Interview with Robert Harm from MapsMarker and Nathan Wrigley
You need maps on a website like you need butter on toast. I really struggle to think of too many projects that I’ve built where the client did not want a maps show there business location.
It might be that you can get away with a simple Google maps embed, but what if you want something more complex? Well, there’s a plugin for that called MapsMarker and it’s the topic of the podcast today.
Robert Harm, the plugin developer is here to tell us all about it, and when I say ‘all’, there’s honestly a lot to say. This plugin can do lots!
Here’s a quick list for you:
- Multi maps
- Support for OSM, bing, Google, HERE, Tomtom
- Keyless geocoding
- Marker clustering
- WPML & Polylang support
- Dynamic marker lists
- Polyline support
- GPX tracks and elevation charts
- Geolocation show and follow
- Import and export
- Loads of translations – 46 in all
- QR codes
- SEO optimised
- Scheduled markers
- Sharing options
- and there’s even more!
There’s a free version that you can play with over at MapsMarker.com and there are paid plans as well.
Robert says that his main goal is to provide you with an intuitive and user-friendly interface for organizing your spots within your WordPress powered site. No coding required.
You can find out about how he got started with WordPress and plugin devleopment in his blog post: https://www.mapsmarker.com/2015/07/22/origin-stories-and-coding-challenges/
One of the nice things that came up in the recording was Robert’s focus on security and privacy. He has regular audits of his code through the hackerone platform. The plugin does not store more data than needed for transactions. He wants your data to be exactly that… yours. Only you maintain full control over all your geolocation data. They do not store it, nor does MapsMarker feature data storage on third-party-servers.
So if you’ve ever needed more than just a basic map on your WordPress website, check out the podcast today and see if MapsMarker might be a good fit for your next project.
Mentioned in this episode:
MapsMarker – use coupon code WPBUILDS before 6th September 2020 for 10% off any license package
Transcript (if available)
These transcripts are created using software, so apologies if there are errors in them.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:00:00] Welcome to the WP Builds podcast, bringing you the latest news. He's from the WordPress community. Welcome your hosts, David Waumsley, and Nathan Wrigley.
Hello there and welcome to the WP Builds podcast. Once again, this is episode number 191 entitled. If you need maps on your WordPress website, maps. Marker. Has you covered it was published on Thursday, the 6th of August, 2020. My name's Nathan Wrigley. And before we begin just a few bits of housekeeping, we produce a lot of content in and around the WordPress space.
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You can check it out and get a free [email protected] Okay. Just before we start, I will mention what it is that we actually produce each week. We produce a podcast. You're listening to it. Now that comes out on a Thursday. And then on a Monday we produced two bits of content. The WP Builds weekly WordPress news, which comes out very early in the morning.
UK time. If you subscribe to the podcast, you'll be getting it each and every week. And then we do a live show. WP Builds.com forward slash live and in our Facebook group. And I'm joined each week by some notable WordPress guests. And it's great fun interacting with the comments and having a chat all about WordPress.
I've also been doing a series on a Tuesday with Sabrina's a day. I'm all about zero to 10 K installs of a WordPress plugin. It's been really good fun. We've been trying to figure out how we might take our WordPress plugins and get them in front of our lives, your audience. So if you're in that journey as well, come and join us again, it's alive and you can join in with some comments.
Okay, enough of the housekeeping let's get on with it day's episode. So today, as I said, at the top of the show, I'm speaking with Robert, Tom, he is the creator of maps, marker, which is a truly comprehensive plugin for putting maps on your WordPress website. And when I say truly comprehensive, I really do mean it.
You've probably had the need to put maps on your website before, but this really does take that things to the next level. Every single configuration option you could imagine with everything. Kind of mapping solution out there is available in this plugin. Since we recorded the podcast, he has actually updated it.
He's added some new features and some new optimizations. So that's worth noticing. He's also decided to offer 10% off any package for the first month that the podcast is out and we're releasing it on the 6th of August. So by my reckoning, if you use the code to WP Builds all upper case, no spaces. Before the 6th of September, 2020, you'll be able to get yourself 10% of any package.
Anyway, for those of you with Matt, this needs, listen to this podcast, have a look at me, maps, marker. And I hope that you enjoy the episode. Hello there. Thank you for joining us on the WP Builds podcast. We are on an interview episode this week. We'd like to mix it up. We have all sorts of interesting interviews in our back catalog, and I was just talking to the person that's on today.
And it kind of amazed me to find out that in our whole entire catalog of hundred and 60, 170 episodes, something like that, we've never talked about maps. So we're about to change that because I've got Robert harm on yeah. And we're going to talk about maps today. Hi, Robert.
