5 of the Best Ad Management Plugins Compared

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Advertising revenue can represent a significant income for many sites, and although it's arguably not as financially viable any more, it's a fallacy to suggest ditching your ad programs just yet. In this post, we'll look to round up five of the best ad management plugins available. By the end, you'll have everything you need to make the right choice for you!
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There are plenty of ways to generate income from your website. Of course, the direct route is to simply sell products online. However, there are many other ways. For example, you can solicit donations, charge subscriptions, or run targeted ads to visitors. To achieve the latter with success, you’ll want to peruse some of the better ad management plugins available.

At their most basic, ad management plugins simply let you insert ads onto your site’s posts and pages. However, depending on the functionality you require, there’s lots of other functionality you can leverage. For example, you may find reporting modules included, and even banner generators. In short, ad management plugins can provide you with a comprehensive set of tools to help maximize your ad revenue.

In this post, we’ll take a look at five stellar ad management plugins, and give you some insight into why you should consider them. However, before that, let’s talk about why there’s a need for these plugins in the first place!

The Importance of Managing Your Ads (and How WordPress Can Help)

Before we get into the list, lets discuss why you’d want to dig into how ads are displayed on your website. Of course, practically all sites should care about their visitors, but there’s often a fine balance between being self-serving, and customer-focused. This is perfectly fine – after all, most visitors understand that fundamentally you’re a business. The real concern should be how you achieve that balance.

Ad management is just one way of doing so. With a low level of input from you, visitors could see practically any ad in existence (well, at least those within a network’s jurisdiction). This has a couple of negative side effects:

  • Untargeted ads could have less of a conversion rate than you’d like.
  • Ads could clash with your business principles, and even cause offense in some cases.

Both are pretty bad, of course, for different reasons. While we won’t touch on the latter in this post, the former is something ad management plugins could help with immensely. As we said, they’re primarily used for inserting ads into your website, but offer other features such as reporting, ad creation tools, and much more. Consider them a dashboard of sorts for everything ad-related that passes through your website. With this in mind, you’ll want to choose the right one for your needs.

5 of the Best Ad Management Plugins Compared

Let’s get down to business! This list represents our favorite ad management plugins currently, but isn’t presented in any order. In fact, we encourage you to check out as many as you wish, in order to choose the right one for you. Let’s take a look!

1. AdSanity

The AdSanity plugin.

First off on our list is an incredibly popular – arguably the most well-known – ad management plugin. AdSanity is a go-to choice for many site owners looking to capitalize on ad revenue. It’s built specifically for WordPress, and lets you insert both self-hosted and network ads onto your website.

Despite the name, AdSanity aims to remove the confusion and complex learning curve associated with ad management, and prides itself on a beginner-friendly interface. Much like WordPress itself, the core functionality is light and easy to get to grips with. However, if you require a greater feature set, there are a number f add-ons you can use to implement ad blocker detectors, image caching, conditional ad displays, and much more.

Key Features:

  • Lets you view detailed analytics to help tailor your ads to visitors.
  • Enables you to set either infinite or date-based publishing, giving you fresh rotation regardless of your requirements.
  • Provides shortcodes to help you display ads practically anywhere on your site.
  • Includes a number of action and filter hooks to customize AdSanity under the hood.

Price: $49 nets you a license for one site, although higher tiers both increase the number of licenses you can use, and also includes a greater set of bundled add-ons.

2. Ads Pro

The Ads Pro plugin.

Ads Pro is a plugin offered through the CodeCanyon marketplace, and has been around for a number of years. It may not be a plugin you’ve heard of, but it’s definitely one that should be on your radar.

There are over 20 different ways to display your ads, and even more ad ‘templates’ to help uniquely display them on your website. The plugin’s wealth of features are handled from a dedicated back end admin panel, including out of the box ad blocker detection, and a full suite of analytics metrics.

What’s more, selling ad space using Ads Pro is a breeze, with a number of billing models available, and a great-looking front end form that the developers state has a higher Click-Through Rate (CTR) than other sales channels.

Key Features:

  • Lets you target geographical locations with your ads.
  • Includes a number of hooks to help bolster the default functionality.
  • Provides a number of User Experience (UX) features, such as display- and time-capping.

