What Is Store Locator Plus?
Store Locator Plus is a location management system for WordPress. The plugin provides an extensive location management interface available to administrative users on your site where site administrators manage the physical locations. On the customer-facing side the plugin provides a shortcode, [[SLPLUS]] that generates a search form, a Google map, and a search results listing. This interface provides the basic “find a store near you” functionality with minimal effort. Add a few locations, put the shortcode on a page, and your site has a location finder.
Why Store Locator Plus?
There are many store finder applications available including several that exist as WordPress plugins. Why choose Store Locator Plus? Here are some of the reasons I think you will be happy with your decision to use my plugin:
The plugin is updated on a regular basis and is tested every time a new release of WordPress is published. Most bugs are fixed within a week or two of being reported. New features are added on a regular basis.
Large Install Base
There are over 15,000 active sites running Store Locator Plus today. Over 7,000 sites (that we know of) using our add-ons worldwide.
You can find screen shots of the locator “in the wild”, here.
Along with a large install base comes a large user community. There are currently over 4,500 users registered for the forums and a dozen “power users” that help answer questions. One-on-One consulting for Store Locator Plus installations can be in the form of e-mail support or SLP specific troubleshooting. At last check there were over 350 active topics and 1,000 posts in the forums.
Extensive Feature Set
Not only does the base plugin come with a solid set of features that will handle any small-to-medium size business, there is an ever-growing list of add-on packs that are adding new features every month. With the introduction of Store Locator Plus the groundwork has been done for even more add-on packs both directly from Charleston Software Associates as well as third party developers.
Tested, Reliable, Proven
Store Locator Plus is now entering the 5th year of production. Along the way the code has been continually refined, modified, and updated to meet general coding and WordPress best practices. The code has been vetted via security experts with past vulnerabilities addressed and resolved. Store Locator Plus 4 is also now 100% object oriented code, which means low risk of conflicts with other plugins or WordPress themes.
Free support is always available via the forums with most questions answered personally within a few business days. Paid support is available at several price points to give you the attention you need based on the severity of your problem, ranging from a low-cost 3-day email response to a next-business-day site login options.
There is a lot of documentation about the features and functionality of Store Locator Plus and the add-on packs listed on the website. In addition routine blog posts are added that describe new features, updates, and how-to tutorial videos. As part of the Store Locator Plus 4 updates I have begun posting videos that run anywhere from 3 minutes to 10 minutes long that describe features or provide how-to tutorials about the base plugin or add-on packs. The documentation will be continually refined, blog posts added, and forum questions answered to give all users the resources needed to find the answers they are looking for.
While there are a lot of features that are part of the base plugin and add-on packs, there is always something more it can do. Many retail clients have found my customization options to be reasonable and affordable. Most projects can be completed in less than a month. All projects are designed to become part of the mainline or premier products, ensuring future support and improvements without creating a custom variant of the plugin.
The optional add-on packs are buy-once and own them. There is no recurring monthly fee required to use the plugin, but if you want additional premier subscriber features you have the option to pay an annual or monthly subscription. Support is always free via the online forums. Paid support is available to those who need it, when they need it. There is no monthly or annual fee for the “privilege” of support. Premier members have an exclusive premier support forum.
The ONLY time there are new fees is if you CHOOSE to upgrade to a new major release of the plugin add-ons, that have introduced new functionality or features or to be compliant with WordPress. If you choose to upgrade you will you need to upgrade your plugin and add-ons. Sometimes there may be additional upgrade increase in costs but you can always ask us for a discount within a reasonable time period if you have purchased an add-on that is being upgraded as a major release .
Patches or minor updates (* this means the first two version numbers such as 4.5.x are the same and the third digit changed to indicate a minor version update) are released on a regular basis and is included as part of your original purchase.
The base plugin, also sold on WordPress as Maps by Store Locator Plus, is always free. Individual add-ons that are backed by a 30 day money back guarantee. Just request a refund via email support
The Premier Add-on Subscription based set up fee in NON refundable.
What are some of the notable features of the Store Locator Plus plugin?
Handles Large Data Sets
As long as your server is configured to handle it, so can the plugin. Store Locator Plus uses several intelligent algorithms to help reduce disk I/O. Data sets are indexed on the most common search terms. As an old-school database engine designer I always look to squeeze performance out of any system assuming the potential for high volume transactions always exists. As such the plugin has been able to handle several large client installations. I know of at least a few client installations with over 1,000,000 locations being handled by the plugin. There are dozens of sites with more than 10,000 locations and hundreds of sites with more than 1,000 locations.
The Pro Pack provides even more control over large data sets and includes both a CSV import and export tool.
The plugin comes with its own plugin styling system. A set of CSS files can be easily selected via the User Experience View panel to change the basic look and feel of the plugin output. While the default theme works for many installations it does not work with all of the WordPress themes that are available. Some WordPress themes need different CSS layout rules. The theme system makes it easy to find a CSS rule set that works best with your site.
The Experience add-on provides more control over the look and feel with a custom layout editor that is managed via admin panel inputs. A global CSS override is also included allowing you to set custom CSS rules without editing CSS files.
Interactive Search or Directory Mode
The plugin gives you several options for how to display the location finder to the users. You can opt for the “immediate” mode and have the plugin automatically show locations within a default radius of the center of the map or leave the locations list blank until the user enters an address or zip code and clicks the find locations button. You can also opt to limit the number of locations shown or show all locations in your database.
The Pro Pack extends the search mode options by enabling a location sensor that works much like GPS for web based applications.
Experience adds even more control to the search interface functionality adding name-based searching, city, state, and country drop-down lists, widgets to put locator search on every page, and more.
Many of the user interface text labels can be changed to use whatever verbiage you prefer on both the search form and the results that are rendered.
Experience provides even more control and customization over what is shown to your users. Change search form labels, result labels, and even the labels used to represent some of the location data fields.
The plugin can handle any location that can be found by the Google Maps geocoding system. If it has an address that can be located, or a latitude and longitude anywhere on earth then it can be added to Store Locator Plus. The plugin currently supports over 40 countries as the default “center of origin” for map searches. The default language set for the Google Maps interface can be set to over 50 languages supported by Google. 98% of the plugin and add-on packs use the text domain standard and can be translated into any language, in fact some users have previously sent in Store Locator Plus translations for the admin interface and default user interface strings in return for their free copy of an add-on pack. In addition, Store Locator Plus has been chosen as a featured plug-in for the new Word Press Translation project
The starting point for all documentation on the SLP products and the ever-growing stack of videos highlighting features and how-to tutorials for the plugin.
Do you have a demo site?
There is no official demo site as yet for Store Locator Plus but we are trying out a new plug-in and if all works well…stay tuned! In the meantime, there is a partial list of customer sites with links to their online locators. There is an ever-increasing library of screen shots and videos on the product documentation pages. If you don’t find your answer right away, use the documentation search box and add your key word.
When installing the SLP plug-in add-ons do I need to delete and install a new base plugin?
Not unless it is a major version change. There are some versions that do not mix and match. (see Troubleshooting for more information) Otherwise, all add-on packs are true add-ons. They extend the features of Store Locator Plus in a non-destructive way. This keeps the standard WordPress plugin upgrade system intact. The add-on packs also support the standard WordPress upgrade notification system and will notify you when a new version is available.