Advanced Ads – Managing ads like writing posts
In the last couple of years I grew my own websites to a large number of visits and decided to monetize them with ads. Little did I anticipated that this decision changed my life as a developer and a publisher and that ad optimization would become my main occupation. A key role in this process played tools that I use. This article is about one of them.
In all these years I gained a lot of knowledge about how ads are working best on websites. I now deliver ads based on the browser width on responsive websites, set up anchor or popup ads and integrate different ad networks into sites. It was fun to see the results but not always easy to implement it technically.
Usability over features
There are many decent ad plugins out there, but they didn’t play well with custom solutions and optimization methods. I also saw a lot of my clients struggle when they tried to use plugins that were full of features but hard to use.
After two years of hacking and fixing plugins from others I finally decided to build an ad plugin that I, as a user, would like to use and that should not be more complicated to others than writing a post. At the same time it should be open and extendible for others so that they can add their own features.
What Advanced Ads can do
Long story short, Advanced Ads [Link to http://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-ads/] ended my struggles. The free plugin comes with all the features you would expect from a decent ad plugin like
- managing ads
- ad rotation
- ad injection into content
- ad planning
- ad widgets and manual placements
- targeting by categories, post types, etc.
As one of very few ad management plugins, Advanced Ads lets you play with others too. In case you want to combine its features with features from another ad management plugin you can just use shortcodes or functions they provide within an ad created with Advanced Ads. Then you are good to go.
Based on WordPress standards
Beside all the practical features the biggest advantage of Advanced Ads is its smooth integration into WordPress. Many pages look like they belong to the WordPress dashboard and they work without reading long manuals.
Speaking of manuals. I make a huge effort to keep them short, but helpful.
With a great plugin comes great support
Another aspect of a helpful plugin is the active support. Any user – and we are already talking about 6000+ active installations – is invited to contact me via email or the forum on wordpress.org. With your helpful feedback I was able to optimize the features, descriptions and manual of the plugin so that there are few reasons to actually contact support.
Key “features” of my support:
- extended and updated manual
- reach me through wordpress.org or email
- public submission and voting for feature requests
- online demos.
Coders love it
As a developer I am extremely proud about what is under the hood. The plugin is build on WordPress standards and it does not even add tables to your database.
Thanks to well documented code and means to extend it, more and more developers get involved. Some extensions already show how easy it is to build powerful add-ons according to your needs.
Are you looking for a go-to solution for an ad management or do you want to combine advanced features with your existing solution? I invite you to take a look at https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-ads/.