JV-LinkDirectory is a premium link exchange and directory extension for Joomla! with which Joomla webmasters and site owners can run a comprehensive and SEO based directory of listings. We are very excited to present to you the new features and changes being introduced in the upcoming JV-LinkDirectory version 5.15.
Coupons in Listing Plan
Today, listing plans in JV-LinkDirectory can be configured to allow photos, videos, files and many more features. When a listing owner adds their listing to the directory, they select the listing plan first. The listing plan limits features that the listing owner can make use of in the listing. For example, if the chosen listing plan does not allow photos, then the listing owner will not be able to add photos to their listing.
In JV-LinkDirectory 5.15, we are adding coupons as a new configurable feature of a listing plan just like photos and videos. This means that administrators can set a limit to the number of coupons in listing plans. For example, if a listing Plan "Plan-A" allows 5 coupons, then any listing owner who chooses this plan can add upto 5 coupons for their listing.
When adding coupons, the listing owner can set coupon code, expiration date and ordering, and optionally set a URL (did I say affiliate link!) which will be opened when the coupon code is clicked. The number of times the coupon was viewed is also included in the monthly listing statistics email (if enabled in configuration) that is sent to the listing owner.
This enables listing owners to add their coupons to their listing in your directory, thus making your directory a well sought after place for your site visitors to look for coupons for different business.
New Workflow for Publishing Listings
We are introducing a new workflow to the listing submission procedure. When a user adds a new listing to the directory it will be submitted for approval (if auto approval is disabled) to the webmaster. The webmaster can approve or reject the listing. In the new version, we are now modifying this action. The webmaster can now choose to provide a specific reason and reject the listing. When it is rejected, the listing owner will be notified of the decision and the reason. Rejecting a listing will now move the listing to "Partner Pending" status.
The listing owner can then login to the directory and go to "My Listings". They can make corrections by editing the listing. Once the listing owner is done with all edits, they can resubmit the listing again for approval. The listing will only be visible to the listing owner and the administrators during this process. It will be available for public view only when it is approved.
This enhancement enables a much better user experience for the listing owner to correct problems in the listing submission instead of re-submitting all the information for the listing from scratch when it is rejected.
Listing Plan Based Extra Fields
With the new version, you can now create extra fields (also called custom fields) that are associated with listing plans. As you are probably aware, you can already associate extra fields with categories, but with this change you can decide to add and show extra fields that are only applicable to chosen listing plans. For example, you can create an extra field "Business Address" which will be applicable only for listing plan "Plan-A". A listing owner who does not select Plan-A will not be able to use the Business Address field.
This in conjunction with category specific fields opens up numerous possibilities to create different types of attractive listing plans for your users.
Option to Force user registration during purchase
Today, listing owners can add their listings and they can do without logging into your site too. We are introducing a new option where by you can decide if the user must be logged in before they can make the purchase. This has been a request from many JV-LinkDirectory customers. With this feature enabled, listings will always be associated with Joomla user names and it makes it easier for listing owners to edit and manage their listings.
Decoupling Geocoding and Maps
Today geocoding (address to coordinates) and maps are strongly coupled in the design. In the new version, we are decoupling this and are introducing a scalable design to allow different providers for geocoding and maps. This will ensure that listing owners are not dependent on Google maps all the time for geocoding and Maps. This redesign will also help us add more free and paid geocoding providers in the future, thus breaking the dependency on Google Maps.
MapQuest and OpenCage Integration
MapQuest.com provides mapping and direction services to customers. This includes turn-by-turn GPS navigation, voice navigation for walking or driving directions or exploring points of interests on the map. In 5.15 version, we are adding MapQuest as a Geocoding provider that you choose. JV-LinkDirectory will provide the geocoding and reverse geocoding API integration with MapQuest.
OpenCage is another provider that gives an easy-to-use forward and reverse geocoding API with worldwide coverage. JV-LinkDirectory will have geocoding and reverse geocoding API integration with OpenCage.
Those who wish to continue using Google can continue using the Google Geocoding integration in JV-LinkDirectory. With this, there are now 3 options for you to use Geocoding in JV-LinkDirectory. To improve the performance and reduce the number of hits that JV-LinkDirectory will make to Google, MapQuest and OpenCage, we will now be caching the geocoding results of listings for 30 days. This will reduce the number of hits and the cost incurred significantly.
The same redesign has been done to render Maps too!. Google is no more the only option with JV-LinkDirectory for geocoding and maps. MapQuest is added as another provider which you can use!
Alphabar Listings in Directory Home Page
We have the alphabar feature in JV-LinkDirectory which appears as "Alphabets" in the directory home page. Clicking on an alphabet will open a popup to show the categories whose names start with that alphabet. In the new version, we are extending it to include listings that start with that chosen alphabet too!
Listings Renewals in Frontend
With the new version, listings owners can renew their listings from directory frontend. They will be notified when a listing is about to expire. They can then login to the directory and quickly renew their listing by making the payment. It will be a seamless experience for them.
The renewal email reminder or expiration notification email can now be configured to be sent twice before expiry. You can decide via configuration when to send them.
Highlight Listings of Certain Plans
This feature will enable you to highlight listings of chosen listing plans to be highlighted and stand out in the directory frontend category pages. You can customise the highlighting using specific css definitions that you want to use by a adding it to your custom.css or Joomla template custom css file. This feature can be used to treat more expensive listings or certain types of listings more prominently in the directory, thus allowing you to market certain listings plan more than others!
FontAwesome icons in Directory
JV-LinkDirectory has been using Fontawesome 4 version for showing icons at various places in the directory. Sometimes this conflicts if the Joomla template that you use is already loading Fontawesome. It is also possible that you may want to use a different version for the directory than for the main site.
In this version, we have made this a configurable option. You can now choose to load or not load Fontawesome icon library in the directory. If you decide to load the library then you can select the specific version (4.x or 5.x) that you need. This gives you the flexibility to work with icons in JV-LinkDirectory which will play well with the Joomla template that you use. You can have a version specific to directory or not load the icon library if your Joomla template is loading it already etc…
Limit Number of Listings in Listing Plan
You can now restrict the number of listings that can be associated with a listing plan. This will be a listing plan configuration where you can set the maximum of listings of that plan type. The plan will not be available for selection for user when adding a listing in site frontend and backend when this limit is reached. All listings in all statuses are included in this count. You can set to Unlimited or even set it to not allow listings for the plan.
CSS for Dark Coloured Templates
In the new version, we are introducing a new CSS file for the directory which will integrate better with dark coloured Joomla templates. You can also configure the directory to switch to a light or dark theme based on the Joomla template you use.
There are a few more minor changes that are introduced which you can read in the Change log when we release the new version. We hope you like these new features.
Please comment and let us know what you think!