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Less responsive support until the 5th of October

A quick reminder that I’ll be travelling to and through the Philippines between September 28th and October 5th. During this time I may not respond to email, forum posts, chat or tweets. I’ll try to catch up with stuff in between. Depending on Wifi coverage I’ll be able to answer emails and forum posts.

I’m moving to this place 🙂 Doesn’t it look stunning?
Puerto Galera from the air

Follow my exploits on www.floatingcoconut.net.

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License issues? Resolved – Service restored.

Just a quick heads up – Due to an update to the License API last night some users seemingly “lost” their license. Further investigation showed that WooThemes in all their wisdom decided to rename a database table and a column in that table. The script that should handle that failed and I thought I’d fixed it manually last night. However, over the course of today I’ve come to realise that the problem was a bit bigger than anticipated.

Some theme templates and plugins needed updating too. As well as the Legacy API for licenses starting with 101 (sold last year). Earlier today I’ve updated all plugins and I’ve just finished updating the Legacy API and theme templates.

As far as I can tell, everything is working again.
Let me know if you can’t see your license in your account or if activating the plugin returns a “invalid key” or “license not found” error. As always, you can reach me via the contact form.

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Adjusted bounce rate and track 404 page requests in Piwik Analytics

Over the last few days I’ve been doing some research about how Piwik Analytics reports bounce rates – The same way as Google Analytics – and what to do about it.

Recently I launched a satellite site as a sort of landingpage for AdRotate Pro to drop the bounce rate on my primary site. But then, since the landingpage has no other pages the bounce rate there was 100%. Just because there are no more pages than the front-page.

Heartbeat timer

To try and counter that Piwik Analytics has introduced a heartbeat timer in their latest version of Piwik. I found this in their API documentation and was recommended to me on the forums when asking about it.

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Switching your WordPress site to SSL

Https for your domain makes sense these days for a bunch of reasons; You offer an encrypted link connection to your visitors which provides security. It’s not very expensive either. You can get affordable certificates via NameCheap (A popular hosting provider).

I got mine via MediaTemple because I’m rather lazy and their dashboard has this fancy thing to install a certificate with just one click. But you can get them cheap via NameCheap from ~$10 per year or so.

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The ultimate development environment for Mac OS X

Updated: December 26, 2018

I’ve pieced together what I think is the ultimate development setup. This tutorial is particularly useful if you’re working in different places and have to rely on public wifi or if you don’t have high speed internet available.

As you may have read I’ve moved to the Philippines. This means I no longer have a home address for a while. This also means that high speed internet becomes a luxury. To not being hindered in developing things like AdRotate and other plugins I needed a fast and reliable alternative for my online development server. So that even if internet is wonky, I can still do some work.

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Troubleshooting common email issues in OS X Mail

Improve your email overall, fix issues with receiving or sending email. Or generally make things work if you simply don’t know how OS X Mail works or is supposed to work. This post will outline a number of things to look at which may improve your overall mail usage but also will be helpful if things go bad. This post is particularly useful if you use IMAP/POP email combined with SMTP (for sending). Exchange accounts are a whole different kind of animal and are not covered in this article.

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AdRotate Geo Explained – Increase your advertising campaigns relevancy with Geo Targeting.

geo-serviceSome people asked about what AdRotate Geo does, where they can download it and how it works. In this post I’ll try to answer all 3 questions.
In short AdRotate Geo is a Geo Lookup service. This means that it provides geo location data on your websites visitors where available.

What is AdRotate Geo

Quite simply put, AdRotate Geo is a Geo Lookup service for AdRotate Pro users. And what is a Geo Lookup service? It’s a service that tries to locate where your visitor is so you can target specific advertisements to that person. Targeting your visitors by their location has some great advantages. For example, what use is it to show adverts for a New York restaurant to a website visitor from Japan. None. So don’t waste your impressions on them. Use Geo Targeting to show that Japanese visitor something else. Something relevant. AdRotate Geo helps you with that.

Where to get or download AdRotate Geo

AdRotate Geo is not a downloadable product. You don’t have to buy it, either.
If you have AdRotate Pro version 3.12 or newer then AdRotate Geo is available to you. You can select the service in the Geo Targeting settings of AdRotate pro. All you need to use AdRotate Geo is a valid license that is registered. Basically that means activating the license 🙂 Simple.

How does AdRotate Geo work

AdRotate Geo is composed of 3 parts really.

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  • The 1st part is built-in in AdRotate Pro and grabs the visitors IP address and makes the request to the AdRotate Geo Server. But also processes the reply of AdRotate Geo.
  • The 2nd part is on the AdRotate Geo server and receives your requests. After validating the request it also sends a reply to your website. Either a valid result you can use or a message why you can’t use AdRotate Geo.
  • The 3rd part is the actual Geo Location database inside AdRotate Geo. This database is provided by MaxMind and is updated regularly for accuracy.

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So how does that work.

When a visitor enters your site he or she may get to a page where an advert is placed with Geo Targeting enabled. At that point AdRotate Pro needs to determine where that visitor is in the world and show an advert or not. If this information is not known by a earlier placed cookie, a request is sent to AdRotate Geo with the IP address of that visitor. AdRotate Geo checks if your site is known in the database and if it is looks up the IP address of the visitor. If the IP address is known AdRotate Geo sends back a reply with the location of that person. This can be a Country, City and/or State. Or any sensible combination of the 3. Most developed areas are listed and known.
Once AdRotate Pro gets a valid response from AdRotate Geo with location data it selects the advert to show to the visitor.
This happens in a matter of milliseconds and won’t impact your sites performance beyond that.

To make this even faster, once the visitor has visited your site, a cookie is created on the visitors computer containing the geo data retrieved from AdRotate Geo. This means that if that visitor comes back to your site before the cookie expires NO request to AdRotate Geo is required. AdRotate Pro will use the cookie of that person.

Signing up for AdRotate Geo

This is as simple as activating the option with a valid license for AdRotate Pro. If your site is not known to AdRotate Geo it will validate the first request and register your site automatically. You won’t even notice this. After 2 weeks of inactivity your site is automatically removed from the database. If you then start using AdRotate Geo again the signup process is simply repeated.

Paid options

AdRotate Geo in it’s basic form is free. You can make 14400 requests (Lookups) per day for free. For most small to medium websites this is plenty.
Since every visitor uses 1 or 2 request per day at the default settings, this means you can serve many visitors per day and you don’t have to pay a dime for it.
If you need more lookups you can buy them via the AdRotate Geo page. These will be added to your total quota. Lookups are a dirt cheap commodity and I think that everyone should be able to benefit from Geo Targeting. it makes your advertising campaigns so much more valuable.