Google map plugin for WordPress
I have jut finished updating my contact page (see the result here), and since I have spent (wasted?) about 3 to 4 hours playing with different plugins for WordPress in order to display the Google map properly, it is only fair that I share my findings! Hopefully it will help others not to spend as much time as I did…
To be fair, I have been having the same issue with a lot of WordPress plugins, namely the fact that there is about a gazillion of them doing apparently exactly what you need, according to the search results. So you end up in a potentially infinite loop of trial and error, and you might even realize that the plugin you needed doesn’t exist, and you need to write one!
I ventured on that route initially, and found some nice PHP tutorial, so writing the actual plugin was a matter of minutes. However, one of my requirement was to show a custom marker for the location, and this is where I ended up in a bad place! The Google map documentation explains how to use their own custom markers designed through their Chart API, but is not exactly friendly when it comes to using a logo you have designed yourself.
I then started to crawl through the various plugins available on WordPress. I’ve tried about six or seven of them, but always ended up with the same problems: either not enough functionalities, or the specific functionalities I needed weren’t well supported/documentd. Don’t get me wrong, I do programming, so when it comes to syntax not being exactly documented, I am more than willing to give it a go and modify, to try to make it work. But when there is no documentation at all (or when it is misleading), there is no chance it will work.
But I was quite fortunate in the end, as I finally found the plugin that fitted exactly my needs. And the winner is Google Maps v3 Shortcode.
This plugin is devilishly simple to use. No settings page to fiddle with, no extra complicated tutorial, everything is one simple line to insert in your WordPress post! And the syntax is clear, no black magic happening here! It also has the flexibility of supporting as many maps on the same page as you need!
A big thank you to The Urban Nomad for developing this and making it available!