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Locator Styles Update SLP 4.3.03

SLP 4.3.03 Genesis Plugin Style

Update 4.3.03 was released for Store Locator Plus today.   The update includes a patch to the plugin styles (formerly known as themes) and simplifies the process of applying those styles.     Shortcodes that were appearing in the results for some plugin styles has been fixed.   The directions link has also been fixed.

Change Log

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Store Locator Plus 4.3

SLP 4.3 Default Map

Store Locator Plus 4.3 was published tonight.  If you are using a Store Locator Plus add-on pack you will want to upgrade the add-on to version 4.3 after upgrading the base plugin.

Updated Admin User Interface

The revised admin user interface leverages the WordPress Dashboard styling and interface elements.   Settings boxes can be collapsed and expanded, the slider boxes are gone having been replaced with standard checkbox elements, and the CSS styling is now consistent across all add-on packs.    The new interface is designed to work more closely with the built-in WordPress responsive design elements.

Update JavaScript Processor

The JavaScript engine that drives all interactions with the locations map has been updated with a new callback system that works much like the WordPress hooks-and-filters.   For the non-techie people out there, that means it is going to be a LOT easier for future add-on packs to add very cool interactive map features without requiring full system updates.    Add-on packs can now change how the interface works without having to “hack” the base plugin.  For the techies, the AJAX processor now includes full raw location data in addition to massaged data.    New shortcode options make it easier to get exactly what you need into results and map info bubbles.

Faster Manage Locations

Further refinements to the Manage Locations interface improves performance.  Version 4.3  simplifies the codebase to make it easier to add more advanced features in future releases.  Update JavaScript libraries improve performance by eliminating server queries for tables that list all locations on a single page.   A single “expanded view” mode means less data I/O processing while rendering the screen.    Admin users can selectively hide columns on the manage locations interface, with different admin logins having their own column settings saved between sessions.

SLP 4.3 Locations Manage
SLP 4.3 Locations Manage

 

SLP 4.3 Locations Edit
SLP 4.3 Locations Edit

Better Admin Performance

Admin pages for Store Locator Plus have reduced database I/O calls to the WordPress options table.   Logic changes eliminated nearly 60 extra data I/O calls when loading the Experience tab.   On the info tab the server based news feed and current plugin versions as well as update information for installed plugins is cached, significantly increasing performance when checking plugin information.

SLP 4.3 Experience Search Settings
SLP 4.3 Experience Search Settings

Better WPML Support

The WPML engine in Store Locator Plus has been updated to work with the newer WPML 3.2 filters while retaining legacy support for older versions of WPML.   All base plugin strings are pre-registered when Store Locator Plus loads into memory.   Most text in the application now uses gettext or WPML data I/O operations which should make the entire experience far easier for international users and sets the foundation for faster turnaround for polyglot related issues in the future.

Improved Settings Upgrades

The entire settings upgrade system has been rewritten ensuring more consistent transfer of legacy settings when upgrading, whether upgrading from one version back or 10 versions back.   “Lost settings” during an upgrade will now be a thing of the past.

Patches And Fixes

A number of minor patches and updates were made in 4.3 including apostrophe search on manage locations, admin page styling mishaps from various add-ons, extended data fields not always registering with the main plugin, fixes to several shortcode attributes.

Change Log

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Pro Pack Gets Faster CSV Import Option

The latest version of the Pro Pack, 4.2.07, has been released with some new features including a “Recode All Uncoded” and “Load Data CSV Import”.

Pro 4.2.07 Bulk Actions
Pro 4.2.07 Bulk Actions

Recode All Uncoded

The Recode All Uncoded bulk action under Manage Locations will automatically select all of the uncoded (missing latitude and/or longitude coordinates) locations without the need to check the boxes.    The process will automatically select all of the uncoded locations and re-submit them to Google for geocoding.

This will not magically fix addresses that Google cannot find.   It is meant to assist sites that have more locations than the daily Google geocoding limit will support.  The free Google Maps API limits location geocoding requests to 2500 per day per server.  On a shared hosting server this can be a few hundred location “lookups” if other sites on the same server are using Google Maps.    Recode All Uncoded will help quickly re-run locations that were previously imported but exceeded the geocoding limit for the day.

