The 5 Best WordPress Map Plugins in 2021
X Marks the Spot
WordPress map plugins are useful little tools that allow you to quickly add maps to your website. Depending on the plugin, these maps can be customized to add multiple locations, custom markers and icons, and provide an added level of interactivity and engagement to your website.
Adding custom maps to your website can give you a few benefits. For example, adding one to your contact page that shows your physical location can engage your visitors more than a simple text box with an address. It gives them more context and can make your location stand out more in their minds. At the same time, it also gives your business more credibility by showing that you do, in fact, exist in the real world.
But not all websites serve as a digital storefront for brick-and-mortar locations. As such, map plugins can be useful in other ways too. You can use them to help illustrate regions referenced in a piece of content, provide directions to a venue that you’re hosting or promoting, or use them to display advanced location data based on what you do and where you do it.
Why Use a Map Plugin
Before getting into too much detail, it’s worth mentioning that you can get an embed code from Google Maps that you can use to add a map to any area of your website. If you’re just needing a simple map to show your business location or even a street view, a Google Maps embed will do the trick nicely.
That said, it’s a fairly paired down version of a map—you don’t have the ability to use custom designs or do much of anything other than panning and zooming.
A map plugin for WordPress, on the other hand, can offer plenty of features you won’t get with an embedded Google map. For example, with a good map plugin, you can easily add:
- Custom filtering and search options
- Custom marker information
- Custom icons to make the plugin match your theme
Furthermore, using a plugin makes it easier to keep your maps consistent and updated across your website. It also means you won’t have to modify bits of code if you need to make changes in the future.
What Makes a Good Map Plugin
At the end of the day, the best plugin depends on your business needs. Some will need a plugin that only provides a simple map of their business location, while other websites will require specialized plugins that allow them to create advanced maps with specific functionality.
That said, if you’ve looked at map plugins in the wild, you’ve likely come away overwhelmed. So, we’ve done the work of narrowing them down to the five best currently available. To help guide the process, we’ve kept two ideas in mind:
Each plugin should include a standard map builder with custom locations, along with tools to add map markers and custom labels to increase interactivity. The maps should also be easily searchable using addresses or coordinates. Full interactivity, with features for clicking to get directions and viewing more information like phone numbers and store hours.
The plugin should offer the ability to place maps anywhere on your website, whether on a specific page or inside a widget on your sidebar. And the maps should be responsive so that they’re presentable on all devices and the user experience doesn’t suffer.
Design and Customization
Making sure every element on your website looks like it belongs is a big part of the user experience, and maps are no different. Each plugin should include basic themes to improve the design process. Moreover, they should have ways to add visual interactivity to the map. Lastly, they should have ways to upload or create custom shapes, routes, and icons, or have support for third-party icon fonts.
All the plugins here meet these standards; some more or less than others, and still others offer functionality that go above and beyond. Again, the one you choose will depend on your website’s specific needs. So without further ado, let’s take a look at them.
The 5 Best Map Plugins for WordPress
The Most Features: Maps Marker Pro
Maps Marker Pro is a premium map plugin that offers a plethora of features and customization options for both the functionality and the appearance of your maps.
The plugin, while packing a ton of features, still manages to perform rather well in terms of loading and page speed. It’s also SEO-friendly and can even help improve your SEO by automatically modifying your XML sitemaps with links to KML maps.
One thing that stands out about Maps Marker Pro is that they don’t store your location data and are up-to-date on security standards. This is a strong selling point if you’re concerned about security and privacy.
Maps Marker Pro isn’t the most user-friendly plugin when it comes to adding and customizing maps within your WordPress dashboard. Even your live maps can get complicated if you aren’t careful. That said, if you’re looking for a plugin with an extensive list of features, amazing language support, and focus on privacy and security, this is the plugin for you.
- Unlimited maps and markers
- Support for Google Maps, Bing Maps, TomTom or Open Street Map
- Advanced marker filtering and browsing options
- Tools for users to draw shapes and lines directly on your maps
- Custom marker icons
- Support for adding QR codes to your maps
- Real-time location display and sharing
- Robust import/export features
- Ability to create custom maps
Maps Marker Pro is a premium plugin with a few plans to choose from. Each plan is structured based on how many websites you need to use the plugin on. The personal plan gives you lifetime access to the plugin along with one year of updates and premium support for €39.
The Most Well-Rounded: MapifyPro
MapifyPro is another premium WordPress plugin that gives you the ability to easily add Google Maps and store locators to your website. In fact, it bills itself as the “best store locator plugin for WordPress.”
The plugin offers two types of maps you can add to your website: A standard mode for regular maps and a flashy image mode for displaying illustrative maps with colourful icons.
For those looking for powerful custom image maps, MapifyPro is well-equipped. The plugin offers an advanced custom image mode that’s able to render any image as a standard map, giving it nearly all the features available with standard maps.
Another handy feature is the ability to add specific blog articles to your maps. For example, if you write a travel blog, you can attach specific articles to locations on your map which then show up as points of interest.
As far as performance and usability goes, MapifyPro is fully responsive and works well on all devices. And the plugin takes a unique approach when it comes to SEO: Every location you add to your maps is actually a WordPress post, which can potentially improve your search rankings.
