If you want to keep the legacy add-on, ProPack, do not upgrade the base plug-in to version 4.8. All individual $30-$50 legacy add-ons have been phased out over the past 2 years. Please follow the SLP news feeds for important information.
Remember, upgrades are optional. We do not auto-update the way WordPress has in the past. When you purchased the Pro Pack from Charleston Software Associates you purchased a product that does A,B, and C for $X. Those features do not go away and will work with the version of the core plug-in that was available at the time of your purchase. Remember updating to SLP version 4.8. is optional. If you already updated, you can downgrade the base plug-in to an earlier version (see documentation about downgrading and the steps you should take beforehand) or upgrade to the Power add-on.
You do not need to update the base plug-in unless you want the smart options capability in the newer add-ons using current technology that is more efficient and will use less of your server overhead. If there is a bug or a security patch needed those will be made as part of the regular service. The last stable version of ProPack worked with SLP version 4.7.11 but we could not continue to update ProPack without re-wrtiting a major piece of code, alternatively, those ProPack features (and more) already exist within the Power add-on. It was not efficient to continue to maintain two separate blocks of code to do the same job. Compatibility with other plug-ins, or with newer versions of the base plug-in, or your theme are not guaranteed in “perpetuity”. We endeavor to keep the plug-in and add-ons relevant and working smoothly, updates are needed occasionally.
As a side note: Website Developers who are providing a service to customers often tell us their customers upgraded without checking with them first.
Please remind your customers to read warnings, news posts, release specifications, change logs, and upgrade notes BEFORE hitting the update now button. Upgrading just for the sake of upgrading is not really a great idea on a production server. In fact it is a very bad idea! Production servers are meant to be stable. Ask them to stop upgrading their live production servers and require them to use a back-up service such as Vault Press or Jet Pack. You might mention they should hire an experienced site administrator if they want a stable and secure site.
Alternatively, take the worry out of updating with a MySLP plan. Check out the Power and import options under MYSLP SAAS
WordPress blog posts likes to use curly quotes instead of straight quotes whenever you write an article. Our documentation site is built on WordPress which means many of our articles are replaced any quotes we type in an article with curly quotes.
The problem is that the WordPress shortcode processor does NOT like curly quotes. If you use curly quotes in a shortcode attribute such as [slp_directory by=”city”] and those quotes are “curly”, WordPress treats the quotes as a plain-old alphabetic character just like the C-I-T or Y in “city”. In other words WordPress things you mean “by quote-city-quote” not “by city”.
Why is that an issue?
If you copy-and-paste most examples from this documentation site WordPress will copy the “pretty curly quotes” into your shortcode. If you paste that into your WordPress page it breaks.
An example of how this can impact Store Locator Plus can be seen from my example where I pasted the slp_directory shortcode directly from the docs site into my test site. I get an invalid data query because WordPress added curly-quotes to my data field name. The SLP database does not have a field name quotesl_storequote but does have a field named sl_store.
Make sure you re-type each quote manually. Typing the ” in your blog instead of copy-and-paste will ensure you are getting “straight quotes” in your shortcode attributes not curly quotes.
This is how the example looks now that the curly quotes have been replaced with straight quotes.
Version 4.7.9 of the Store Locator Plus application includes changes to the admin interface user experience. Premier members who have current subscriptions for WordPress or are Enterprise level subscribers for MySLP have a new module that adds URL control functionality.
“Experience” Tab has been renamed “Settings”
Formerly the tab was referenced as “Experience ” (back end) where you had options to change how the search,map,and results interfaced. These options are now under the Settings tab, the functionality of the tab remains the same. The change was made so the nomenclature is now in line with the application interface standards.
The application separates functionality into different application modules. This will ensure that extra overhead is not incurred for features not being deployed in your environment. The interface for turning modules on and off is found under the General | Server tab in the Web App Settings section.
The WordPress plugin includes a module for building SEO friendly web pages based on location data. The option is a checkbox to enable the Pages module . This can be found under the General | Server | Web App Settings section.
Enterprise / Premier Users
Enabling the Territory Bounds module has been moved from the General | Data tab to the General | Server | Web App Settings section.
A new URL Control module has been added to the application. Enabling this module will turn on the interface to allow additional data to be presented in a web page URL to impact how the locator behaves.
URL Control : Allow Location In URL
The first URL Control option is to pass a location ID in via a URL. Adding ?location=<id> to the end of a web page address that hosts the locator will cause the page to load with the specified location being highlighted as if the map marker was clicked. The default behavior is to show the info bubble for that location.
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.
A. With the Power add-on you will find additional Bulk Actions under the Locations/Manage panel. There is a drop down menu under the Bulk actions tab that can be utilized to remove many, some or all tags associated with the location data. Check off which locations you want to remove the tags from, or you may check off all and select the filter to “Apply to all”
We need to filter our locations by brand. Does your plugin or an extension to your plugin have this feature?
Assigning Brands To Locations
Power is the right choice for doing that. The Power add-on allows for simple categories or complex parent/child relationships between categories. Locations can be assigned to one or more categories. Your users can then search for locations based on those categories.
The Power Add-on Import allows the administrator to schedule your Import process from a remote file retrieval to provide more control over recurring imports from a full url where you CSV file resides and allows flexibility for scheduling the time for daily imports. WordPress cron is not exact, it executes the next time a visitor comes to your site. WordPress times are UTC/GMT time NOT local time. Set to none and leave the URL blank to clear the cron job. Example: 14:25. (Default: empty = do not run daily cron)
Checking your server, PHP and MySQL to ensure the character set is correct will go a long way toward importing special characters like registration characters.
If you have the Power add-on you will have the ability to import data fields via a properly formatted csv file. All columns MUST have a header row with the field name. All fields are short text fields, up to 255 characters, unless otherwise noted. The header text is NOT case sensitive.
If you are using the category (aka tagalong) functionality of Power you may want to import and assign a category slug on the fly. The header field name is:
category (or plural categories).
If you wish to import and assign more than one category per location , you will need to use a comma-separated list for the data field (category). Example: My location has more than one category associated with it, I want to indicate it is a hotel,restaurant, and has music. Category for that location would show under the column with the header row “category”…. hotel,restaurant,music
Alternatively, to define parent/child relationships , i.e. hierarchical categories , use a double colon as the separator Example the Parent is Facility, the child is showroom.
The Premier Add On includes an option to run location geocoding on a regularly scheduled interval. This can be useful for a hands-off approach when loading locations remotely through direct data connections.