Load Data CSV Import

from the updated CSV Import documentation:

If you have Pro Pack version 4.2.06+ and Store Locator Plus version 4.2.41+ you can use the Load Data option with CSV Import.  This feature uses the MySQL Load Data command is is 10-50x faster than WordPress / PHP CSV file parsing, with the typical Google Geocoding limitations on performance and record counts if you are not supplying the latitude/longitude data.   This feature will only import basic location data.  It does not import extended data fields or Tagalong category data.     If you use this along with having pre-entered latitude and longitude values you can import 100,000 locations in less than 10 minutes on a basic web server.    The column headers should be included in the file and should match the basic fields.  You do NOT need to include all columns.

You can build a CSV-import ready export directly from MySQL if your MySQL user account has the GRANT FILE privilege on the WordPress Store Locator Plus file.    You’ll typically need to login to MySQL from an administrative account to grant file to the WordPress or other user as follows:


#mysql

> GRANT FILE ON wordpress.* TO 'wpuser'@'localhost';

You will replace wpuser with your WordPress username and ‘localhost’ with your MySQL server hostname or IP address.

With the file privilege set you can then export a CSV file for import with the following MySQL command:


SELECT * INTO OUTFILE 'geocoded_locations.csv'

FIELDS TERMINATED BY ','

OPTIONALLY ENCLOSED BY '"'

LINES TERMINATED BY '\r\n'

FROM wp_store_locator;

This will create a geocoded_locations.csv file in the default MySQL WordPress files location, typically /var/lib/mysql/wordpress/ on a Linux system.    You can specify a fully-qualified URL for the output file.  The details on where the file is written by default and how to specify the full URL will depend on your web server settings.

PRO 4.2.06 Load Data Import
PRO 4.2.06 Load Data Import

You can now import the basic file using the Store Locator Plus Pro Pack by using the Load Data option with “first line has field names” and “skip geocoding” if you have the following CSV file header:


sl_id,sl_store,sl_address,sl_address2,sl_city,sl_state,sl_zip,sl_country,sl_latitude,sl_longitude,sl_tags,sl_description,sl_email,sl_url,sl_hours,sl_phone,sl_fax,sl_image,sl_private,sl_neat_title,ignore_sl_linked_postid,ignore_sl_pages_url,ignore_sl_pages_on,ignore_sl_option_value,ignore_sl_lastupdated

This will import the primary fields and ignore the secondary data fields that you will want to have re-created automatically.

Export All Hosted CSV

A new experimental feature has also been added.    It is deemed “experimental” as it works on some systems but will not work on all systems due to directory security limitations.  If this feature gets a lot of interest from the users it will be refined and kept in the product. Export All, Hosted CSV is a new CSV export feature that works much like the Export Locations download feature.

The Export Locations feature that existed in the past, and is now labelled “Export All, Download CSV” fetches the location data in CSV format and sends it to the browser for immediate download.  This can be a time consuming process as not only does the server need to process the location list and write the data, but your browser needs to open up a local file on your device and write the data locally.    Depending on how much memory you have on your device and the speed of your local drive the direct download process can be slower.

The Export All, Hosted CSV option keeps everything on the server.    Your browser connection will remain active as Store Locator Plus reads all of the location records on the server and writes them to a disk file on the same server, however there is no browser download.  For SOME users this will be faster, especially if you are on an older laptop or desktop.    The file is written the the WordPress temporary storage directory on the server.   For most Linux based hosts that will be in the /tmp directory which you may not have access to depending on your host.   Some hosts will put temporary files in a local folder under your hosting account with the file name slplus_locations.csv.     If there is enough interest, this option will be refined to allow users to specify the destination directory and filename.      Site administrators can access the local server file using their hosting solution file manager or standard FTP/SFTP applications, which can be faster than browser-based downloads.

Pro Pack Change Log

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Store Locator Plus Improves High Volume Site Processing

Store Locator Plus 4.2.41 focuses on speeding up the performance of location import processing for comma separated files of 50,000 locations or more.

CSV Import in Add Mode

Some of the updates include reduce execution time when setting the CSV import duplicates processing to ‘add’ mode.    Add mode is useful when importing to a “clean” list of locations.    This mode eliminated extra processing when you know you are not updating existing locations during a Pro Pack CSV Import.

