The Regions Module allows you to create standard regions, such as cities, states, countries, counties, villages, etc. and present the user with a drop down list for the Place Ad process instead of allowing free form text entry, which is difficult to search on.
Location-based classifieds are where your categories can be filtered such that the results are specific to your user’s current location. Users only see relevant results, much like Craigslist does. Location based classifieds also allow you to restrict what cities, states and countries the users are allowed to enter during the Place Ad process. Using consistent data makes it easier for future users to search on the data and to avoid problems like misspellings (e.g. Laraydo, Laredo, or Larado) or capitalization problems (e.g. TExas, TX, and Texas)
To enable location-based classifieds, do the following:
- Purchase the Regions premium module
- Install and configure Regions module
Users can now browse and search by location. In addition, when placing ads, they will be restricted to adding those cities, states, countries and any other location-specific fields you have added (e.g. county, village, borough, etc).
Furthermore, Regions provides an important ability to filter listings based on selecting a particular region (state, city, whatever) by the user. Listings for a category, search result or the entire classified database will be filtered to that’s user’s chosen location, making their results relevant.
Install as follows:
On your WP admin dashboard, click Plugins->Add New. At the top, click Upload and then find the downloaded ZIP file for the module on your local computer. Click OK to start the upload. Activate the plugin when you’re done to complete the process.
Installing Regions module automatically adds 4 new fields to your configuration under Directory Admin->Manage Form Fields. They are as follows:
The Regions module allows you to specify regions in order to use drop down select options instead of having your users fill in any country/state/city of their choosing. This module is useful if you want to limit your classifieds services to specific countries or specific states or specific cities.
The module allows you to show a list of regions in your main classifieds page. That list is called the Sidelist.
The sidelist allows you to have “quick filters” setup for regions you know will be of interest to your users. The side list appears like this in your Classifieds site, to the right of your listings and just below the button panel/region selector area:
When you click on a region in the sidelist, this will quickly set the region to match the one in the sidelist. Sidelist regions can also have sub-regions showing as well, such as this for USA (before and after pics):
By clicking on the button, that will open the sub region list (States) for USA, allowing for further location filter refinement.
If you want a region on the sidelist, you must add it under the Classified Admin > Regions area of the admin dashboard.
You can add or remove regions to/from the sidelist under Classified Admin > Regions here:
Displaying Regions Fields
Controlling which Regions fields are shown on the Advanced Search form and on the Place Ad form happens under Classified Admin > Settings > Display > Form Fields by checking or unchecking the boxes. You can also make these fields required or not here:
The regions administration screen looks like this from Classified Admin > Classifieds > Regions: (you can also get there by going to Classified Admin > Settings > Modules > Regions)
Allow Regions modification: Allows users to be able to change their regions fields in their listings (enabled by default).
Allow users to search Ads in multiple regions: Yes or no
Managing the Region Hierarchy
The Classified Admin > Regions screen is where all region configuration happens. Regions are configured as a hierarchy. You can make the hierarchy anything you like. We pre-configure it with the most common scenario, but you are free to use as much or as little as you like. The default is setup as follows:
Continent -> Country -> State
You can add counties, cities, villages, boroughs, whatever you like. The important thing to understand is which regions are parents and which are children, and to make the association accordingly. Each level of the hierarchy is displayed with a dash in front of it. So top level regions have no dash, first level (country) regions have a single dash, second level (state) regions have two dashes, and so on.
As you add or delete regions, the Regions Module will automatically change the Form Fields to add or remove the level of the hierarchy you create. These fields will have default names associated to them, but you can change them to whatever you like using a translation file. The names of the fields are not important to Regions Module, just the order.
The Manage Regions screen primarily uses a list of regions to work with (notice the top level region, North America (a continent) has a country (with single dashes) below it, and state (with two dashes) and a city (with three dashes):
At the top of this list, you have various filters you can use to hide/show regions that you are interested in. Clicking Enabled will display all active regions (those that can be shown in the Region Selector, Search screen or Place Ad screen), Disabled will show all inactive ones. In Sidelist will show all regions that have been added to the Sidelist, and Not in Sidelist does the opposite.
Above the region list, you will find the Add Regions widget, where you can quickly add one or many regions at a time. You can also specify the parent region of the region you are configuring when adding a new region.
To add a new region, simply type the name of the Region in the Name field, specify the parent region of it, and then click Add New Region. If you do not specify a parent, that region will become a top-level region. By default, top-level regions are Continents. You can configure your regions any way you like, continents do NOT have to be the top level–this is just how the default data set comes.
Here is a quick video showing how this is done:
Adding Regions — Watch Video
How to Filter Listings By Regions
When you visit the Classifieds pages, at the top, you will see the Region Selector (which by default will say “Displaying listings from All Regions” until you select something).
To the right of the region indicator is a drop-down button and clicking on it will open up the region selector:
When you start out, the first drop down will be the only one displayed. Clicking a region in it will create the control to select the next level.
When you have fully selected the desired region you wish to filter on, click “Set Location” to set the region for filtering. Now, only listings from that region will be shown in that page, until you change it.
If you make a mistake or simply wish to see all listings, click “Clear Location” and the drop downs will reset, allowing for a new selection.
Searching using Regions
When users click the Advanced Search form, or if you use the Advanced Search widget available under Appearance > Widgets, users are able to select the regions they want from a dropdown list: