Until now, the map application Google Maps was free of charge on your own website, but Google will put an end to this as of 16 July 2018. Google will stop offering this service for free. If you want to make unlimited use of all functionalities, you may have to pay a monthly contribution. The amount of times your Google Maps is viewed per month will determine the (possible) extra costs.
Consequences for your website
Thanks to the Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface), visitors can see a Google Maps map on your website, adapted to your company information. As of July 16, a valid API key is required when integrating Google Maps into your website, at least when you want a high quality and trouble free version.
Without this API key, you will be see low resolution maps that also contain a watermark "For developmental purposes only". Furthermore, underlying APIs such as Street View and Geolocation would not work properly because addresses are no longer converted into coordinates.
In short, as of July 16, a valid API key is required for flawless Google Folders integration.
How do you get a valid API key?
First of all, you need to create a Google account. You then link your credit card details to this account. This way you create an API key which you can implement in your website.
Creating a valid API key is free. Furthermore, thanks to this valid API key, you will have access to a monthly free credit offered by Google.
New payment plan for Google Maps: Pay-as-you-go
Although, you have already linked your credit card deails to your account, you do not have to pay directly for the use of Google Maps. Google provides every user - in possession of a valid API key - with a monthly free credit of $200.
The following matters can be achieved without paying extra:
- A static maps can be loaded 100.000 times
- A dynamic maps can be loaded 28.500 times
- Both types of maps can be loaded unlimited times on a smartphone
Google will only charge a monthly fee if you exceed these limits.
The complete price overview can be viewed online on the Google Maps Platform
How can you avoid exceeding the free limit?
If you prefer not to take any risks and you want to avoid exceeding the free limit at any cost, set a daily quote to be sure. Once you have reached the limit, your Google Maps will go offline for the rest of the day.