Updates To Address WordPress 4.8.2 Issues

WordPress 4.8.2 was automatically updated on millions of websites worldwide yesterday.  Some of those sites, including those using the Power add on for Store Locator Plus, lost functionality of some key features during the update.    Today, our WordPress plugins Store Locator Plus 4.8.6 and Power Add On 4.8.6 have been released to address these issues.

We are also testing and getting ready to launch MySLP 17.10 with these updates for our managed MySLP service users to ensure the security patches made in the core platform make it onto our dashboard.

Fixing Your Install

Most Store Locator Plus sites will only experience minor feature loss such as category filtering on locations no longer working properly.   Upgrade to the latest Store Locator Plus 4.8.6 or higher release then update the Power add on to 4.8.6 or  higher.

What Changed?

WordPress 4.8.2 secured internal database queries and in doing so disabled a basic data query lookup that imposed no security risks.  However the change broke some parts of Store Locator Plus.    The Store Locator Plus code was updated to match the new WordPress 4.8.2 data query specification.

WordPress 4.8.2 Impact

Some users have upgraded Store Locator Plus in the past 48 hours and think their website broke due to the Store Locator Plus plugin update.    Unfortunately more plugins and themes than just Store Locator Plus have stopped working with the WordPress 4.8.2 automatic update.  If you disabled the Store Locator Plus plugin and your site is still not working you need to enable the debug logging on your WordPress site and talk to other plugin and theme developers that may have been impacted by this change.

MySLP users will not be impacted by these unrelated changes unless they are deploying the managed locator service on a WordPress site that uses a plugin or theme not compatible with WordPress 4.8.2.

Category Checkboxes In Locator 4.8.4

Store Locator Plus adds the ability to select categories of locations using checkboxes with the Premier add on and Power add on installed.

For WordPress plugin users, you will need an active Premier Subscription to enable the new feature.  It will also require SLP, Power, and Premier to be updated to version 4.8.4 or higher.

MySLP Enterprise level users will be getting these updates in the 17.10 upgrade to the service later this month.

Premier + Power = Category checkboxes with 4.8.4

Related Updates

The Power add on category manager map marker and icon selector has been fixed.

The Premier add on results pagination has been fixed.

 

MySLP Service Levels

Power includes the Power add on features.

Enterprise includes the Power, Experience, and Premier add on features.

MySLP updates are coordinates as part of our monthly maintenance plan.   MySLP users will automatically get the patches and new features.

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.

Experience Hide Map With Starting Image

The Experience Add On for WordPress and Professional or higher level of service for MySLP has a feature that will display a starting image, your company logo or a static map image for example, until a user enters and address and performs a location search.

This feature was not working correctly on most of the styles in our Style Gallery.     Earlier today the Style Gallery was updated to properly manage the CSS that works with this feature.

To re-download the style go to Store Locator Plus (Advanced Options for MySLP users) | Settings | View and select a different style than you are using now.  Then re-select the style you are using to force a download of the latest settings and CSS styles.

The SLP Style Gallery

Note: if you have modified ANY of the layout settings you will want to save those changes by copying them to a separate application such as a code editor or local text editor first so you can re-apply the changes if you re-download the style from our Style Gallery server.

Setting Map Markers By Type of Location

Our latest how-to video for Store Locator Plus is online.   In the latest How-To video we show you how to set your map markers based on types of locations.    This is done using the categorization tool available in the Power Add On for WordPress or the Power and higher level of service for MySLP.

You can find also find help on adding and editing location categories in our documentation.

Tweaking The Locator Style

A new video that highlights how to change the locator style as we continue our MySLP Weebly example for the South Carolina Ice Cream Quest 2017 site has been posted.   You can follow along with the sister article on the our SLP Documentation site.     The content is also applicable to WordPress plugin users that have the Experience add on.

 

SLP Default Style Update (July 2017)

The Default style in the Store Locator Plus Style Gallery was updated this week.  The following changes have been made:

Phone and Fax fields are in a new div with the contact_info class.  These fields are displayed on their own line in the results.

Website, Email, and Directions links are in a new div with the online_info class.  These fields are displayed on their own line in the results.

The hours span has the textblock class added which displays the hours on its own line and with a pre-wrap format.
Continue reading “SLP Default Style Update (July 2017)”

Adding A Locator To A Weebly Site

Weebly is my new favorite “block builder” website creation tool.   Creating a basic website is quick and easy.  Adding a MySLP based locator is no different.    The process is very easy for anyone that can use a web browser.

Create Your MySLP Account

Sign up for your MySLP service. Any level of service will work including the low-cost Advanced level.

Add A Location or Ten

After you have created your MySLP account go ahead and add at least one location.     Once you have the locations added you will be able to deploy your locator.
Continue reading “Adding A Locator To A Weebly Site”

How Caching Can Break Websites After Updates

Caching of your site tends to create a superior user experience as pages are served to your site visitors more quickly.  In the modern technological world of “NOW!”, where we expect our requests from technology to delivery immediately, anything that takes longer than a few seconds to deliver what the user asked for is considered slow, useless, or obsolete.

Caching of live WordPress sites is something that used to be a rare occurence.   With more informative articles, better hosting companies, and the user community “leveling up” their technical expertise, caching of WordPress sites has become more commonplace than ever before.   That is a good thing.

Many other web presence services and hosting companies have deployed caching for years.    Some are more advanced than others with their deployment process.   The better web presence platforms will manage flushing the cache for you.

If you are managing your own hosting and caching solutions here are some things we’ve encountered on our own WordPress sites and MySLP deployments.

Security or Proxy Service Caches

A security or proxy service is a “website request agent” that sits between your site and the real world.   It is like the bouncer that only lets the “good people” gain access to your site.    Many, like Sucuri, also have performance options built in.   These “performance” settings are a proxy cache.   They store a copy of the non-dynamic pieces of a website like CSS and sometimes JavaScript on their servers and send those resources from that copy.

That means you will need to clear these third party caches any time you update your site with something that changes the CSS or JavaScript.   Some caching services are more aggressive than others and cache ALL JavaScript files and CSS files.   Some are great at detecting file changes immediately while others could take an hour, day, or even a week to detect the changes.
Continue reading “How Caching Can Break Websites After Updates”

Premier Adds IP Security

Premier Members now have access to the 4.7.11 update of the Premier plugin.  This update allows you to set location lookup limits per IP address.  This will help keep competitors from scraping your locations list from your site.   All Premier Members with an active membership can download the latest release and activate IP filtering on their sites today.

Premier 4.7.11 Security Controls 2017-06-06_11-06-46.png
Security Filters available in Premier 4.7.11