Robert Harm: [00:05:42] Hi, Nathan.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:44] It's, it's an absolute pleasure having you on.
Robert Harm: [00:05:46] We've got great to be on the, on your podcast.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:05:49] You're very, very welcoming. I think this is a really interesting subject and it's certainly one that, although it's going to sound peculiar, it's something that I'm really into, and I'll tell you about that in just a moment. But before we begin, this episode is centered largely around a plugin that, that Robert's very much involved in called maps.
Marker. and you can find that at map. Marker.com. There's nothing peculiar about the spelling and there's no hyphens or anything like that. So maps, marker.com and, you know, maybe have a look at that whilst we're going through the episode or bookmark it and look at it later. and I just to give you my background with maps, I'm sure like everybody else who's built WordPress websites.
We've had to, at some point implement a very straightforward map. We may have. I've gone over to Google and copied and pasted a little snippets of code and stuck a map on there. Or we might've done something a little bit more adventurous and tried to put a map with various different updated locations.
You know, the schools in a certain area and in a sense, that's what your plugin tries to make easy for us. But let's rewind the clock a little bit first, if you don't mind, let's, let's go through your, your origin story. Okay.
Robert Harm: [00:06:59] Tell us,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:00] tell us about this.
Robert Harm: [00:07:02] Well, thanks a lot for the introduction. what, as you said, we,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:06] I
Robert Harm: [00:07:06] started building a maps Maka years ago, actually the first, the origin started in 2011.
And as I was doing several projects at that time, I was curious whether there was a, about press plugin with. leaflet support available.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:07:45] Well, actually we
Robert Harm: [00:07:46] found a rudimentary one that I could build upon to actually try to display the open government maps of Vienna is part of the actual hackathon challenge that was taking place at the time.
and a few hours are actually, Hey, if I can implement, the maps for Vienna, I could actually implement open street maps too, because this was actually built for, displaying open street maps, with a lightweight, Java script framework. And this could be actually useful for the rest of the world.
So, so I started developing the free version of our plugin, and. Was very overwhelmed by actually a positive response and the user community grew very fast. And, so for the next one and a half year, we, I built the free version, very intensely. And then I. It's the feet bigger school that I thought, Hey, why not give it a try and see if you can build a pro Belgium as a, based on a freemium model.
And then, well that's then actually I developed one year about one year, but the first progression and in 2000 and, Oh, it has been so long ago, in January of 2013 and actually the first, the first, first release was, published and we have. We have done grown and, ever improve the plugins since.
So, that's. But I think what might be interesting to your readers and to you is, maps in many contexts. We think about Google maps when you're thinking about maps, because Google is a big player and lots of plugins, mapping plugins, focus on this using Google maps because it's easy to use. To build a plugin and to connect to the API APIs and display basic locations.
And the fourth obligation is different. Yeah. Because, As I said before, we're using belief that dot S which actually has been for open street map. so we actually edit Google support later in the process. And, the main difference is that, we can connect to different, two different kinds of maps starting from open street map, Google maps, Bing maps.
Yeah, maps, TomTom maps, or any, any map that is available, by, BMTs so-called re BMTs, mappings mapping services. So that's gives us a real flexibility in which map you want to want to display and how you want to style it. And also. more importantly in the context of, as Google changed their terms of service, you asked the last year or
Nathan Wrigley: [00:10:21] two years ago, it feels like it was too.
Robert Harm: [00:10:23] Yeah. Give me my test. You might remember the discussion that, displaying maps on the episode can get very expensive, because, they, they increased the price really. Really a lot and you have to give their credit Yvette credit card to Google and get $200 of free transaction volume in exchange.
And if you over this amount, you're automatically gets appealed. And this was the moment when many, mapping users, looked for an alternative solution and they are all obligated contemplate strengths, as we say, okay, you don't have to use Google. We have, we're not depending on it. Nita on a, on displaying the maps, Noah.
And this is the second USB Nita on the geocoding side because of endure. Vulnerability map. You need to be according. You need to translate an address into coordinates to actually display a point on the map. most other parkings, I use Google for this, and this has some drawbacks, the quality scores, but there are some license issues and, and also the.
The cost aspect, this is important to you. And so we said, we don't want to be dependent on one player and we build a two according framework, which allows you to, to use, different, to your code and provider so that you can select and which best fits your needs. Or we have cross Google, optionally Golia places.
