I have a client who wanted a dealer locator added to a Zen Cart site. They weren’t able to locate a Zen Cart extension that met their requirements, so they asked me to build one from scratch.
Their specifications for the dealer locator were as follows:
- The dealer locator must blend in with their current Zen Cart template.
- The dealer locator must display dealers within the United States as well as Canada.
- Users must be able to find dealers either by zip code or city and state.
- Users must be able to quickly map the location of the dealers.
This is one of those times when it’s good to have a programmer building your web site instead of a web designer without a programming background.
The client had quite a few dealers in the United States, though they currently only have one in Canada. It would have been impractical to build a static page listing all of them, so I went with a database-driven form using jQuery and AJAX to make the form function smoothly for users.
Users are able to select a range within which to search by zip code, or they can search for all dealers in a given city and state. The output includes a link to the Google Maps listing for the dealers’ addresses.
You can see the solution I came up with in action on Q-Logic Direct.