I have been thinking about adding some ads on my site. I do not expect to make a living doing this, or even really make any money. I do not have a focus, which as many of the money making blogs point out, is really necessary. But it would be nice if I can get enough to occasionally defray some of the costs for my hosting. In that vein, I decided to look at the plugins out there that help handle ads on WordPress.
And there are a lot of them. A large number are specifically made for using Google Adsense ads, but there are more that allow ads from other programs. I only wanted ones that work in WordPress 2.7, which meant I didn’t look at a couple that had nice sounding features, but hadn’t been updated in several months.
Adsense Program plugins
- AdsenseAnna is probably the easiest plugin to use. It gives you a single widget for your sidebar, and you just need three things to get it going. A name for the widget, your Adsense-ID number, and what size you want the ad to be. And you chose the size from a drop down menu that looks like it has all the options that Google offers. No copy and paste of code, no worrying about how many ads are on a page, just input your ID and save. The only short coming is only one ad block is placed. You can’t have one anywhere but your sidebar with this plugin.
- EasyAdSenser limits your options for ad placement more than some of the other plugins, but does include an option for an ad in your sidebar, along with a Google search bar. You need to copy and paste your Adsense code from Google, but this lets you chose different size ads for different locations. There are also two ways to prevent ads showing on a particular page or post. The search bar on this one, along with the sidebar ad, makes this plugin stand out.
AdSense and Other Programs
- AdSense Integrator is a nice way to add code into a page in a variety of areas. It is probably the most versatile plugin, since you can decide exactly which posts and/or pages you want an ad to appear on. Including your Archives, Category, and Tags pages. It also allows you to place ads exactly where you want them on the page using a small checkbox gui. You do need to copy the ad script into a box on the setup page, which is one of the things that makes this useful for multiple ad campaigns. You can even set it so that ads from different programs appear on the same page/post in different places. Or ads from one program on pages, another program on posts. The only real shortcoming is the lack of a widget for sidebar placement. But the authors are working on that.
- All in One Adsense and YPN allows you to place ads from 2 different programs, Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher’s Network. You can use either program alone, or both at the same time. Set up is easy, you just need to paste your ID number from either program into the setup page, choose the ad size, and the number of ads per page. A lot of placement options for ads, including random, on your pages. It lets you decide if you want ads on particular pages and/or posts, and gives you two short codes to give you more control over placement. It is limited to the 2 programs, and has no option for sidebar placement of ads. And the size of the ads is limited also, probably to only the sizes used in both programs.
- Ozh Who Sees Ads is a more complicated plugin to use. It allows you to control who sees an ad, so regular readers are not annoyed by a lot of them, but search engine visitors see them regularly. It can be used with any program, and you can place ads anywhere you want in a post using the generated comment codes, which are in a dropdown on the HTML editor. You can also place ads in your sidebars, but it requires editing the php file and placing that generated php code. Not the easiest plugin to set up, but can definitely be worth the effort.
- Smart Ads is another plugin that is useful for any ad program. You need to paste your generated code into the appropriate box, it will be placed either before, after, or both places in your post. You can also use a custom box that will placed where ever you put a shortcode on your blog. You can also choose to exclude particular categories from having ads shown, or not have ads appear on short posts or for registered members. But it does not have any options for sidebar placement.
Other Programs Only
- Chitika | Premium plugin is only for the Chitika Premium program. According to their FAQ, you are allowed to show Chitika ads on the same pages as Adsense ads, even encouraging you to ask your Adsense rep to make sure. There are limited options for ad placement, basically above or below your post, although there are a variety of ad sizes and you can keep ads from appearing by using a shortcode. Like many other plugins, there is no option for sidebar placement with it.
So there you are. Several choices for putting ads on your blog and making a little money. Some of them place a linkback to the author’s site, others give you the option of letting the author replace one of your ads with theirs a fraction of the time, still others just ask for a donation. None of these options seem unreasonable, since you are using their work to (hopefully) make money, and on these plugins at least, you can decide if and how much any ad replacement takes place.
As for which one I will use? I am not certain yet. There is always the question of versatility versus ease of use. I am leaning toward Easy Adsenser because of the two widgets for the sidebar as well as the ads in the posts. Or it would probably be possible to combine AdSenseAnna with one of the others that does not have a sidebar option, although that would require care not to break the various placement rules.
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