Improved Import Error Reporting

The CSV Import processing system has been updated to provide better reporting when CSV imports of location data via Pro Pack or category data via Tagalong fails the import process.   Various file processing issues as well as memory restriction errors are reported with details including hints as to how to manage the issue.

Memory Improvements

Memory consumption is reduced on per-process system calls.  This reduction can be significant on systems that are running large location lists, saving up to 1k per location processing request.

Store Locator Plus Change Log

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Janitor 4.1.15 Makes Quick Work Of Resetting Locations

WordPress Locations Tabbar Banner

The Janitor add-on pack for Store Locator Plus adds a new drop locations feature.    This feature makes quick work of deleting the Store Locator Plus locations when a simple database reset is required.   The new feature is far faster than the previous Clear Locations option, but Drop Locations does have its limits.

J 4.2.15 Clear or Drop Locations
J 4.2.15 Clear or Drop LocationsWo

Drop Locations

This new feature removes the main locations table and the extended meta data fields, used by the * Extender add-on packs, via a the SQL DROP TABLE command.  Both tables are immediately recreated.     This feature does NOT remove the associates custom WordPress “store pages” data NOR does it remove the Tagalong and custom taxonomy data.    If you are not using Tagalong categories and are not use Store Pages, then Drop Locations can remove tens- or even -hundreds-of-thousands of locations in less than a minute.    By comparison a 200,000 location table can take as long as 2 hours using Clear Locations.

Clear Locations

Clear Locations is a more thorough removal mechanism.  This process leaves the data tables intact but deletes the records one-at-time using the WordPress data interface which invokes all the hooks-and-filters.  That means any third party or CSA-derived add-on packs will fire all the “location cleanup” processes including Tagalong data cleanup , Store Pages cleanup, and any related meta data that may be hiding in WordPress options tables, taxonomy tables, custom page types, or custom data tables installed by add-on packs.

Janitor Change Log

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Social Media and Events Add On Updates

phpUnit Test ELM Banner

Social Media Extender and Events Location Manager have been updated for Store Locator Plus today.

Both updates addressed an issue with display the social media icons in the results output.   Text labels can now be shown under each of the icons for these add-on packs.

Change Log

 

 

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Locator Patch Finds Missing Locations

Twitter 1500x500 Map 3D Banner

Store Locator Plus 4.2.38 was released today addressing an issue where some sites suddenly “lost” locations.

After a week of research it was discovered that some MySQL and MariaDB installations will set boolean data fields to NULL versus true/false or blank.    This led to an issue where any of the locations that had a null value in the privacy flag entry would be considered private by the Store Locator Plus search mechanism.  The new patch considers locations with a NULL privacy value to not be marked private, which has “recovered” missing locations on the front-end search interface.

Enhancements

In addition to the patch, several updates that were underway have been included as part of the effort to launch a Widget Pack update and start provide more advanced user interface features and WordPress theme support.

SLP 4.2.38 Widget Tagalong Pro Pack
Version 4.2.38 with Widget Pack, Tagalong, and Pro Pack options activated.

A new plugin theme has been bundled with Store Locator Plus that has been test for layout compatibility with the iThemes Herschel WordPress theme.

SLP 4.2.38 iThemes Herschel Plugin Theme
SLP 4.2.38 iThemes Herschel Plugin Theme with Pro Pack, Enhanced Search, and Enhanced Results.

The Simple White Four Column theme has been updated to use the newer SaSS based CSS rules engine, patching some quirks that are addressed with the core Store Locator Plus CSS ruleset included in all SaSS based plugin themes.

SLP 4.2.38 Simple White 4 Column on WP theme iThemes Herschel
WordPress iThemes Herschel theme with Store Locator Plus Simple 4 Col White theme. Uses Pro Pack, Enhanced Search, Enhanced Results for layout control.

A new general layout option for Pro Pack users allows site designers to gain access to not just the location data but also Store Locator Plus plugin option values.   The new [[slp_option nojs=”<option_name>”]] and [[slp_option js=”<option_name>”]] settings allow site designers to do things like place headers on the map with dynamic messages that change when site options change such as “All distances shown are in <miles>” where miles will change to kilometers if you change the default measurement in the UX settings panel.     Many other options such as a fixed default radius and various labels can be displayed using this feature.     It is used in conjunction with Enhanced Search to display heading on search box labels that can be changed via the admin panel (coming in the next Enhanced Search release).