- Responsive maps with unlimited locations
- Detailed location information
- Customizable map markers, tooltips, and location filters
- Unlimited unique map markers in multiple image formats
- Bulk uploading of map locations and map images
- Advanced location searching for maps
Pricing: Premium with Limited Free Version
MapifyPro does offer a free version, though it’s rather limited. The premium version comes in on the pricier side at $19 per month, but the features offered are well worth the price of admission, especially if you run a WordPress website that’s focused on travel. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use mapping plugin that offers advanced custom map creation and great SEO performance, this is an excellent contender.
The Most Unique: MapSVG
MapSVG is a little different from the other plugins here. While it does offer a typical array of mapping capabilities, its focus isn’t necessarily on adding addresses and store locations to your website. Instead, it focuses on offering a highly customizable mapping system for creating custom maps of your own.
If you’re looking for a simple map to add to your website, this probably isn’t the plugin for you. However, if you’re looking for a way to display a range of data, statistics, or just about any other kind of information that correlates to a map or image, this is the one you want.
For example, you can attach advanced location information to a neighbourhood map which then corresponds to other data, such as real estate. Or you can display data visualization and heat maps based on locations. And while the plugin allows you to do this on any Google map or with custom images, you can also combine the two and have custom overlays on Google Maps.
In terms of performance, the plugin has an incredibly sleek interface both for the maps displayed on your website and in its back end system. And the maps are fully responsive, so there shouldn’t be any concerns with how your maps work on different devices.
- Custom map styles for Google Maps
- Region links
- Tooltips and popups
- Custom event handlers
- Custom fields and forms for your maps
- Live map previewing in the control panel
There is no free version available for MapSVG, but the cost is reasonable at $49 for regular license, which you can purchase on the Envato Market. It’s unclear whether updates are free, but the cost of the plugin will get you six months of support. You can also test out how the plugin functions in a WordPress admin dashboard by checking out the demo.
The Most User-Friendly: Hero Maps Premium
Hero Maps Premium is fairly standard as far as map plugins go. While there are no crazy, innovative features, what it does do, it does extremely well.
In fact, if you’ve no need for advanced editing features and simply want a plugin that gives you a nice-looking map that you can customize just enough to match your branding, this is the one for you.
This plugin shines in its simplicity and usability. The interface is simple, elegant, and intuitive, and it comes with a flexible drag-and-drop interface for easily creating and managing your maps. And while there aren’t endless features, the plugin still offers enough to make the maps your own in terms of customizations.
Since the plugin isn’t bogged down with any unnecessary features, it runs quite well, and it’ll work on all devices, offering responsive as well as fixed-width maps.
- Custom color markers with color packs
- Group and filter markers by category
- Map skins for Google Maps
- Import and export functionality
- Drawing shapes on maps
- Marker animations
There isn’t a free version of this plugin available, but it’s very reasonably priced at $20 for a full license, which you can purchase on the Envato Market. If you want to try it out before buying, there’s a demo available on the website.
The Most Popular: WP Google Maps
WP Google Maps is the most popular mapping plugin in the WordPress plugin repo. And with good reason: It’s feature-rich while still being relatively easy to use, and the free version is incredibly robust.
Map creation is incredibly straight-forward and quick: Simply type a location, select it, and you have a map on your WordPress website. That said, the plugin still offers a healthy array of customization options. It has Font Awesome integration, giving you access to hundreds of icons to use as custom markers.
Performance is on par with other map plugins, offering a performant and responsive map interface on your websites without much impact.
- Custom map themes
- Detailed markers with images, descriptions, and directions
- Ability to add videos to map markers
- Support for Google Maps Street View
- Support for Google Maps or Open Layers Maps
- Easy WooCommerce integration
- Robust import and export features
Pricing: Premium with a Limited Free Version
For many people, the free version of WP Google Maps will be more than enough. If you’re looking for a free map plugin, this is the best one available. That said, if you do choose to upgrade your account, the Pro add-on is a one-off cost of $39.99 and can be used on up to three websites.
The Best Value: MapPress Maps (Bonus)
For those on a budget, MapPress Maps is a solid contender that still offers plenty of great features. While MapPress Maps doesn’t offer the same bells and whistles as the other mapping plugins here, it still offers enough functionality to add basic maps to your website.
The maps with MapPress Maps utilizes Google Maps, and you can add points of interest and other details to your maps, so the plugin still manages to go well beyond what a basic map embed will do. You can even add custom icons via an upload function in the plugin.
Performance is on par with the other plugins here as far as load times go. While this plugin isn’t responsive in the strictest sense, your maps will switch into “mini-mode” when the view port is smaller, so there shouldn’t be any real issues with the user experience here.
- Easy-to-use interface
- Point-of-interest embeds
- Ability to attach maps to posts
- Map library interface for interacting with your various maps
- Mini mode for small maps
- Directions directly from Google
- Marker clustering
MapPress Maps is a completely free plugin, available in the WordPress plugin repository. If you want to keep your maps simple and free, it doesn’t get any better than this one.
Are you running a travel blog and need a great way to integrate maps and locations alongside your blog posts? MapifyPro is for you. Do you have a real estate business and you want to show your potential clients detailed property and neighborhood information? MapSVG might be the plugin you’re after. Or maybe you’re simply running a small business and you need to spruce up your contact page. In that case, you can choose from WP Google Maps, Hero Maps, or Maps Marker Pro. And if you’re on a budget, it doesn’t get any better than MapPress Maps.
The beauty of WordPress is its massive ecosystem of themes and plugins. And for mapping goes, it’s no exception. There are endless options available to meet even the most niche requirements. Whatever the need, the options here are sure to fill it.
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