Map Panel Settings

Under the menu for SLP / Settings /Map  :

The settings contained in the map panel will change the functionality of the map domain, center map, zoom and appearance.

The following settings are available to manage functionality for both WPSLP stand alone plug-in and MySLP SaaS managed service..

At Startup

  • Center Map:   This is where you enter an address, or a state, or a location or  a specific latitude and longitude to be displayed as the initial focus for the Map.   If nothing is entered in this box , the default will be the center of the United States .   Google map has determined the center of  United States to  be somewhere in Kansas.  Example:  See Google Localizing the Map:  The geocodes “Toledo” based on the default region (US) to “Toledo, Ohio”  or  one which biases results based on a region set to ES (Spain) to “Toledo, Spain.
  • Center Latitude Fallback: Center Longitude Fallback:  These are the latitude/longitude settings  that will be called if the Google server is “busy” or offline and not able to geocode or “call” to load your locations.  If you reset to blank it will fill in with the Center latitude/longitude of the map domain you have chosen.    You can have a different Lat/long fallback  then your map domain or center map if you  choose.    An image of your fallback will  be displayed

Appearance Layouts

Experience Add-On or Professional level MySLP SaaS

The Experience Add-on  for WordPress SLP plug-in , or the Professional level or higher plan for MySLP Software-as-a-Service application allows you to customize the layouts, the map interface, and the search form to display in a certain manner on the front end of your locator page

Search Layout

Search Layout is found under the Settings tab on the Search panel.

This setting allows the search form layout to be modified via a text setting.   If the Search Layout field is left blank the default search form layout and  your SLP style is used.   If Search Layout is modified the layout will take precedence over most of the Search Form settings  and the basic Store Locator Plus.

Map Controls

More map controls

Our MYSLP Enterprise level users or WPSLP Premier subscribers will find several additional map controls to enable or disable built-in Google Map elements.  A simple checkbox  allows users to turn the Full Screen and zoom controls on or off in addition to the previously-available  Hide “Stick Man” , scale, and type controls.

This option is also available to WordPress plugin users with an active Premier subscription.

Layout Shortcode Cheat Sheet

Results Layout ShortcodesThe Experience Add On allows you to custom tailor the look and feel of the Store Locator Plus plugin on your site.   To accomplish this the plugin uses a combination of HTML and special shortcodes.   These can be changed or checked off under the Settings* tab  the plugin.

* formerly referred to as Experience tab, if you do not see Settings in the UI you are not using the latest version of Store locator Plus

The Overall Layout

This is set via the View / Layout setting.    It determines the overall layout for the plugin based on 3 primary components: The Search Form, The Map, and The Results.

Map display options

Map Display

The Experience add-on for the WP Store Locator Plus or the MySLP/Professional Plan  allows you to customize the way your Map  is displayed and behaves.

With the WPSLP Experience add-on installed and activated  go to Settings/Map.

  • Show Map (default)
  • Hide map until search
  • Image until search
  • Do not autozoom
  • Full Screen (With  WPSLP Experience add-on or Professional level MYSLP)

Appearance

Additional options such as Hide the Map entirely or to change the layout  are available with add-ons. (See   Map layout and appearance   WPSLP Experience Add-on.   or if you have  purchased the Professional and /or Enterprise level MYSLP SaaS . If you do not have the Add-on or the corresponding MySLP plan,  the  optional settings will  NOT appear.   (Note: With MYSLP there is a sidebar menu  called Store Locator Plus/Settings where you will find the same. See Adjust Locator styling for more information)

The additional options with the above mentioned plans or add-ons allows you to  hide the map , change the map layout, change the map bubble display, and/or  hide the map info bubble.  The Plugin Style under View (WPSLP) may supersede these settings. Choose one that  will compliment your theme or utilizes the add-on features available to you.

Gray map or blank map and/or search does not work

JavaScript Problems:

Note: Major Updates to WordPress versions 5.0 and 5.5 may effect more plug-ins and cause additional errors. We advise updating on a staging site or test site first.

Many times we hear that an update to SLP broke “everything” Upon asking  for clarification  we find out that they also updated WP and/or  other plugins or that they didn’t update other plugins to work with the current version of WP.  WordPress explains how to  use your browser to diagnose javascript error

Issues with the JavaScript part of the plugin usually manifest themselves by showing the search form but either a blank map, a map that is all gray, or a map that appears but search does not work. To identify what is causing your issue use the Firebug add-on with Firefox or any Browser developer tools (see above how to diagnose with browser).

