Blocking Locator Requests By Query Volume

Premier Members with an active subscription and MySLP Enterprise level users can restrict the number of locator queries that can be made by a single IP address.   This feature can help prevent “location list theft” where a competitor uses the locator to scrape location information from a website or JavaScript query.

Note: In order to enable these settings you must enter your Premier Subscription user ID and Subscription ID under the General / Admin tab.  When entered correctly the notice under “Add On Packs , Subscription Accounts” will tell you your subscription is validated.   This feature is only functional while your subscription is active.

Entering subscription data for Premier Subscriptions. A valid subscription will look similar to the status notification here.

When your subscription has been validated you will see new options available to you under several Store Locator Plus tabs.    The new Security settings will appear under the General tab, Server subtab as shown below.

New security settings for blocking locator requests based on volume of queries.

Block Requests Limit

This is the maximum number of location searches a user can perform within the Block Requests Time Span before their IP address is blocked from all locator requests.

This should be set to an integer value greater than 0.

The first page load request from an IP address is always allowed, even if this setting is 0.

If this is set to “2” and the Block Request Time Span is set to “Hour” the system will allow 2 location searches before the IP address is blocked.

The initial loading of the locator page will count as a “search” if you have the default “show locations at startup” enabled.

Changing this parameter will not release already-blocked IP addresses.

Block Requests Time Span

This setting determines over which period of time the locator request limit is checked.   A user that has more than the Block Requests Limit number of locator searches performed in this time period will cause their IP address to be blocked from future location searches until their IP is “released” from the block list.

Setting this value to Never will disable the IP blocking system.

Changing this parameter will not release already-blocked IP addresses.

Release IP After

This is the maximum amount of time a request is “remembered” for a given IP address.   Once this amount of time has passed since the most recent location request that triggered the block the IP address is “released” and once again free to perform location searches.

IP Whitelist

A list of IP addresses that will not be tracked by the blocker.   This allows unlimited location lookups from these IP addresses.

Each address entry should be on a separate line.

Uses standard Classless Inter-Domain Routing (CIDR) format.   Typical entries include:

  • Whitelist a specific IP address: 192.168.1.1
  • Whitelist an entire C-class block: 192.168.1.0/24

Related Notes

Keep in mind that an IP address is not a unique “user” or “computer”.  Many locations share an IP address such as a hotel or your local Starbucks.    The limitations will apply to the entire group of users from the same shared IP address.

Once an IP address has been blocked, subsequent location requests are not tracked until the block has been released.  This design lessens the server load in both volume of data stored and data I/O requests.   It helps alleviate issues from possible denial-of-service type attacks where a bot loading requests in rapid succession could overwhelm the data storage and/or database I/O processing.

 

 

Blocking Locator Requests was added in the Premier Plugin version 4.7.11.

 

 

Upgrading from Legacy add-ons to Power add-on

Return customers who have upgraded to the newer add-ons will notice a change in the location of some of the functionality/features  that were part of the separate legacy add-ons ,  now available in the Power add-on. (see Legacy to feature add-ons)

Legacy Add-on Tagalong = Categories on the header tab in the Store Locator Plus User Interface.

Legacy Pages = General / Data /Enable Pages.  To use the SEO Pages you must first “enable Pages” under this setting.

Legacy Contact Extender = General/Data/Enable Contact fields.

Legacy ProPack = Various fields and functions

  •  Import Under Locations/Import
  •  Location sensor checkbox is located under the General/User Interface tab.

 

 

 

Q. Geocoding stopped working suddenly , why?

A. Most likely reasons;

  • You are over your daily query limit see Google API information. If you are on a shared Host this can impact those limits.
  • You moved your site or changed the domain name and did not change your Google Map API key. See Getting Started
  • If you imported and your csv file is incorrect, or your header rows are not accurate or have wrong field names, the columns may be misaligned and data field for an address could not import. Check your import message log
  • Google does not recognize an address. See FAQ post

Locator Data – The Field Names

Store Locator Plus includes a default set of data fields that is included with every installation as well as extended fields provided by add-on packs.

For  data fields, including those added with the Extended Data Manager, you can output the data in the map info bubble or results layout,  by using the following shortcode:

[slp_location data.<field_slug>]

For example:

[slp_location data.contact]

[slp_location data.facebook_custom_url] (for someone that added a field named Facebook Custom URL).

Both the default data and extended data can be displayed in the search results, (for SEO Pages some fields will be [storepage field=contact] for SEO-friendly details pages. Most of the tools provided by the various add-on packs work best when using the field slug. The slug is a unique name for the field that is similar-to, but not exactly the same as, the field name.

