Booking.com affiliate plugin updated to 1.0 !

Hey folks

As per my previous post, here’s the result of the last round of updates to the plugin. I took all your feedback very seriously and revised my plans to accomodate for the most popular features. Never an easy task to please everyone (particularly when done for FREE) but I suspect this should please a number of users !

WARNING : This is a major upgrade and simply clicking the “update” link in WordPress won’t be sufficient for you to transition from the old architecture to the new one. Please save your legacy settings offline before upgrading. Your former settings will not be directly imported into this version.
Be sure you have a couple of minutes ahead of you to get things running again. Do not perform this upgrade on the go ! It’ll take you a few mins to get familiar with the new approach and re-deploy your searchboxes.

Changelog

– By public demand, your Booking.com plugin now features shortcodes !

– Complete overhaul of the publication mechanism. You can now have multiple search boxes configured for your site. They are all independant and you can reonfigure them at will. I’m leveraging the default posts engine so you benefit from wonderful native features like revisions or backup. This answer the numerous requests around having unique  search boxes for some of your key full-width landing pages AND keep another widgetized search box for your traditional site template.
WARNING, this does not mean you can have multiple searchbox on a single page ! Just like previous versions the behaviour of the booking.com calendar script prevents that. Nothing to do with this plugin, Booking.com wants it that way. Nasty bugger.

– Add a search box from the regular post editor, TinyMCE, via the Insert button.

Revised layout : Editable width that really works. Reworked div structure that shouldn’t break any templates anymore.

Added Portuguese, thanks to Paulo Santos for the submission.

Still pending

I really wanted to get this release out the door to answer your great feedback & fair requests. That means that I had to make some re-prioritization and descope a few items that were naively slated for this release.

– Adoption of the jQuery datepicker : all in all, I’ve probably spent 50% of my time trying to tweak the default calendar script to get it to work on all major browser and in most circumstances. While not deviating from the source code is part of the idea for this plugin, fact is this the source code is outdated and not scalable. Booking.com hasn’t updated that code in more than 4 years and is providing close to 0 support. Time to move on and embrace the industry standards ! It is not included in v1.0 so legacy users can still use the original booking.com script with the new shortcode codebase. After that, (1) no more random calendar popup location (2) support for multiple searchbox on same page (3) much more flexible styling options. Can’t wait.

Further UI rework for the actual boxes. As I’m now using shortcodes and switched from a unique-per-site to many-per-site approach, the actual requirements to get the frontend working nicely changed a bit… thus taking more time to do it right. No fancy HTML5 stuff but it’s defo on the list for the nexy few releases. With the use of the jQuery datepicker, I’ll probably also borrow a few UI tricks from that library too !

Search results on your own site : it’s been while we didn’t talk about displaying the booking.com results into yout own site and branding… Well it’s still not for this release but the progress achieved here will make this next step much more stable and flexible.

Now what ?

Head over to the changelog for more details, have a look at the new screenshots and last but not least have a try for yourself on a test WordPress install (if you don’t have one setup, try via Instant WordPress).

Once you’re all ready to go and confident about the changes, you’re set for updating your production site !

 

Thanks you all for your patience (hum) and continous feedback… and keep watching for the future updates !

Greg

9 thoughts on “Booking.com affiliate plugin updated to 1.0 !

  1. Hi,

    I’ve just installed your plugin, looks really great!

    I have 3 small problems, but for now I will leave the plugin in the homepage.
    1. The calendar is shown below the entire search box, is it normal?
    2. The city/region/landmark option generates a lot of confusion, since it is printed in the search box by default (ie: city Barcelona instead of Barcelona). Is it possible to hide it in the search box?
    3. Because of the city/region/landmark option, when a person types in the name of a hotel or a landmark, it generates errors and the landpage is a generic page from booking.com. Is it possible to deactivate the option? which would be the cons?

    Ha anyone else found or solved these issues?

    Thanks for your work!

    • Hey

      (1) Yes, it is a normal behaviour to have the calendar loading up right under the searchbox. It’s the only location that is standard accross browsers with the current code for the calendar. Once I move to jQuery (and away from the original source code provided by booking), this will be fixed and the calendar will show directly where you initially expect to have it showing.
      (2-3) Leave the field blank and it won’t add “disambiguation” terms. It is recommended to use this field for larger cities or cities with common names.

      Hope this helps & you like the plugin !

      Gheers
      Greg

      • Thanks!
        I really like the plugin, I’ll do some more testing but it looks like I’m going to keep it installed this time.

        Is it possible to leave the field empty? It’s a select menu without “blank” option.

        • Ah that’s a good point, there’s no blank option at this stage. I’ll add one. For now, don’t use that dropdown when you build a new searchbox. It’ll be blank.

          Glad you like it though !

  2. I think it would be a great improvement if it was possible to customize this line in shortcodes.php:
    $desc_search_hotels =’Buscar hoteles’;

  3. I just updated the plugin but now it’s disappeared from my site. It used to be on the left just above my Who Am I. How do I get it back there again? I get quit a lot of business via this plugin on my site and I need to get it back ASAP. Thanks.

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