Site is closing

Hi folks,

It’s been fun and all but as the lack of updates to this plugin shows, I’ve lost interest in maintaining it.

I’ve learned a lot from this mini side-project and had some great discussions with many of you. It was definitelly worth it. At some point close 3500 sites were using this plugin simultaneously ! Not bad for something hacked up over lunch in a couple of days with no prior knowledge of WP plugin creation.

Anyway, thanks for the ride. So long folks!
Greg

Minor release : V1.8.1 is out

Dear plugin users,

This new release brings you 2 nice additions :

  1. Czech is finally available thanks to Martin Dvořák.
  2. I made it easier to create a searchbox that points to a SINGLE hotel. As I figured this would still require some longer explanations, I also posted this simple walkthrough to document a bit better. This isn’t a totally new capability even though I added a clearer menu option pulling some tweaks in the booking.com code.

Greg

Restrict results to a single hotel

Dear plugin user,

A common use case that is repeteadly brought to me is how to create a search box returning results for a single / unique hotel. Typically you would have a post about how great the place is, or simply have a very neat UI and you want to integrate more seamlessly. No problem, this plugin got you covered.

First step : Find the hotel ID

Go to the booking.com extranet (https://admin.booking.com/partner/?lang=en) and then click on (1) “Implementation”, (2) “URL Constructor”, select (3) your country & city, (4) click on “hotels” and “show”. Finally pick the hotel ID in the list that shows up.how to find your booking.com hotel IDFor the sake of the example we’ll say the Hotel ID I want is “176270”.

Second step : Creating a searchbox

I’d rather assume you’re already familiar with the UI of the plugin but as this is a walkthrough let’s go step by step.

How to setup your affiliate searchbox

 

First, go to the left panel and (1) click on “Add new”, then (2) enter a title for your searchbox, (3) your Booking.com affiliate ID, (4) the hotel ID we just found, (5) restrict results to SINGLE hotel and, finally, I recommend you (6) hide the destination field in your searchbox. The last one is purely a cosmetic recommendation, do what you’re more comfortable with.

Last step : add it to your site

Final step, you’ll need to add this searchbox to your site. We’ll take the example of a blog post but the same methodology would apply to widgets or template areas.

Go to new post, click on that blue “B” icon next to the “Add media” button and select the box you want from the dropdown. If, for some reason, you’d rather work with the shortcode, you can simply copy / paste that code from the plugin menu on your site. Simple really.

Happy posts !

Greg

 

Minor release : V1.8 is out

Dear plugin users,

Only a couple of weeks after the last update, please welcome this “maintenance” release.

Performance and overall WP best practices are always high on my list. The legacy searchbox storage function was doing a little too much for its purpose. Instead of creating entries in your “wp_postmeta” table ONLY in the context of a new searchbox, it created un-necessary entries for every post you created. Definitely not the intended purpose.

While this isn’t something I’m proud of, let’s be clear, the extra volume of information (or the weight in your WP database) is absolutely marginal and in no case this would have had an impact on your site speed or table integrity.

After a proper backup of your database (as you should), feel free to try the most popular WP database clean up plugins and you’ll notice very little difference before / after (shaved 4Kb off on this site).

Again, sincere apologies for not having it right on the first try. This flaw is fixed and you can resume creating searchboxes !

Greg

NB : Thanks to Pawel for his feedback !

Minor release : V1.7 is out

Ho Ho Ho

As Santa shares love in happiness, I had a few spare hours to make a plugin update. The changes are literally based on your comments for the last few months so keep them coming !

Changelog

  • Updated jQuery library versions
    Now pointing to Google’s CDN for version 1.11.2 instead of 1.10.
  • Default Searchbox title
    After a little bit of rootcausing, I realized a number of users got confused because their searchbox all had the same name : “(no title)”… And in fairness, you don’t really HAVE to add one to get the plugin to do its thing. So I’ve changed the default title text to something a bit more helpful. Of course you can still edit the title, and of course it only applies to this custom type.Also, that also led me to realize there are no mandatory fields in wordpress ! Crazy !
  • Calendar CSS Isolation aka “Careful mode”
    With the increasing use of jQuery UI in WP themes, more and more plugin users have been complaining about the way the plugin blends into their theme. I’ve added a theme option that will better respect your theme AND the native jQueryUI look & feel.
  • Bug fixes
    • jQuery calendar url was sometime acting up when using WPML. This is now fixed.
    • Insert menu is no longer limited to the 5 latest searchboxes. It’ll go down to the last 25. That should be more than enough for the vast majority of users.
    • Edited out some of the CSS. Will be depricated in the future.
    • Readjusted the code to align the calendar icons.

See what the demo looks like now on this site.

