8. User Dashboard (PRO version only)

A registered user can submit a new business to your directory. Those already with one or more listings (including accepted claims) can amend the details and subscription options of their businesses. Users may also chose to remove one or more of their businesses, renew a subscription, request a subscription upgrade or request a featured listing. All these options are available from the User Dashboard area. This can be found in the “/user-dashboard” sub-folder of your business directory. For example, if you business directory start page can be found at “www.yourwebsite.com/business-directory/” then the dashboard can be found at “www.yourwebsite.com/business-directory/user-dashboard/”.

8.1 Adding a New Business

New businesses can be added from the User Dashboard simply by clicking the “+ New Business” button and entering the business details. As administrator you must moderate any new businesses before they go live. You will receive an email when a new business is submitted, and all businesses waiting from moderation will be highlighted in the admins WPBD Pro->Businesses page. Once a business has been moderated (or declined) the owner will be notified via email. The content of this email can be modified in the admins WPBD Pro->Email Options page.

If you have set up payment subscriptions the user will have chosen (and paid for where applicable) this when submitted the business to you. If you are using an instant payment mechanism (ie. Paypal) this will be handled automatically and the details will be viewable in the business admin page, under the “Current Subscription Information” section (See “Administer Businesses”). If payment has not yet been made (ie. you are using bank transfer) remember to manually update the details as soon as payment arrives. However this doesn’t stop you from making a business listing go “live” in the meantime – as administrator you have the ability to enable a business even if payment hasn’t yet been made.

8.2 Editing a Business

Users can also edit the details of their business from the User Dashboard. Any amendments must also be modified, and once a change has been made the business will be disabled and flagged for moderation. As admin you will receive email notification when a business needs re-moderating. Follow the same steps again to moderate and enable the business again. The user will be notified via email.

8.3 Upgrading Subscription

A user can edit most of their business information but cannot edit their current subscription status. However they may wish to “upgrade” their subscription if one exists that is above their current subscription level. They will need to purchase the upgrade, which will cancel their previous subscription and start a new one. The subscription term will reset back to day one for this business, so if a subscription lasts for 12 months and the business is already 6 months in to a current subscription, once upgraded they will have the subscription for a full 12 months. It is not possible for the owner to receive a refund on the previous subscription (however you could deal with this manually if preferred). If the user does not complete payment (or you are using BACS transfer) the business listing will continue to be visible on the website using the previous subscription option, and the admin area will flag this as awaiting payment. Remember to manually update this when you receive payment. If they used an instant payment mechanism then this should all be handled automatically.

8.4 Renewing a Subscription

When a subscription has been purchased, and reaches its final month (assuming you specified the length of time the subscription lasts) the user will be emailed a reminder to “renew your subscription”. However this can be achieved at any point from the User Dashboard. Simply click the “Renew” button (only visible one businesses that are currently within a subscription that is not unlimited). As with the upgrading component, the user will be asked to make payment, and the status of that payment will be displayed under the “Future Subscription Action” (bottom right of the admin edit business page). As before, depending on your payment set up options this will either be automatically set a “Paid” or “Unpaid” (in which case you will be able to update this to “Paid” once payment has been received).

If renewal payment has been made prior to the current subscription’s end date then the system will handle the renewal automatically via a daily cron job, and the user will be notified of the successful renewal. However if the renewal is not paid in time or no renewal has been made, once the subscription hits its end date the business listing will simply revert back to the free “Default” subscription. No business listings are deleted automatically.

8.5 Requesting a Featured Listing

Featuring a listing is a great way to boost traffic to a particular business. A featured business will be displayed at the top of a search and is highlighted in another colour to make it more visible to draw the user’s eye (gold if using the default theme).

As administrator you can set a business as “Featured” in the edit business page in your admin area.

Business owners may request a featured listing from their User Dashboard, however this has no actual bearing on whether or not their listing becomes featured. They can choose their requested featured start and end date, and the best method of contact.

As admin you will receive an email notification and must decide whether or not to allow it. This must be done manually. Currently WPBD Pro doesn’t support auto-handling of featured listings as there are many different ways an administrator might want to handle this: perhaps you would charge a fixed fee? Or a few based on the length of time. You might even want to provide this service only to those subscribed to certain packages.

We are interested to know how you would handle a Featured listing. Please let us know on our support forum. We will use your input to decide on how to handle featured listings in the future.