Mixed Content Warnings and Site migration

Google’s push for all websites to be HTTPS  has been a game changer over the past few years with many companies  switching from HTTP to HTTPS with some hiccups along the way.  Some of the site transfer mishaps are minor, but if done incorrectly can cause your plug-ins to misbehave , and often is the case, after the transition team has left the building.

Mixed Content Warnings – Loading Assets Over HTTP

If you have never had HTTPS on your site, you will undoubtedly run into an issue with how your site assets are loaded. By assets we are referring to things like images, JavaScript, and even your CSS.   Insecure assets may not stop the green padlock from showing in browsers, but it will add an exclamation point warning to your users that information is being loaded insecurely.

 Site Migrations Vary

Occasionally we see comments from customers that Store locator Plus broke their site or is not working. When asked if they recently  migrated their site they often state nothing has changed.   On further investigation , or by inspecting their console  we often see the “Mixed Content warnings” quite often for images or icons from older versions of Store Locator Plus. This is a sure fire clue that there was indeed a “site migration”. They started out with their site when  the SLP plug-in was originally installed as HTTP and now , at least part of their site, is HTTPS.  This is known as  a protocol migration. If you migrate your site from HTTP to HTTPS, Google treats this as a site move with a URL change. That means you may need to obtain a new Google API key for SLP to work properly.  You are allowed to add HTTP referrers now.

Upfront Investment

A site migration is a great opportunity to address legacy issues. If you have outdated legacy add-ons  this is a good time to invest in your future by planning for and including any  update expenses in your overall budget.  Including these costs in the project scope is the most cost-effective method to ensure your site stays relevant and on-track. When you consider that  issues that may arise after going live will require additional time , resources and, yes, may even create downtime and loss of traffic  to your site it is worth including the new versions in your budget. Contact support if you have made a recent purchase or check our What to Buy guide for options.

 

Release Notes and Updates SLP 4.9.2 and above

Release Notes for  fixes in Store Locator Plus 4.9.2 

Please check your versions on our Home site to ensure you are using the latest versions of the plug-in and add-ons.  Please note changes to the Google API set for June 11, 2018 will effect everyone using the plug-in. You will be required to update your version of SLP to add the new Google API if you do not have one.

 

 

Store Locator Plus 4.8 and above updates will disable Legacy add-ons

Legacy Add-ons

The   auto-update of WordPress v 4.8.2 and above required a major update to the WP Store Locator Plus free base plug-in resulting in the end of compatibility with the popular Pro Pack , Tagalong and other Legacy add-ons.  The Legacy add-ons are no longer supported nor maintained and have been retired over the past two years as announced in news posts, blogs , changelogs, mail campaigns  and social media.  If you are not sure if your add-on is considered Legacy, see the FAQ comparison featured to Legacy add-ons

Time to invest in your future

Some of our customers were surprised by the change and retirement of the  Legacy Add-ons.  We tried to give as much of a heads up as possible using news blogs,  content news to the home site and reached out using a  Mail Chimp campaign for those most likely effected.   Ultimately, there is no sure fire method to reach the thousands of customers who may have had these older add-ons installed.  If there is one thing we know, change in the technical genre is inevitable.  The SLP support team will always endeavor to help our customers transition to the new age.  We pledge they will see real value-added from updating their site and software . Please take a moment to review the multiple benefits of utilizing the newer Experience add-onPower add-on.

Although downgrading to an earlier version of SLP is an option, you may note that changes to the WordPress code and their security patches may disable features. Before making any changes to your site you should ensure you are backing up your site WP database and files.  It is very important to take this step before you have issues or worse, site crashes.    WordPress security has become more robust over the years.

For more information please see this important message from the author:

Store locator Plus  updates and retired add-ons

 

Import process using WordPress Store Locator Plus Power 4.9

SLP 4.9  with the Power add-on now uses the built-in file uploader provided by WordPress Core instead of a custom file import script. If you were able to import and now do not see that process working,  look in the Media Library in WordPress. Make sure your install has not disabled the default WordPress media uploader.

