Configuring the Map

The “Directions” link at the top of every page on your site displays a map centered on your congregation’s address. WordPress gets the map from Google Maps. Google now requires any program that wants to access its maps to have an API key, a free identifier that you can get from Google. (“API” stands for Application Programming Interface, and refers to the way programs talk to each other.)

First, you need to get an API key, and then you need to enter it in the theme.

Get a Google Maps API key.

Follow Google’s instructions for signing up for an API account, setting up a billing account, and getting a key. Choose Maps as the product. Create a “project” for your congregation’s website; give it a name and choose Enable. Then create a billing account, even though your congregation’s site is very unlikely to exceed the free quote of map displays per month. (Pricing.)

Finally, Google gives you a long string of characters. This string is the API key — copy it to  wherever you store notes about the website or your passwords.

Enter the API key in the site.

  1. From the Dashboard, choose Appearance > Customize. (Or click Customize if it appears along the top of the page.)
  2. Click “Congregation Map Information” from the list of options on the left side of the page. It contains two boxes, one for your address and the other for your API key.
  3. Cut and paste the API key into the Google Maps API Key box.
  4. Click the left-pointing arrow at the top of the box, click the Publish button, and click the X to close the Customize menu.