Getting Your Google Maps API Key

Some plugins and site integrations generate a Google map through their API system instead of using a map embed. In this article we'll walk you through the requirements of using the Google Maps API. Let's get started!

Log into the Google Maps Platform

Create an account or use an existing gmail account and log in at Once logged in, find the "Console" link in the upper right corner of the page and click it (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1

Unless you've set up an API in the past you'll be met with some Terms of Use content. Once you're through that we'll be in the general Maps API interface.

Create Your Maps Project

In a new Google Maps account there should be a "Create Project" button on every page to get you started. Alternatively, there is a dropdown menu in the blue top bar to view all projects on the account and create new ones (Fig. 2). Name your new project and click "Create."

Fig. 2

Next you'll be asked to enable specific APIs for your project. What you'll need will depend on what is used by your theme or plugin but the most common option will be "Maps JavaScript API."

Optional: More advanced map plugins may require multiple APIs. In these cases, once you have enabled the Maps Javascript API you will need to navigate back to "APIs & Services" and then to "Library." Here you can select additonal APIs to enable. Common ones are:

  • Directions API
  • Places API
  • Geocoding API

Once your project is created you'll need to set up a billing account. Don't worry, most uses of the platform will require no cost but it is necessary to activate the API. Click the hamburger menu in the blue top bar and select "Billing." If you've previously set up a billing account you can link it from this interface, otherwise you'll need to click "Manage Billing Accounts" and set one up.

Obtain Your API Key

Once you've attached a billing account to your project all you need is to generate your API key and you're all set! Be sure your project is still selected in the top bar drop down menu, then click the hamburger icon and select "API & Services." Select "Credentials" in the left-hand sidebar (Fig. 3) then click "Create Credentials" (Fig. 4) at the top of the page and select API Key. Copy that key and place it in your theme or plugin settings and now you've got Google maps!

Fig. 3
Fig. 4

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