Posted on

Store Locator Plus Premier Release 4.3.02 Adds New Search and Results Layout and Styling Functions

Store Locator Plus‘ latest release for Premier subscribers adds and enhancement to the results layout functionality and style.

Add Tables in the Results Layout

This new feature allows additional table structure design features with Word Press themes and Store Locator Plus styling, specifically to allow tables without the HTML wrappers that are built into the SLP base plug-in structure. Further discussion and instructions can be found in the 2 minute tutorial video at Premier 4.3.02 Video

Additional functionality in results Layout gives you option to eliminate wrapper
Additional functionality in results Layout gives you option to eliminate wrapper

Add Headers in the Results Layout

Ability to add results headers at the top of each column and allows flexibility in your custom design.

Add Drop down styling in the Search Layout

Adds the ability to change the Drop down style found within the Experience/Search panel using applicable “jquery smooth list themes”.
4.3.08 Pre 4.3.02 Search Drop down style

Also New SLP Plugin Style “Skywalk” coming to premier next. See preview in the following video.

 

Important! For additional details and technical information, please watch the short Tutorial Video on how to use, modify and enhance the users experience using the new features.

Posted on

Getting Ready For SLP 4.3

In case you’ve missed the notes from CiCi, I’ve been writing a TON of code over the past 2 weeks as I prepare to launch version 4.3 of Store Locator Plus.

SLP may not work as it did before if you updated Store Locator Plus to 4.3 but did NOT update the add-on packs.  Upgrading add-on packs to 4.3  should restore any prior features/functionality that went missing.  Another post will be published detailing known issues when mixing 4.2 add-ons with SLP 4.3.  The goal is to make 4.2 add-on packs NOT BREAK your website when the update to SLP 4.3 rolls out.   The best way to help me achieve that goal is to test the SLP 4.3 as soon as the RC prerelease versions are available.

After upgrading to SLP 4.3, if something stopped working please check the SLP Versions page and see if a 4.3 version of the add-on is available.  The auto-update notifications may not tell you about an update, especially if your site is running dozens of plugins. WordPress only checks as many as it can in 30-seconds then waits 12 hours to try again.

You may need to perform a manual update.   Login to StoreLocatorPlus.com and download the latest add-on pack updates, preferably version 4.3.xx.  Go to the WordPress plugins page, deactivate then delete any 4.2 SLP add-on packs.  Add new, upload the recently downloaded add-ons, and activate them.

SLP 4.3 Info Example

Want A Smooth Transition to SLP 4.3?

Take a few hours and launch a staging version of your site.  If you are on a service like WP Engine it is very easy to do.    Once you get your STAGING version of your site up-and-running, install the SLP 4.3 prerelease as well as any prerelease copies of your add-on packs.

Let me know what breaks.     The more people that can help test the prerelease builds the better.   

Release Candidate builds of Store Locator Plus 4.3 and the add-on packs (those that do NOT end with alpha-xx) should be out soon.   Once you see RC-xx on a prerelease build, go ahead and test.   These are the release-candidates that I hope are stable enough to launch to the public but have not been fully tested yet.

Premier Members have early access to every single prerelease build of every add-on pack.     Other customers should see a download for both the production release and the prerelease of add-on packs they own.   Store Locator Plus Prerelease is a FREE product available from the StoreLocatorPlus.com store.

What Is In 4.3?

SLP 4.3 is the “stabilize, bug fix, performance” release.    It has gone a long way toward making the code easier to maintain and more stable.    For example, there were no less than FOUR different ways to save/access/interact with various plugin settings; Saving the radius options was done differently than saving the address search label.       Most of that is gone now, using a simplified code base.     The new code also uses more of the WordPress best practices internally and on the UI.

There are some visible UI changes on the admin interface.    There are a lot of settings where the text descriptions or labels changed.   Things have moved around a little.  MOST of the changes are to make managing locations and settings easier on tablets and small-screen laptops.    The documentation and screen shots may be out-of-date for a while, but most things are easier-to-find and can be cross-referenced with the 4.2-style documentation fairly easily.

SLP 4.2.67 vs 4.3 Experience Results
SLP 4.2.67 vs 4.3 Experience Results

There are also a lot of new ways to extend the inner workings and, more importantly, the user-interface elements of Store Locator Plus.    The changes pave the way for cool new ways to interact with Google Maps, the user interface, and the back-end data using the WordPress AJAX interfaces and advanced Google tool kits.    You will see more of the “goodness” those changes will bring after 4.3 launches when new features start to roll out via the Premier plugin.

The 4.3 Schedule

These are the target time-frames for the various updates with a Friday release target.

Significant compatibility or functionality issues may push products up on the release schedule.  The goal is to accelerate the schedule for all products when SLP 4.3 goes into production.

July, Last Week:

Release Candidates for Store Locator Plus, Premier, Pro 4.3, and Enhanced Map/Search/Results.

