On the 11th June 2018 Google launched their new updated Maps platform which now has a more streamlined pricing structure and pay-as-you-go billing. So what does this mean if you currently use, or plan to use Google maps on your own website? Well if you are a medium size business or large corporate business then it should be mainly be good news, as the new platform allows for simplified management during usage spikes and to allow seamless scaling of your business.
However the picture is not so good if you have are a personal blogger or have small business website and you’re using Google maps to display your location or maybe a few places of interest. Previously it was a simple process of signing up for free Google API key and simply pasting it into your WordPress plugin page and you were good to go. Now however all users regardless of usage, must sign-up for a Google billing account which requires entering a payment method such as a credit card, debit card, or bank account.
Google does provide a $200 monthly credit for a free tier of usage and state that the service will still be effectively free for 98% of all users. However many users have expressed concern over the new system for a number of reasons. The main issue is that people resent having to enter their credit card to receive what was and is still essentially a free service. It would have been reasonable to ask for a payment if a user exceeded the free usage limit but definitely not if they stayed within it.
A second reason is that small business owners and personal bloggers don’t always have the time to constantly monitor their maps usage and this can create an unwanted level of stress. There is always the constant worry that traffic may unexpectedly spike, or even worse be the victim of automated click fraud and end up with a large usage bill from Google. Now while there are safeguards that can be put in place to prevent this, it all adds extra complexity for something that should really be simple to set and forget.
So what would be a good alternative to Google Maps on your WordPress Website? Well we recommend using the Maps Marker WordPress Plugin. This is a full featured maps application which includes all the standard Google Maps implementations for which you will need an API key and of course a billing account. However it also includes access to OpenStreetMap which as the name suggests is a completely free open source resource and a valid alternative to Google maps.
Read more about Maps Marker WordPress Plugin and try it out the free demo!