All the advanced websites of shops, business centers, restaurants, boutiques and other services which have concrete locations are using plugins for creating maps. The usage of Maps plugin has the only and the main aim that is to show locations, directions, areas and so on. This kind of an action will provide visitors of a website with more concrete and vivid information and it will help them to find easily what they need. I am sure, that this tool is more than necessary while creating a professional website because sometimes only mentioned address at the Contact us Page or anywhere else is not enough, while the Map will “speak” even without words.
There is a wide range of Maps plugins in the WordPress community. Among them are Huge-IT Google Maps, Maps Builder – Google Maps plugin, Google Maps CP and others. I decided to use the first one, Huge-IT Google Maps, because after reading a description of the plugin and getting acquainted with its features and opportunities, I understood that it has all tools which are necessary for reaching my aim. And I don’t regret that I am using this plugin because it is full of options and settings which can make my website more professional and attractive.
Before starting to work with the Google Maps plugin it is necessary to register API key, without which a map will not working properly. This option was changed according to the latest Google requirements, so it is necessary to take the API key from the Google Directory. After clicking on “Register for Google Maps API now” a page, where it will be possible to get an API key will be opened in a new tab. Here is a link for enabling an API key:
After inputting the API key a map will appear at the backend, where we will start our globetrotting through the Google Maps world. First, let us get acquainted with the General Options of the plugin. Among these options are Map name, Map type, Marker clicking or hovering option and many others. In these options I would like to mention one of the most important features, that is Zoom-Controller and Default zoom.
The first one is designed in order to allow visitors zooming the map. When playing with a default zoom it becomes obvious that the main purpose of this option is to zoom a map and show a concrete part of it. This is a very important option because it is more than logical to show not the whole map with its 5 continents but only one continent, country, even city or street. This map plugin gives an opportunity to do this.
Maximum and minimum Zoom options are the ones, which are designed especially for the visitors because they set the limitations of zooming option.
The General options are of course include address setting options, changing width and height opportunities and such typical options. But the most interesting option, which I even couldn’t predict to find in this plugin and in any kind of Maps plugin that is Map Animation. It’s like a view in any other plugin which is related to images, videos and anything else, which has some visual aids. I am sure that using such views will attract visitors’ attention because it is not ordinary and typical. It shows that a creative person with an interesting worldview is a creator of a website. So, one of such an interesting views which are possible to show within a screenshot is a Swing view.
It is just swinging for a few seconds and then stops where it should be. Unfortunately, this was the only view that was possible to show with the help of a screenshot, but I am more than sure that “Tada” and “Jello” view will attract your visitors and makes them smile. I think that the plugin developers didn’t choose Attention Seekers name for this type of views. But there are simple ones as well, such as Fading, Sliding, Zooming and other effects. It doesn’t matter how serious the business is, the little note of positiveness and lightness can appear everywhere and in any kind of a website.
It is possible to speak about the view for a long time, but let me not be distracted from the main purpose of this plugin. The next options is a Marker option. This option is designed in order to show the exact locations on the map. As it is shown in the screenshot there are different types of icons. The decision on which one to choose depends especially on the website creators taste and imagination.
As it is shown in the image, there are different types of icons. It is possible to change their size. In order to add the icon to the appropriate place, just adding an address for the icon is required. Icons have their Animations as well, among them are bounce and drop. If it is vital to have a moving icon, then it will be good to choose one of these animations. The icon can have a title and description. The most precious option which is integrated with this plugin is HTML support within a description. In this case, it is possible to add a link to the icon. This can be used in order to direct a visitor , for example, to other websites or anywhere else.
In my case, I just added another website’s link in order to make a visitor go to another website and check the information there. In order to make a link work it should be written in this way: <a href=”link”>link/</a>. Only in this case the link will become clickable and will serve for its purpose. Also, it is vital to note that besides the standard icons the image icon can be added there. In the case of images, it is necessary to bit a little bit attentive and careful, because they can take a wide space on the map and look not pretty good.
The next option is Polygons option. This option is designed in order to show some specific areas on the maps. In this case, several markers should be used in order to highlight the area. The colors of the line, highlights and can be customized. This option can be used when it is necessary to show an area which is for example rented or sold.
Directions are very useful tools as well. They are showing directions from the A point to the B point. This option is something like vectoring a visitor from the one place to another. It allows a visitor having an overall idea of how to find a right and most effective way to reach a point.
So, for example, if a website creator has two shops and would like to show on the map how to get from a one shop to another, this option can be used. It can be compared with the Map designed by the Google. But in this case, a visitor can point his/her current location and write the place where he/she wants to get. After it, a direction will appear on the map. It will be gorgeous if in the future updates this plugin will have such an opportunity as well.
Another interesting feature of this plugin is Layers option. There are three different layers: traffic, bicycling and transit. I like the Traffic layer most of all because it shows all the roads on the map.
Finally, when all the markers, polygons, polylines, directions, circles and anything else which is possible to add here are added a map itself can be customized. These options are included in the Map Styling options. Here it is mainly possible to change a background option, set its transparency and so on. All these changes should be done taking into account the whole style and design of a website itself. So, I adopted the color of the map to colors used in a website. As it is shown in the marker is added as an image of a cake and it is not very large.
After creation of a map the last step that should be done, it is adding it to the page or post. In order to do this, it is simply necessary to take a shortcode from the backend and add it to the page or post. If there is a necessity to add the same map to another page it is possible simply to make a copy of it and add it to another page.
Overall, a map which was created with the help of this plugin could be used and added to different websites. Without any doubt, it will attract websites’ visitors, make them feel comfortable and give them information about a location of the particular place, shop, center or anything else. Such kind of beautiful complement will decorate a website and not only makes it look good or professional but it will have a purpose to indicate exact and vivid information.
My name is Anna. I adore creating and sewing dresses. For creating a commercial website (shop) and selling my dresses I use WordPress with its wonderful plugins. I am not a website developer or expert in creating websites, but all those plugins which I use are very simple and they help me in reaching my aims and even dreams. So, if you have any suggestion or advice feel free to contact me on LinkedIn:
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