Layout Shortcode Cheat Sheet

The 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.
Continue reading “Layout Shortcode Cheat Sheet”

Map display options

Map Display

The Experience add-on for the WP Store Locator Plus allows you to select when and what you want the Map to display.

With the Experience add-on installed and activated , a pull down menu under the section  “At start-up” allows the below options to be set:

  • Show Map (default)
  • Hide map until search
  • Image until search

Appearance

Additional options for how your Map layout and appearance  looks is also available with the Experience Add-on

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

JavaScript Problems

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 javasciprt 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.

Update your WordPress environment and  review  the WordPress changes.

Review the suggested new and improved requirements as of 4.9. 

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

2017 is going to be the year that you’re going to see features in WordPress which require hosts to have HTTPS available. Just as JavaScript is a  necessity for smoother user experiences and  updated PHP versions are critical for performance, SSL just makes sense as the next hurdle our users are going to face.  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. Continue reading “Q. What is the difference between a shortcode and locator layout settings?”

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.  Google search engines may revert back to an “international” search engine as they are constantly updating.  If your country postal codes are not unique in the world, the Google Map API algorithms will use their international map search and search worldwide. This can be frustrating if all your locations are in a different part of the world.  You can override this by using a shortocde  (included with the experience add-on ), such as append only with =”country” available with the Experience add-on.

  • United States
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Andorra
  • Angola
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bolivia
  • Botswana
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Burundi
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Congo
  • Czech Republic
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Denmark
  • Djibouti
  • Ecuador
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Germany
  • Ghana
  • Greece
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Norway
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Q: Is it possible to have the default map view as terrain, aerial or satellite?

You can change  the Google map view to any that Google has to offer “hybrid, road map, satellite (aerial), terrain”  The settings are under Experience/Map ,scroll to the map panel to see Map Type and use the pull down menu to change to which one you want as the default and then save changes.  For additional features , or to change the overall appearance layout, or style of the map you will  need the Experience Add-on. 

Map styles

The Experience Add-on supports the  Google Maps JSON Map style rules. These rules let you control the “inner style” of the map itself. Pre-defined map rules allow you to set a variety of styles via the  Experience / Map settings on the SLP admin panel.  In other words you can obtain a personal style for your site.
Continue reading “Map styles”

Countries and Languages

Plugin Text

The Store Locator Plus plugin is now part of the WordPress Translate project.  You can get the current status of the Store Locator Plus translations on the WordPress Translation website.  If you would like to see the plugin fully translated into your language, please send a request to be added to the WordPress translate team for your language.  As soon as a language reaches 100% completion for the stable release of the Store Locator Plus plugin, the custom language files will be removed from Store Locator Plus and be replaced by the more-efficient Translate system.
Continue reading “Countries and Languages”

Appearance Layouts

Experience Add-On

The Experience Add-on 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.
Continue reading “Appearance Layouts”

Map Panel Settings

The Map section under the User Experience Settings tab is where you find the settings that impact the look-and-feel as well as the behavior of the Map layout and response. The settings contained in the map panel changes the functions (map domain,zoom) and appearance of the map and provides an array of behaviors and selections of Google Map domains,language and additional functionality. For more functionality or to change the Map Layout requires the Experience  or Premier add-on). Note the Plug-in style will also impact the view of the map and search.
Continue reading “Map Panel Settings”