We have our own geocoding provider. We have MapQuest and other and other providers, which are the TomTom, which you can. Do magically select and say, Oh, I want to get your code. My address addresses Smith, this provider models, Meadows a better, better, better quality as according tools to your need.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:12:03] Yeah.
are you, are you a proponent, do you kind of advocate for. let's say, open street map, from a sort of, a philosophical point of view. D do you have a position on the fact that the data is, is, maintained in a different way and gathered in a different way and available, in a different way.
Do you, do you feel as an importance
Robert Harm: [00:12:23] in that. Yeah. I do. as I mentioned before, surely that the plugin has its origin in the open government, a movement I'm very active also, part from, from the plugin. And I believe that, data being open as a publicly available data being open, is an important issue.
Personal data needs to be protected, but, non personalized data should be open and should usable easily because it adds a lot of. Then you can get a lot of benefits out of it. And open street map is also an example because everyone can contribute to it. Then if you compare the different maps, I see it in my, in my neighborhood, like, I likes to go into, done near to Danielle in Indiana.
Very, very tenacious, very great there. And if you compare the maps on Google with open street maps, you don't have the hiking paths, for example, I'm sorry.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:14] Okay.
Robert Harm: [00:13:14] And. This is the powerful open street. And this is also why we, have this as default setting that everyone will get makes a new map. Usually as it normally gets a open street map as default value, and which we try to.
Yeah, we, we try to foster this, because it's great having to call off the crowd
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:37] to
Robert Harm: [00:13:38] prove things.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:13:39] I, I didn't know about the, the sort of crowd source nature of open street maps, but I, I, I confess, I didn't really know too much about how that's gathered and whether or not there are, you know, huge areas of the world.
Where that crowdsourcing has kind of not materialized. And, you know, there's just big holes in the map. I wonder it, we're sort of going slightly off topic and not really talking about your plugin per se, still, still interesting. Is that the case? Can you, can you rely upon the opener updated to be as up to date?
Let's say for example, as Google maps, does it get, does it get maintained and curated and are there out there in the wild people who. Take the time to update it and maintain their local areas.
Robert Harm: [00:14:20] Yeah, at least in the large cities of, of of course, naturally, there is, there's the local meet ups of open street map, fans who are making, I dunno, it's called the Wayne sweaty.
Yeah. Get on it and then updates that doesn't apps and then quality quality's really good. And, you know, for example, we try to support this with a small link and open street. You can actually add also to your members say edits and you then get linked to the edit page of open street map. If you. Find some people that it's not correct.
And you can direct link to the page where you can
Nathan Wrigley: [00:14:58] edit it. So fascinating. Is it kind of like a Wikipedia model? You know, anybody can edit, but it then has to be kind of approved at some higher moderator level. Yeah.
Robert Harm: [00:15:07] Yeah. That's a, that's a, some, some kind of moderation of course. And, and just trust them then reputation.
yep. So to get, to get quality
Nathan Wrigley: [00:15:17] hot, really interesting. I honestly didn't know that all of this went on. Let's see, let's turn our attention to your particular take on all of this though. So as I said, if you go to maps, marker.com, you'll actually see a logo which has pro so we'll come onto the pro feature in a moment, but so we've all been there.
We're all kind of. We're building WordPress websites and we need for maps, a very simple copy and paste exercise if you use Google, but your map allows us to do much more difficult and complicated things. And I'm wondering if we could maybe just run through the, the main features, the things that you are proud of in your plugin and the kind of things that, that you can achieve with it.
Robert Harm: [00:16:01] Okay. Very, very much, very much. the, our slogan is so we, we are trying to work out too on delivering the best mapping solution for WordPress, helping you to share your favorite spots and tracks. So we want to provide our users with an intuitive and user friendly interface for organizing the spots and tracks within WordPress and without having to code any.
Line PHP or Java script. So that's, that's the main, main goal. And as already mentioned, the two, two of the main USP is the MultiMap support, which you can use Google open street maps, TomTom, UMF. So other maps and the geocoding, according answer this, this, this is what. Makes us really different from other autumn mapping cookies, but beside that as leaflet itself yeah.
Yeah, lots of markers like the 50 or 40 or 50,000, this solves no problem. This being that much markers and clustering them into bubbles. So it's to get a better overview of, of, of high volume data, you can filter your. You can organize your, your day. We call them markers into different categories, like say of schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and then, talking to the visibility, but for a control box of, for example, we have lists dynamic list of additional map data, or, Usually at the bottom of the map, you can search and, and list you can search and so on.
Like, show me that, show me the markers, which are, which are near me, for example, distance from current position as, as, as one criteria or sort them by name or created, for example. Right. That is, something then not. A thing that is different for many for, we, we put a lot of energy, let's say this way is GPS tracks.
