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.

Store Locator Plus 4.8.4 Released Today

In preparation for feature updates to our Premier (checkbox category selectors anyone?), Power, and Experience add ons, the free Store Locator Plus base plugin was updated to version 4.8.4 today.   All of the updates including the premier add on features will be rolled out in MySLP 17.10 to our monthly service users later this month.

Speaking of the MySLP service, for those that haven’t already heard, it is a version of Store Locator Plus that runs on any website or mobile application that supports embedded JavaScript.  That includes WordPress.   Our servers handle all the locator updates, location storage, and the overhead of managing the plugins.   The only thing you need on your WordPress site is to paste a JavaScript embed code in text mode while editing a page or post and the locator magically appears.   You don’t even need the Store Locator Plus plugin or add ons to make it happen.

Back to the Store Locator Plus WordPress plugin update for those that like to have full control and manage their own software and websites…

The following updates have been made in Store Locator Plus 4.8.4:

  • Fix apostrophe in description on editor.
  • Fix admin page detector. Fixes category icon/marker selector for the Power Add On.
  • Fix the admin pages related settings highlight.
  • Clean up some of the admin locations interface elements. Use jQuery base dialogues from Theme Roller.
  • Simplified object loader to reduce overhead.
  • Minor performance improvement on admin page saves.
  • Directory Builder no longer supported, it is part of the Power Add On.
  • Experience 4.8.3 or higher is required.
  • Dropped slp_save_map_settings_inputs filter.
  • A half-dozen old-school style map markers (pin_red, marker, icon_entertainment, bubble_person, box_teal_airport, box_gray_house, arrow) have been removed. They can be added to WP media manager or a newer style selected in its place.

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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.

Version 4.8.2 of Store Locator Plus for WordPress Is Out

The 4.8.2 release of Store Locator Plus , Experience, Premier, and Power is now available.   The update includes multiple updates to the [slplus] shortcode attributes.   The updates include patches to prior shortcodes and some new features.

Store Locator Plus

Removed legacy Taglong , Enhanced Search and Enhanced Results stubs as those products are not longer supported with the 4.8 release.

Experience

Fixed Add Dial Link To Phone.
Individual pages can now set the default map end icon and home icon overriding the global defaults on the Settings tab:
[slplus endicon=”<end marker image URL>”] is fixed and now part of Experience.
[slplus homeicon=”<home marker image URL>”] is fixed and now part of Experience.
Fixed Append To Search
[slplus append_to_search=”<blah>”] is now a possible attribute.

Premier

Adds the ability to filter by tag with URLs. i.e adding ?only_with_tag=red to the map page URL.
Fixes a minor activiation bug.
Fixes availability of settings on individual sites on multisite.
Fixes validation of Premier subscription on multisite.

Power

Improved the CSV import processor, skipping blank lines at the end of CSV files.
Fixes availability of settings on individual sites on multisite.

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)”

What’s Baking? Updates for SLP, Power, Experience, Premier

Store Locator Plus updates are ready to roll out for May  2017.   The updates will first come to the WordPress plugins.   MySLP will be updated in the next 3-4 weeks pending testing.   Here is what is coming in this series of updates.

Store Locator Plus

The base plugin that impacts all levels of MySLP service and the Store Locator Plus application stack.

Various updates have been made to allow the Style Gallery to better support additional user experience modifiers available in the Experience and Premier Add On packs.   For example the base plugin now has a Search Form Styles selection that provides access to built-in jQuery styling that makes things like drop down menus and autocomplete features look a little nicer.

The Default style in the Style Gallery has been updated.  You do not need to update the base plugin to take advantage of this update.  If you are already using the Default style select a different style from the Settings / View tab in Store Locator Plus (start with Advaned Options in MySLP) and switch it back to Default to pull the new style from the Style Gallery server.    If you have SLP 4.7.10 it will take advantage of some new HTML attributes to better style the search form layout, especially when dropping labels in front of some input fields on the locator.
Continue reading “What’s Baking? Updates for SLP, Power, Experience, Premier”

Gravity Forms Locations 4.7.10

In preparation for the of Store Locator Plus 4.7.10 for WordPress, we have release an updated version of DeBaat’s Gravity Forms Locations add on.    The SLP 4.7.10 release will be dropping some legacy methods and functions in the base plugin in order to increase performance and reduce the memory footprint of the base plugin.

Supported plugins including Gravity Forms Locations, Power, Experience, and Premier have been updated to ensure compatibility with the 4.7.10 release.   Legacy add ons including Enhanced Map, Enhanced Search, and the Widget Pack are no longer supported.  Users of Enhanced Map, Enhanced Search, and the Widget Pack should upgrade to theExperience Add On which includes all 3 legacy add ons as well as Enhanced Results and some new features.

Interested in Gravity Forms Add Ons for Store Locator Plus?  Here is a video on how it can be used to allow users to add locations to your site:

Version 4.7.9 Allows Location Highlighting Via URL

Version 4.7.9 of Store Locator Plus as well as the Experience, Premier, and Power add ons was released for WordPress today.     The features and updates will roll out on the MySLP platform in the next 30-60 days after it passes full integration testing on the MySLP service.

The 4.7.9 update focuses on bringing the new Premier URL Control module functionality to the locator application.  The URL Control module adds two new features to the Store Locator Plus application: passing in a location ID via a URL and passing in location limits via URL.    These features can be enabled or disabled globally on a per-site basis.

Location ID via URL

With this feature enabled adding a ?location=<#> parameter to a URL will highlight that location.  The location will be set as the center of the map and the marker will be clicked which will bring up the info bubble by default.

Limits via URL

With this feature enabled adding a ?limit=<#> parameter to a URL will set the initial map loading and search results limit on locations returned.   Passing in ?location=<#>&limit=1 will highlight and only show that location on the map.

Premier members with an active subscription will be able to turn on the URL Control module which will load in the code necessary to add new Location ID and Limits via URL features.

Directory Builder Updates

The Power add on directory builder, invoked with the [slp_directory] shortcode on a page, has also had updates that work in conjunction with the new Premier URL Control module.     You can now add a locator_data attribute to the shortcode to override the standard parameter passing when linking to a landing page.    The default behavior is to link to the locator and filter results to match the given shortcode “by” attribute.  For example [slp_directory by=”city” locator_page=”/map/”] would pass ?city=<city-name> to the map and show only locations in that city.

If you had one location in each city you could not pass [slp_directory by=”city” locator_page=”/map/” locator_data=”sl_id”] which would pass in the ?sl_id=<id> to the map.  If the Location ID via URL feature is enabled this would allow people to see a list of cities and when clicking on a city bring up the map page highlighting that location on the map.

PTI is using the new Store Locator Plus features on their upcoming route map.  PTI site design by KO.

Other Updates

There have been a few minor patches as well as updates to the base Store Locator Plus plugin and Experience add on that ensures all the major components communication with each other properly on how to build the data queries properly when various parameters like location_id is passed in via a URL.    Older legacy add ons will not have the necessary code updates and may conflict with the latest Power and Premier updates.   Mixing-and-matching the Experience, Premier, or Power add ons with the legacy add ons is not recommended and is no longer supported.