Every site that embeds Google Maps through Google’s Maps APIs is now required to be associated with a Billing account. The Billing account is set up in Google’s Cloud Platform. Every account receives $200 in free credits per month. For most sites, the $200 credit covers the costs associated with Maps. For details on how Google charges for map views, see this article.
If your site has maps for things like Events, your location, or places around town, you will probably be asked to set up a Google Cloud Platform account. Please follow the instructions below to set up your account.
- Create a new GMail account that you don’t use elsewhere. Your developer will need to log into this account to set up your API keys.
- Go here: https://console.cloud.google.com and login with the new GMail account created in Step 1.
- Create a Project. The first time you log in, there might be a box with a blue button that says ‘Create’ in it. You can either click the ‘Create’ button, or click on ‘Select a Project’, and in the popup from there, click ‘New Project’ in upper right corner. Call the project ‘WebsiteMaps’ or something that makes sense to you.
- Once you have a project, set up Billing on that project. From the left long menu (might need to click the 3 horizontal bars/hamburger to see the menu) select ‘Billing’. Follow the steps to enter credit card information.
- After ‘Billing’ is set up, send your agency contact or developer access to the GMail account so she or he can enable the correct APIs and link up the API key with your site.
- You probably won’t want to log into this new GMail account to check for billing notifications or alerts. You can forward any mail this account receives to your work email address by following these instructions.
- You might want to set a budget on the Billing account so you are alerted if your site is suddenly super popular and your Map views exceed $200 in billings per month. Follow these instructions to set up budget alerts.
Unfortunately Google didn’t make this process very easy, but their maps are very useful and free for most sites once you jump through the hoops.