You might, there's a lot of meters we discovered from, from hikers or from travelers who want to display the tracks, or they are the running tracks or the travel routes on a map. as we, as there are lots of devices, which, Collect this data and you then get a so called GPX file and you can upload this file to the map displayed automatically.
You can customize it and also display any live elevation chart, to show example, if you're like going to mountains, you have a very good display of, of your last type, for example.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:49] Yeah. Yeah.
Robert Harm: [00:18:50] if I may continue as still have some more,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:18:53] yeah. They used corral. I'm looking at the map now actually, and everything that you say, I'm thinking.
Okay. Yeah, I see it. I see it
Robert Harm: [00:18:59] there. Yeah. They have a physical Poland and support, that is, on the 1 cent you can draw directly on the map. You can use geometry layers like polar lions, polygons Sarcos or rectangles to actually. Draw them up and lift the next release. We also add a pull into what is shape important capability to make decisions.
Nope. More understandable. There are. I'm not the site, for example, who displayed the fully lines of country. Uplines right. You can download them in Jason format and then upload them and you have them displayed on your map as an overlay. And then you can add your points on top of that too. So it's green.
It gives some flexibility to get predefined shapes. Input them and display them on the map to, like surroundings or buildings, to, to, to Mark objects on a map to make some what's this next one, which is also very people use lack of the geolocation show and follow feature. we use HTML five default feature, too.
To show the position of the current user, showing the map a few internet and, display for example, the, the maps DeMarcus, which I knew him near his current position, but this is a feature. And then we have a lot of rebuilt. We focus, we try to focus on lots of details and on different use cases, as we say, usually you.
Lock in and add your data manually on the backend, by filling in the form and address and just point and click and you're done. But sometimes it's, we have advanced use cases. And for, for those, we have import and export a feature, which allows you to prepare your data in CSV or Excel files, and then import those files.
If you have hundreds of macros, you need to get into your site, make sure supported by input tool. We also have. Tools to update lots of features, automatic, lots of markers at once. And for those who need advanced features, because that's also something we try to, implement from the beginning is we, we have advanced API APIs, database API, for example, which allows you to connect your third party application, update Marcus from an external source.
For example, if you have a. Well, that's it kind of done Noah raspberry, PI who collect data and you send post requests to the API. You can also update the ads, you mock us this way. So it's a really powerful, flexible solution to get custom and to support custom application use cases. let's see. we can.
the language is also very, translations is very important to get the connects to in street, which we talked before earlier. Yeah. When, when I started, I invited the open street and the community to help with translations because it was a win, win situation. They liked it. Did the replat they had a tool which could display one student more easily to a passport sites.
And so over the time we had, we got about 46 translations, which is really great. Yeah. and let's see, this is also something that's, that we're very proud of. We have over a hundred translators helping, helping to update those and, This helps to make that plug in usable two months, speaking English, speaking users also.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:33] And.
Robert Harm: [00:22:35] So, yeah, this, this is so some highlights perhaps of some,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:22:41] I can, I can certainly ask a lot of questions around this. I think probably because it's a very, it's a very visual thing, a map, isn't it? It's, it's one of the more difficult things to explain. on a, on an audio podcast, it would obviously lend itself much more to looking at.
So a moment ago I said go to maps, marker.com, but perhaps more beneficial for those people who are listening and are able to get to a screen would be to click on the, the demo link in the main menu, which actually takes you to a subdomain it's taking you to demo. Dot maps, market.com and there you'll be able to immediately see everything that Robert's talking about.
So for example, by default, I'm actually going to quickly refresh that page because I think I may have interacted with it.
Robert Harm: [00:23:25] It resets every
Nathan Wrigley: [00:23:26] I it's. Okay. You're looking at a map here and, you know, for demonstration purposes, there's a whole bunch of data on there. So as an example, I can see, you know, the usual, the, the elevation is it's like a, it's like a flats and map.
It's an open street map with the, with the car, the open street map house, but overlaid onto the top of that are the controls. So you've got the ability to zoom in, zoom out, go full screen. you can with a layers toggle on the right hand side. Yeah. You can say you can switch the provider of that map. So with a click.
Click of a button. I could go, for example, straight into the satellite view that Google provides, or I could go into the terrain view, that stamen provides or use the TomTom map or, or what have you, or black and white in open street map and so on. And then you've got the typical things like the, the little clusters as you call them where there's a sort of.
