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Google Maps API Prices Increase 9,000%

How much did the Google Maps API prices increase?  The  true cost is hidden for many users of the ubiquitous Google Maps API as Google is weaning you onto a potential 9,000% price increase by giving everyone a $200 per-month credit towards API billing through September 2018.   For many API users the true sticker shock will come when that $200 credit expires.

Google Maps API Prices Increase by 9,500% for our account in September.

Our fully managed locator service has already seen the impact.   When the $200 credit expires our expenses will increase 9,570%

Up until July 2018 most users were able to get by with no official Google API key at all.   Those that started a site in the past year needed an API key but likely fell under the “free usage limits” and never saw a bill; even if they enabled the older “Pay-As-You-Go” system under Google.

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Location Page Listings Enhanced

One of the few features that is not currently available for our MySLP SaaS users is the dynamic location details pages that are hosted on WordPress sites.  Users that employ the Pages feature of the Power add on can link the web links for locations shown in the locator to a SEO friendly details page hosted on the website for every location in the database.

Another important feature of the Pages interface is the ability to list all pages that have been generated in a directory format via the [slp_pages] shortcode.   This list provides an easy way to show locations without requiring site visitors interact with the map interface.

More Page Listing Controls

With the 4.9.14 release of the WordPress plugins, the Power add on now provides even more control over the page listings.    When using the default “full listing” style, which shows the entire page template one-after-another, there are some new options available.

Hide The Map

Hide the map, is one such option.  Most users opt to show a map showing where the business is when a user looks at the details page.    However, loading a dozen maps stack one on top of another on a page listing slows down page rendering.    The new no_map attribute allows you to turn the map on or off as needed.

Custom CSS Classes

In prior releases web designers could style the layouts for the page listings by adding custom CSS to their WordPress theme and reference the Store Locator Plus specific classes that wrap the page list as well as the SLP classes that wrap each individual page entry.

New Pages CSS Class Overrides

In the Power 4.9.14 release users can now replace the previously “hard-coded” Store Locator Plus classes used with these HTML elements with their own class names.   This can be especially useful when using WordPress themes that are built on a standard library such as the common 12-column Grid Layouts in Foundation, Vuetify, and Bootstrap.    That means you can let the theme’s default row and column controls manage the layout for the page listings instead of writing tedious responsive CSS rule stacks just for Store Locator Plus.

Even better – you can set these CSS classes with [slp_pages] attributes.

Like our recent location editor update, this is one more step on our journey toward moving Store Locator Plus toward modern web design standards.

We’re already using this on a couple of projects and think you’ll like the new implementation.

 

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New Edit Locations Interface

You may have noticed that the admin interface for Store Locator Plus has been changing during the past few releases.

Last month My Store Locator Plus users noticed that the Advanced Settings menu has been renamed “Store Locator Plus”.   This has been done as we work toward improving and consolidating our documentation as well as functionality between the WordPress plugin and the fully managed locator service.

This month our Store Locator Plus users , whether using the WordPress plugins or MySLP service will notice that the add and edit locations page looks a bit different.   This is part of today’s 4.9.14 update for WordPress and 18.04 update for MySLP.