Connections requires very few settings to be applied in order to get it setup and running. This is one of them. You must create a “Public” WordPress page and set that page to be the directory home page. After you add this new page you should add the Connections shortcode to it. Please see Step 4 of the installation instructions for more.
If you want your directory to be private—only visible to logged in WordPress users—you will want to enable the “Require registered users to login before showing the directory.” option. When this option is enabled only your registered WordPress users will be able to view the directory. Your site visitor will instead see the “Please login to view the directory.” message. You can easily configure this message to better suit your needs by using the supplied rich text editor.
This is the category that will be assigned automatically to an entry if no categories are selected when adding the entry. When you first install Connections it will automatically add a default category name “Uncategorized“. Using this option, you can change the default to be any category of your choosing.
Base Country and Region
Presently these options are not being used anywhere within Connections but were added for future use. It is recommended that you choose your default country and state/province.
Shortcode Visibility Overrides
Before we discuss these shortcode override options we must first go over the entry visibility status options, their meaning and who can see entries assigned to which visibility status.
When adding an entry to Connections you can choose its visibility much like when you can do when adding a WordPress page or post. These options are Public, Private and Unlisted with the default being Public. This visibility status defines who can view an entry. The following are the basic rules:
- If an entry is Public then all your site visitors can view the entry regardless if they are logged in or not.
- If you require your users to login before they can view the directory by enabling the Require Login option then Public entries are only visible to all the WordPress user roles of Administrator, Editor, Author, Contributor and Subscriber by default.
- If an entry is Private then it only visible to the WordPress user roles of Administrator, Editor and Author by default regardless of the Require Login setting.
The dates added to the entry such as anniversary and birthday will be displayed using this format. You can use any valid date format as covered in the WordPress Date and Time Formatting Codex.
The default format is: F jS, Y
The results list or card view is the default view of the directory. What this looks like really depends on which one of the templates you are using but generally this is the view which lists all the entries you have entered in Connections.
Clear Search Message
All the templates sold on this site support searching by keyword and filtering by category. When users perform searches a message box will be displayed showing which keywords and categories that they are searching and that the results will be reflecting their search criteria.
This search message box also presents the user with a Clear Search button (or link, depending on the styling applied to it by the theme) to allow your users to quickly and easily clear their search criteria so they can start over.
This option is enabled by default. Disabling this option will prevent this search message box and clear search button from being displayed.
When adding a category into Connections you have the option of adding a description. This description will be shown above the clear search results message on templates which support filtering by category. The description will be displayed by default. Disabling this option will prevent the description from being displayed.
This is the A–Z links shown at the top of the results list. This index allows your site visitors to click on a character to filter the result list by the character that was clicked. By default this option is enabled.
The character index is not a static A–Z list displaying all characters regardless if entries exists for each character or not; instead the character index is smart. It is generated dynamically to display only the characters for entries that actually exist in Connections. The characters that will be displayed are the first character of the last name of an Individual entry type and the first character of the Organization and Family entry types sorted alphabetically.
You can also choose to repeat this character index at the beginning of each character section; ie. before entries for “A”, “B”, “C” and so on. In addition to this you can also choose to display the current character section header before the start of each character section. For example, if enabled, the entries that are in the “A” character section will be preceded with an “A” header.
These are the registered actions that are available. For example, by default, there is one list action available in the core Connections plugin. This is the View All permalink. The View All permalink will take you to an internal Connections page which lists all the entries you have entered into Connections alphabetically by name only. No other entry details are displayed in this view.
Content Blocks are the frontend output of custom fields for extensions that enable them such as the Business Hours, Education Level and Income Level extensions. Here you can enable which ones should be displayed and in what order by using drag and drop in the Result List View.
The single entry view is synonymous with profile view and detail view. You will often see these terms used interchangeably in the Support Forums but they all refer to the same thing, that is, viewing a single entry’s details. You can navigate to this page by either clicking the entry’s name on the site’s frontend when viewing the Result List or clicking the View action link under the entry name on the Connections : Manage admin page.
The Entry Actions are much like the Result List Actions but the actions available here will be limited to actions limited specifically to viewing a single entry. Currently there are two Entry Actions included in the core Connections plugin. These are the Back to Directory link and the Add to Address Book link.
These Entry Actions can be enabled/disabled and reordered using drag drop drop just like the Result List Actions.
Enabling this option will display a single entry using the active template based on entry type rather than the template activated for the All template type. For example, if the entry is an organization it will be displayed using the template that is activated for the Organization template type found on the Connections : Templates admin page.
This is an advanced feature which is generally best left disabled.
Content Blocks are the frontend output of custom fields for extensions that enable them such as the Business Hours, Education Level and Income Level extensions. Here you can enable which ones should be displayed and in what order using drag and drop in the Single Entry View.