August, First Week:

Release Candidates for Tagalong, Pages, Directory Builder, Widgets.

August, Third Week:

Production launch for Store Locator Plus, Premier, Pro 4.3, Enhanced Map/Search/Results, Tagalong, Pages, Directory Builder, Widgets.

Release Candidates for Contact Extender, Location Extender (likely to be merged into a single product).

Work with DeBaat on Release Candidates for Event Manager, Gravity Forms, Multimap, Social Media Extender, and User Managed Locations.

September, First Week:

Production launch for Contact Location Extender, Event Manager, Gravity Forms, Multimap, Social Media Extender, and User Managed Locations.

Note: Due to lack of interest, Real Estate Extender will be sunset during this update.

A Note About Premier

What’s that?  You’re not a Premier member?  You should be.    Yes it is a monthly subscription, but the sell-it-once-support-it-forever model makes it difficult to improve Store Locator Plus and provide support to the ever-growing customer base.

Did you know the are more than 12,000 sites are running Store Locator Plus right this very minute?  12,000 sites that want support, bug fixes, and new features.   Unfortunately, less than 20% of those 12,000 sites purchase an add-on pack.   In order to continue improving support AND adding new features there needs to be more than a one-time sale of $50, or even $500, from a select group of customers.

Lance's Daily SLP Email Deluge
Lance’s Daily SLP Email Deluge

Between CiCi and myself we answer dozens of direct email messages per day, dozens more forum questions, take dozens of screen shots, sh0ot videos, and do all the other things that come with supporting customers from around-the-world.   That is on top of writing hundreds of lines of code and keeping up-to-date with the latest WordPress Core developments to ensure compatibility when the WordPress 4.3 release comes out next month.

The best way to ensure the longevity of the product and retain YOUR investment in time and energy you put into employing Store Locator Plus on your site is to purchase a Premier membership.    A $250 one-time-fee and $30/month goes a long way toward creating a sustainable product.   That steady stream of monthly payments provides the means to hire another coder and another support person to make YOUR experience better.

SLP 4.3 Premier
SLP 4.3 Premier

It also ensures you get all those cool new features that are coming out in the Premier plugin.  Things like cluster maps that came out last month, results pagination the month before, and the forthcoming geo-boundary address search influence this month.   You also get priority access to myself and CiCi to answer your questions or get your feature request on the top of our development queue.  $30/month gets you a lot more than a buy-once-and-forget-about-it plugin.

I understand that sometimes a one-time purchase is all you need.  Not everyone needs a premium add-on.      The free plugin will always be there and the buy-it-and-own-it add-ons are not going away any time soon.    For those that have supported this project, even through a single add-on purchase, it is very much appreciated.

For those that have purchased a Premier Membership, thank you for your continued support.  It is helping achieve new goals, such as bringing CiCi on board to improve support, that would not be possible otherwise.   Enjoy the exclusive Premier Plugin features that are coming your way each month!

 

– Lance

 

 

Posted on

SLP 4.3.00 and Premier Pack 4.3 status

SLP v 4.3 Premier and Enhanced Results XP

User experience renamed to Experience in the new SLP 4.3.
User experience renamed to Experience in the new SLP 4.3.

The testing and tweaks of the Store Locator Plus v 4.3.00 are ongoing and can be reviewed on your test site in its pre-release stage. The goal is to have it finalized before the end of the month. (The more people willing to assist testing the pre-release, the quicker it will go.)

In the meantime….. back at the ranch…

A new Premier add-on pack is coming soon. The Boundaries Influence setting gives you the ability to tell Google where you want it to look for the address a user types in during a search.  You can use your existing locations to auto-create the “influence box” or you can drag the boundaries to have it cover all of North America, for example.Premier Plus 4.3 More Boundaries

 

Testing of the new Boundaries Influence is approaching final stages and will be available in the Premier add-on pack that is exclusive to Premier subscription holders.

Some of the cool features coming with Boundaries Influence for Premier 4.3
Some of the cool features coming with Boundaries Influence for Premier 4.3

The new add-on pack will be available to download for all active Premier subscription accounts.   “Premier” add-on pack is scheduled for monthly updates that will bring new features to the base Store Locator Plus plugin on a monthly basis. The Premier Pack 4.3 is being tested and is in pre-release stage along with the latest version upgrade to the Store Locator Plus base Plug-in v 4.3.

July 2015 :Premier Plug-in Boundaries Location Influence

This feature will be available via the User Experience / Search tab when the Premier add-on pack has been installed and activated.   When the Boundary Influence Guess has been enabled the map will render with a defined boundary rectangle that will surround all your locations. Some of the settings that will be available:

Influence settings July 2015

Note: Premier Members can request an invite to the Slack #store-locator-plus  Channel and get real-time access to the developers as well as keep up with Store Locator Plus news and developments as they happen.