The WordPress Store Locator Plus map rendering is managed by the slp.js JavaScript file.  It sets up the communication with the built-in WordPress AJAX handler, admin-ajax.   Your server must be setup to allow the built-in WordPress AJAX handler to execute.  Additionally, ANY PLUGIN or THEME that is breaking javascript will break SLP functionality. This is rarely an issue with the SLP plugin.

Common errors or issues:

The PHP JavaScript connector did not load

We have come across this error on several installations. The short answer to this problem is that something in the WordPress installation prevented the Store Locator Plus JavaScript component from loading. This means that the map system cannot communicate with Google. This prevents the map from appearing and search results from working properly on your locations page.

Here are some issues we’ve come across that cause this to happen:

    • PHP version is < 5.3, this generates an error message that you will not see in the browser. Any error message will prevent the JavaScript PHP file from loading. SLP will not work with versions lower then PHP 5.3.
    • PHP Error Reporting Enabled, if PHP error reporting is enabled and ANY PLUGIN has bugs, uses deprecated WordPress functions, or uses deprecated PHP functions they will generate an error message. This error message can be hidden in the browser if the error happens in something that is creating page header information. This will also break the page loading process and prevent the JavaScript PHP from loading.
    • Plugin Errors, any plugin that does not load properly and does ANYTHING with page header output will break and thus cause a domino effect prevent the Store Locator Plus PHP JavaScript component from loading.

In many cases the cause of the maps not loading is because our PHP JavaScript file could not load. We can often detect this and pop-up the “PHP JavaScript connector did not load” warning. However we cannot catch all errors. Why good Javascript is critical.

One of the best tools for searching for errors in the HTML page headers is to use Firefox with the Firebug plugin or any browser developer tool. Turn on the console and check the responses tab under console for any errors. We have resolved many client installation and map problems with this plugin. More often than not we are finding errors in other plugins, themes, or server/site  configuration settings.

The PHP JavaScript page header is a critical part of a working Store Locator Plus installation. Since it loads very late in the page creation process it is susceptible to failures from almost anything else you may be loading on the page or your WordPress site. The the map is not loading and you are receiving this message get some page debugging/tracking tools like Firebug and isolate any plugins that are generating coding/output errors.

IF YOU Update your WordPress environment , BE SURE TO  review  the WordPress VERSION changes  as they have changed.

Review the WordPress suggested requirements

  • Update PhP to 7 or higher
  • Update MySQL to 5.6 or higher
  • Site move to HTTPS 

2017 was  the year  WordPress was requiring   hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a  necessity for smoother user experiences ,  updated PHP versions are critical for performance,  and SSL just makes sense as the next hurdle  users are going to face.   Note: Google also weighs SSL as a search engine ranking factor and have begun flagging unencrypted sites in Chrome.

Q. What is the difference between a shortcode and locator layout settings?

A.    A shortcode is a WordPress-specific code that lets you do nifty things with very little effort.  Shortcodes can embed files or create objects that would normally require lots of complicated, ugly code in just one line.   In other words, a Shortcode = shortcut.

Google Map Icons

All those little location markers on the map that Google just made FAR more prevalent in their latest update?  Those are what they call map icons.   They are also clickable which means all those locations will pop up a map bubble even if they are not YOUR Locations for your business.  Premier Add On  v 4.7.1 or higher for Store Locator Plus or MySLP/Enterprise lets you disable the “clickability” on the map icons.

Google Map Domains supported in SLP

Google Map Domains

The following countries are currently supported in the Store Locator Plus plugin.  These countries determine the default center starting point for location searches and determine which Google locations engine is used when searching for an address.   This influences, but does not restrict, which results are returned.   Regardless of what country you select as the default, any location in your location database can be returned by the search regardless of the country in which that location resides. This does not effect the zip codes necessarily. Some country postal codes are  unique, others are not.

Set map view

You can change  the built-in Google map view to any that Google has to offer “hybrid, road map, satellite (aerial), terrain”  The settings are under Store Locator Plus/ Settings/Map ,scroll down to the section under Appearance  and use the drop down under Map Type to change and then save changes.

If you are on MYSLP you will see the StoreLocatorPlus panel in the left admin panel, select settings/map.