How To : Location Categories

Assumptions

WordPress environment is setup and configured including activation of the following plugins

  • Store Locator Plus®
  • SLP Power add on

In addition map service (Google API keys) should be in place and some locations should be added to the system.

A page has been created with the [slplus] shortcode present and the map is rendering properly.

Users are logged in as a WordPress administrator (the process will be slightly different for SaaS users).

Adding Categories To Locations

Objective

Create a location category and attach it to an existing location.

User Action: Add A Location Category

  1. Click on Store Locator Plus® | Categories in the WordPress sidebar menu.
  2. In the left “Add New Category Form”…
    1. Type a category name. (Restaurant)
    2. Click Add New Category
Result

The new category should appear on the category list on the page.

Category list after adding the restaurant category.

User Action: Attach Category To Location

  1. Click on Store Locator Plus® | Locations in the WordPress sidebar menu.
  2. Click the Edit action icon on the first location.
  3. Check off the box next to “Restaurants” in the Power | Categories section of the form.
  4. Click Save.
Result

The category is assigned to the location and appears on the location table.

The location with an assigned restaurant category. This view is showing fewer columns as the Screen Options was updated to removed unused columns from the table view.

User Action: Show Category Select On Front End

  1. Click on Store Locator Plus® | Settings in the WordPress sidebar menu.
  2. Change the Category Selector setting to “Single Drop Down”.
  3. Click Save
  4. On the front end, go to the page that has the [slplus] shortcode.
Result

The search form for the map should show a category drop down.

The front end page with the [slplus] shortcode, showing the category selection filter.

User Action : Filtering Locations With Category

  1. On the front end, go to the page that has the [slplus] shortcode.
  2. Enter an address, choose a category.
  3. Click “Find Locations”.

Categorical Location Markers

MySLP Professional and Enterprise level services allow for locations to be categorized. Each category for a location can have its own map marker associated with the category. These markers are then displayed on the map to mark the location. (This also applies for those customers using the WordPress SLP plug-in with the Power add-on or Premier)

However, some locations may belong to more than one category. In this case the map marker that is selected to be displayed on the map is determined by the RANK assigned to the category. If multiple categories have the same rank, or no rank, then the first category by alphabetical listing will be the one selected as the “main” category for rendering the map marker.

Default map markers when no category is selected.

Filtering Locations By Category

What happens when a user decides to filter the list of categories? Only locations that are within the selected category are shown.

If the location only belongs to ONE category, as is the case for the “#1 Food Store” in our example above, the choice is easy. Show the category map marker.

But what should be displayed if a location belongs to several categories, as is the case for our “24 Seven #1” location shown in the example above?

Prior to our mid-September 2020 release of Store Locator Plus® (or the Power 5.5.7 add on for our legacy WordPress plugin users), the marker for the “24 Seven #1” location would be the highest ranked category, which is the convenience store marker.

With the mid-September 2020 release, however, this behavior has changed. The map marker displayed will be the one that matches the filter the user selected.

Since our mid-September 2020 release, category filters change the map markers to match.

Multiple Location Categories

What about Store Locator Plus® interfaces that allow users to select more than one category, such as interfaces that allow checkbox selections for categories? Markers will be chosen from the markers for the selected categories only. If a location matches 2 or more of the categories, the highest ranked OF THOSE SELECTED will be displayed on the map.

This is different from earlier versions of Store Locator Plus® where it would always display the highest ranked category map marker, even if it was not part of the checked list of categories.

Horizontal | Vertical Checkbox Category Selector

*Included with  WPSLP Premier subscription or MySLP Enterprise level Subscriptions.

The Horizontal or Vertical Checkbox Category Selector feature is available for WPSLP Premier or MySLP Enterprise level subscription customers. The checkbox works with an “OR” selection based on the Parent category.  With Premier or Enterprise you will see additional category selectors under the Settings/Search/Category section. For example : If you check the [] red and [] blue boxes on the category selector it will show any location in the red OR blue category.

Category Button Bar

Bennet Plugin Style with Button Bar

*Included with  WPSLP Premier subscription or MySLP Enterprise level Subscriptions. 

The category button bar is a  category selection interface available to WordPress Premier and MySLP Enterprise subscribers.   This feature is enabled under the Store Locator Plus menu  select Settings | Search | Appearance | Category Selector.

The button bar will show clickable links that display the icon and category name for the category which will filter locations that match.    The styling for the display will vary based on which plugin style you select.  Currently the Bennett style from our Settings/View /Gallery CSS is configured to appear when you have an active Premier or Enterprise  subscription.

Bennet Plugin Style with Button Bar
Bennet Plugin Style with Button Bar

Functionality is based on a single-category selection. Clicking a new category will turn off all other categories.

The map center, either the Center Map for initial map loading or the address a user entered, is retained as is the initial or current radius.  The map will zoom in-and-out to show all locations that match within the radius of the center point.

Shown is the button bar using the Bennet  Gallery plugin style on a modified version of Exists theme  deployed on the Bennet Trim Tabs site.  This video is on our development servers.

 

 

Learn about other Premier / Enterprise features.

What To Buy: Filter By Brand

Question

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 add-on for WPSLP (DIY)  or the Professional level plan (or higher) for MySLP is the right choice for doing that.  Either  allows for simple categories or  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.

For more complex hierarchical functionality , button barshorizontal check-boxes for categories and more customized approaches you might want to check out our WPSLP Premier subscription or the MySLP Enterprise level subscription

Add a category for each brand you offer and your users will be able to filter locations showing only those that offer specific brands.

Q. What is the purpose of ranking under category manager?

Category ranking is a feature when you are using the Power Add-on  (for the self managed WPSLP plugin) or the Professional or higher level  subscription for MYSLP SaaS  with the category manager. The rank is used to sort the categories which will affect the map marker that is used when a location has been assigned more than one category. Following the page ranking paradigm set by WordPress, the rank field is a simple numeric weighting for the categories. This extended data attribute for categories makes it easy to re-arrange the “weight” of categories for map marker selection without mangling category slugs. The lower the number, the higher the precedence for the map marker.

The option to set a category rank can be found under the Store Locator Plus Categories tab.

Categories taxonomy and settings

If you have the Power add on for WordPress or the Power / Professional / Enterprise level for MySLP you will see a header tab in your Store Locator Plus menu labeled Categories.  This is where you can establish and manage settings and determine the categories you want to add within the form section of the user interface.

Tags and/or Categories

With the Power add-on or the SLP SaaS professional level plan or higher, there are options to tag a location or assign a category to a location or do both.

Tagging Locations

“Tagging” locations can be done one of two ways.  The informal method is to use free-form tags that are setup via the Word Press Store Locator Plus Plug-in with the  Power add on. Or the (My)SLP SaaS Professional level plan or higher  The structured method is to use the Store Category Manager under the Categories tab (not available with the basic plug-in or Advance level plan)