Best Plugins to Manage your WordPress Advertisements
A solution to earning money for running your website online is to charge for advertising. This could be through a marketing company which pays you based on user activity such as Google, Technorati Media, Yahoo! Publishers, etc. But there is also the option of directly charging advertisers and managing your own backend advertisement dashboard.
In this post I want to talk about some plugins for the WordPress CMS which revolve around managing advertisements. This is a very popular situation amongst webmasters and the possibilities are nearly endless. However, using a plugin will certainly cut down on your development time, as it will not require direct editing in the theme files. These plugins are all great solutions for practical WordPress layouts which just need to include some advertising banners inside the website.
Simple Ads Manager
The Simple Ads Manager plugin is a bit more complicated than the name appears. I have seen a good amount of content from this plugin and the developer is always on top of the latest releases. As of writing this post the most updated version is for WP 3.5.1 and includes all of the typical functionality you would expect.
Each post will have options for changing the ad code if you have it placed within the content. The backend admin panel will also track the number of ad views and clicks from your users. This is a much better choice than going into your HTML and manually adding the different HTML/JS codes. The advertising sections will each have their own post edit pages, very similar to editing a new blog post.
However these edit pages include default input text areas used for the ad codes, banner type, and placement on the page. The actual number of settings and user options is mindblowing when you first install the plugin. I would have to recommend Simple Ads Manager to anybody who needs a solution without coding in PHP. The basic ad tracking analytics also help to bridge a missing gap which you can’t get from other solutions like Google Analytics.
Ad Manager for WP
Here is a very similar solution as we saw above, however the administration panel is much neater and easier to use. There are far less options to choose from but this helps to keep everything neat and organized. You will not be frozen in awe trying to figure out how to customize each advertisement. Check out the main plugin webpage where you can learn a bit more about the installation process and setting up new ad banners.
Shantz WordPress Prefix Suffix
Although the Shantz prefix plugin may seem a bit strange, this is a better method for some developers who would rather be using a raw code setup. In this way you can quickly append code samples anywhere into your post content pages. Either before or after the original content you can select a shortcode or function method to display your HTML/CSS/JS codes.
This is definitely a more complicated plugin and mostly implemented by advanced users. I would not think this Shantz WP plugin was made solely for advertisements. Especially since there is no main dashboard for tracking analytics. But I know that some devs would rather use a more raw solution and this would certainly be your quickest choice.
The other big plugin I have seen recently is on web design blogs and similar magazine layouts. Common 125×125 advertising squares have risen dramatically in popularity. This allows webmasters to scale their layout to fit a certain ad size, then sell those ad blocks to potential advertisers and directly manage the income. It is a very profitable solution if you have the proper advertisers to work with.
WP125 is completely free to download and use on any number of WordPress sites. It has been updated to run properly with the most recent version of WP 3.5.1 and the backend system is very easy to manipulate. There are timers set on each advertisement which you may create for any set number of days/weeks/months. It is much easier to handle multiple ad sales when you have the choice of updating when certain ad displays can be available. I would highly recommend this solution for bloggers who need a set type of advertisement along with a small backend panel for organization and automatic switching.
Advertising is a tricky beast and does require a lot of good communication. Handling payments and keeping track of orders will be tough. But if you have the time to manage a large network of websites then I would think one of these plugins will be a fantastic addition. Try out any of them in your website and see what you like best. Advertising has always been a more diverse aspect of WordPress management, but with so many plugins you really can’t go wrong! If we have missed any great plugins feel free to share links in the post discussion area below.