The language translation system was extended, providing better internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n) support for all add-on packs.  This has been built into the SLP 4.2 add-on framework.

The state filter processor was refined to eliminate redundant code in Enhanced Search and the upcoming Widget Pack update.

The state and country SQL processors were updated to address various null data issues and to provide slightly faster SQL query processing.

Map Center and Zoom Level have been migrated to the newer options system in Store Locator Plus. This also grants access to the slp_option shortcode in Pro pack for displaying these values such as “Distances calculated from <map center address>.” when a map is first loaded.

Change Log

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User Managed Locations Updated

SLP User Managed Locations Banner

User Managed Locations, a premium add-on pack for Store Locator Plus, was updated to version 4.2.03 today.   The update includes patches for the automatic in-place upgrade system, language translation, and patches an issue with a call to an undefined method.

Change Log

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Events Now Available for Store Locator Plus

ELM Banner

The Event Location Manager add-on for Store Locator Plus is now available form the Store Locator Plus website.

ELM 4.2.04 Manage Events
Event Location Manager events list.

Event Location Manager, another great add-on created by DeBaat, provides a new interface in the WordPress admin panel for creating time-based events.  The event manager provides an interface to set the event name, start and end dates, an event category and status, a web link for the event, a description, and an event-specific icon complete with a set of new Event Location Manager icons.

ELM 4.2.04 Add Event
Add a new event.

The Event Location Manager settings provide an easy mechanism for adding event search capabilities to the locator map interface.   Visitors to your site can search for events by name, select them from a drop down list of active events, filter by category or status.

ELM 4.2.04 Settings
Event Location Manager settings.

Event categories and status codes are managed as a separate Event Location Manager specific taxonomies within WordPress, giving you standard category management and controls.

Premier members can download the new add-on as part of their standard subscription.   All other Store Locator Plus customers can purchase Event Location Manager as a true WordPress add-on, no deactivation or uninstall of existing plugins is required, to add date-and-time based events to their locator feature set.

[box type=”note” style=”rounded”]Using Store Locator Plus? Please rate my plugin. Every review helps![/box]

Event Location Manager Changelog

 

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.21 Update Prepares For Gravity Forms Integration

Gravity Forms Banner

Store Locator Plus 4.2.21 has been released in preparation for the launch of the forthcoming Gravity Forms integration plugins from DeBaat.   The changes include minor modifications to the way the locations table is loaded in the admin pages.   This change may improve stability for select installations of Store Locator Plus when other plugins manipulate the built-in WordPress List Tables classes.

Watch for announcements of the new Gravity Forms add-on packs for Store Locator Plus.   A free edition and extended premium edition will be available by year-end.   The add-on packs will allow you to build forms using Gravity Forms that will provide a mechanism for users to add locations to the Store Locator Plus database.

Of note is a change that fixes a bug that prevented radius selections with a decimal, such as 0.5 miles, from executing properly.   This fix does cause an issue with Enhanced Search.  Users of Enhanced Search should upgrade to version 4.2.05, available now.

[box type=”alert”]Enhanced Search users should upgrade to 4.2.05 when upgrading the base Store Locator Plus plugin to version 4.2.21 or higher.[/box]

Store Locator Plus Change Log

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Store Locator Plus Prerelease Available To Everyone

store locator plus banner

Effective immediately, Store Locator Plus Prerelease versions are now available to everyone at no cost.

Rather than post the individual patches in the forums, CSA has decided to make the PRERELEASE VERSION of Store Locator Plus available as a FREE product.    Once you “purchase” the Store Locator Plus prerelease version you will always have access to the latest prerelease version of Store Locator Plus before the final tested version is published to the WordPress Plugin Directory.

Note:  PRERELEASE VERSION in caps because it should not be used on a production system.

You can “purchase” the prerelease copy here to get the updated Store Locator Plus add-on to install and test.  /product/store-locator-plus-prerelease/

To replace the production version of SLP with the latest prerelease version:

  1. “Purchase” the free copy of the plugin using the link provided.
  2. Download the prerelease zip file.
  3. Login to your WordPress site.
  4. Deactivate and Delete the Store Locator Plus base plugin (locations and settings will be retained).
  5. Add New / Upload / Activate the prelease version.

