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WordPress Location Maps

Musings about the web and stuff.

WordPress Location Maps

Recently we completed two WordPress websites that required similar functionality (for the same client), and each website also needed a Map Location page.

On these pages, the requirements were a google style map with pins indicating locations of either a service area, or a tennis court, and then listings of the locations below the map which included distance from the end user.

The user could enter in their postcode/address in a search box and the map would then highlight the nearest location to you as well as ordering the list below from nearest to furthest.

So lets say you sold a product and wanted to show who stocked that product and where they were located, this is the sort of solution you would require, because not only does it provide the details of the locations (or venues), it also provides the user with a map which they can use as a travel guide – it makes it a speedier process for them to find where you are.

We initially did our research and found there weren’t that many pre-coded options available, but the client decided on a particular plugin that seemed to fulfil all requirements.

We spent a great amount of time customising the plugin and also adding custom WordPress templates for the pages that linked to each location, and we thought the result looked and worked great, until it went live…

On our own Testing server, the map page ran quite quickly, but once the site became live, the plugin seemed to run very poorly and no amount of tweaking that was done would make it play nicely – it was also constantly running out of memory and leaving a blank page.

As you can imagine, neither ourselves nor the client was happy with the result, so we decided to find another solution that would do a similar job but work much better. The search lead us to Map List Pro coded by the talented folk at SmartRedFox, which not only ran much faster, but was lighter on the websites resources as well.

Map List Pro Demo Screenshot

The Plugin also has the handy front end option of asking the users for their current location when they enter the page, so it can then determine which is the nearest location for them without them having to enter in an address.

Overall, the process of switching to the new plugin was relatively painless aside from the further styling we had to redo to suit both websites, but after the change over, both the WordPress websites using Map List Pro now run much faster and without issue, and we will definitely be using this in the future, so if your WordPress website is in need of a similar solution, why not contact us today!