Support » Plugin: Flexible Map » The Author Author Of This Plugin Is Great

  • I found it difficult initially to know what the heck to even do with this plugin. Eventually I found my way to the site with the instructions for using the shortcode and attributes. The plugin was great for what I needed. My only complaint was the poor UX as you can read below from my previous review. But the developer has graciously responded and I hope this plugin continues to thrive.

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    My Previous 2 Star Review:

    I’m sorry to give a low rating to a solid plugin. But I feel compelled because I’ve had a hard time finding a good maps plugin. With this plugin I am frustrated because after installing it, I saw no instructions, no new sidebar addition, nothing in ‘Settings’, nothing under ‘Tools’, etc. I spent too much time trying to figure out where the instructions were for me to create my shortcode. @webaware, this simply isn’t user-friendly and I’m no idiot.

    I finally figured it out. You have to go to their website and educate yourself on how to do anything with this plugin. Why not add the “Attribute Reference”—that’s on the WebAware site—to my WP backend upon installation? Or at least add an explanation and link in the plugin description? When I go to my installed plugins, other authors give instructions right there, with links. Not just a one-line description of what the plugin does. The ‘Instructions’ link down by the version number and author link is not good enough, in my opinion. And why not just build the features from ‘Flexible maps options plugin’ directly into your plugin rather than asking the user to install an additional plugin? Totally not user-friendly.

    If you don’t want to build out the “Attribute References” directly into the WP admin dashboard—which is the more user-friendly way and my plea—then you could at least put in the description something like this: “Embed Google Maps in pages and posts, either by centre coordinates or street address, or by URL to a Google Earth KML file. This plugin uses shortcodes. Shortcode instructions and other details are explained here.” Then take me straight to “Getting started” and “Attribute reference” rather than the landing page that explains crap about what it does and how to install it which I don’t need to see. I’ve already installed it!

    (Also, your description currently has a typo: coodinates instead of coordinates)

    I’d be happy to change my rating if these improvements were made because I do like the plugin and I am still using it despite these quirks because I’m past the learning curve now. It’s pretty powerful what it can do with just the shortcode and attributes. I like it.

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  • Plugin Author webaware

    (@webaware)

    G’day @dallanlee,

    Thank you very much for your detailed and constructive criticism. It’s hard as a plugin writer to get good feedback from plugin users, so I really appreciate the time and effort you’ve expended to provide this feedback.

    I will definitely be incorporating some of your suggestions into the plugin and the website. I did consider having the attribute reference available in the plugin through the WordPress help system, but I decided against it for three reasons:

    • it would only get updates / fixes with new plugin versions
    • it would increase the plugin translation effort required
    • hardly anyone every actually uses the WordPress help system (true!)

    The website also allows for live examples, easier to do there than inside the WordPress admin in online help. All I need is the time to build that site out with more examples and better documentation. As ever, time is my enemy…

    With regard to the settings add-on that another developer wrote, I won’t be incorporating that into this plugin, and again it comes down to time. Everything I add to this plugin takes time to write, test, debug, and then support. I originally wrote this plugin simply to solve a specific need I had on one client website, and didn’t like the available plugins at the time. I’ve since added features that make the plugin more flexible, without the complexity of endless settings screens that some plugins have. Adding settings screens now would require compromise on either simplicity or flexibility, and potentially create a UI/UX headache for me along with additional support problems. I’d rather spend the time on the documentation website.

    You’ve provided some great suggestions above, so again, thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback. Please bear with me as I find the time to bring some of those suggestions into the plugin and website.

    cheers,
    Ross

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