When the production release is available you can either wait until a NEWER production version comes out (a number higher than your prerelease version) and let WordPress auto-notify you of the new version and do the “in place update” or you can manually do the same process as outlined above to remove the prelease version of Store Locator Plus and install the production version downloaded directly from the WordPress Plugin Directory.

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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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New Directory Builder 4.2 Add On Pack Is Out

SLP Press Banner With Arrow Logo

Store Locator Plus  has a new add-on pack,  Directory Builder 4.2.

Directory Builder provides various tools for building directory listings based on Store Locator Plus locations. The listings are dynamic, built in real time from the current location data. Add a new location in a new city and the city directory listing updates automatically.

The initial release provides a new short code, slp_directory, that builds a list of a specific location property such as a list of cities, states, or countries. The list can be linked directly to a specific locator page. The links to the locator page set the basic search parameters for the locator which means a single locator page can serve as the landing point for the directory listings.

Directory Page Front End
A dynamic city listing of locations is auto-generated with the slp_directory short code.

If you display a list of cities and link it to your default locator page the links will take over control of the initial map rendering. When following a directory link from the list-of-cities page the map will be set to immediately show locations for every location in the given city.

Directory Driven Locator Page
When users click the links on the directory page they end up on the locator page with an automated city search listing.

Additional features are on the development schedule and are expected to be released in the next few weeks.    Watch the CSA news feed for more info on upcoming enhancements to this add-on.

Directory Builder Details

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.03 Is Out

SLP Location Management System Banner

Store Locator Plus version 4.2.03 is out today.   Yes, it has been fully tested with the latest version of WordPress 4.0 beta release candidate 4 complete with cool new plugin installer icons.

Store Locator Plus Add Plugin WP4.0
Store Locator Plus plugin listing on WordPress 4.0.

This update is mostly behind-the-scenes changes that provides the tools needed to produce streamlined add-on packs.    Add on packs that use the 4.2 add-on system will take less memory and provide a more consistent user experience.    Several add-on packs are under development with 2 new add-on packs, Directory Builder and Location Extender,  scheduled for release today.

[box]You MUST update Pro Pack and Janitor to the latest version BEFORE upgrading to SLP 4.2.  Pro Pack should be version 4.1.06 and Janitor should be version 4.1.08 BEFORE you upgrade to SLP 4.2.[/box]

What are some of the changes you might notice with SLP 4.2.03?

Thailand has been added to the list of supported default countries for the Google Maps domain.

SLP Google Maps Thailand
Thailand is the latest addition to built-in Google Map domains.

The No Map theme has been fixed to show results below the search form.  A new No Map Rev 02 version addresses further rendering issues and cleans up much of the No Map SLP Theme styling.

If you are using an add-on pack with extended data fields such as Enhanced Results featured and rank on locations or Contact Extender data fields there is a patch that fixes “carrying over previous location data” that appeared on some installations.   Special characters such as apostrophe has been addressed in extended data field editing.

 

SLP 4.2.03 Details

 

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Directory Builder Prerelease Available

SLP Press Banner With Arrow Logo

The initial testing for the new Directory Builder add-on pack for Store Locator Plus has passed. The prerelease download is available immediately to all Premier Subscription members.

Directory Builder provides various tools for building directory listings based on Store Locator Plus locations. The listings are dynamic, built in real time from the current location data. Add a new location in a new city and the city directory listing updates automatically.

The initial release provides a new short code, slp_directory, that builds a list of a specific location property such as a list of cities, states, or countries. The list can be linked directly to a specific locator page. The links to the locator page set the basic search parameters for the locator which means a single locator page can serve as the landing point for the directory listings.

SLP Locations List from Test 1
This list of locations…
A Directory Page
Combined with this short code on a WordPress page…
Directory Page Front End
Creates this page on the website.

If you display a list of cities and link it to your default locator page the links will take over control of the initial map rendering. When following a directory link from the list-of-cities page the map will be set to immediately show locations for every location in the given city.

Directory Driven Locator Page
When users click the links on the directory page they end up on the locator page with an automated city search listing.

Directory Builder Details