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AdRotate Pro 3.20.2 – Tweaks and fixes

logo-512x512A small but important update fixing and improving a bunch of things. Most notably a more clear and consistent display of statistics for advert reports and group reports. And also, to relieve stress for my AdRotate Geo API a basic mechanic to use less requests if you run out of lookups. Keep in mind that if you consistently go over the daily limit of 30000 lookups geo Targeting will NOT work during that time. You should consider upgrading to a paid MaxMind subscription instead. Links for that are in AdRotate Settings -> Geo Targeting.

Changes

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  • [fix] AdRotate menu missing in Multisite super admin dashboard
  • [fix] No requests made if you run out of lookups for AdRotate Geo
  • [change] More logical stats display in advert and group reports
  • [change] More consistent use of plugins_url()
  • [change] More consistent use of dirname()

[/unordered_list]

Brown mountains of green

While on Bohol I couldn’t pass up on the Chocolate Hills of-course. I went there twice. It rained both times 🙁 unfortunately. But the sights are really nice. Pictures do not do the place justice…

chocolate-hills

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AdRotate Free 3.15.1

logo-512x512Some bugfixes making AdRotate stop nagging you about W3 Total Cache when it shouldn’t. Some undefined variables are now properly defined and all logos in banners are now shown correctly.

Changes

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  • [fix] Error about W3 Total Cache not being active while it is
  • [fix] Undefined variable output
  • [fix] Path to banner image (logo) in some notifications

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Homeless and ignored

While being amazed how 6 lanes of traffic tries to squeeze onto a 2 lane road I also noticed something else… 2 kids laying about on the foot bridge over the road. 2 girls, one about 14 years old. The other 6 or 7 years young. Not a parent in sight and nobody cares for them. Some kids are sent out by their parents to make up an act of extreme poverty and ‘earn’ money that way. Some are for real. These looked real enough.

homeless-on-a-bridge

I briefly contemplated getting a bag of buns or something for them. Maybe a KFC meal. But what’s the point 🙁 They’ll be hungry again tomorrow.

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AdRotate Pro 3.20.1 – Bugfixes!

logo-512x512A small-ish update fixing a bunch of things. Todays stats now show up correctly and AdRotate Pro now no longer nags you about W3 Total Cache when it shouldn’t. A bunch of output variables are now properly defined (and no longer show notices).

Changes

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  • [fix] Daily stats not always showing for some adverts
  • [fix] Error about W3 Total Cache not being active while it is
  • [fix] Undefined variable output
  • [fix] Path to banner image (logo) in some notifications

[/unordered_list]

Morning Glory

Sewers are not always a luxury… Yes that stream is the sewer. And people live above it. Aside from whatever goes in a sewer, this one also was littered with garbage and plant debris. Combined with the 6 lane highway behind me it makes for a nice living environment… Right in the middle of Cebu City. Did I mention there’s a freight yard next door, too?

cebu-open-sewer

That’s the Cebu City Port area for you. Highly commercialised and rife with industry. But also full of labourers living here.

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AdRotate 3.15 – Better error checking

logo-512x512An all new error detection system with improved notifications. Better displaying of various statistics and overall some updates and bugfixes.

Error Detection

AdRotate has an all new error detection system that checks adverts, various features and provides more useful links and descriptions to fix those items. Over 12 error states can be detected in the plugins configuration on top of all the error states for adverts.

If something is wrong you’ll see a big banner along the top telling you what’s going on.

Changelog

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  • [new] AdRotate error detection and status notifications
  • [new] Stats display for graphs now shows totals and CTR
  • [change] Updated bot filter keywords
  • [change] Reports display tweaks
  • [change] Impressions always tracked when using internal tracker
  • [fix] Advert evaluation cache not always accurate

[/unordered_list]

Slums in Cebu

There’s a whole bunch of that in Cebu City. Stacks of houses that are falling apart. Whole neighbourhoods build from cardboard and plywood, commonly on top of piles of garbage. And yet, when you walk there – Most people seem cheery and helpful. Content in whatever they have.

cebu-slums

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AdRotate Pro 3.20 – Archive your old adverts!

logo-512x512Updates updates and more updates… This month an exciting new feature gets added. Some improvements and overhauling of things and a whole bunch of changes to make AdRotate smarter. Also some bugs got fixed.

Archive for Adverts

In the current system stats get counted for adverts. A whole lot of it. And it all goes in one big pile of numbers. That works fine for strong and beefy hosting packages. It also works fine if your site is not particularly busy.

Overtime this pile of data can become rather large and adverts expire. But still all that data remains in the pile. Which is less than optimal. So, behold! Adverts that are no longer required to be in the active pool can now be archived. Among a few other things this gets all it’s stats moved to a different location. You can keep the stats, see them at any time. But they’re no longer part of the active pile of data. So for running campaigns AdRotate Pro doesn’t have to deal with it.

And that means your site will be faster! yay!

The Archive function is available in version 3.20 and up. It’s a AdRotate Pro only feature and you access it from the Manage Adverts page in the various Bulk Menu’s in there. Along the top is a archive link where you can manage your adverts that are archived. Simple to learn, simple to use.

Error Detection

AdRotate Pro has an all new error detection system that checks adverts, various features and provides useful links and descriptions to fix those items. Over 15 error states can be detected in the plugins configuration on top of all the error states for adverts.

If something is wrong you’ll see a big banner along the top telling you what’s going on.

Stats overhaul?