And that’s it for now. What will come in the future is a more ‘WYSIWYG’ way of building the searchbox. You’ll choose your template (horizontal, vertical, mixed) for each searchbox. That’ll really help you doing nicer integrations and make my life easier too ! Also, this’ll allow for a proper mobile (“touch”) support.

Thanks to Agus, Nicolas, bikingviking and Constantinos for their help beta-testing this release.

If you like the update, feel free to post a review on wordpress.org !

Happy 2015!
Greg

Testers needed : V1.7 is about to be released

Ho Ho Ho

As Santa shares love in happiness, I had a few spare hours to make another plugin update. The changes are literally based on your comments for the last few months. Keep them coming !

Changelog

  • Updated jQuery library versions
    Now pointing to Google’s CDN for version 1.11.2 instead of 1.10.
  • Default Searchbox title
    After a little bit of rootcausing, I realized a number of users got confused because their searchbox all had the same name : “(no title)”… And in fairness, you don’t really HAVE to add one to get the plugin to do its thing. So I’ve changed the default title text to something a bit more helpful. Of course you can still edit the title, and of course it only applies to this custom type.Also, that also led me to realize there are no mandatory fields in wordpress ! Crazy !
  • Calendar CSS Isolation
    With the increasing use of jQuery UI in WP themes, more and more plugin users have been complaining about the way the plugin blends into their theme. I’ve added a “Forced compatibility mode” that will better respect your theme AND the native jQueryUI look & feel.
  • Bug fixes
    • jQuery calendar url was sometime acting up when using WPML. This is now fixed.
    • Insert menu is no longer limited to the 5 latest searchboxes. It’ll go down to the last 25. That should be more than enough for the vast majority of users.
    • Edited out some of the CSS. Will be depricated in the future.
    • Readjusted the code to align the calendar icons.

See what the demo looks like now on this site.

If you want to test this future release, have 30 mins in front of you and know what you’re doing, please get the ZIP file here and send me your feedback !

And that’s it for now. What will come in the future is a more ‘WYSIWYG’ way of building the searchbox. You’ll choose your template (horizontal, vertical, mixed) for each searchbox. That’ll really help you doing nicer integrations and make my life easier too ! Also, this’ll allow for a proper mobile (“touch”) support.

I’m starting to look at it now and will post an update later on.

Thanks to Agus & Nicolas for their help beta-testing this release.

Happy holidays
Greg

Minor release : V1.6.1 is out

Dear plugin users,

This plugin while things seem to be mostly stable for the large majority of you, I had a couple of requests I wanted to take care of :

New features

  • New language : Icelandic
    I guess most people didn’t expected that one… and me either ! Thanks to Bikingviking, you’ll now be able to offer a stay near the legendary 

    Eyjafjallajökull. I’ve also added the local currency support.

  • ‘H3’ tag removal from the Searchbox
    A user requested some time back that I remove the H3 tag from the searchbox as this was conflicting with his site template. It should look exactly the same as before for many of you and might look much more integrated for some users.

The update notification should come in a few hours. Till then, you can see the demo of the live version or check the FAQ.

Cheers
Greg

Minor release : V1.6 is out

Dear plugin users,

This plugin has been stable for some time now but a few users reported bugs and long-waiting requests… I gave in and opened my editor to work through it.

New features

  • Search button customization
    When I wrote “I gave in” earlier, this is really meant for that search button. From day one, plugin users pretty much asked for this (as a low priority). I guess this has been a low priority for so long, it was high time I get it on the list.
    By default, the background color will remain the good old “#0896FF” blue. The border color and text color will remain linked, by default #FFF.
    While I was at it, I also restyled a tiny bit the search box to soften the edges. I did not want to make it look like a web2.0 button; only trying to stick to the booking.com styleguide.

  • Currency determination
    Booking.com usually does a good job at picking the currency that makes sense for the visitor. Based on the hotel settings and the visitor browser settings, it should, in most cases give you an ideal combination. However, if you want to force results to be displayed in one currency, you can now do it from the admin panel. All the booking.bom currencies are supported : USD / EUR / GBP / INR / SGD / DKK / NOK / SEK / AED / AUD / BRL / CAD / CHF / CLP / CZK / HUF / ILS / JPY / MXN / PLN.

Bug fix

  • Fixed “Destination” window
    Shame on me. I purely & simply forgot to add the basic few lines of codes allowing the results to display in a new window (or not). By default, regardless of your choices in the editor, all results were being displayed in a brand new browser window. The plugin will now respect your choice. Doh…

As usual, I know there are other requests or (tiny) bug fixes that some of you have asked. It’s all on my list. Time allowing, I’ll do another release in a couple of weeks.