Price: A Regular license costs $37 from CodeCanyon, although you can save 50% on the total cost if you buy an Extended license (allowing for ten installations).

3. Ad Inserter

The Ad Inserter plugin.

Ad Inserter is the first of our free entries on this list, and you can find it over on the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. It has an astonishing number of good reviews from the WordPress community – 688 out of 707 current reviews have given the plugin top marks. That’s enough to warrant a place on this list, and look at the feature set further.

In fact, Ad Inserter is endorsed by Google, so its pedigree is without question. The primary function of the plugin is to display ads on your website with ease. However, there’s more in the box. For example, there are a number of display options, the option to include labels and categories, and built-in ad blocker detection. Overall, it’s simple to use, but comes with great power.

Key Features:

  • Provides myriad ways to display ads on your website.
  • Includes a number of hooks to help enhance the functionality further.
  • Lets you integrate other ad management plugins using shortcodes.

Price: The base plugin is completely free, but there are four different premium tiers (starting at $20 per year) increasing both the number of sites, and the custom hooks you can use.

4. Ads by WPQUADS

The WP QUADS plugin.

Much like the previous entry, Ads by WPQUADS is a completely free plugin that has a stellar number of good reviews from the WordPress community – 795 five-star reviews out of 837 in total. It’s actually a fork of another immensely popular plugin, Quick AdSense – WP QUADS evolved after work on this plugin ceased.

As such, Ads by WPQUADS has a solid codebase, and a healthy group of users. There’s a plethora of options to display ads on your website, including a number of visibility conditions and dynamic positioning. In addition, there are a number of tags to insert ads on the fly throughout your website, and the plugin supports any ad code – not just Google AdSense.

Key Features:

  • Provides no external script dependencies, and is ‘ethically’ sound to use.
  • Lets you display up to ten different ads on one page.
  • Includes a number of shortcodes and hooks to help tailor your plugin to your site.

Price: WP QUADS is free from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory, but offers a paid upgrade (starting at around $56) to give you Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) and responsive Google AdSense ads support, and much more.

5. AdRotate

The AdRotate plugin.

Our final plugin is AdRotate – a simple and free way of displaying ads on your website. While that’s the primary focus, there are other features worth exploring. For example, there’s a built-in ad creator, a way to circumvent ad blockers, and a selection of shortcodes and widgets to help create the perfect ad displays.

Also, there’s also functionality for selling your ads and managing them. For example, you can work with myriad ad servers, have your advertisers manage their own ads, and accept PayPal payments (which are managed from the WordPress dashboard).

Key Features:

  • Includes a comprehensive analytics suite to help perfect your ad display.
  • Provides a slew of options to help sell and manage ads in your network.
  • Gives you the ability to automatically hide ads once they expire.

Price: As with other plugins in this list, AdRotate is free. However, from around $33 you can update to the premium version, which offers Multisite support, and better email support.


Ad revenue is arguably not what it once was, but that still doesn’t mean it’s not a viable method of earning money. In any case, you won’t maximize your efforts without a little help, which is why ad management plugins can be so valuable to many site owners.

In this piece, we’ve looked at five of the best ad management plugins available. Let’s quickly recap them:

  1. AdSanity.
  2. Ads Pro.
  3. Ad Inserter.
  4. WP QUADS.
  5. AdRotate Banner Manager.

Have we missed any ad management plugins from our list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Featured image: StockSnap.

Will Morris

Will Morris is a staff writer at WordCandy. When he’s not writing about WordPress, he likes to gig his stand-up comedy routine on the local circuit.

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5 Responses

  1. That’s an awesome post. Have tried just two of the plugins and I am happy with them both. I think even I should try the other remaining and then fix with one. Thanks for the post.

  2. Thankx for sharing this post. I really like this post. I have really impressed. for the accounting related issues and information visit here

  3. hello, i would like to know if we use those plugins, is adsense safe. Becase before was the plugin from adsesne now is not anymore. I want to know if i use them wont risk my google adsense account, right?

    1. Hello Erik 🙂
      I’m afraid I don’t quite know what you’re asking. If you mean that you can use these plugins with AdSense, then yes. If not, could you please clarify your issue? 🙂

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