Building maps with COVID-19 data in WordPress

Recently a lot of users have started using Interactive Geo Maps plugin to create interactive maps with data from the new coronavirus (covid-19).

Here are some screenshots of maps created using the plugin:

US map divided by states with COVID-19 data
US Map
Australia Map
World map with clusters of covid-19 confirmed cases
World Map

Portugal Map

These images have data updated on March 25th 2020. You can click the images to open the interactive version of each map.

Sometimes it might be tricky to get the data you need correctly formatted, unless you plan to add the data manually. So in each article there are some tips on how to get the data, sometimes automatically, to populate your maps. Since the plugin allows you to write custom javascript to manipulate the data used by the map, we can use this to fetch external content and format it to be compatible with the map. There’s some reliable data sources out there, which are made available for research and educational purposes, so if your project fits, you can use those data sources.

The data repository by Johns Hopkins CSSE is one of those examples. They have been doing amazing work collecting the data and making it available in this public repository. They provide data for all the world and some more detailed data for specific countries like the US, which allows us to create a US specific map. They mention they might also do this at county level, which would allow us to even create maps for individual states with county information.

The example maps linked above, contain some javascript code to exemplify how you can get that data. Remember to credit the source and help if possible.

The maps are able to have markers with different sizes and colours, heatmaps created automatically based on available data, click actions and custom tooltip content, automatically populated with the available data.

The plugin also has a free version, but it’s limited in what you can do. It’s not possible to have markers with different sizes, read from external data or colour regions in different colours, but you can create a simple map with the information about the affected areas for any country.

Feel free to contact me if you plan to make a similar map and have any particular question.

Interactive Geo Maps

Try it for 7 Days

Interactive Geo Maps Pro Available

A few months ago I launched a new free plugin for WordPress, Interactive Geo Maps. This month I launched a Pro version, with more advanced features that will cater the needs of the more experienced and demanding users.

The Pro version will include the same maps offered in the free version. What changes is what you can do with those maps.

While the free version only allows you to colour regions with the same colour and add round coloured markers, the Pro version will have more advanced features, starting with the fact that you can colour each region and marker individually. You can also add vector icons and custom images to the map and setup multiple click actions, like open a content in a lightbox or display custom content next or below the map.

Another interesting feature is the fact you can add text labels, which is particularly helpful for countries where some regions might be too small to be easily clickable. The US maps are an example.

The plugin includes more than 200 maps, including several versions of the world map divided by countries and continents, single country maps and US county maps. Not all countries in the world are available yet, but there’s just a few missing and with the Pro version you can use custom geoJSON files. You can already create maps for United States of America, India, China, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Poland, Canada, Australia and many others! See the full list of available maps.

A lot of cool things can be done with the Pro version. One particular feature I like is the option to connect markers with lines. It can give you an edge on your maps. It works both for travel maps and business maps. You can setup travel routes or visually represent relations between different places in the world on your map.

Map with lines connecting markers
Map with lines connecting markers

A popular request that not many plugins offer is the option to have different the regions of a certain country in the world map. In the screenshot you see the world map with the US divided by states, where you can add individual interactivity to each US state but also the other countries. In the Pro version you can do this with the maps overlay option.

US states map in a world map
US map divided by states in the world map

What about having a map represented in a globe, like the real planet earth? The plugin uses the amcharts library to create the maps, which allow us to create some interesting and unique things. Getting a more realistic representation of the world will certainly be appealing to your visitors. You don’t see that very often.

Interactive Globe Map
Globe projection

Another unique feature included in the Pro version of the plugin, is the ability to create drill down maps, where you can start with the world map and click a country to see more details. The map can automatically zoom there and display a new map of that country divided by regions. The process is not fully automatic, but it’s documented on the official website.

US state map in world map. Drill down map example.
Drill down maps

Although the free version already does a lot and it will be enough for the vast majority of users, the features included in the Pro version will help you take your maps to another level with more options to control the styles and functionality of the map.

Table of features

Included Maps250+ Maps Included 250+ Maps Included
SupportBasic Support
Slower to answer
Priority Support
Answers usually in less than 24h.
Colour RegionsLimited
1 Colour for all regions
No Limits
Round Coloured MarkersLimited
1 Colour for all markers
No Limits
HTML Tooltips
Map Projections4 Included 10+
Specify Regions to Display
ZoomLimited Advanced
Change initial zoom and center
Custom Image Markers
Display content outside map
Group RegionsPartially Supported Fully Supported
Connecting Lines
Open content in Lightbox
Overlay Maps
Populate Map Automatically
Projection Offset
Text Labels
Vector Icon Markers
Drilldown Maps
Get Free VersionFree Pro Trial

Since the launch the plugin has been getting lots of positive feedback and was featured in several websites, like WP Buffs and WPExplorer.