Like it almost looks like it's throbbing a little thing saying, look, there's four something's over here. And should I click on that for some things, the map intuitively zooms in, and those four things are spread out over the map and I, I can see what they are. Nice, nice that you've got the capability in the plugin to change the icon.
So rather than sticking with the very typical,
Robert Harm: [00:24:38] perhaps if I may say something about this, icon is important thing, and this is why we, some years ago, we. we made a partnership with the map. I can connection, which is now which we now host as they have issues with the former provider and on the Metta, I can stop dot com.
You get a free access to modern thousands icons. You can, download in and customize according to your needs. it's comparable with maps marker out of the box, of course, but you can, the Miata maps. So we're. Don't limit this, to our plugging, but, we have. About more than thousands. They're bought 100 Poplar.
I can include it in an app. And if you need more, you just go to my park and stop maps Microcom and you can download from more than 1000 different documents. That is different.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:25:27] Yeah. That, that is nice. I mean, the ones that I'm seeing it, so self-explanatory, you know, you've got like a, what looks like a Blackboard, a chalkboard, which is the, this is a school and there's a hospital.
I come with a big red cross on it, and then there's a start and finish one and so on. and yeah, the, the idea of. Clustering is really useful. I mean, I've built several kinds of real estate sites as we call them, or a state agency is actually what we call them in the UK where houses are spread over a map.
And, you know, you want to zoom in and see where those houses are. And it just becomes increasingly easy with these cluster clustering to sort of, okay, there's a whole bunch over there and so on. But underneath this map, we also have, as you said, the sort of elevation view, which I think is quite ingenious, plus like a, like a little.
Like a little list of all the things which are currently on the map and I'm guessing that's dynamic. Is it so that when I, when I click on a particular thing, those bits underneath the map, do they change as well?
Robert Harm: [00:26:20] Yeah. The, this, you can click on the icon, the items in the list and that the map centers on this smart card, or this is wrong and you're on the right.
You have a site feature. As I said before, you can sort them by different criteria, like name, address, and so forth. And regarding the elevation shot one line. Things you can Hoover with the mouse, the elevation shot, and you see the actual position of,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:26:44] Oh, that is nice. I didn't play with that. I'm going to zoom out and do that properly.
Oh yes. Look at that. So I'll describe it. There's a, there's a journey. So there's a start and finish point with it. But with a line. Oh, okay. So it's yeah, I was going to say it looks quite large. there was a line drawn on the map. It's obviously following through this city. And if you, if you hover over the elevation on, in this particular case, I'm assuming this is customizable, but a little red dots appears.
and so wherever you look on the elevation. map you get a little red dot showing you where it at. That's absolutely extraordinary. I've seen things such as this in cycling apps. so things like Strava they'll, they'll do this kind of thing for you, but I've never seen it on a WordPress website and, and kind of assumed that that was some.
Amazingly clever proprietary technology, but no, here it is in a WordPress plugin. That's absolutely.
Robert Harm: [00:27:36] That's something. I have a few, not many plugins who can do this about the various focused on in displaying, these elevation charts. For example, our approach is to a provider to you. solution two, which is a mapping solution for about plus, which does more than just one particular use case, but which we can build, you know, you can build lots of different ways.
Well, you can, let's say you can use. Different use cases for maps.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:05] So
Robert Harm: [00:28:06] yeah, I help him
Nathan Wrigley: [00:28:07] than me. Yeah, no, I get it. I mean, basically I'm looking at a map which is Don on open street map, but in every sense of the word it's fully featured, you know, it does all the things. That you would want a map plugin to do, you know, like I said, you can cluster things, draw lines, draw random polygons in closing certain areas.
this altitude thing is simply incredible. I'm really liking that you can customize the icons when you hover over an icon, it tells you what it is and when you click on it, it centers and it tells you more about it. And a little, you know, the little popup window and so on. What, what I'm intrigued about at this point, because I've not actually played with the plugin on the.
On the WordPress backend. I'm interested to know. And I know that you mentioned that you can import and export data in various different formats. So there's the option, you know, like a spreadsheet or the GPX files and so on and so forth. But should I, should I wish to, let's say for example, a client comes to me and says, I would like to build I'm selling houses.
And I would like to, I would like you to build a map for me so that when my houses. are for sale. I can simply put them on a map. I'm wondering what that would look like. What does, what's the process that you have to go through to get the data on the map? If you want to add it in one at a time?
Robert Harm: [00:29:26] yeah, I can go for this.
just to tell your listeners, on Denver dot maps, Microcom you can also log into the backend and try it for yourself without having to install anything on your site. It gets reset every. Gets reset that two seconds about 50.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:29:40] No, yes. I see now it says click here to log in and create a down. I think he had a login.
