Enhanced Search 4.1 has been released. The release works better with the Store Locator Plus 4.1 internal changes. It also brings some new discrete search options to the add-on pack.
- New Feature: shortcode attribute initial_results_returned to override the immediate mode results returned.
- New Feature: Discrete City Search is now available.
- New Feature: Discrete Country Search is now available.
- Enhancement: Add new “Discrete and Address Input” mode for discrete filters in addition to “Address Input” and “Discrete Input”
- Fix: Allow Address In URL feature on both general settings and allow_addy_in_url shortcode (shortcodes take precedence).
- Fix: City drop down allows locations with state set to blank.
What Is Discrete Search?
Enhanced Search provides a “search by city”, “search by state”, and “search by country” feature. This search form element, when enabled, will build a drop down list based on the locations in your database. This is meant to provide a hint to the user where your locations are.
The legacy system was a simple “address input” feature. When a user selected an entry from the drop down list it types the text into the address box. When the user clicks the search button it looks for locations closest to that location based on your other search form settings. If your default radius is 100 miles and the user selects the state of Texas, this system will search for all locations within 100 miles of Google’s estimated “center of Texas”.
The “Ignore Radius Input” feature was added to allow you to disable that radius limitation, effectively allowing the product to show all locations regardless of distance. This helps resolve some of the issues, but in the case noted above it may still show locations outside of the state, especially if your limit on number of results returned is a high number or a particular state has one or two locations. As an aside: it is recommended that you hid your radius selections when this feature is enabled.
In a recent release of Enhanced Search a customer requested the “Discrete State” selection be added to the offering. In the 4.1 release of Enhanced Search City and Country discrete selection modes have been added to the mix. In discrete search mode the data is filtered to match EXACTLY with the data selected on the drop down menu. If the user uses the city drop down (it shows city plus state to avoid confusion in like-named cities) it will ONLY show entries in the database that match the city and state exactly as displayed. If the user selects a country or state is only show either the locations in the specific country or the specified state. Locations outside of those selected will not be shown. This mode works best if the “ignore radius input” is active. If you do not wish to ignore the radius on ALL searches then having a large default radius is prudent as the discrete mode will start by placing the “search from here” marker in the middle of the city, state, or country being selected. In a large state such as Texas this may not return ALL of the results in Texas if your default radius is set to 50 miles.
Discrete Search Modes
With Enhanced Search 4.1 there are 4 modes for the City, State, and Country Filters.
In this mode the city, state, or country selector is inactive and not shown on the interface.
Dropdown, Address Input
In this mode the dropdown appears on the search form. When the users selects an item it types the text on the dropdown into the address search box.
Dropdown, Discrete Filter
In this mode the dropdown appears on the search form. When the users selects an item the address input is left blank. The value is used to filter the locations to match the selected element exactly and works in combination with other search elements such as the user-entered address or name search attributes.
Dropdown, Discrete + Address Input
In this mode the dropdown appears on the search form. When the users selects an item it types the text on the dropdown into the address search box and applies the discrete filter as noted above. This is useful when you want the map to automatically center on the selected city, state, or country when the user interacts with the drop down menu.