What to look for when importing

Do you see the CSV file you just imported? If not then your site has disabled the WordPress media uploader.

If your file IS in the media library but never gets past  the offset “0” setting check to make sure your server  has not disabled the WordPress Cron .

WP CRON can be found under Forms WP environment

Check to see if your server is preventing the wp-cron.php from being triggered.

Check your import file in the media library by clicking on it.  It should show what the file size is and the current offset. The offset is where the background process is shown while importing the file.  If it is shown as “zero” then your WordPress Uploads directory for the media library has been set to non-standard restricted access meaning the background location import process is not allowed to open the file after it was uploaded.

Click on the file to see the file size and meta data

Legacy Add-ons not compatible with SLP version 4.8 and higher

 Legacy Add-ons

If you want to keep the legacy add-ons, do not upgrade the base plug-in to version 4.7 or above.   All individual legacy add-ons have been phased out and replaced over the past 2  plus years due to security patches, coding changes, WP updates, maintenance overhead and inefficiencies that were no longer viable to support.  To find the match to your Legacy Add-ons,  see FAQ: Legacy versus featured add-on

Please follow the SLP news feeds for important information about updates.

Even if you received a notice in your WordPress admin panel that an update to your base plug-in is available, you do not need to click the update button.  All version updates to SLP are optional.  We do not auto-update like WordPress does.

If  you already updated (most likely if you are reading this) and now try to roll back SLP to earlier version to o retain the Legacy add-on compatibility.

Note:  Due to the security patches required by Word Press  you may also need to rollback WordPress.  Before attempting to roll back or downgrade WordPress or any plugins , make sure you have a recent back-up of your site.  Do not attempt this on a live site.

The SLP author does not recommend rolling back versions of any software or WP.   This is time consuming and messy, requires technical savvy,  and you will miss  important security patches.     If you are confident that you know what is entailed and are willing to take the risk;  it is still recommended to use a back-up service such as  Vault Press or Jet Pack. 

P.S. If you do not want the headache of maintaining back-ups , updating, obtaining a new Google API, you may want to consider moving over to a My SLP plan.   See  MYSLP SAAS

 

Geocoding stopped working suddenly

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 have the Power add-on using the import function and your csv file is incorrect, or your header rows are not accurate,  or they have wrong field names, the columns may be misaligned and the data field for an address could not import and/or does not geocode. Check your import message log.
  • Google does not recognize an address. See FAQ post

Q. Why am I seeing a message that I do not have sufficient permissions when I am trying to manage my locations?

You Do Not Have Sufficient Permissions

If you are getting the message “you do not have sufficient permissions to access this page” when trying to access the “Manage Locations” or “Map Settings” page, but “Add Locations ” is working it is because another plugin is interfering with the submenu management module in WordPress. You will likely find that any plugin that has a separate sidebar menu with multiple entries underneath will only work on the first entry. There is little we can do to remedy the situation without risking breaking other plugins. We suggest deactivating other plugins, one-at-a-time, until you find the plugin causing problems then ask them to rewrite their menu and submenu process and admin panel filters to ensure the basic menu system remains intact.

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.

Search and results not loading

AJAX Blocked

It is common for web hosts and system administrators to disable the built-in WordPress AJAX processing.   Store Locator Plus requires AJAX to be enabled.   This typically manifests itself with the AJAX call to the admin-ajax.php script not executing.

You can test this by directly surfing to the admin-ajax script on your server with a URL similar to this:

/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php?action=csl_ajax_onload&addressInput=&ignore_radius=1

This should return a JSON response showing curly braces that start with {“success”:true,…

If it comes back with nothing, or a warning/error about being blocked, your AJAX security is not set properly.  Check you web server log files and talk to your system admin for assistance on configuring access to WordPress AJAX scripts.

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.