Keep the feedback coming and… if you like this plugin, sharing this page. Also making small donations & positive reviews on WordPress.org  are always appreciated 🙂

Thanks
Greg

Minor release : V1.5.4 is out

Dear plugin users,

With the recent launch of V1.5.4, I mostly had positive feedback as it seems the latest edits fixed itching issues for several of you. I also received some detailed and actionable feedback around specific issues that still bug some of you. Hopefully this release will help.

  • Improved IE10 support
    After a nice and illustrated note from Manuel F on compatibility issues with IE10 (and below), I took the bull by the horns and reinstalled the whole VMWare and system images to get proper testing done. I’ve found the root cause and fixed it.
    ie10_support
  • New language : Russian
    Blame the Olympics or not but thanks to Massimiliano and one of his clients, the plugin now support Russian. Spasibo !

Coming next :

  1. “Search” button customization.
  2. Restricting the plugin usage to site admins
  3. Ability to open the results within WP instead of pointing to booking.com

Keep the feedback coming and… if you like this plugin, small donations & positive reviews on WordPress.org  are always appreciated 🙂

Thanks
Greg

Minor release : V1.5.3 is out

Dear plugin users,

With the recent launch of V1.5.2, I received some feedback for very basic things to be addressed and some more longer standing items.

This release being a minor one, I’ll take some of the trivial things out of the way.

  1. Z-index correction : many users reported that the calendars were showing behind their sliders or ads, resulting in an awkward online experience. The z-index was previously defaulting to 1, it is now set to 9999999. You should be fine for a while !
  2. Calendar font size : many users have been surprised by how large the calendars have become. I’ve reduced the porportional font size from 1.1em to 1. You’ll notice it does make a nice difference while still being very much user friendly.
  3. Spanish & Portuguese translations – html encoding : I did miss one html encoding for respectivelly Wednesday & March in the previous release. It’s now fixed.

The long standing items below are still pending :

  1. jQuery conflicts (calendar won’t open),
  2. restricting the plugin usage to site admins
  3. ability to open the results within WP instead of pointing to booking.com

I’ll look at these sporadically in the next few weeks but don’t hold me for delays on these.

Thanks for using the plugin
Greg

Minor release : V1.5.2 is out

Dear plugin users,

With the recent launch of V1.5.1, a number of you did come back with some gaps and examples of where the plugin did fall short.

For this bug-fix release I’ve cleaned the code further and isolated what caused some JS or CSS conflicts for several of you. I received positive feedback from most beta testers (thanks again for your time) qo I’m releasing what I have now.

  • Not only your calendars should load but you’ll now have the ability to pick different calendar skins (as listed in the official jQuery UI Gallery). This long time requested feature will help a number of you to make the calendars look more in line with your WP theme.
    The plugin will load the minified version hosted on google CDN for the JS & CSS file. Assuming your users don’t have it in their cache already, we’re talking about ~10K of code that will be downloaded once, only once, from the super-fast Google servers.
  • I’ve fixed the ASCII encoding error for the days & months.
  • I’ve cleaned the admin panel a little.

[booking_pluginbox id=”309″]

Hope this release will contribute to improving your sales.

Greg

 

Bug fixes for V1.5.1 – Test it now !

Dear plugin users,

Based on your feedback after the launch of V1.5 and V1.5.1, I’ve looked at the code again. In most situations, the plugin should have been playing nicely with your current WP install… but I’ve been able to reproduce certain cases where things could go wrong. After a number of tests, I’ve fixed the root cause for the calendars not being displayed correctly. You can now freely integrate this with your wordpress theme.

While I was at it, I’ve added an option that allows you to select the calendar skin you prefer directly from the jQuery repository. Check all the options available from here. Each skin will be now selectable from the admin panel for each of your searchbox. As usual, I don’t recommend running multiple searchboxes on the same page as you’d probably end up with mixed results. I’ve seized the opportunity to clean up the admin panel too.

jqueryui_calendar_skin

I’ve also fixed a few text encoding issues for Spanish & German.

jqueryui_calendar_fixed

 

With that, I think we should be good for some time 🙂

Here’s the download link for the preview, let me know if anything goes wrong ! If I receive no feedback, I’ll post this version on the official repository later on this week.

 

Thanks for using this plugin & for the feedback

Greg

Minor release : V1.5.1 is out

Dear plugin users,

With the recent launch of V1.5, a number of you did come back with some gaps and examples of where the plugin did fall short.

