St. Croix, USVI is a favorite travel destination of mine. It''s a beautiful mix of people of cultures.

While visiting, I realized the majority of local businesses use Facebook for marketing. Locals explained that it was a tight-knit community and Facebook was the easiest, and cheapest, option to get exposure with limited resources.

While a few St. Croix "blogs" did exist, they were self-maintained and therefore had limited listings and available information. And, these sites intended to charge already resource-strapped locals for the increased exposure. 

One day I stopped by a roadside vendor selling fresh, delicious cane juice. When I asked if he'd be there everyday, he gave me his number so I could find out where he was that day. Right then, I knew he needed a way to have a business profile, similar to Google Business, but where he could set a pin on the map wherever and whenever he needed. Me having his phone number wouldn't help all the other people he needs to discover his business.

It became apparent there was a gap in the currently available travel guides and/or business directories. Crucial Crucian was born.


Crucial Crucian Desktop Full Page by Jason Renai
Crucial Crucian Desktop Map
Crucial Crucian Mobile Full Page by Jason Renai

Crucial Crucian enables local businesses to create and manage their own local listings. They're able to add a logo, description, photos, social media links and a location that can be updated, something especially helpful for roadside vendors.

Crucial Crucian Add Listing

Enabling local businesses to create and manage their own local listings creates a more relevant and robust directory. Of course, website admins can manage listings as well.

Crucial Crucian GeoDirectory Businesses

Each listing has a description, pictures, contact information, reviews, maps and directions. Listings can be claimed, if not already, and reported if there are issues.

Crucial Crucian Listing

Push Notifications for Wordpress, WooCommerce and Buddypress

Since is a review site, marketplace and social network, it makes sense to implement real-time messaging functionality with seamless and instant message delivery. We're testing a combination of push notification plugins including, Ultimate Push Notifications and Push Notification for Post and BuddyPress, for features and functionality.

Users receive the push notification on their devices, even if the app is not currently open. They can tap the notification to open the app and view the new content or message immediately.

Crucial Crucian St. Croix US Virgin Islands Guide Push Notifications

A real-time, Firebase database continuously synchronizes data between the server and clients in real-time. When any changes are made to the database, such as new messages or updates, they are instantly propagated to all connected clients without the need for manual refreshing.

Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM), which is tightly integrated with Firebase's real-time database, uses the updated data as a notification payload. This payload typically includes information like the sender's name, message content, and a unique identifier for the notification. FCM then delivers the push notification to all devices that have been registered for notifications.

Crucial Crucial Firebase Notifications

Realtime Messaging for Wordpress, Woocommerce and Buddyboss

We're increasing engagement by using a realtime private messaging system that enables chat features, private video and audio call, group video calls and other features for WordPress, BuddyPress, BuddyBoss, WooCommerce and WooCommerce Frontend Marketplace. Live chat functionality allows for creating chat rooms or just private conversations between website users.

Crucial Crucian Better Messages for Wordpress

We're dynamically generating the weather information using the OWM plugin to call the OpenWeatherMap API. Accessing certain advanced weather data, such as inclement weather alerts, historical data and Google Tag Manager data layer requires an additional OneCall subscription from

Using the OWM plugin, multiple weather instances can be created with unique configurations and display options. Each weather instance also generates a shortcode.

Crucial Crucian Weather Map

QR Codes for Wordpress, Woocommerce and Buddyboss

We're dynamically creating a QR code for every listing using Kaya QR Studio. This QR code can be downloaded, printed or shared by the listing to allow users direct access to their profile. In the furture, the QR code will play a important role in marketing campaigns.

Kaya QR Code Setting 1
Crucial Crucian QR Code

Development Workflow with Flywheel Hosting and LocalWP

LocalWP provides an easy-to-use interface for setting up local WordPress development environments. It eliminates the unnecessary redundancies of configuring web servers, databases, and PHP settings and allows my to build websites faster. I can create new WordPress sites with a few clicks, making it convenient for testing, staging, and development.

LocalWP includes useful tools like phpMyAdmin for database management, SSL support for secure local testing, and the ability to switch between different PHP versions to ensure compatibility with various WordPress plugins and themes. It runs WordPress efficiently on my local machine, ensuring fast loading times and a smooth development experience.

With the "Instant Reload" add-on enabled, any changes I make to my WordPress site's code, content, or styles are automatically and instantly reflected in the browser. This means I can see the results of my edits without hitting the browser's refresh button. Other add-ons include link checker and image optimizer.

LocalWP can be used with Flywheel and WPEngine hosting.

Crucial Crucian LocalWP Flywheel
Crucial Crucian Flywheel