WP125: Easy 125×125 Ad Management For WordPress

DownloadIf you’ve given up the low-paying and slightly obtrusive ad networks used by many new bloggers, in favor of selling ads directly, you may have been frustrated with the excessive time involved managing your ads. Not only do you have to find advertisers to sponsor your blog, you have to manually edit your template to put the ad in, and then head over to your favorite calendar app to set an alert to remind you when to take the ad down.

Time consuming practices like those are a thing of the past. The WP125 plugin can help you manage your ads more efficiently, leaving you with more time to write new posts. The plugin adds a new “Ads” menu to the WordPress admin, featuring submenus for tweaking display settings and adding and removing ads.

Features include:

  • One or two column ad display, and support through template tags to implement your own unconventional design.
  • Show as many ads as you want, and in either manual or random order
  • Keep track of how many times an ad is clicked
  • When creating a new ad, you don’t have to calculate the end date yourself. Just input how many days you wish the ad to run for, and the correct date will be applied. The ad will be automatically taken down when the time comes.
  • When an ad run is over, the record is archived on the Inactive ads screen, so you can check on the final click count, or revive the ad for another run.
  • When an ad slot is empty, a placeholder ad of your choice will be displayed. This could be a “Your Ad Here” image linking to a page with statistics and pricing, or an affiliate link.
  • Optionally recieve email notifications when an ad expires. Useful if you send follow-up messages to advertisers, or if you just want to stay in the know.

Installing the Plugin

  1. Download and unzip the package.
  2. FTP the entire “wp125″ directory to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory on your blog.
  3. Activate the plugin on the “Plugins” tab of the administartion panel.
  4. Either use the included “WP125: Ads” widget, or place the <?php wp125_write_ads(); ?> template tag where you wish your ads to appear.
  5. Go to the new “Ads” section of the WordPress admin, where you can tweak settings, such as the maximum number of ads to be shown at once (the default is 6), and how they should be displayed.

Upgrading

You may upgrade the plugin via the automated system in WordPress 2.5 or greater, or “old-style” by downloading the new one and then

  1. Deactivating plugin
  2. Uploading the updated files
  3. Reactivating plugin

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t want to arrange my ads in one OR two columns? – If you want to arrange your ads in an unconventional manner, you can use the <?php wp125_single_ad(num); ?> template tag (replace “num” with the number of an ad slot). The tag will return one ad with minimal formatting (simply <a><img /></a>). You can use multiple instances of the tag in your template to set lay your ad slots out in whatever way you choose.

One of my ads hit it’s expiration date. Where did it go? – When an ad’s time duration is over, it disappears off your site, and is removed from the Active ads page in the WordPress admin. To access the record, just click the “Inactive” link on the Manage screen. The page should update to show all of your inactive ads.

What if I don’t want an ad to be taken down automatically? – Just select “I’ll remove it manually” for the expiration date when you go to create the ad.

Known Issues

If you have WP Super Cache installed on your blog, it may conflict with WP125′s click tracking feature. To fix this, add “index.php” on a new line in the “Rejected URLs” field of the WP Super Cache options page. This will disable caching for yourblog.com/index.php. If someone goes to yourblog.com, they will still get the cached version, but since WP125′s click tracker URLs look like “/index.php?adclick=1,” they will avoid the cache.

Support

If you’re having a problem with the plugin, try posting on the official WordPress forum. I, or another user of the plugin, will hopefully be able to answer your questions.