I like how the developers modeled the data for this plugin. Very smart use of existing WordPress architecture, which makes for efficient data management, easy extendability, and also makes sorting and filtering the directory listings easy. This plugin has the best search capabilities of any of the directory plugins I tried out. (I avoided trying out other plugins that had really stripped-out features for their free version, and a ridiculously high fee for the “pro” versions.) This is why I went with this one, despite some of the issues I encountered with it. (Read on…)
Searching for map geocodes did not work for me. It produced an error message that said, “You are not the author.” As a matter of fact, I AM the author. No one from support got back to me after a week, so I figured out I could work around the issue by using latlong.net to obtain the geocodes. Lava Directory allows you to just enter the geocodes directly, so some plus points for that.
I have another plugin for events that also uses the Google Maps api key, and there were some pages where they were both trying to evoke the key, which will break your maps. So I ended up getting a dedicated maps plugin that I could use with the content from both plugins and disabled the map functions in both of the other plugins. In this case, it would be nice to have plugin settings that let you disable the map functions entirely, and not display the titles, etc. with no real content. I’m a developer, so I’m adding that feature to my own install of the plugin.
On the listing detail pages, website urls should be displayed as clickable hyperlinks. I fixed that on my installation of it, but I’d like to suggest that to Lava as a much needed and very easy to add feature.
Support. As in, there is none. On the main plugin info page, they tell you they’ll have a support forum on their website “soon”, but meanwhile we should post to the WordPress support forum for support. I posted twice, and no response to either. As of the moment I am posting this review, the first one has gone unanswered for over a week. I did come across another review (from over a year ago) that mentioned slow support. The response from Lava was, “You should email us.” That conflicted with what was on the main plugin page, so I assumed it was outdated. Obviously, support is not a priority with these guys.
Despite the issues, I still found this plugin the best fit for my particular uses, so I’m using it. Lots of potential with this one, but it needs work.
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