SLP 4.1 In The Works
If all goes well, Store Locator Plus 4.1 will be released at the end of this month.
Better Theme Implementation
I’ve been working on some new features with Store Locator Plus in conjunction with a customer request for a theme customization. With this being the fifth theme build in the past 6 months I decided it was time to automate the system and save me some time. This has lead to building the “SLP Theme Reader” that I’ve wanted to build for a while now. For the SLP4 compatible themes it not only applies the CSS to the Store Locator Plus interface but also reads the “settings” from the CSS header. This displays a list of settings for each of the advanced SLP Themes and tells you what you should set things like “Locator Layout” or “Results Layout” to in order to achieve the best layout for the site. I am current working on a one-click “set all these options for me” button.
This will make it far easier for users to select a theme, click “set options”, and get a whole new layout on their site. Many of the advanced layouts will require the Pro Pack, Enhanced Map, Enhanced Results, Enhanced Search add-on packs to take full advantage of custom layouts. It is a small investment to create complete UI overhauls with minimal effort.
My hope is that this makes for better looking location interfaces out there in the world and hopefully make the map look more like it “belongs” with the rest of the content.
Lighter and Faster, WPCSL Framework Dropped
The other big change, which is purely behind the scenes, is the primary reason the version has bumped to the next minor release number of 4.1. The old and “heavy” WPCSL framework that was created by Cyber Sprocket Labs years ago has been pared down. The guts of the framework, and only those used by the SLP plugin, have been moved into a standard include library.
This speeds up development and production release of the plugin. It also cut out about 1.5MB of RAM, or about 10% of the RAM requirements on a typical website, on every Store Locator Plus page load. Less RAM per page load means more simultaneous users can access your site without reaching your RAM limit on your server.