The slugs are used in the add-on packs such as the layout strings from the Experience Add On in as well as the column headers for CSV Import in the Power Add On.

Default Location Fields

ID

Name

Address

Address Line 2

City

State

Zip

Country

Latitude

Longitude

Tags

The Pro Pack tags field. Requires Pro Pack for full functionality.

Description

Email

Website

Hours

Phone

Fax

Image

An fully qualified image URL, http:: with a full domain.

Private

May be used in the future as a 1|0 value to determine if a location is to only appear on the admin interface and not front end searches.

Neat Title

May be used in the future as an alternate store name or subtitle.

Linked Post ID

The ID of the related store_page entry where extra taxonomy data and other location data is stored. Used with Store Pages and Tagalong. Should not be modified.

Pages URL

The relative URL for the Store Pages linked post ID. Provides a processing shortcut for the Store Pages add-on pack.

Pages On

Used with Store Pages to determine which locations have been populated with Store Pages template content.

Option Value

A serialized JSON data object which can store extra location data. Slower and less direct than extended data fields.

Last Updated

A date and time MySQL timestamp indicating the last time the main data for the location was updated.

Initial Distance

The initial distance calculated between your center map latitude/longitude and the location.

Add On Pack Import Fields

These fields appear in the extended data table, slp_extendo. The field metadata, used to manage the slp_extendo table, is store din the slp_extendo_meta table.

Power Add On : Contacts Enabled

Identifier a unique location identifier from an external database that can be used to update existing locations in Store Locator Plus

Contact

First Name

Last Name

Title

Department

Training

Facility Type

Office Phone

Mobile Phone

Contact Fax

Contact Email

Office Hours – long formatted text

Contact Address – long formatted text

Notes – long formatted text

Featured – valid values are “1” for featured and “0” (zero).

Rank – an integer from 1 (highest rank/top of list) to 999999. 0 = no rank.

Power Add On : Categories Data

Power categories utilize the built-in WordPress custom taxonomy system. Standard WordPress category IDs are kept in the term_relationships and term_taxonomy tables. The relationship between locations and categories is managed via the slp_tagalong table that maps the Store Locator Plus id field to the WordPress Taxonomy term_id.

 

Continue reading “Locator Data – The Field Names”

User Interface Settings

Settings that impact how JavaScript works on your site

UI jQuery Version –

reflects the jQuery version that is currently used with  the Store Locator Plus version  you are using. The SLP jQuery versions are in compliance with the WordPress minimal version requirements.

Force Load JavaScript

This settings forces the Store Locator Plus JavaScript (slp.js) to be loaded when your WordPress Theme header is loaded. This is NOT the way to go.  It is recommended that you turn OFF “Force Load JavaScript” and instead contact your theme author. See Troubleshooting for more information
Continue reading “User Interface Settings”

Forceload Javascript Warning

Store Locator Plus has a checkbox under the General /User Interface tab called Force Load Javascript

Having this checked forces the JavaScript for Store Locator Plus to load in the header of EVERY page on your site. This can slow down your site and will disable various Store Locator Plus features. If you need to do this to make SLP work you should ask your theme author to add proper wp_footer() support to their code, or switch to a theme that behaves properly.
Continue reading “Forceload Javascript Warning”

slp_directory List Of States

You can easily create lists of the cities, states, or countries where you have locations by using the slp_directory shortcode provided by the Power add-onPremier Subscription members can install the Premier Plugin to further extend the functionality of the slp_directory shortcode.
Continue reading “slp_directory List Of States”

Store and Category Manager

Store and Category Manager interface is available if you have the  Power  Add-on installed. You will see a tab “Categories” in your Store Locator Plus User Interface.

Power add-on Categories Admin

Note: if you do not have Power add-on activated, the basic set up and tab/ panel is seen as Tagalong. Tagalong is no longer sold separately, it is a Legacy add-on. The functionality  has now been included in Power Add-on

Basic Settings

You can choose to show the categories that you have created in a drop down menu as part of the search form.  You can add text as a label that will display  at the top of the categories drop down menu, or you can leave blank.  You can also add text for the category select box that will appear in front of the category drop down on the user interface.

Hide Empty Categories Setting

Do NOT turn this on unless you have   Pages enabled.

Continue reading “Store and Category Manager”

Categories

The ability to categorize your locations using the WordPress category (taxonomy) system.  The Categories Manager (Formerly known as Tagalong) is now part of the Power Add-on  and it builds on the Store Locator Plus store_page taxonomy that is also used with the Pages portion of the Power Add-on.  Build a “simple flat list” of categories or a hierarchical (parent/child) category structure. Once you’ve categorized locations you will find other added benefits on the user interface.

categroy selector front end power

Continue reading “Categories”