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Directory Builder Updated to 4.2.02

Spider Web Beads Banner

Directory Builder 4.2.02 was released to the general public today.    The latest update to Directory Builder provides the tools needed to build SEO friendly landing pages for your Store Locator Plus location data.   Build a list of locations in a specific city, state, or country with a simple shortcode and a incoming links page.

This release adds a shortcode specification that allows you to build a directory landing page based on your locator data.   The landing page can be a list of your locations in a specific city, state, or country.    The list format is based on the Results Layout with some modifications that are appropriate for a directory style versus map locator style listing.

The resulting pages are completely dynamic but since they are using the WordPress shortcode system the content appears static to the search engine spiders.   That means you can build region-specific SEO content for your locations with little effort.


Build A Linked List

Use Directory Builder to build a list of cities, states, countries, or any other location property.     Use the [[slp_directory style=”list” by=”city”]] shortcode on any page or post and announce to the world where your locations are.

Director Builder List Page

Use The List To Drive Your Map

Add the locator_page attribute to that shortcode and Directory Builder will automatically search for locations that match the listing.    When a user clicks on the city of Charleston it will bring them to your standard locator page and automatically display all locations in Charleston while retaining the full functionality you have set for your locator page.

Directory Driven Locator Page

Or Use The List To Drive A Directory

Build a new page on your site using the [slp_directory style=”landing_page”] shortcode and make that the destination for your list page links.    Combine that with the [slp_directory style=”title”] shortcode and you can also have an SEO-friendly title on that landing page.   Since the landing page is built dynamically using standard WordPress rendering it is SEO friendly.    Even better, the list is dynamic which means you do not have to re-create the page every time you update your list of locations.

Directory Builder Landing Page On Twenty Thirteen

Directory Builder Production Details

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Store Locator Plus 4.2.03 Is Out

Store Locator Plus version 4.2.03 is out today.   Yes, it has been fully tested with the latest version of WordPress 4.0 beta release candidate 4 complete with cool new plugin installer icons.

Store Locator Plus Add Plugin WP4.0
Store Locator Plus plugin listing on WordPress 4.0.

This update is mostly behind-the-scenes changes that provides the tools needed to produce streamlined add-on packs.    Add on packs that use the 4.2 add-on system will take less memory and provide a more consistent user experience.    Several add-on packs are under development with 2 new add-on packs, Directory Builder and Location Extender,  scheduled for release today.

[box]You MUST update Pro Pack and Janitor to the latest version BEFORE upgrading to SLP 4.2.  Pro Pack should be version 4.1.06 and Janitor should be version 4.1.08 BEFORE you upgrade to SLP 4.2.[/box]

What are some of the changes you might notice with SLP 4.2.03?

Thailand has been added to the list of supported default countries for the Google Maps domain.

SLP Google Maps Thailand
Thailand is the latest addition to built-in Google Map domains.

The No Map theme has been fixed to show results below the search form.  A new No Map Rev 02 version addresses further rendering issues and cleans up much of the No Map SLP Theme styling.

If you are using an add-on pack with extended data fields such as Enhanced Results featured and rank on locations or Contact Extender data fields there is a patch that fixes “carrying over previous location data” that appeared on some installations.   Special characters such as apostrophe has been addressed in extended data field editing.


SLP 4.2.03 Details


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WordPress Store Locator Updated

Store Locator Plus, the location mapping and directory plugin for WordPress, was updated to version 4.1.27 today.

This update changes the order in which the map markers are dropped on the map.  The change reverses the order so that the first entries on the results list are the HIGHEST marker on the map.   This change ensures that featured locations, which often are put first on the results lists, will now have their pins on top instead of buried under non-featured locations.

Above and Beyond NyloBoard Rev 01
Above and Beyond NyloBoard Rev 01

The other addition in this update is a new Above and Beyond NyloBoard SLP theme which is a variation of the Beside The Point NyloBoard theme that appeared in the previous release.  The Above and Beyond setup places the results below the map and search with the search appearing to the left of the map.   An updated Themes documentation page helps highlight some of the different SLP Theme layouts that are available.

Beside The Point NyloBoard Rev 01
Beside The Point NyloBoard Rev 01. Search on top of Results on left. Map on right. Color scheme: orange and green. Featured results highlighted. Tagalong support. shortcode attribute: theme = “beside_the_point_nyloboard_01”.


