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Google Maps Pricing Changes

Google Maps pricing changes have finally gone into effect after multiple instances of Google playing “kick the can down the road”.  The initial changes where supposed to go into effect on June 11th, 2018. Google gave everyone a break from scrambling to implement API keys after announcing that change less than a month before they intended to shut down free access to their maps — they extended the “drop dead” date to July 16th, 2018.

Google Maps pricing change announcement
Google Maps pricing change announcement

Today is July 16th, 2018 — free Google Maps access is a thing of the past.

What that means for Store Locator Plus™

If you are using the WordPress plugins you must now have a Google Maps API key and an attached billing account for that key or your maps will stop appearing on your site.   Users of the My Store Locator Plus™ fully managed locator service do not have to worry about this — we take care of all the licensing for you.

Luckily Google has provided everyone a credit for 2 months of free API access for your maps.   You will need to get an API key and create a Google billing account so they can charge you for their pay-as-you-go service.  Unlike in the past, both small sites and larger sites will start to incur fees under the new Google Maps pricing structure.

New Google Maps Pricing

Every plugin or service that implements Google Maps , which is most of the maps and locators you will find — especially on WordPress, will use the Google Maps JavaScript API.   This is what Google terms “Dynamic Maps” in their new pricing table.     Again, services that include the maps access as part of their monthly subscriptions , like My Store Locator Plus™, take care of these fees for you.

For users of the WordPress plugins you will need to look at the Google Pricing Matrix under “Dynamic Maps”.

  • The base fee is $0.007 for each call to the Google Maps API for the first 100,000 API calls.
  • The fee after 100,000 API calls is $0.0056 per call.

For a typical site where the map is displayed and lists a dozen-or-so locations the fee will roughly correlate to how many visitors the map page receives.    If you have 100 page views of your “locator page” every month you will have approximately 200 API calls for the geocoding request of the user’s location plus the map tiles loading.     100 page views will cost $1.40.

Geocoding location also incurs a fee under the new Google Maps pricing scheme.   If you import 1,000 locations with the Power add on import feature you will record 1,000 geocoding requests in addition to ongoing map views.    1,000 locations will incur a $7.00 charge from Google when they locations are imported.  Again, MySLP covers these fees for you.

 

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Load Locations From WordPress Sites

You can now load locations from WordPress sites directly into Store Locator Plus.   This new feature makes it easier to migrate from self-managed WordPress plugins to our fully managed My Store Locator Plus service.

This is the first iteration and only provides fundamental location loading features.

The current version does not import category information and as such will not retain location:category associates.    It will import contact fields, if you are using that with a Power add on, or feature and rank fields if you use the Experience add on.

The current version of the location loader will not check if locations already exist in your location list; as such it can create duplicate entries.    It can also stall if the site that is being loaded from is slow to respond; it is important to check that your loaded list of locations matches the source site when the loading process is complete.

The location loader only supports loading locations from WordPress sites running the WordPress Store Locator Plus plugin.   If you are using a locator or directory plugin other than Store Locator Plus, please contact us to discuss the possibility of beta testing the forthcoming “MySLP Location Connector” plugin.

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Payment Updates For Managed Locator Service

My Store Locator Plus was updated over the weekend to update payment processing.   This does not affect billing on existing active accounts and is not related to the WordPress plugins.

Renewing Expired Accounts

For accounts that were canceled within 30 days, whether by choice or because a credit card payment could not be processed, the renew option is back online.

The option to renew a recently-expired accounts had been offline for the past 60 days due to a change in the programming interface at our payment processor.    With the changes to the interface all renewed MySLP subscriptions will have a new subscription number.  This will not impact your MySLP functionality but for those that keep track of transactions at Stripe (our payment processor) you will note two different subscriptions if you choose to renew your account.