If you wish to show the location of your business on your website then Google Maps is the go to method to easiy show where your business is located. As of 2017, Google Maps reached 1 billion users. Pretty much every website we build uses Google Maps at some point. Over the last couple of months we have had clients informing us us that their Google Maps is no longer working and there is a message displayed ‘Development Purposes Only’.

Why Has Google Maps Stopped Working?

Starting from June 11th, Google have introduced a billing strucutre which means you must enter your card details if you wish to integrate Google Maps with your website. I only say you must enter your card details because unless you reach 25,000 page loads per day, you are not being charged. Once you do hit 25,000 map loads a day, you are then charged $0.50 per additional 1000 map loads.

Right now, not one of our clients is remotely close to that. If you have lost your Google Maps, the best thing to do is contact your web developer who will be able to reinstate your map for you. They may decide you have to enter your own bank details to avoid charged on their account.

If this is the case or you want to try and create the API yourself to set up Google maps, follow this link here to create and account.

What are my alternatives to Google Maps?

Starting from June 11th, Google have introduced a billing strucutre which means you must enter your card details if you wish to integrate Google Maps with your website. I only say you must enter your card details because unless you reach 25,000 page loads per day, you are not being charged. Once you do hit 25,000 map loads a day, you are then charged $0.50 per additional 1000 map loads.

Google Maps does not have to be your only option and if this new pricing structure has turned you off, you might be thinking of finding an alternative map API for your website. There are not tons of them available simply because Google Maps has dominated the market for so long. However, there are some that are more than worth checking out if you want to be able to provide your customers with easy-to-understand directions to your business.
We have provided you with a handful of the more popular alternatives out there but you may find a few more if you go and have a look around for yourself.

Bing Maps

Bing Maps is an obvious choice as it a direct search engine competitor to Google that is owned by Microsoft. The only issue here is that while it offers some great features such as road view, 3D view, aerial view as well as providing all of the direction requirements you might need, like Google is going to be, it is quite expensive.

TomTom

TomTom is one of the biggest names in GPS mapping technology having started out in providing maps and direction technology for vehicles. It has since expanded into providing online maps and would be a good alternative to consider for your website. As for pricing, the first 2,500 daily transactions per month are completely free and then you will be charged $0.50 per 1,000 going forward. This means you will be getting 75,000 map loadings for free each month compared to the 25,000 with Google.

MapFit

MapFit is a relatively new solution but when you consider it costs half the price of what Google Maps will cost you, it is definitely worth a look. This is a powerful platform that is available as an API or as an SDK for both Ios and Android. Its strengths are that it is considered far more accurate than many other alternatives out there when it comes to the geocoding for your online storefront.

Sticking with Google Maps? Try Snazzy Maps

Google Maps still does offer the best solution, especially considering it is integrated into the Google search engine. So if you are happy enough to provide your credit card details and experience charges from time to time, it might be worth sticking with them, at least to see how this personally effects you.

If you did stick with Google Maps, you might want to consider jazzing up the map on your website using Snazzy Maps. They offer a free map styling plugin that allows you to customize or choose set styles of maps that could really really add to the design, image and aesthetic beauty of your website.

All you need to do is sign up for an API key and you can then select from 100’s of predesigned map styles or simply create your very own. Completely free to use, Snazzy Maps is a great app that can bring a different flavour to the maps that are integrated into your website.

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