If the maps on your website are occasionally (or always) displaying a message that says “This page can’t load Google Maps correctly” then this article is for you.
Your website is using what Google calls its “Dynamic Maps Service”. Google will be dynamically creating the map each time the page is loaded. This means that your website is asking Google to do a little piece of work every time somebody visits a page with a map on it.
In future, Google will charge for each dynamic map display. The current charge per dynamic map display is 0.7 US cents (or US $7 per 1,000 displays). However, Google have also said that “You also get a recurring US $200 credit on your billing account each month to offset your usage costs”. That means that (for now) Google will be allowing you over 28,000 map displays for free each month and, for many websites, this means that there will be no charge to continue to use Google’s dynamic maps service (for now).
I suggest that you check your Google Analytics account and use the number of pageviews for each page that shows a map to calculate how many times your site will ask Google for a dynamic map.
There are other mapping services apart from Google’s service. However, for most websites, the Google service is preferable and the cost of changing the site to use another service is not justified.
Therefore, to “solve the problem”, we need two things to happen:
- Firstly, you need to have a Google Account set to what Google calls a “Google Billing Account”. In simple terms this means that you have lodged a credit card with Google so that they can take a payment from you if your maps usage exceeds their free quota.
- Then, we need to link your website with this Google account so that Google will allow the maps to display correctly and so that Google can keep track of how many maps displays relate to your Google account (and determine whether to charge you or not).
So, talk to us first to confirm which Google account to choose to become a Billing Account. There may already be an account linked to your website and it may be simplest to use that account or it may be better to use a new account. We can talk through the options with you.
Once you know which Google Account to “upgrade” into a Google Billing Account then we will need you to add your credit card details to that account. For your own security we prefer that you do this rather than us having access to your credit card details. To set up an account as a Google Billing Account you will need to follow Google’s instructions here: https://cloud.google.com/billing/docs/how-to/manage-billing-account (go through the Create a New Billing Account steps).
Once that is done, we will need the login details for that Google Account so that we can connect it and the website together. We’ll upgrade the Google Maps code on the website to use the new code that tells Google to display the map and allows Google to keep count of the number of maps displayed.
We’ll give you a firm quote to do the changes to your site but, depending on how many maps you have on the site, how they currently connect to Google and how old the “connection” code is, we usually find that the total charge for this upgrade is in the range £75 to £150.