CSV File Import Header

All Store Locator Plus CSV files must start with a file import header that indicates what data is in each column.

The  first row of the Store Locator Plus import file should look like this, you do not need the (sl in front of the header name for the basic import function to work):

sl_store,sl_address,sl_address2,sl_city,sl_state,sl_zip,sl_country,sl_latitude,sl_longitude,category,sl_tags,sl_description,sl_email,sl_url,sl_hours,sl_phone,sl_fax,sl_image,sl_private,sl_neat_title

Please see the Example CSV files post for a sample base file with a header.

To speed up imports you should NOT include columns that have no data.

For imports that did NOT start out as a CSV export from the SAME SITE you should NOT have an sl_id column.

For geocoding, assigning a latitude and longitude, to work during import you need to have at least one of the address fields in your file and preferably these main fields:

  • sl_address
  • sl_city
  • sl_state
  • sl_zip

All field names can drop the leading “sl_” for readability.   For example sl_address can become address. The field names usually match the field label, for example if you have  the Experience add on  or the Professional level or higher SaaS plan , you can have “Featured” and “Rank” as import columns.

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

 

Search Address Auto-complete setting

Feature to have the address to auto-complete the zip code based on your location database is available with the Premier/Enterprise or the Experience add-on

When 2 or more characters are typed in the address input box,  input suggestions based on location data will appear.

  • None (default) – do not suggest address input.
  • Zipcode – suggest matching zip codes.

If the formatting of the autocomplete is not  the way you would like it to appear, reset the Search Form Style under appearance layout.

Locator Styling determines how the auto-complete drop down box will appear on your page.

Blocking Locator Requests By Query Volume

Premier Members with an active subscription 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.

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 /App  subtab as shown below.

General?App/Security

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.

Search Form Style

Search Form Style sets the styling for the interactive locator elements on your site.   It uses pre-built jQuery Theme Roller style CSS designs to create a simple way to style interactive elements such as the autocomplete feature (available in WPSLP Experience or with MySLP Professional) on the address box. with Experience or Professional level plan additional search elements are available, including a one click checkbox to “Hide the search form”  altogether.

The default styling is set to “None” which provides not special styling rules from interactive JavaScript elements in the locator interface.   This allows the site designer to create their own styles for the website in which the locator will be placed.

Search Form Style Default None 2017-05-23_16-20-30.png
Default styling for autocomplete is “none”.  The theme in this example does not specifiy any ui-autocomplete styling. The background inherits the transparent background used by the website as the default for all divs.

The base service also includes the Base jQuery theme.

 

Setting A New Style

For WordPress plugin users go to the Store Locator Plus selection on the sidebar menu.

For MySLP users go to Store Locator Plus sidebar menu.

Select Settings/Search from the tab list.

Scroll down to the Appearance section and expand it by clicking the word “Appearance” if necessary.

Select a new style from the Search Form Style drop-down menu.

Selecting Base Search Form Style
Selecting a search form style for interactive elements.
jQuery Base default styling 2017-05-23_16-23-52.png
jQuery Base Default Styling

Available For WPSLP and MySLP

Search Form Style is a feature that is included in the base plugin of Store Locator Plus for WordPress and is available under Store Locator Plus for all levels of the MySLP service.   Premier members on WPSLP and Enterprise Level users for MySLP will have multiple options for the Search Form Style.

 

 

Curly Quotes In WordPress Shortcodes

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.

Straight versus curly quotes when pasted into a page.

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.

The fix?

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.

Store Locator Plus Additional Functionality

Store Locator Plus .    Premier subscription holders with active subscriptions for WordPress  Store Locator Plus or are Enterprise level subscribers for MySLP have a module that adds URL control functionality.

 

Upgraded  Premium Features

Enabling Modules

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.

Power Users

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 was moved from the General | Data tab to the General | Server | Web App Settings section.

URL Control

A  URL Control module was been added to the application for Enterprise or premier subscribers.   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.

 

Layout Shortcode Cheat Sheet

Results Layout ShortcodesThe 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.