Getting Started with Store Locator Plus®

This article covers the first 3 steps (2 if you are using our SaaS product) for getting started with Store Locator Plus®.

Store Locator Plus® makes it easy to add interactive location maps and directories on your website. Our latest technology is included in the Store Locator Plus® Maps and Directories SaaS offering. Some of our customers still prefer the self-managed WordPress plugins available via our Store Locator Plus® for WordPress plugins.

Regardless of which method you prefer, both can be setup quickly and have a fully functional site map or directory listing online in minutes.

Step 3: Add A Location Map To Your Site

Add a location map to your site by putting the SaaS embed code or WordPress shortcode on any page. You’ll need to have an active Store Locator Plus® SaaS subscription or have the Store Locator Plus® for WordPress plugin installed and activated.

Make sure you’ve completed the initial configuration and setup steps outline in the Store Locator Plus® Getting Started article.

When a visitor goes to a page with the Store Locator Plus® map code embedded, it will show a default search form and a map centered in your country or on the “Center Map At” address you entered when configuring Store Locator Plus®. When someone searches for a zip code that is close enough to a location you entered it will show those locations on the map.

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.

Locations Panel: Manage Locations

The Locations panel in Store Locator Plus is where you add, manage, edit and/or delete locations.

Bulk Actions and Filters

SLP Locations panel has a bulk  tab with drop down actions and  other filters that can be applied .   If you have a large number of locations, bulk actions can be a very useful tool. If you have more locations than can fit on the display, you can set the display filter to show more locations. You may also use filters to display and manage non – geocoded locations, or show locations with certain properties. The display can be adjusted to suit your needs but configuration constraints and/or server constraints may effect your outcome.

Not all Bulk actions will appear if you have only the base plugin installed.  Bulk action filters for removing Tags, performing Exports, geocoding all uncoded, and bulk categorize certain locations will  be shown only if you have  the WPSLP Power add-on or  Professional or Enterprise  level Plans for MySLP

The default number of locations that will be displayed on the admin user Interface is 10. Selecting a large number to display can be useful to view or manage but if your server capacity cannot handle it or changes and you go back to manage locations months or years later and try to access your locations panel, you may see no locations panel. If you see the wheels churning on your computer with no results this could be the reason. If you are not sure of the capabilities of your server, browser and various other factors that effect memory, and inhibit loading and displaying fields, err on the side of caution and set the Filter Display locations back to a manageable size before leaving the panel. If you are migrating servers from a “heavy duty” server to a less robust server, or if your memory becomes an issue you will need to reset the display to a manageable number.  See Troubleshooting for more info.

Map Panel Settings

Under the menu for SLP / Settings /Map  :

The settings contained in the map panel will change the functionality of the map domain, center map, zoom and appearance.

The following settings are available to manage functionality for both WPSLP stand alone plug-in and MySLP SaaS managed service..

At Startup

  • Center Map:   This is where you enter an address, or a state, or a location or  a specific latitude and longitude to be displayed as the initial focus for the Map.   If nothing is entered in this box , the default will be the center of the United States .   Google map has determined the center of  United States to  be somewhere in Kansas.  Example:  See Google Localizing the Map:  The geocodes “Toledo” based on the default region (US) to “Toledo, Ohio”  or  one which biases results based on a region set to ES (Spain) to “Toledo, Spain.
  • Center Latitude Fallback: Center Longitude Fallback:  These are the latitude/longitude settings  that will be called if the Google server is “busy” or offline and not able to geocode or “call” to load your locations.  If you reset to blank it will fill in with the Center latitude/longitude of the map domain you have chosen.    You can have a different Lat/long fallback  then your map domain or center map if you  choose.    An image of your fallback will  be displayed

General Settings

(This section has been updated to reflect updates in SLP version 5.5.)

There are settings under the General tab for Admin , User Interface, (Server and Data tabs in  earlier versions,  now are  included under the APP tab).  This documentation has been updated to reflect the Google API changes for our WPSLP self managed plug-in customers.   The tab “App” Map is where you will enter your own Google API keys. MySLP customers do not need to worry about that. We do it for them.

Admin

The Admin tab is where your SLP Premier subscription Accounts ID ,  Log Schedule Messages, and other info is located.  There is also a Reset Manage Locations button available for use to reset the back end Manage Locations  display page to the default view (10 locations per  page view). This feature was previously only available with the free SLP  Janitor Add-on.

Search by Name

Additional Search settings are available if you are using either:

Word Press Store locator Plus plugin with the Experience Add-on , or  the Store Locator Plus SaaS / Professional level plan.  have multiple search tool options to display on the front page when a site visitor lands on your locator page. Search by Name is a checkbox that is found under the Store Locator Plus “Settings/Search” menu.   

The default is “Name” 

 

Legacy Locator Styles

locator stylesheets

With built-in custom CSS rules now standard for most WordPress themes, version 5.4+ of Store Locator Plus® has dropped legacy CSS styles. Up to version 5.4 users could place a CSS file in the Store Locator Plus® plugin CSS directory and then use the Settings | View | Plugin Style to select that CSS file in place of the default “A Gallery Style”.

Adding The Style With Experience Add On

Copy the CSS from one of the legacy CSS stylesheets listed below an paste it into the Settings | View | Custom CSS box. This requires the WordPress Experience Add on.

Adding The Style With WP Themes

Custom CSS support is built into WordPress core and themes only need to tell WordPress they support that option to enable the functionality. Many modern themes now include this option. Go to Appearance | Customize | Additonal CSS and paste the CSS there.

Legacy CSS Styles

MySLP Store Locator Plus® SaaS

Users of our MySLP SaaS offering don’t have to worry about this sort of thing. The built-in style gallery will suffice for most sites and those that need custom CSS can use the built-in CSS tools provided by platforms like Wix, Weebly, Squarespace, and more.