You’ve read this far? I have a bonus for you!

If you’re interested in the plugin and read this far, you deserve a reward. You can use the following promotion code to get a 25% discount in any of the available payment plans.


Even better, you can apply this promotional code to the 7 days FREE trial! So if you apply this when registering to the trial period, if you decide to keep the plugin, the discount will be applied.

Any questions or suggestions?

If you have any questions about this WordPress plugin feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.

The Best WordPress Plugins for Travel Blogger Websites

If you’re starting a travel blog with WordPress and are looking to find the best plugins to help you succeed, this list might be helpful. We visited the websites of the most popular and high ranking travel blogs and checked what plugins they were using and compared them with alternatives to come up with the list of the best essential plugins for travel blogger websites. Depending on the strategy you want to apply for your website, some plugins might be more useful than others, but usually for travel websites, you want to reach  a vast audience, engage them with useful content about the different destinations you write about and hopefully encourage your them to share that content. Some travel bloggers might rely on affiliate marketing other on selling their own products and you’ll see plugins on this list that will help either cases.

We will not include plugins that have a more vast usage and application and are less specific to travel blogging. We still recommend a lot of these plugins, like Yoast SEO, WP Super Cache and Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, since they are also essential, but we won’t include them. We’ll write about plugins that will be particularly useful for travel websites.

This list includes what we consider to be the best, either free or premium plugins.

Social Warfare

Social Warfare is the ultimate social sharing plugin for WordPress. It’s not just another sharing buttons plugin, it contains a lot more features that will help you in the social media fighting ground. Amazing social sharing icons and sharing count with tons of display options, content protection, share count recovery options, Google Analytics Integration and much more. It’s a premium plugin, but once you have this plugin, you won’t need any other social sharing plugin.

A lot of the big players are using this one:

Interactive Geo Maps

Used by most of the top travel bloggers, the Interactive World Maps is a popular plugin that helps you display simple maps that can help your users understand where you’ve been and where you’re going to for example.
Interactive Geo Maps is its predecessor, built with better and more flexible maps. And it has a free version!
You can use it to showcase how much you’ve traveled or use it to redirect your users to content about a particular country or city. You can also display maps of individual countries like US Maps, to complement your posts and pages. All travel websites need to have a map and this plugin provides simple vector maps that will look great on your website.

Some examples of top bloggers using it:


Having your visitors emails is vary valuable. It’s a lead, a way to bring them back to your website in the future, with a carefully crafted newsletter for example. Mailchimp is an email marketing service that will help you manage your emails and provide you with online marketing tools. Integrating your mailchimp account with WordPress is easy with this plugin. It will provide you sign-up forms which are well designed, user-friendly and optimized for all platforms.

Who’s using it?

Ninja Popups

Getting your users email is great, but what’s the best way to do it? Ninja Popups plugin will allow you to build non intrusive popups and customize them so they fit right in your website. Compatible with MailChimp and other platforms, it’s one of the most popular pop up builder plugins for WordPress. Also great to incorporate contact forms, information for users, social sharing tools and anything else that would require a popup.

Using it:

Amazon Associates Link Builder

If you want to monetize your website with amazon affiliate marketing and are part of the Amazon Associates program, then Amazon Associates Link Builder plugin is what you’ll need. It will allow you to quickly find the products you want to showcase and build the affiliate links easily.

Some bloggers using it:

Yet Another Related Posts Plugin

Once your users land on an article of yours, you’ll want to keep them in your site by displaying related articules that might be interesting for them. Yet another related posts plugin is one of the plugins that will allow you to display related posts very easily. It’s not the only plugin used by the many travel blogger sites we checked, but it’s the best.

Using it:

Instagram Feed

If you’re sharing your travel photos on instagram, then Instagram Feed plugin is a mandatory plugin. It’s a free plugin with simple but powerful features. You can easily link to your instagram account and display your latest pictures on your website. Engage your audience with your pictures and potentially gain more followers on instagram.


Slider Revolution

You want to cause an impression on your visitors and Slider Revolution is the best plugin to do it. Create amazing custom sliders, with tons of great options and responsive layouts. Use the power of beautiful images in your favor and place a great slider in your homepage or complement your blog posts with one. This plugin gained notorious popularity in the WordPress community and has raving reviews. It’s a premium plugin, but it’s worth every penny.

Check out some of the slides built using this plugin on these sites:


Disqus is a blog comment hosting service for web sites and online communities. The Disqus plugin will allow you to have Disqus hosted comments on your website, that will get better indexed by search engines and are proven to increase engagement by users, due to it’s many features and social networks integration. Apart from that, it’s also amazing at preventing spam comments.

Who’s using it: