Another patch was released on Store Locator Plus yesterday as work continues on the 4.0 major update I am trying to get out this month.
The latest patch fixes the “check all” feature on Manage Locations, ensuring only the location check boxes are marked not the Tagalong or any other check boxes that may come up. The change also uses a more efficient jQuery call to check the boxes.
The Philippines has been added as a new country on the Google Maps selection.
A defunct call to a long-gone PHP script for the search form rendering was removed. That will save a disk request and shave a micro-second or two off the page request every time someone visits the locator page on a site.
In the meantime work continues on the add-on packs, a lot of admin interface changes, and some more code clean up as I wrap up a customization job for a customer and put a lot of new features in the Store Locator Plus 4.0 and related add-on packs. Once that job is done I will focus on getting the beta release of SLP 4.0 and the add-on packs out there and start the next customization job.
Store Locator Plus 4.0 / Paid Add-On Pack Upgrades
For those of you who’ve been on the fence about ordering add-on packs, now is the time. When Store Locator Plus 4.0 comes out ALL add-on packs will require an upgrade to work with the new version. Those upgrades will be PAID upgrades for all customers. I am planning on putting out a discount code for recent customers. I’ve not yet decided how that will work, but I’m leaning towards something like this:
- Purchased the add-on pack since January 1st 2013: new version of the same add-on pack is free
- Purchased up to 1 year ago (August 1st 2012+) : 50% off
- Older purchases will need to re-purchase the new add-on packs.
For those that do not want to pay for add-on upgrades the best option is to NOT UPGRADE THE BASE PLUGIN. The other option is to disable the add-on packs as most (all) of the add-on packs will break when 4.0 is released.
Please note that the base plugin upgrade will always be free per the WordPress directory listing rules. Upgrading from Store Locator Plus 3.X to 4.X can be done at no-cost. Just be wary of any add-on packs you’ve purchased as they will not function the same way (or at all) if you only upgrade the base plugin to 4.X without upgrading the main product.
What Happened To Subscriptions?
I have been looking for a good subscription module for WooCommerce or WordPress that works well with product downloads like the add-on packs but there are NONE that work well. I found several that are nearly 100% manual input, some that do not work with restricting downloads (it is an all-or-none approach) and my own work on a proper WooCommerce download/subscription module was side-lined by the recent customization work. Thus the “Enterprise Subscription” with a one-time setup fee + small ($10) monthly downloads is not going to be ready on time for the 4.0 release.
I hope to find something by the time the next major upgrade is ready (next summer?) so that customers will have a less expensive option with a steady monthly payment versus one big “upgrade everything fee”.
Maybe if enough customization, support, and premium add-on sales come in future upgrades can remain free. Right now the only viable way to fund future development is to have paid upgrades when notable improvements are made to the base product and premium add-on packs.
You Backed Up Your Site, Didn’t You?
Now is the perfect time to remind the 50% of you that do not do this: BACKUP YOUR SITE. I strongly recommend doing so with a WordPress specific backup solution like VaultPress. That way when you (or your customer) clicks the “upgrade now” button when 4.0 comes out and all your add-on packs break you can simply restore the site (or just the plugin files themselves) to the version that was installed prior to that momentary lapse of judgement.
For those of you that plan on upgrading the add-on packs, you have less to worry about in that regard. I know you are already backing up with a WordPress backup solution just in case.