One of the most popular widgets for showing off your map in WordPress must be Google Maps Widget. This great free plugin currently has over 100,000 active users all of over the world displaying their private and business locations on beautiful Google Maps.
Just few days ago, the plugin evolved and got a PRO version which allows over 50 extra features. This extended version offers new skins and pins, it allows you to export and import widgets for easier use on your other sites, it gives you the ability to integrate Google Analytics into the widget and premium support.
Among all that, this PRO version has additional great thing to offer – there’s no fixed price but you can pay any amount you think it’s fair to get all the extra features! Once you do that, you get the PRO version without limitations and its license is valid forever.
Adding a map widget is extremely easy and fast, but since recently, Google requires everyone to create a free Google Maps API key in order for the maps to work. In the following lines, we’re about to show you how to create your own API key in just a few steps:
- Navigate to Google Developers Console
- Select “Yes” radio button
- Click “Agree and continue” button which confirms you have read Terms of Service
- Wait for few moments until Google prepares everything
- Name your API key
- Optionally, add referrers which will have access to your key
- Click “Create” button
- Copy API key which show on the popup screen
- Click OK
Now that you have created an API key for yourself, take note that it might take up to 5 minutes until the key becomes valid. You can still continue with the setup but don’t freak out if your API key still doesn’t work. In the meantime, let’s get back to WordPress admin:
- Open Settings -> Google Maps Widget (PRO)
- Paste your Google Maps API key
If you click the “Test API key” button, you’ll notice that one of the two tests went OK. Don’t worry; that’s simply because you’re still not finished with setting up the key completely. To complete everything, there are few more steps to do:
- Register application for Google Maps Static API
- Select the same “My Project” from the dropdown list
- Click on “Continue” button
- Choose Google Maps Static API from the first list
- Click on “What credidentials do I need?” button
If everything went as planned, Google Developers Console should let you know that you already have what it takes to use maps in your projects.
Now you can get back to GMW settings page and test the API key. This time the plugin will tell you that your API key is ok and warn you about saving the key for any future references.
Finally, your API key is set up and ready to work with your Google Maps Widget. Now you can create beautiful maps and show them in widgets. Enjoy.