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Plugin Review: WP125

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January 25th, 2009
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Weekly Plugin Review, WordPress Plugins

If you’ve finally decided to start selling ads on your WordPress blog, you either signup for an advertising network like Google Adsense or sell ads directly on your own.

125 x 125 button advertising has become a rage with almost every blog / site selling advertisement. Out here at Weblog Tools Collection, we use OIO Publisher for this. However, if you’re not interested in purchasing the plugin, then WP125 is an excellent choice for the same.

What is WP125?

The WP125 plugin is designed to make it easy to manage 125×125 banner ads on your blog. The plugin adds a new “Ads” menu to the WordPress admin, featuring submenus for tweaking display settings and adding and removing ads. It’s very customizable, allowing you plenty of options for displaying the ads. It can optionally track the number of times the ads are clicked. The best part is you don’t have to count forward on your calendar anymore. You can just set how long an ad should run, and it will figure out the end date for you, and it will take the ad down automatically. The plugin does a lot to make it easy for you to manage your 125×125 ads quickly so you can get back to what’s really important: Blogging.

Features:

  • 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 receive 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.

Our Review:

Getting started with WP125 is easy. Download the plugin from the repository and install it on your WordPress blog.

The plugin creates a new Ads menu that you can use to configure all settings. You can select the number of ads you want to sell as well as if you want to stack them in one or two columns.

The next step is to integrate them into your blog template. You have two options for this. One is to use <?php wp125_write_ads(); ?> where you want to display the ads. I suggest putting this into your sidebar.

If you don’t like the one or two column setting, you can choose to custom layout your advertisements. Use <?php wp125_single_ad(num); ?> where num is the number of the ad you wish to display.

Overall this is a really good plugin that will get you started with selling adverting on your blog. There are several features that can be added to this.

The author has the following plans:

  • The ability to recieve email notifications a few days in advance of an ad expiring, instead of just the moment the ad expires and is taken down. This will allow you to contact the advertiser and send a follow-up before the ad is taken down. The number of days before the advance notice is configurable.
  • Some changes are being made to make the plugin a little more friendly under WordPress 2.7. A few usability tweaks, mainly, but they will improve the workflow noticeably.
  • The ads will have alternating CSS classes applied to them, in the fashion of the WordPress “oddcomment” class. This will enable even greater flexibility in your custom styling if you wish.

One more option that can be added is the creation of ad slots. This will ensure you don’t need to use the code for displaying single ads all over but instead use a code for ad slots.

I know the plugin is called WP125, but it would be great to see added support for other banner sizes including the popular 468×60 etc.

Do you sell advertising on your blog? If so, what service do you use for the same?

Are you using WP125? What is it that you love about the plugin? And what is it that you would love to see improved? If you’re not using WP125, which plugin are you using for advertising?

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Comments

  1. Thomas Clausen (15 comments.) says:

    I haven’t used this plugin, but I’ve been happy with OpenX, which is a stand alone open source program (formerly known as OpenAds, phpAdsNew).

    It’s great for handling all kind of ads, but of course it’s a bit more complex than installing a plugin.

    • ArcherTC (1 comments.) says:

      I have read good things about OpenX. While their site makes note of an OpenX WordPress plugin, it’s not been updated and it did not make it into the WordPress.org plugin directory. Are you using their plugin yourself? Care to share feedback on it?

      • Thomas Clausen (15 comments.) says:

        I actually think the WordPress plugin goes to their hosted service, so I haven’t tried it since I have it as a fresh install on my own server :-)

      • Shawn Scammahorn (2 comments.) says:

        I’m using the OpenX plugin on my site and it seems to work pretty well with the self-hosted version of OpenX that I’m running on my server.

        The nice thing about the OpenX plugin is that you’re 1) not tied down to just one size ad, and 2) you can add an advert into a post or where ever by just typing the zone id in brackets [5].

        I haven’t tested the plugin with WP 2.7 yet though.

  2. Fredrik (1 comments.) says:

    This seems to be a good plugin. Is there possible to decide how many ad boxes to show?

  3. DazzlinDonna (8 comments.) says:

    Yes, I’ve used the plugin for a while now. The only addition I’d like to see is the ability to place javascript code (or any code really) instead of the normal img url so that things like 125×125 adsense code can be used as well.

  4. The GTL™ (5 comments.) says:

    I use WP125 and am quite happy with it. In fact, the plugin DOES support 150×150 ads I’ve learned.

    A feature I’d like to see is the ability to select “center” for centering the ads versus having to go in and change the code to do this.

    Very happy with this plugin!

  5. A.Faith (1 comments.) says:

    I find this plugin rather hard to use, especially for those who are not familiar with under-developed add-ons for WordPress.

    Its usability is limited and adding and removing more than 10 banners could be tricky for those who like AdSense or something familiar.

  6. rudy (8 comments.) says:

    I tried this plug-in offline just now, then i saw there were a review for this plug-in on my online dashboard, and took me here.
    After trying it on my offline site, i will apply it to my real on-line line. I like this plug-in a lot, and i look forward to see the new feature / version which has a capability to manage 300x 250, and 480 x60 instead of 125×125.