Release Details

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WordCamp Charleston Locations

WordCamp Directory Banner

I am still in the process of creating my first responsive WordPress theme, based entirely on the Twenty Fourteen theme that WordPress provides. It is still in the very early “hacking” stages but is far enough along to put it to use. It works in conjunction with an upcoming Store Locator Plus theme “Big Map” that uses the Google map as a page background and layers the location search form and results output on top.   Premier Members can get a copy of the upcoming theme and the updated plugins and add-on packs that support it via the downloads section of this site.

Charleston WordCamp Directory Site
Charleston WordCamp Directory uses the upcoming Big Map SLP Theme and a modified Twenty Fourteen WP Theme also to be named “Big Map”

The Store Locator Plus plugin and upcoming Big Map WordPress theme are being used in their early alpha state to drive a new locator site I am testing for WordCamp Charleston this weekend. Go ahead and give it a try and let me know what you think. I know it is far from perfect but I am hoping people start using it and giving feedback so I can learn how to make Store Locator Plus work better with ALL themes for mobile devices.

I already have a list of a dozen things I would like to improve. I’m hoping you can help me refine the experience.




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SLP Customer Directory

SLP4 Package Array

As part of the extended test of SLP4 I have decided to build a customer directory of websites running SLP (along with a world map, of course) to be published on this site and linked directly in the Store Locator Plus 4 product description.

If you would like to have your SLP enabled website listed in the directory please contact me or post in the forum with the following details (as you’d like it to be shown on this site):

  • Store/Business Name.
  • Physical address include Street, City, State/Province, Zip/Postal Code, Country.
  • Your URL for the page where the SLP map is shown.
  • A brief description (think tweet, not documentary).

Yes, I am now running SLP4 on some live sites, including this one, as are some people in the Beta Test Group.   It is getting close to final release, though I’m still in bug-squashing mode while trying to write docs and taking more screen shots.    Tutorials including text + video on how to customize the user experience will start next month along with some much-awaited new add-on packs.

Remember, SLP4 will require paid upgrades to any premium add-on packs you’ve purchased.   If you upgrade the base plugin without upgrading the premium add-on packs at the same time it will break.

Purchases of SLP3 premium add-ons made after September 1st will be given a free upgrade to SLP4.  Anyone that purchased SLP3 premium add-ons before September 1st will be given a discount to upgrade to SLP4.   In both cases you’ll want to purchase your SLP4 upgrade in the month of October as there will be a moving 30-day window from date of purchase for free upgrades and a moving 365-day window for the discounted upgrades.

Details will be posted soon.

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Changing Directories More Easily

Here is something I have in my Bash config that I have found useful these days. It defines a command called up that lets me move up a given number of directories. For example, up 2 is the same as cd ../.., and up 4 is cd ../../../.., and so on.

function up() {
     cd $(perl -e 'print join("/" => ("..") x shift)' $1)

I found this somewhere online, so I am not taking credit for it. The way this works is we use Perl to create the string ../../.., or however many dots and slashes we need to reach the right parent directory. We can create that string to go up three directories by using the code

("..") x 3

to create the list

(".." ".." "..")

We then use join to insert a slash between each set of dots. This gives us code very close to what is in the function above. The key difference is the use of shift. We don’t know ahead of time how many .. strings to create, since that depends on how many directories upward we want to move. What we want to do then is pass in the number of ..‘s to create as an argument to the Perl script. By default shift will pop off the first command-line argument to the script, which will be our number.

This is how we end up with

perl -e 'print join("/" => ("..") x shift)' $1

Here $1 refers to the first argument of the up shell function. So when we use up 3 we get

perl -e 'print join("/" => ("..") x shift)' 3

which gives us

print join("/" => ("..") x 3)
print join("/" => (".." ".." ".."))
print "../../.."

That string is finally returned as the argument to cd, which moves us up the right number of directories.

Related to this are some aliases I use to treat and as a stack of directories. Bash has two commands called pushd and popd. The former will change to the given directory and put it on the stack. The latter will pop the top of the stack and move to the directory that is now at the top. So I use these aliases to those commands:

alias bd="popd"
alias cd="pushd"
alias rd="popd -n"

The mnemonic for bd is to go ‘back a directory’. The rd alias ‘removes a directory’; it takes the top directory off the stack without switching to it. This is sometimes useful when I end up deleting a directory on the stack, because then ‘bd’ will complain with an error if I try to move back to it.

The command dirs will show you the stack, starting with the current directory on the left. Once you get used to it, I think this is a useful way of moving around directories.