Having a map on your website is one of the many ways that you can increase engagement. It’s also a great way to create a more interactive experience for your visitors. They have an impact on the UX of your website, as well as on your SEO and website traffic. However, a lot of website owners aren’t sure about whether or not this addition deserves a place on their online platforms. So, we’re here to put minds at ease!
In this blog post, we list the pros and cons of custom map designs for website owners. From customizability to technical skills and maintenance, we’ll help you determine whether or not having a map on your website is the right choice for you.
Let’s jump straight in!
Pros of Custom Map Designs
Depending on the plugin that you choose to install, you have control over exactly what information to include and how it’s presented to viewers. That includes everything from customized icons, galleries, filters, and more. You can even select the type of map you’d like to display, be it a heatmap, topographical, or hybrid map.
You can emphasize certain parts of the map, include specific details, or exclude irrelevant information. This gives users complete autonomy over their map’s design.
By designing your own map, you can incorporate your own brand image into the design. This will help users achieve brand consistency when it comes to colors, images, and fonts. This attention to detail goes a long way with your audience. Something as small as using a signature color can increase brand recognition by 80%. When map plugins offer opportunities to maintain your brand image and perhaps even enhance it, it’s a huge plus!
3. Improve User Experience
With a custom map, you can tailor the map to the specific needs of your users. Taking advantage of custom fields is a good way to enhance the overall UX of your website. It’s all about making the experience with your website as easy and as pleasant as possible. This has a positive impact on website traffic by encouraging users to interact with and revisit your site.
4. Exclusive Information
A custom map can be used to show exclusive information that may not be available on generic maps. It all depends on your intended use for the map. For example, some maps can be designed to show the internal layout of a mall, amusement park, or campsite. Not many establishments use custom maps for this reason, and we consider it a missed opportunity to enhance the overall experience for your visitors.
5. Better Visual Representation
Custom maps can be designed artistically to be more visually appealing or to fit with the aesthetic of a website, app, or printed material. What’s more, they’re a great way to relay information in a visual way.
Let’s use the recent COVID-19 pandemic as an example – governments were using digital maps to visually represent the number of outbreaks in certain locations. The maps were also used to make comparisons and show population density differences between selected areas. This made conveying the rising cases and high-risk areas far easier to communicate to the public.
Cons of Custom Map Designs
Creating a custom map can take a lot of time, especially if you are not experienced in map design. Some WordPress map plugins are more complex to install and integrate with existing websites, while trying to make the process as simple as possible.
When looking for a suitable map plugin to add to your site, consider how much time you have to work with, and how complicated the installation, design, and activation will take.
2. Requires Technical Skills
Designing a map can require certain technical skills, such as proficiency in design software. No matter which plugin you choose to install, you’ll need to have at least some understanding and technical know-how.
However, we should point out that just like any other software on your laptop or desktop, it’s possible to have a software developer or your local tech store do the installation for you.
If you want to get the most out of the available map plugins, you may want to consider opting for the premium versions or Pro Add-ons. This is where additional costs come into the picture.
If the design you’re hoping to create has a little more complexity than average, you may also need to hire a professional to do the job for you. This will help you achieve a higher level of quality that may appeal more to your viewers. However, this again makes the process more costly.
As we all know – people make mistakes. That means that there’s a risk of human error when designing custom maps. If you’re not a professional, this risk is even higher. This means that it can lead to inaccurate or misleading information being displayed. If website owners aren’t careful, this can have a negative impact on their brand as a whole as viewers pick up on these issues. Inaccurate information can be seen as misleading and damage the trust you’ve built with your audience.
Maps often need updating as there are often changes to the landscape or surrounding infrastructure. For example, bloggers with popular travel maps need to continuously update their designs to include their latest destinations. If they want to keep their followers engaged and show that they value their audience, this type of maintenance is necessary.
Website owners should also consider the fact that should they run into any problems that need fixing, they rely on the plugin’s development team and customer support to find a solution. These responses can at times be slow and lengthy as they try to navigate the issue.
A customized map can add a lot of value to many websites, from enhancing the user experience to getting your audience to interact with your website more. They’re also known to improve a website’s SEO when integrated strategically.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s a suitable addition to every site. They require a certain level of technical skills and knowledge to execute correctly, and to make sure it helps you achieve the best possible outcomes.
Make sure to carefully consider the pros and cons of adding a custom map design to your website before making a decision that could cost you credibility and the trust of your audience.