Kadence has just released a new Google Maps block. This comes on the heals of the recent release of the Lotti Animation block and the Count Up block a month ago. Suffice to say that Kadence is on a roll. In this walk-through I’ll take a first look at what the Kadence Google Maps block offers.
It Is In the Free Version
That’s right. Like the Lottie Animation and Count Up blocks, this one was added to the free version. The free version of Kadence Blocks is available in the WordPress.org plugin directory. The plugin now has more than 200,000 active installs and 107 five star reviews. The team is also active in the support forum.
After you have updated to the latest version, you will see that there are now 19 blocks available in the free version.
When you first add the block to a page you see a map with the location set to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. In the settings on the right you can enter a location and set the zoom level.
You can pick the map type of either Road Map or Satellite. Also, you have the option to pick a filter for a display effect of None, Grayscale, Invert, Saturate, or Sepia.
It was clear that you could enter an address in the location field, but I wondered if you could enter latitude and longitude. I found the coordinates for Des Moines, Iowa and entered them in. It worked great.
There are settings to control the container size for the block by desktop, tablet, and mobile screen sizes.
Finally, the last setting is where you can enter a custom Google Maps API key. This is an interesting aspect of the block. It comes with an API key already that allows you to use these basic features. However, if you need more advanced features like multiple pins, you will need to get your own API key.
I activated Kadence Blocks Pro because that lets you access ACF custom fields. I was hoping that the pro version would let you set the map location as a dynamic field. Sadly, that option wasn’t available. Here is the final version.
Summary and Conclusions
It is good to see the Kadence team actively developing the blocks plugin. Including these new blocks in the free version will please a lot of users. Some plugins that provide a Google map option require that you have your own API key. Shipping the block with a key embedded already makes life much simpler for the end user, though you trade some advanced options for this convenience. The Google Maps block is a solid addition to the Kadence blocks plugin. I hope they enabled the option for using dynamic data for the map location in a future version.
Kadence Blocks doesn’t have as many installs as some of its rivals, but Kadence is a great choice for site builders and the Kadence team is turning its users into raving fans.