Robert Harm: [00:29:44] So if you're doing this now, I can, I can give you a short impression of you first to create a map. the current processes create first, a map and then add mock custard. Isn't that right? So. You'll click on, add new map, then you say type your log. Where is the map located? Say, let's find a location. It's okay.
This is it. Now as it's the default. And just say, if you think it's safe, then you have the map with which is currently set to open street map. As default, you can, you can one step back, half your, you have a default map. You set it center. By using the integrated geocoding feature, then you'll see how worth and how high should the map be or how we just assume lavish will be used by default.
These are the basic parameters you set, three clicks, and then you say, I want to have open street map or another map. This can also be an initial configuration. You click save and then your map container is finished. And then say, okay, now I want to add to this map. Then there's a link at Marca, which now gets you through the second.
page video, get an interface for adding Marcus. We have that. You get, you said a name for this marker. Also an address again, which just geocoding supported your enter your address, like main street number long, and that's translated latitude values.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:18] The reliability of that is, is reasonable. Is it, you know, if I.
let's try it. I will put my location. I know it's probably not on that map. That probably won't work so well, I don't
Robert Harm: [00:31:26] know. Give it a try.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:28] Okay. Let's give it a go. I'll put in my home address, and let's see what happens. Okay. Yes. Crikey, look at that. That works immediately. I mean, that was, it was with Ajax.
It was all coming up in
Robert Harm: [00:31:43] basic principle in alpha can get the changes, but
Nathan Wrigley: [00:31:47] indeed, yeah. As fast as I could talk that it was updating itself and yup. There it is. And there with including my postcode is my address now centered on the map that was. Breathtaking be quick. Brilliant. Okay. So that solves that problem. Sorry. I interrupted.
Robert Harm: [00:32:03] Nope. I was at the market page. So you had the map then you said, I want to have one at one or multiple markets. So you go on the ad market page and, ads and. And Marco name and location. You also can set that popup text, which is displayed. When you click on the marker, you can add all kinds of HTML there.
So images or, only text or the hyperlinks then gets displayed there, but default or, and for click on it and you save this, you'll save this marker and. Then add the shortcut of the map to where you wanted the map to appear on your site in the post page or which are the, or in the template file.
it's it's shortcode based, or plugin. So,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:32:53] yeah. Yeah, honestly, that was so easy. I didn't realize you could log in and do a demo. So I'm so pleased. You found that for me. that took seconds. So basically you set up a map, then you add multiple markers, then you copy and paste a really quite short.
It says map marker equals like 12 or something in the shortcode brackets. And, and you're off to the races. That's so easy. One question I have, with the, so as an example, the. A typical use case in the one that I just mentioned, you know, like a real estate estate agency map. it would be nice and maybe this is possible.
It would be nice. Say for example, if I was using a plugin, like advanced customer fields to create the custom fields for the house, you know, it's got a street address, and it's got a picture and it's got a name and. Number of bedrooms and all that kind of thing. Is it possible to, to here the two things?
So, maps, marker pro. Yeah. Can, can poll well, can be linked as in that custom post type of house.
Robert Harm: [00:33:56] as I mentioned before, for those use cases, we, we have our database API, which some kind of, of a one time, a customer state, part of customization about custom development. To get the link between, because this is not something that's is standard can be stand up because anyway, we have the database.
Yeah. Which is which supports all kinds of methods and functions in the plugin. Like Aetna update may up at Mark us up. There are costs which can be triggered from a third party tool, like advanced custom forms, but some custom. A pitch PHP code. You can add to your functions, PHP, PHP, for example, to update the order, to add, to add markers to a predefined map, for example, this, this is possibly, but not, but defaulted as per definition of the fast meet some coding.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:34:49] Yeah. I mean, the purpose of this is to put a map complete with its own data onto a webpage. Isn't it? It isn't necessarily to combine it with another, another plugin, but it is possible. if you're prepared to spend the time wrangling the code to get the API to do what it is that you need it to do.
I looking at the site, obviously we've got maps, marker pro pro usually means that there's some kind of fee attached to it. it also kind of implies that there's possibly a free version. And, and I think there is because is, does it download free trial?
Robert Harm: [00:35:19] yeah, let me, let me explain, it started, actually there that we had two versions, that the free version, which was a bit of eight years ago, we actually sunset that this version this year, because that the development due to part two.
Far apart to maintain two versions. There were two different years. Then one is the free version is still available. The positive part about the don't recommend it anymore because we don't have the resources to maintain two different plugins. To be honest, to be focused on this year, we said, yeah, Only security fixes.
