If you’re looking to add a custom, interactive map to your WordPress site, then you’ve come to the right place! WP Go Maps is the most popular Google Maps plugin on WordPress, and is the perfect solution adding a map to your website, on a budget. If you’re just starting out and want to grow your customer reach, a unique map can be a great addition to help your clients find you. Google Maps and Open Layers Maps are both available with this plugin, and come with an added bonus: it doesn’t require any coding! With the WP Go Maps free version, you can create high quality, responsive maps to add to your site with just a few clicks.
Whether you have a tight budget, or simply want to give our plugin a try, we’ve put this blog post together to show you everything you can achieve with the WP Go Maps free version.
Select or create your desired theme
The free version offers six different sample map themes to choose from, including night, dark, silver and retro. If these aren’t quite what you’re looking for, there is also the option to create your own theme. This can be done by following this URL: https://mapstyle.withgoogle.com/ and clicking on the CREATE A STYLE button.
Start by selecting one of the sample themes. From there, you can tweak the map to suit your needs. By clicking on the MORE OPTIONS button, you’ll be able to make changes to your map’s appearance. Simply click on the arrow of the item you’d like to change. You’ll also have the option to hide certain features if you’d prefer to make your map simpler.
The following changes can be made using the Styling Wizard:
- All (Global Changes)
- Administrative (Borders – both official and unofficial)
- Landscape (Terrain – both man-made and natural)
- Points of Interest
Edit and create markers
When it comes to the markers on your map, you have a number of options to help you customize them for your map:
- Custom markers – Here you have the opportunity to change a specific marker, all markers, or to add a marker category. There is also a list of free icons available on our website. For more information on how to make the most of these custom markers, take a look at this article: A guide to WP Go Maps Custom Markers.
- Add videos to your markers – These videos are played when a visitor hovers over that specific marker. You can add the video tag when clicking on the ADD MEDIA button.
WP Go Maps also has an easy to use drag and drop feature that allows you to change and add aspects to your maps in a matter of seconds.
Choose your map type
By going to your WordPress dashboard, selecting MAPS and then EDIT, you can choose the type of map you want to display on your site. The type of map you choose will depend on the purpose of your map, whether it is to show directions for road trips, land layouts for hiking trails, or weather conditions for a particular area.
The types of maps for you to choose from include:
- Satellite maps
- Hybrid maps
- Terrain maps
For further reading about the types of maps and why we use them, take a look at our blog post.
Store locator features are excellent for larger organizations that have multiple stores in various locations. Indicating where your different stores are located will help potential customers find the store that is closest to them. This way, you can make the engagement process that much simpler for your visitors. They’ll be able to enter their current address, select a desired radius or distance, and find the closest store to them.
Options for the store locator include:
- Enable store locator (Yes)
- Restrict to a specific country
- Show the distance (choose between Miles or Kilometers)
- Store locator placement (can be above or below the map)
- Allow category selection
You even have the option to select the style of the radius:
- Line color
- Line opacity
- Filly color
- Fill opacity
Creating polygons and polylines
This is a valuable feature if you provide a service to your customers. They can be used to show which areas you operate in, and therefore also clarify what your area limitations are. This can be very helpful for people who aren’t too familiar with an area. Polygons show the area within a shape, whereas polylines indicate an area using a single line. Polylines can also be used to display a specific route to your viewers, such a mapped out hiking trail or personal road trip. To allow for easy navigation, you have the option to name your polygons and polylines as well.
While the Pro Add-ons offer a greater variety of options and tools to customize your website’s map, the free version is still perfectly capable of achieving your digital map goals. Use these features to enhance your map in a way that best suits your needs and requirements. They are there to help you offer viewers a better user experience and create an interactive website. There are so many different ways to incorporate a map into your website. If you’re not sure how you want to use one yet, take a look at our blog post about exploring the different ways to use maps on your website.
If you’ve tried our free version, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. For more information on the Pro add-ons available, please feel free to contact us.