Since Google purchased the technology back in 2005, Google Maps have changed the way we think about our planet. Throughout the years, the renowned company accumulated an unimaginable number of images of Earth. Today, we take Google Maps for granted and we have them embedded in different applications, widgets and on our websites. Whether we want to show a location in satellite or the street view, or we want to search restaurants in the neighborhood, Google Maps have become a must-have feature for every business site.
If you are trying to put a map on your WordPress powered website you probably already know that there are different ways of getting the location displayed in front of a visitor.
Among many other solutions, Google Maps Widget stands out by allowing you to load your maps much faster than any other plugin for WordPress.
Instead of immediately rendering an interactive map which might slow down your site, Google Maps Widget will allow you to use a thumbnail image of your map which loads in a blink of an eye. Instead of loading the map as soon as the page loads (which usually takes about 70 requests and 1 MB of transferred data) the plugin loads a map as one static image (which takes 1 request, and only about 50 KB of transferred data).
Although everything is automated and you won’t have to think about how the plugin deals with the code, you can still have an important role when it comes to compression. There are several image compression methods to choose from which means that your thumbnail map can look good without loading unnecessary information. Choose if your thumbnails will be rendered as PNG-8bit, PNG-32bit, GIF, JPEG or non-progressive JPEG.
Once you customize the map to your likings, the plugin will automatically generate a thumbnail which can be placed in a widget or practically anywhere else using a shortcode.
Still, users can choose to open the entire map in a lightbox which can be styled separately or, the map can be replaced by the interactive one only when a user wants that.
If you only need the basic features for your map, you should note that Google Maps Widget comes as a free plugin which can be downloaded directly from WordPress plugin repository. Currently, it has over 100,000 active users. That makes the plugin one of the most popular in the repository when it comes to Google Maps.
But if you want your Google Map to really stand out, you should take a look at over 50 extra features that come in the PRO version. Those include multiple pins support, different skins which will transform the looks of your map, the entire pins library, import/export feature, Google Analytics integration and much, much more.
– Fully Responsive
– Compatible with all WordPress plugins & themes
– Unlimited pins per map
– Custom description bubbles
– Unlimited number of maps
– Over 15 different map skins
– More than 20 lightbox skins
– 1500+ custom map pins
– Custom map language
– 4 map modes; directions, view, street & streetview
– Advanced cache & the fastest loading maps
– Fullscreen lightbox mode
– Full shortcode support & extra hidden sidebar for easier shortcode handling
– Clone widget feature
– Export & import tools for easier site migrations
– Google Analytics
– Premium support
– Regular updates
There’s so much you can do with Google Maps Widget premium plugin for WordPress. Instead of only reading about it, we suggest that you download the free version and start your 7-day trial period which will give you just enough time to fall in love with the plugin.