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 1: WordPress Users Need A Google API Key

SaaS users can skip this step. Store Locator Plus® for WordPress users need a Google API key to utilize the full features available in the the plugin. WordPress administrators who are self-managing their plugin updates, security, and Google services need to setup a Google API account so they can start billing for map services. 

If you are a subscriber to  Store Locator Plus® – our SaaS directory and locator service, you can ignore this page, we’ve got it covered. Go to our Getting Started guide and move on to Step 2.

For the Store Locator Plus® for WordPress users these instructions are a general guideline. You will need to visit Google and read their User guide to obtain a new account or update your existing account. Google will bill you directly for your monthly map views and location look-ups.

Step 3: Add A Location Map To Your Site

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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.

Where to find the Store Locator Plus for WordPress Plug-in versions and updates

WordPress Plug-in Log-in

For the WordPress SLP stand alone (do it yourself) plug-in , the latest update to the Word Press base plugin normally appears in your WordPress site Plugin menu for auto update

To check your version against what is currently available  please see the site home page under Support/Versions

The WordPress Store Locator Plus base plug-in is again available in the WordPress plug-in directory.    If you purchased an add-on  you will  need to log into your WPSLP account and download it manually the first time you use it.

ALWAYS BACK-UP your site immediately  before updating any Plug-ins.

How to manually update.

Most Common “What Should I Buy” Questions

Some of the most common features requested are included with either the Plug-in for WordPress using add-ons OR a higher level plan if you use the all inclusive (but separate from the plug-in) Store Locator Plus Software as a Service (SaaS)

MySLP to WPSLP Comparison

Advanced is comparable to the basic Store Locator Plus plugin.

Professional is the Power level (excluding SEO Pages) plus the Experience add on.

Enterprise is the Professional level plan plus the Premier subscription features, functionality  and  support services.

Read below for answers to these questions and check out our other “What To Buy” articles.

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

Geocoding stopped working suddenly

(This page has been updated to reflect the changes in Google Cloud Platform API changes)

Most likely reasons;

  • You moved your site or changed the domain name and did not change your Google Map API key or , as of JUNE 2018 Google API changes, did NOT ADD BILLING TO YOUR API KEY . See Getting Started
  • Check your Google Platform Usage reports
  • A self-imposed usage cap has been exceeded.
  • The provided method of payment is no longer valid (for example, a credit card has expired).
  • You have exceeded the QPS limits for a given API.
  • If you have the Power add-on and are using the import function , 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