We'll get to the free versions again, but no more features and back fixes. but nevertheless, maps Macro-Pro is, available for free for 30 days. We have, yeah, if, the following business model, which we were very. Which you think is important, but you don't like what? I personally don't like subscription plugins where you'll have to pay each year.
There's just not something I prefer because I don't know how long I need a plugin. So we have a business model which actually office, 30 days free trial, which you can start. Personalized or customized. And in most cases we only activate your domain. We don't know any your email or something else.
So the privacy has to set before it's important to us. We need, of course, the domain to check the license and you can use the plugin for 30 days and test it. If it fits your needs, you can install it. And after 30 days, The the, the free trial of course doesn't work anymore. But once you decide to, to, to buy and an expiring license, you can use the version you have, without any time limitations we do for, also includes, access to updates and support.
For one year, which is included by default in each package. and after one year you can say, Oh, I want to renew my access to updates and support opportunity. And then you get another updates for another year. But if you don't renew, you can still use the version you had to at that time without any limitations.
So that's, that is very important for us. We don't have a subscription model because I think that's not very ethical the tool to get some lock in situation.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:37:26] Oh, that's really nice. So there are three, if you go to maximum, maximum, can't say the word smart. That's right? Yeah. Maps, marker.com forward slash pricing.
You'll see that there's there's three licenses available.
Robert Harm: [00:37:37] Well, yeah, they have free free pack licenses, domain based. So, if you just need, maps on one domain, you, you get a person that you can get a personal package, which includes that the only differentiation is, From personal plus based on how many sites you can use it.
And the priority support is apart from the feature, it's all the same. on one, if you use it just in one site, it's, currently 39 euros, including access to updates and support for one year, then we have a plus package for five sites with 99 and four. 25 were parasites. It's 249 building one year updates and support.
You can also choose three years up. Tens of words, to get 10% off of five years. If you say needed in the longterm, you'll get 15% off.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:23] Yeah, that's a nice model. We don't often see that actually the idea that you can. Buy more years and get it cheaper up front, which is quite ingenious. I quite like that.
Robert Harm: [00:38:32] Yeah. You know, so, and so someone argued a lot because you don't have to think about it and they get reminded by us. Of course.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:38:40] That's beautiful. So it's simply the number of sites. So personal is one site 39 euros plus is five sites on your own and professional up to 25 sites. And that's two, four, nine.
But as, as Robert said, the pricing will go down. If you buy three years, 10% off. And if you go to five years, you're gonna get 15% off just out of interest because, having experienced a little bit with maps in the past and trying to build them, I do know that yeah. It can, you can get into the weeds a little bit when you are trying to connect, let's say for example, something like ACF to a mapping technology, are you, are you available?
Do you have some sort of support system? I know that you've got support there. I, are you available for sort of like things that are beyond support? Are you able to sort of help people presumably for a fee to achieve things which might be beyond what they're capable of doing, doing things with your plugin, that they know.
It can do, but they simply can't do it.
Robert Harm: [00:39:36] we, in general, we have a very, supportive, support crew, which, which tries to help as much as possible and give some court examples if possible, but the actual project work based on our application. We don't have the resources yet. perhaps I used to spot cause if anyone wants, we have some partners, we reconnect those, those requests too, but we're always, always looking for new partners who will want to say, Hey, I like your booking.
I would like. To offer customization, and help your clients. So if you're, if you're in this business and try to interested in a win, win situation with us, get in contact with me, I'm always interested to, to be able to offer customers a comprehensive solution because we don't have the resources.
Yeah. So provide focusing on really developing the core set of the, of the plugin. And so to make API center, make it extensively as possible. And then. Get trying to build an ecosystem where artists can connect them and build upon.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:40:38] Yeah. Okay. Well, that's, that's really good to know the, just a nice little offer just before we end.
Roberts has very kindly said that, for basically one month after the podcast, as an, I never know when the podcast episodes individually are going to come out. So I'm going to say one month from the date of. Publication. And I always say at the beginning of each episode, what date it was published.
So whatever it said at the beginning, one month after that, you can get 10% off. It says yeah. License at all with the code WP Builds. And it may not matter, but they are all capital letters and there are no spaces. just out of interest when you said any license, 10% of any license, does that include the, the sort of the five year and the three year options as well?
Robert Harm: [00:41:26] I wasn't includes this. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:41:30] Well, thank you very much, indeed. That's a really generous offer. we're sort of fast approaching the amount of time that these podcasts tend to take. So what I'm going to do is ask you, Robert, is there anything that we, we failed to get to? Is there anything that you feel I wish I'd said that if so, go for it now.
