RE: Over the last year, every time we update the plugin it crashes the website (www.grandbendchamber.ca) and we have to disable the plugin directory in order to access the Admin area of WordPress and then download Connections, unzip on the computer and FTP the updated files to the website.
Sorry to hear you are having trouble updating Connections! Unfortunately I do not believe there will be anything I can do to address it for you. The process is managed by WordPress and during the process Connections is not even active/running.
I suspect, if you are using a shared hosting provider, that the resources allocated to PHP are being exhausted. I would suggest following the instructions in these two articles:
After an update, if it fails, log into your web host control panel. Often times there is a place where you can view any errors PHP has logged. If you can not locate the PHP error log, your web host support team should be able to direct you to it. If there are errors being logged, that could shed some light on the root cause of the issue.
RE: Re-copy / pasted the API keys from Google into Connections – same result.
If you are certain you API keys are setup correctly then make sure you have a billing address and payment method setup in the Google API console. This is now a requirement by Google in order to use their Maps. This change took place in July. You should have received an email from Google earlier this year explaining their their policy changes regarding access to their Maps API. If you did not, I suggest checking the email address setup for your Google API Console account to make sure it is correct.
I hope this helps, let me know!
ps. I checked out your directory page. You should enable the pagination support. It appears you have it disabled. This causes the page to take a long time to load due to the amount of entries that have to be rendered by the server/browser. I would suggest displaying no more than 20 entries per page (which is the default configuration). This will allow the page to load much more quickly something Google evaluates when ranking the page in their search results.
pss. I see you are using Tribe Events. It appears the plugin is also using the Google Maps API or at least calling it with no API key. This is generating a browser Console error to be shown. You can use the Browser key you already setup for Connections in the setting Tribe Event has for the Google Maps API key.