Store Locator Plus® Has Been Re-listed

It has been a year since Store Locator Plus® has been listed in the official WordPress plugin directory.    The previous 12 months have been quite the journey to get the plugin re-listed — but we finally made it!    Kudos to the development team for taking on the thousands of lines of code that make the Store Locator Plus® applications “go” and helping us get there.    Thanks to the customer support team for helping keep things going while the dev team was getting up to speed and addressing all the concerns noted by the folks on the WordPress Plugin Team.     It took longer than expected, but we finally have our plugin and the associated one-click updates for our install base back online.

SLP Has Been Re-Listed

Store Locator Plus® 5.13.8 for WordPress

The new release, Store Locator Plus® 5.13.8 is available for immediate download from your WordPress SLP account.    Now that we have been re-listed you can also get our plugin directly from the WordPress plugin directory.

This update includes PHP 8 compatibility (use with caution, PHP 8 is still not officially supported by WordPress) as well as numerous internal security updates.     It also patches some minor issues reported in the past year.

There are a LOT of code changes and millions of combinations of settings in Store Locator Plus®.  We’ve tested compatibility with the premium add ons from Power, Experience, and Premier but  your configuration may uncover an issue we did not discover.   If you run into issues with the latests update please let us know and we’ll address the problem as quickly as we can.

We’re Back

Our business leader and original architect of Store Locator Plus® is back at it full time.   Our tech leader has been very busy during the past two years, assisting Store Locator Plus® on a limited basis while working to get another tech startup off-the-ground.    That company is now moving to the next phase and our leader is back and is 100% focused on bring the next generation of Store Locator Plus products and services to market.

Plans are in the works to improve the user experience, improve stability and performance, and branch out to natively support more web presence platforms and web developer tool kits.    New features and services are coming to the SaaS platform, with a renewed focus on extending the reach of our software-as-a-service offering. Pricing changes are being discussed to ease the burden on small businesses.

There is a lot more coming.    Be sure to subscribe to our news feed to keep up as we work toward the next generation of products and services.

Focusing On You

One of the first changes being employed is focusing on how we can help YOU, our established customer base. We have a lot of catching up to do and are committed to getting Store Locator Plus® back to the top of the locator software and services list.    To get there we are going to need your help.

The best way to help? Communicating your needs.  What can we do better?  What features are missing or can be improved?   Or drop us a note to tell us what we’re doing right.

We promise we’ll listen and do our best to improve our services and products.

Store Locator Plus® Updates For WP Directory Relisting

It has been a while since we’ve had updates for the Store Locator Plus® plugin and SaaS service.   We’ve been busy over the past year adding new development staff and getting them up-to-speed in order to address new demands presented by the WordPress Plugin Team in order to get Store Locator Plus® re-listed in the plugin directory.    Their demands to shore up potential weaknesses in the main plugin turned out to be a major project.

Over the past 8 months the development team has updated nearly 1,000 lines of code in the base plugin.  It is important to note that these changes did NOT fix known security breaches or exploits; The changes were done primarily to address hypothetical what-if security concerns in the plugin.   While the updates do little to improve security of the plugin and have a minor negative impact on performance, the changes were necessary in order to meet the new WordPress Plugin Team guidelines for getting our plugin re-listed.

Finally, after 8 months of effort we are nearing the finish line.   We are now testing an updated 5.13.X prerelease version of the Store Locator Plus® plugin.      Once we have finished our own internal testing and all base functionality has been approved, we will re-submit the plugin for re-listing on the WordPress directory.

While this is a milestone that has been in the works for a long time, it is only the first step in many new changes that are planned for the coming year.   Our lead architect, along with the rest of the development team, have a lot of great new ideas to improve our product.    The 10-year-old technology is ready for an overhaul using modern standards.    A vastly improved user experience is in the works as well as a much improved turn-key experience with a tighter WordPress Plugin integration with our SaaS platform.

We are excited to get past this year-long maintenance and security cycle and start building new things for our customers.

In the meantime, if anyone is interested in helping us test the prerelease version of Store Locator Plus® 5.13, please reach out via the contact form and we’ll send you an early release at no charge.     Our Premier Subscription holders can already download the prerelease from their account downloads page.

We appreciate your patience while we get things rebooted on the WordPress directory.  We look forward to providing improved user experiences and application performance in the coming months.

Location Category Markers Update

Store Locator Plus® was updated with a small, but important, change to how location map markers are displayed when users are interacting with the category selector.   Users of the Professional level offering have the ability to create location categories.   Locations can belong to more than one category, for instance a location can be both a “Retail” location and a “Service” location.    Some locations will be only “Retail”.

Category Map Markers

Each location category can also be assigned a unique map marker.   All yellow map markers are retail, and blue markers are for service.     For those locations where they offer both retail and service , Store Locator Plus® would always display the yellow map marker based on the default “marker is the first category, chosen by alphabetical order”.

While there are some caveats to this general rule, there were some confusing results.    If you created a map with a category filter that allowed users to pick “either retail” or “service” locations and the user selected “service” they could see a map with both yellow and blue markers.    How is that happening when all service locations are supposed to be showing blue markers?

The answer — those dual-purpose locations that are in both the retail and service category.   Prior to the late-September update, the marker for the location would ALWAYS pick from the “highest ranked” category which would default to “retail” by the alphabetical rule noted above.    All locations that were service only would be displayed alongside a handful or retail-and-service locations.

Multiple Categories Marker Change

In the late-September update that went online today, IF a user is filtering the list of locations by a SINGLE category, the map marker that is displayed will be filtered as well — in essence filtering out the yellow “retail” marker if the user has elected “show only service location” with the blue marker.     With this update only blue markers will appear.

For another description of how this works along with an “explainer” video, check out our Categorical Location Markers article on the documentation site.

Still using the legacy WordPress plugins?   This feature is part of the Power 5.5.7 release.