1. Front-end

  • A big miss in 1.5 was the inability to apply the color scheme when the searchbox was placed in the body of the page. It only worked in the sidenav. This is now fixed and you can display as many searchboxes on a single page : each will have its own look & feel per your settings.
  • For the sites already using a jQuery function (Tabs, accordion, alerts, …), users reported a conflict in between their previous install and the theme packed with this plugin. With this release, you’ll be able to disable the embedded skin that comes with the plugin. This way, the jQuery calendar will leverage your site theme and look even more integrated !
    The option is available from the settings page (very last option) :disable_skin
  • The calendar icon is back where it belongs, which should work for most users. However, if need is be, you can easily adjust the padding here: “/includes/shortcode.php”, line 295 & 296.
  • Bulgarian is now supported (thanks to Georgi)

2. Under the hood

  • I’ve cleaned the translation setup and fixed a couple of characters that didn’t behave nicely. I’ve also compressed the number of lines of code dedicated to translations. The date appearing in the check in / check out will be in local language too.
  • I still don’t advise you run multiple searchboxes on the same page, but if you have to, then this should now be mostly working.
  • A legacy CSS file is now removed from the archive.
  • The plugin is also setup, tested and compliant with WP 3.8.

What’s next ?

I’ve had requests for additional user-level security in the past. It’ll allow sites with multiple contributors to have only the site owner deciding what AID to be used !

I’ll also start looking at the integration of the results within the wordpress site as opposed to a blank new window at booking.com. An easy one in PHP, a bit more tricky within wordpress.

But for now, just one thing to do : go to your WP install and upgrade to the latest version of the plugin… and if you haven’t done it yet, sign up to the newsletter to stay up to speed with what’s going on !

Thanks to all for your valuable inputs !
Greg

CSS Bug fixes for V1.5 – Test it now !

Hey there

I’ve received a few comments and emails about CSS issues / conflicts with the latest release. While I’m sad to hear I missed them during the testing phase of the last launch I’m grateful for your feedback !

I’ll absolutelly look into each comment and specific issue, correct them and post a corrective release asap. Again, because the code is now much more aligned with the industry standards, it is probably only going to take an hour or two (fingers crossed :)), which is great for all of us.

The only downside is I’m really busy at work these days and I’m running a 10K race tomorrow so it’ll have to wait till next weekend at the earliest before I can really sit down and do the necessary cleaning. At that point, I’ll do another beta version and will offer you the chance to confirm that it all behaves as it should (i.e. MUCH nicer than 1.0.1).

Update to V1.5.1

Get your dev version right now to check this has fixed any potential issue. The more feedback I get, the quicker the next release will go live.

November 25th

  • Calendar icon alignement (short term fix)
  • Background & text colors now working fine (main column & sidenav)
  • Tested on Chrome / IE10 / FF for look & feel AND interactions with the calendars (i.e. date selection).
  • Deprication of orphan CSS file.

– November 30th

  • Fall back solution for the calendar icon, similar to V1.0.1
  • Translations are now completed for the calendars. The code still need a cleaner formatting but it’s all good.
  • Enforced language (english) and tracking name (“plugin”) when no settings are defined.
  • Tested on Chrome / IE10 / FF for look & feel AND interactions with the calendars (i.e. date selection).
  • Tested for WP 3.8 Beta 1

December 1st

  • Optional CSS override : if you are already running jQuery Tabs or Accordion on your site, use this new option to disable the skin packed with the plugin and keep your site consistent ! This will also prevent your other Tabs / Accordion / … to pick up the look and feel of the calendar.
    The option is available at the bottom of the plugin setting page.
  • We’re back on with the icon calendar. It still won’t work for everyone, but with the fix mentioned above the noise should be minimal.
    If you want to tweak it, go to “/includes/shortcode.php”, line 295 & 296.
  • Much better support of multiple searchboxes on one single page. Not yet perfectly fine but will cater for 90% of the uses.
  • Translation cleanup.

Still pending

  • Use of multiple searchboxes with calendars in different languages on a single page. This is the reason why booking.com can return “Check out date invalid”. For now, keep using only 1 searchbox per page. => Much improved but not perfect yet.
  • Extensive testing with older IE versions
  • Potential conflict with other jQuery plugins (by design this shouldn’t happen due to the WP coding best practices I’ve followed… but I’m also hearing the feedback in the case of jQuery tabs, so looking into it) => tested with WP sites using jQuery tabs and did not face weird behavior. => Fixed with “Disable skin (CSS)” option

Thank you again for the feedback, keep the details coming !
Greg

Major release : V1.5 coming out this week

Dear plugin users,

After a number of updates in many aspects, I’m really glad to let you know the next release of the plugin is scheduled for this week.

In version 1.5, you’ll find some improvements in the look & feel but also a whole lot of changes under the hood. Have a look at this post to find out the changelog and what that really means for you and your users.

  • If you want a preview, the new plugin already runs on this site. Just click here to see an example.
  • If you want to give the new version a test drive (on your test server), get it now from here, but make sure you get the final version from WP directly.

Not all of the requests have been implemented in this version, but it’s on my list for the next few months.

As usual, keep the feedback coming !
Greg