WordPress and MySLP

Some of our long-time WordPress plugin customers have decide to reduce their workload and customer maintenance overhead by migrating to the MySLP service.  Here are your answers to some of the most common questions that have come up during the process.

How Do I Connect MySLP To The Plugin?

The short answer: You don’t.  

The MySLP service is a self-contained application that installs on your WordPress site , or any site builder that supports JavaScript, with a simple JavaScript embed.    It does not require the Store Locator Plus plugins to be installed on the WordPress site.

In fact, if you are now using MySLP you should delete any of the Store Locator Plus plugins you have installed on your WordPress site.    Make sure you’ve downloaded your locations and copied any settings you wish to take to MySLP beforehand.   While on that topic, a good site administrator will delete any obsolte and unused plugins from a WordPress site.  Deactivated plugins are still available for hackers to exploit.

If There Is No Plugin How Do I Use It?

To manage the locations and settings you will login to your MySLP Dashboard.

When you are ready to deploy the map you can go to any page or post on the site and paste the embed code you copied from your MySLP dashboard.    Make sure you are viewing the page/post editor in text mode first, then paste the JavaScript embed where you want the map to appear on the page.

How Do I Get The Locations Into MySLP?

If you are migrating an existing site you will want to export locations from the WordPress install with the Power add on BEFORE deactivating and deleting the WPSLP plugins.

Go to the Locations tab in Store Locator Plus and select “Export, Hosted” or “Export, Download” from the download menu then click the To All portion of the Apply To All button.

Make sure you’ve copied your settings to your new MySLP account as well.

Once you have your locations CSV file go to your MySLP Dashboard account and look for the Locations Import tab under Advanced Options.   Import is available on Power or higher level accounts.   You can upgrade or downgrade service to/from the Advanced level as needed to get the import feature during the migration process.

On a related note, we are working on an “Import From A WPSLP Install” feature for MySLP that will bring over locations directly without the manual import/export process.

How Many Sites Can Use My Map?

Your MySLP account can deploy the locator on as many sites and mobile apps as you need.   Each deployment will share the same map settings and location list which can be useful for building SEO content pages while retaining a consistent location listing between the sites and pages.

A Note About Migrating And Updating A WordPress Site

For those of you using the Store Locator Plus WordPress Plugins (WPSLP) , here is something to be aware of when migrating and upgrading sites.    The correct process is to first MIGRATE the Store Locator Plus installation THEN update the plugins.

Some site administrators are first installing the latest version of the WPSLP plugin stack on the new site THEN bringing over the data.   This can cause some settings to start “seeing ghosts”.   This will manifest itself in unanticipated ways, such as the map behaving as the old setting is active when it is not set on the admin settings interface.

Details

This particular issue cost me some time when testing new features with the Experience 4.8.3 update coming out later this week.     I was playing with the show/hide home marker at startup feature but despite havign unchecked that box it still behaved as if it was enabled (not showing the home marker when the map loads).

It turns out that my settings had not “migrated” from the old-school serialized options to the newer Smart Options architecture.      If the old serialized options are still in the data they will take precedence.  This is by design to avoid backward compatibility issues.

Normally when you install a newer version of an SLP add on, such as the Experience add on, it will detect the new Smart Option then locate the legacy option to get the value of the setting and delete it.  From this point on the Smart Option is the only setting in play.   Everything will work by “magic”.

However if you first upgrade the plugins then port your data over from an older system you are also bringing over the add on version data.    Since much of WordPress, including our add ons and plugins, rely on accurate version data to trigger events (or more importantly to NOT keep running events over-and-over again that should only happen ONCE during an upgrade) this will skip things like settings being upgraded from “legacy” to Smart Options.

What Is “Data”

For WPSLP users the data that you migrate is both the location data, including all relevant category mapping and extended data table, plus select rows from the WP_Options table that store the settings for the SLP add ons.    When migrating your sites first make sure you bring over all the proper data values THEN install the same version of your SLP plugins, then update the plugins to ensure all the data values follow the proper migration path.

This should be the standard process for ANY site migration as many plugins and themes use data migration and upgrade techniques similar to those found in SLP.  We did not invent these techniques, in fact much of what we build into our architecture come from WordPress veterans.    You will find our methodologies in many other WordPress products.

For MySLP Users

This does not apply to MySLP service users.    We manage the settings and installation for you and since you only need to worry about deploying your JavaScript snippet there is no “site migration”, just paste your JavaScript code on the new site and you are ready-to-go.