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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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Mission Small Business : Grant Funding

Mission Small Business

Cyber Sprocket is looking to qualify for a small business grant so we can continue our development efforts.  We are working on a custom application platform that makes it possible build custom mobile apps for your business from a simple web interface.  If we reach our 250-person goal we have a better chance of being selected.

 

YOU CAN HELP!

 It is free and takes less than 2 minutes!

  1. Go to www.missionsmallbusiness.com.
  2. Click on the “Login and Vote” button.
  3. Put “Cyber Sprocket” in the search box and click search.
  4. When our name comes up click on the vote button.
  5. Remember to share this with your friends!

Vote For Us: The Detailed Version

 

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Our Missing Small Business Submission

  • Tell us about your business; how successful is it and why is it unique?
    We create custom software solutions for other small businesses. Our clients are often too small to have their own programming team. We step in and help them make technology work for their business. Whether it is custom developed software, mobile applications, or websites; we make it happen. We also have several “off the shelf” products with both free and very-low-cost options to ensure other small businesses can get all the “coolness” without the big expense.
  • How is your business involved with the community you serve?
    We sponsor a number of technology events in the area. We also provide free or reduced-cost website development and hosting for local non-profit organizations. Our intern program is also an active means of connecting with our local technology talent via university students, with two students participating in a year-long paid engagement with Cyber Sprocket doing commercial development work.
  • What would a $250k grant mean to your business plan and how will you utilize the funds to ensure long-term growth and stability?
    We would use the funds to “bridge the gap” as we continue producing a turn-key application platform that will significantly reduce the cost of mobile and web application development for our client base. Our low-cost WordPress plugins already shows that this model works. Our most popular plugin has nearly 1,000 paid customers and 13,000+ installations of the free product. We need funds to hire staff and continue this effort as well as to continue our expansion into the mobile space. We only need 6 months of funding to reach “critical mass” and be 100% self-sufficient, covering all baseline business costs. Our current product income, site traffic, and overall reach has continue a steady upward trend over the past 18 months averaging 10% month-over-month growth.
  • What types of challenges can you identify with your plan and how will you overcome them?
    Our current challenge is expanding our technical staff in Charleston, South Carolina. We are already attracting interested talent with our culture and reputation, however we need extra funding to be able to offer a competitive and compelling salary for interested programmers. Our other significant challenge is price competition from off-shore agencies, which is why we are moving to a turn-key application builder platform. Less time custom coding means lower app development costs enabling us to beat the hourly salary rates off-shore agencies are able to offer.
  • Describe the talent on your team and how they make your business successful.We have carefully selected our talent pool. We are EXTREMELY selective when it comes to our staff. They must be INTO technology with a focus on software. We receive over 100 resumes per year, interview a dozen, and hire a couple. We are THAT selective. As a result the staff represents best-of-breed software technologists. They LOVE this stuff. Water cooler talk is always about technology, as is the off-hours email list, and weekend gatherings. We are coders and we love it!
  • Additional relevant information you would like to share
    We are pushing hard to make the move into automated mobile apps. Everyone is behind the effort, but we need some help financially. With just a little extra cash on hand we can have a HUGE impact. As a serial entrepreneur I’ve been here before and know how to execute. The first time around with a little luck and a lot of “blood, sweat & tears” I found my first start-up business made the leap having ended up in Time Magazine (twice), a Microsoft Infomercial, Good Morning America, and CBS Morning show among others. I’m ready to make it happen again for my team. They work hard & deserve the recognition.