When an image or logo is uploaded to an entry, various sizes are created and cached. This helps to reduce server load during the rendering of the directory.
Here you can control the default image sizes that the various templates use and the crop modes.
Search on the frontend of the website is enabled in select premium templates only and does not integrate with the core WordPress search. None of the supplied templates include the search feature. These settings will affect the results of search on both the Connections : Manage admin page and the frontend of the website.
These are the fields to search when performing a search on either the Connections : Manage admin page or on the site’s frontend for templates that support search. By default most fields are search enabled. You can improve search results and speed by limiting the fields to be searched.
This option is enabled by default, however, it will only have an affect if your web host is running current versions of MySQL and is correctly configured to support FULLTEXT search queries.
This option is enabled by default, however, if your web host is running current versions of MySQL and is correctly configured, disabling this option can greatly improve the relevance of the search results. If you disable this option and searches do not yield results, this indicates that the server does not support FULLTEXT queries. If this is the case, re-enable this option and disable the FULLTEXT option.
The output of Connections for entries is search engine optimized (SEO) following the hCard microdata specification which all the major search engine providers support. A future update to Connections will change this to support the newer scheme.org structured data formats for individuals and organizations. In addition to this, Connections also adds additional page meta information to further enhance SEO of your directory. These are enabled by default and it is strongly recommended that these are left enabled.
Connections will automatically change the page title in the browser window/tab to reflect the current location in the directory being viewed. For example, the current category name or the current entry name being viewed.
Connections will also automatically add a page description created as an excerpt from either the current category description or the current entry biographical info field. Search engines may choose to use this page description when displayed in the search results.
The page title will be dynamically changed to display the entry name or category name before the page title separated by “»”. Of the options available on this page, this one is likely to be safe to disable without negatively affecting the SEO of the directory.
The Licenses tab will only be displayed if you have installed and activated at least one of the addons for Connections such as extensions and templates which requires an active support license key in order to receive in admin updates.
Here you can activate/deactivate your support license key, check to see if you are receiving updates and when the license expires. If the license has expired a link will be displayed which can be used to easily renew your license and automatically receive your renewal discount.
Configure permalink support. Avoid using permalink structure names that will conflict with WordPress, such as category and tag. Also avoid using permalink structure names that conflict with any custom post type slugs and custom taxonomy slugs. It is highly recommended that you leave these set to their default values. Only change these if you fully understand how changing these will affect your site.
Name – Enabling this option will turn the name of every entry into a link. Clicking the link will take you to the single entry view. This option is enabled by default.
Telephone Number – Enabling this option will turn every telephone number into a link that when clicked by the user on a mobile phone or computer with a telephone application installed will dial the number. This option is disabled by default.
Organization – Enabling this option will turn the name of each organization into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that organization. This option is disabled by default.
Department – Enabling this option will turn the name of every department into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that department. This option is disabled by default.
Locality – Enabling this option will turn the name of each locality (city) into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that locality. This option is disabled by default.
Region – Enabling this option will turn the name of every region (state/province) into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that region. This option is disabled by default.
Postal Code – Enabling this option will turn each postal code into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that postal code. This option is disabled by default.
Country – Enabling this option will turn the name of every country into a link. Clicking the link will filter the results list view by that country. This option is disabled by default.
Custom Post Type Support
By default Connections supports only the Pages post type. When Custom Post Type support is enabled, you should select at least one post type for which you wish to enable the support. This will ensure that the necessary permalink rewrite rules are added. Additionally, you will be able to select a Custom Post Type page as the Directory Home Page.
Enable? — To enable support for custom post types, enable this option.
Enable Support for? — Select the custom post types for which you wish to enable support.
Google Maps Geocoding API
Addresses are automatically geocoded when adding an entry using the Google Maps Geocoding API which is free but is limited to 2,500 queries per day at a rate of 10 queries per second. Under normal usage this is more than enough but if you are bulk importing using the CSV Import extension then you can easily exceed this limit.
When using the CSV Import extension for bulk import it is recommended to set up a Google Maps Geocoding API Server Key which has increased limits of 100,000 queries at a rate of 50 queries per second.
Please be aware that there are fees associated with using the Google Map Geocoding API at these increased limits. View the Pricing and Plans. The fees will be assessed and charged by Google and not by Connections.
CSS – If you want to provide 100% of your own CSS to Connections, then disable this option so you do not need to write complex CSS selectors to override the core CSS styles. It is recommended that the option remain enabled.
jQuery – Themes and plugins sometimes load a version of jQuery that is not bundled with WordPress. This is generally considered bad practice which can result in breaking plugins. Enabling this option will attempt to fix this issue. You should only enable this option at the direction of support.
Templates – Themes can break plugin shortcodes that output content on the page causing the content to not render correctly. If the templates do not display as expected try enabling this option.