This article looks at the BEST Map plugins for WordPress including: MapPress, WP Google Maps and Advanced Google Maps for WordPress.
We will look at the features each WordPress Map plugin offers and the price of the plugin. You can learn more about the map plugins by clicking on the names above the images.
WP Google Maps Features
Map Builder - The free version allows you to create one mapWith the premium version allowing unlimited maps to be created. Maps are simple to create with many tick box options, but much of the advanced functionality is reserved for the pro version. Shortcodes that are supplied with the map need to be added to pages or posts to display the map, but there is a separate area on the left menu dedicated to storing your maps for easy access.
Styling & Themes - The plug-in has many options for styling maps with predesigned themes, even for the free plug-in and several options to hide information such as the directions link or mark icons.
Drawing on the Map - You can add polygons, polylines, circles and rectangles. These are saved individually and applied to the map, with the pro version featuring hover lines, fill, opacity and links making your maps more interactive. There are further options, including a heat map and advanced markers with GPS information and customer markers available.
Map Types - The four main map types offered by Google including roadmap, satellite, hybrid and terrain are all available with the Free and Pro version.
Layers - Layers including bicycle routes, traffic, public transport and points of interest are available with the pro version. You also have the option to display the user's location on the map which can be helpful to your visitors to gain a perspective on where your locations are in relation to their location.
Addons - The gold add-on offers marker clustering which is useful if you are displaying multiple locations within a country. An example of this. would be a directory website which may have hundreds of locations. Clustering these locations into areas makes it much simpler for the website user to digests and navigate to the appropriate location. This add-on also offers real-time location tracking which is helpful if you have a hiking path and your mobile users are trying to follow this.
Another add-on is visitor generated markers which allows website users to add locations to your map including details such as the location name, address and description with an image. This can be very useful in building a directory website as. users can submit this information themselves.
Documentation - A plug-in as links toAn external site with the documentation which is very useful featuring several screenshots per page. they also have a support forum and for pro versions, support from their development team is offered via email.
Price - WP Google Maps has a free plug-in available within the WordPress repository. The pro version Starts from $39.99 for three site licenses and access to updates forever. The developer bundle costs $99.99 and includes up to 10 site licenses with additional add-ons not available in the pro version gives you unlimited site licenses, access to all future versions and costs $199.99.
Advanced Google Maps Features
Map Builder - Maps are simple to create using a tick box for and then choose single or multiple locations to add to the map. You are provided with many options such as directions, Info windows, routes, and you can restrict how your users can interact with your map. Maps are added to your page or post by using a supplied shortcode.
Styling & Themes - There are some options to change the style of your maps but for more advanced styling and simplicity, they recommend using snazzy maps which is a free plugin that offers many advanced styling options.
Drawing on the Map - The drawing options with this plugin are the easiest to use from this maps list. There is a screen in which you can simply draw on your polygons, polylines, circles and rectangles with a sidebar for your shape properties including applying stroke colours and weights, fill colours and external links. There aren't however hover options that are available with the WP Google Maps plugin.
Map Types - Road, satellite, terrain and hybrid map types are available. You can also display Google Street View and specify the heading and pitch, which is very useful for displaying office locations.
Layers - Traffic layers, transit layers and bicycle layers can be displayed on a map, but you cannot edit these to display just a section for example just the Northern Line of the London Underground. There is another option to add a grid overlay with text.
Addons - There aren't any add-ons available but. the plug-in does offer a number of advanced features already.
Documentation - The documentation has many screenshots and broken down into sections with easy navigation and search options. It isn't text-heavy, which is ideal if you are looking for simple tutorials. it features many videos throughout the documentation, and there is email support for the first 12 months after purchase.
Price - Advanced Google maps plugin for WordPress is available from code Canyon and costs $59, which includes future updates, six months of support and can be used on one website. There is no free version available of this plugin.
Map Builder - The builder in MapPress has a series of tick boxes to select options for map controls, map settings, localisation and map sizes. You create maps within a page or post which also displays the existing maps you have made. There is an option to add a shortcode, but as yet there isn't a specific module for page builders; however, the maps can still be added within a text module.
Styling & Themes - The plugin doesn't include map styling, but they provide a link to Google's styling wizard for maps where you have many options to style the maps including colours, road details, borders, transport etc. This creates JSON code which you then import into the plugin.
Drawing on the Map - The pro version of the plugin allows you to add markers for different locations, but there are no options to add polylines or polygons to the map therefore if you are looking for a plug-in to display routes or areas of interest, another plugin on this list would be a better option.
Map Types - MapPress can display road, satellite, terrain and hybrid maps with further options to display traffic, bike routes and public transport. Street view is supported, but the map cannot open in that view, it can only be displayed by dragging the peg man onto the map.
Layers - The plugin uses map layers, but you do not have direct control over those layers as you do with other plugins on this list. This may be beneficial if you are looking for simplicity with your maps plugin.
Addons - There is one addon available named Turbo CSV which is used for importing bulk data for map creation. This is ideal for review sites, directories and product listings but does require some technical knowledge to make it work.
Documentation - The online documentation is a thorough, although quite text-heavy and few screenshots. The plugin is fairly simple to use, and so this isn't necessarily a problem as most people reading the documentation will not be necessary. It does cover more advanced features but coding knowledge is required to understand and implement the features
Price - MapPress Lite is a free plug-in available from the WordPress plug-ins repository. MapPress Pro is available as a basic licence for three sites costing $49.95 and includes one year of update and support. Their developer license allows up to 25 websites and costs $79 again with one year of update and support.