassed about my own support and documentation as well as my code comments and structure.    It is far above and beyond the only 4 semi-functional crowd funding plugins I have explored.

Sadly, I don’t think ANY of the plugins that are out there, two of which are now defunct, are ready for implementation on my site.   In fact some are so complex or so under-powered that I am seriously considering writing my own crowd funding plugin.  Who knows, maybe it will become the next big freemium WordPress plugin from CSA.

In the meantime I guess crowd funding needs to wait.     Until then maybe I will explore a third party service like Kickstarter or one of the others out there.

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Store Locator Updates / CrowdFunding

New Version Betas

Store Locator Plus 3.9.4 and Enhanced Search 0.6 has been released to the Beta Test list for testing.   Want to help with beta testing, get pre-release copies of the base plugins and add-on packs?   Sign up here.   All beta releases are announced and distributed via the MailChimp managed email list.

I will begin testing the new updates within the next 24 hours.   If all goes well the new updates will be published by the start of next week.

Crowd Funding

I’ve been getting a lot of customization requests lately, some for larger projects.   While I got nearly ZERO response from the general community of users about implementing a crowd funding option, several of the companies that have asked for new features have indicated they would be interested in this option.

What is it?   It is a way for multiple organizations to share the development costs of creating new stuff.   Stuff?  Yeah, stuff.    In this case, code stuff.   Like new plugins, add-on packs for existing plugins, or even just extending an existing add-on pack or plugin.   This provides a way to spread out the costs of developing a feature while gathering enough funds to ensure smaller projects get put on the development radar.

Look for new crowd funding options on the Charleston Software Associates website soon.