  7. redwall_hp (40 comments.) says:

    Thank you for your review. I have had a few requests to have support for other ad formats. I have considered it, but I’m not sure how I would implement it. Perhaps in the future, once I’m sure I have the core functionality (125×125 format ads) fully perfected. I have much planned for this plugin in the future, and it’s gained a significant following.

    There are still some rough edges here and there, which I have been working to fix, and there’s a steady stream of feedback coming to my inbox.

    Coming in the next release will be some of said rough-edge fixing, as well as localization support, with a couple of translations already secured.

    • Ajay (6 comments.) says:

      There are two options you can to implement this.

      1. Create custom functions to display the different ad formats. However, this can get clumsy.

      2. An alternative is to allow users to “create” an adblock of a custom size.

      • redwall_hp (40 comments.) says:

        Well, I got that far. ;)

        The problem is from a UI standpoint. It’s something that I need to plan out carefully to avoid messing up the ease of use of the plugin. If you look at something like OpenX or Google Ad Manager, you’ll note that there’s a quite larger barrier for entry. There’s a lot more for a user to learn. I intend to keep things simple.

        I am pretty much sure that the feature will make it into the plugin eventually, but I have other things higher-up on the plugin’s to-do list that need taking care of first.

  8. Dan says:

    I use this plugin on 4 sites – *****

    The author is very helpful!

  9. Iacob Ionut (1 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using OpenX but I wanted to switch to something else for quite some time . I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

  10. Barry (33 comments.) says:

    I’ve not tried this plugin yet as I’ve only recently put adverts on my blog. I do notice that you say you have to put code in your sidebar? It’s a pity it doesn’t come with a widget, which would make it easier to set up.

    I notice OIO Publisher isn’t a GPL compatible plugin, and wonder how linking to it in this post goes along with the sentiments expressed by Mark earlier this year:
    http://weblogtoolscollection.c.....bo-borsho/

    From the OIO Publisher FAQ:
    Can I give OIOpublisher to my friends?
    You may not in any way, shape, or form distribute or give OIOpublisher out. The license for OIOpublisher extends to you and yourself only.

    • redwall_hp (40 comments.) says:

      A widget *is* included. You can put it where you want. I believe Ajay was simply recommending that it be put there, like 90% of blogs do.

    • Ajay (209 comments.) says:

      While you can use the widget, I always prefer just using the code directly.

    • Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

      Very good point Barry, edited the post.

      • Barry (33 comments.) says:

        Yeah, I know – it’s not GPL – As I said earlier.

        To clarify – I’m not against non-GPL software or plugins or themes – far from it, but the license has specific points that are incompatible with the GPL license, the fact that the “interface” to WordPress is released under the WordPress license seems to me like as much a “get around” (to use other peoples words) as premium theme developers releasing their css and images under a different license.

        The license says that only the code that links to WordPress is released under WordPresses lice, but the OIO publisher code itself isn’t – seems like a mess of a license to me.

      • Barry (33 comments.) says:

        Sorry, Mark – just re-read that comment and it comes across a bit different than how I intended. If it sounds like I’m being righteous and standing on a pedestal – then that isn’t the intention.

  11. Turnip (1 comments.) says:

    I use openX as an adserver to sell directly, and sell ads through CMF Ads as part of a social network.

  12. WPCult (2 comments.) says:

    This plugin is a great advertisement management service, and simple + easy to use! I have had OIO on my site for a while, but had to many compatibility issues with other plugins, so I switched back to WP125, and helped redwall with the idea for alternating CSS classes. Very good plugin!

  13. Alex (5 comments.) says:

    I knew that there must be a better way to manage ads on your website than having to edit the template. Thanks for giving us the heads up.

  14. Mik (3 comments.) says:

    I use this plugin and like the ease of use and keeping track of click-throughs.

  15. Barry (33 comments.) says:

    Ajay – it would be interesting to compare this plugin with the UBD one originally by Alex King:

    http://www.uniqueblogdesigns.c.....26-update/

  16. Paul says:

    “The only addition I’d like to see is the ability to place javascript code (or any code really) instead of the normal img url so that things like 125×125 adsense code can be used as well.”

    ME2!!!

  17. Philippe (1 comments.) says:

    Hi there,

    I know the last comment is 1 year old, but maybe you can give me a little hand :o)

    How can I decide which ad is “follow” and another is “nofollow”? I tried to change a bit at the .php file but I just didn’t get it.

    Would be nice to get some help :o)

    Have a nice day,
    Phil



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  2. [...] in-house banner advertising. Of course, the plugin has been download over 16,000 times and even Weblog Tools Collection has reviewed the plugin too and can be found in the WordPress Plugin [...]

  3. [...] reviewed WP125 on January 25th. The WP125 plugin is designed to make it easy to manage 125×125 banner ads on your [...]

  4. [...] in-house banner advertising. Of course, the plugin has been download over 16,000 times and even Weblog Tools Collection has reviewed the plugin too and can be found in the WordPress Plugin repository! Share and [...]

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