Robert Harm: [00:41:46] didn't even have the chance to. So all features because it's really, we have real great feature set. I invite you to have a look at demo dot maps, Marco, Tom, to have a look by yourself because we also export features. You can use, you can export the data and KML files to display them in Google earth.
For example, if you like this, or, we, it was optimized for search engine optimization view. I've moved to language support with. Top of your PML and pull it on. So. supports lots of other stuff, which, which might be interesting to you too.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:42:28] Yeah. If you go to, maps, market.com forward slash features, you'll, you'll be able to see her as sort of representation of each of the things that Robert was talking about.
And then, yeah, there's just too many to mention it. I am so surprised that I haven't used this in the past and that it hasn't come across my radar much sooner because it is
Robert Harm: [00:42:48] yeah. So, two, two points we'd would like to mention, nevertheless, maybe we have talked about it as security and privacy is important for us.
We are doing regular audits and penetration tests to also provide a secure plugin, which is important to us. So we are on along to where you can get box bounties for telling us,
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:08] nice.
Robert Harm: [00:43:09] And we, we also. Privacy for us means we do not store any of your, data or transmit any, how many. Marcus. Do you have any, any data about you?
We just have the data. We need to check the license and nothing else. That data is yours and it's on your cell, a data serenity. So variety is important for us. So you have full control of your geolocation.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:43:33] And I think that's a really interesting position because it's not often on a plugin website. I come across one of the features being moral code, which I think is really interesting.
And so Robert has gone to the, to the, you know, he's added that as one of the features on the website. So it says. When it comes to security and privacy and documentation, the team behind the maps marker probe, doesn't compromise. And there's a link, over to about hyphen OSS, where you can find out more about that position and obviously hear your commitment to things like,
Robert Harm: [00:44:01] we try to do our best.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:44:02] Yeah. And the open government projects and all of those kinds of things is, is admirable. where can we find you online? Other than that URL, is there an email or Twitter or something that you generally tend to give out?
Robert Harm: [00:44:13] Yeah, we met smart guys also available on Twitter at MEPS marker. Just maps. I like the domain maps.
Marker. If you're interested in the, in the development process or you can follow us there tomorrow, very much appreciated. And on Facebook with, with maps, Marco is where we, have an additional channels channel to reach out to our customers to, as I is, you said that two more things, we also have in case your lack of against the answer is a great, I would like to recommend it to us.
We have a figure program that you can receive. up to 50% commissions, for every sale and also reseller program for, for agencies, for example, who want to resell it, on their conditions to their customers. We also have an offer, just to have a look at the, of our website by your fans. More information about this.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:05] That is great. So my strong advice, if, if listening to this as made you sort of think this all sounds intriguing, but I really need to see it because after all it's a map, go to demo dot maps, marker.com. And then if you want to figure out how on earth that map was put together, click on the link, right above the map.
It's very big. It says click here to login. Yeah. And create a demo map and that will take you all of five seconds to figure out, so go and do that. And let's have some comments and see if we can see if we can get the conversation going about maps. Marker. Robert, thanks for joining us on the podcast today.
Robert Harm: [00:45:41] Thanks for having the opportunity to. Share our product, and have a, have a try I'm really looking forward. And if any questions, support is separate for support is important with us. Don't hesitate to ask any questions, use the contact form or help desk. We'll be glad to answer any additional questions.
Nathan Wrigley: [00:45:59] Yeah. Thank you so much. Take care. Bye. Well, I hope that you enjoyed that. Always nice to chat about something new, and we haven't really talked about maps too much before. If you do go over to the maps market website, as I said at the top of the show and use the code WP Builds, you'll be able to get yourself 10% off everything until the 6th of September, 2020.
So that seems like a good deal. It really is a complete. Comprehensive solution to mapping and Robert, as you may have spotted takes your security and privacy extremely seriously. The WP Builds podcast was brought to you today by AB split test. Do you want to set up your AB split test in record time? The new AB split test plugin for WordPress.
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Okay, just before we go, a reminder of what we do this, this is a Thursday podcast episode. So we'll have another one for you this time. Next week, we'll be back on Monday for the WordPress weekly news 7:00 AM, UK time, and also the live at 2:00 PM UK time. And I'll be joined by Sabrina Sudan at 2:00 PM on Tuesday, talking about installing plugins and getting our plugin recognized in the wider WordPress community.
I hope that you've enjoyed this episode. I'm now going to feed in some cheesy music and say, bye bye for now. .