I still haven’t quite figured out a good way to get a date picker to work the way I want it to. Also the graphs are getting a bit old. But I did update the format of stats as you see them. More informative numbers in a bunch of places and reworked summary stats for both the Publisher and their advertisers. Statistics should now be a little bit more easy to read and interpret.

Adblock detection

The adblock detecting feature got introduced a while ago. And it works soso. I’m not up for the cat & mouse game that adblockers play to break AdRotate (Pro) and me trying to avoid them. AdRotate and AdRotate Pro have a few other features that are able to work around ad blockers if used properly. The adblock detection system is not part of that. If you do need this feature you can use this plugin instead: https://wordpress.org/plugins/ad-blocking-detector/

AdRotate Geo

Due to increased usage and ensuing performance degradation the free lookups quota has been reduced to 30000 per day as of today. Version 3.20 will reflect this change in it’s descriptions but even if you don’t upgrade you get less lookups per day. The API everyone uses sets the rules for that, not AdRotate Pro.

If you need more than 30000 lookups per day you should look at using MaxMind’s dedicated service instead of using AdRotate Geo – Links with more information about pricing and features are in AdRotate Settings under Geo Targeting.

Changelog

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  • [new] Archive function for adverts
  • [new] AdRotate error detection and status notifications
  • [new] Stats display for graphs now shows totals and CTR
  • [change] Regression: 30k free lookups via AdRotate Geo
  • [change] Updated bot filter keywords
  • [change] Removed “Adblock detection” feature
  • [change] Reports display tweaks
  • [change] Impressions always tracked when using internal tracker
  • [fix] Javascripts not always loaded in dashboard
  • [fix] Translations not always working
  • [fix] Advert evaluation cache not always accurate

[/unordered_list]

Tiny Cebu City

It’s not as big as it looks. Look it’s tiny! I’m leaving for Bohol soon. Hopefully I’ll see some Tarsier there. But for sure I’ll be visiting the Chocolate hills and the beach 🙂

tiny-cebu-city

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AdRotate 3.14.2 – Fixes and improvements

logo-512x512Bugfix update for AdRotate Free – Fixing several bugs and updating the widget to work better with W3 Total Cache it’s fragmented caching feature. Shortcodes have been updated as well. Post injection should now work more reliable with some complex settings of multiple groups mixed into the same post/page.

Changelog

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  • [change] Better W3 Total Cache support
  • [fix] Post injection not always showing with multiple groups
  • [fix] Removed obsolete useragent column from database

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Sipalay Islands

Or, Tinagong Dagat more precisely. A crazy beautiful lagoon filled with small rock islands. All overgrown with trees and jungly stuff.

tinagong-dagat

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AdRotate Pro 3.19 available now

logo-512x512It took a while to get right. Also the lack of feedback from a few people who were supposedly testing the beta slowed things down. But, things work for me. On both my test and real site. Yay and stuff.

Widgets

AdRotate Pro’s widget was kinda stale and dated – Requiring a manual ID entry. I have created 2 easier to use widgets. Or I hope they’re easier to use. The widgets are simpler to control, one for adverts and one for groups.

adrotate-pro-widget

Caching support

The implementation for W3 Total Cache has been updated to work. The current widget will not be updated for it. In a few months or so the old widget will go away entirely. The new widget uses the new implementation. Along with shortcode output, which has also been updated.

If you want your widgets to work with W3 Total Caches fragmented caching you’ll want to switch over to the new widgets soon-ish. For shortcodes no action is required. The existing shortcodes have been updated.

Geo Targeting

AdRotate Pro now uses version 3 of my Geo API. This version is a bit faster and more efficient.
Also here, no action required on your part. AdRotate Pro will automatically use the newer API.
The API now handles in excess of 800000 requests per day. Quite a lot 🙂 We’ll see how things hold up.

Post Injection

Once again, post injection has been updated. Stuffing multiple groups behind various paragraphs should now work more reliable. Meaning, adverts will actually show for more complex setups.

Another new fancy thing is that Post Injection now finally works for widgets as well. You can set Post Injection to ‘Widget’ now and then set up a group widget with that group. The widget will detect the post injection setting and act accordingly for pages and/or posts. Quite neat I think. This will work for both the standard Sidebar and other widget areas. The old widget does not support this feature. So using the new group widget is encouraged 🙂

Changelog

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  • [new] Post Injection extends to widgets
  • [new] Page Injection extends to widgets
  • [new] All new widgets for easier control and setup
  • [new] AdRotate Geo API v3
  • [new] AdRotate Update API v4
  • [change] Dashboard tweaks
  • [change] Better W3 Total Cache support
  • [fix] Post injection not always showing with multiple groups
  • [fix] Better day recognition for schedules
  • [fix] Correct schedule creation for renewing adverts
  • [fix] Correct device icons for adverts in groups and schedules
  • [fix] Removed obsolete useragent column from database
  • [fix] Better use of WP_Error for Geo Targeting
  • [fix] Better error reporting for Geo Targeting

[/unordered_list]

Beta testing

In order to test a bunch of things I sent out beta versions to people willing to test. Once again it turned out a waste of time as nobody provided any feedback on things and just took the files and ran. Thanks for your assistance guys, really…
I probably won’t be providing beta’s again anytime soon 🙁

I went into a cave!

I took a boat and went to this small rock island at the mound of Campomares Bay near Sipalay City. There was a big cave with tons of bats. Also one caveman was found… Red ‘Iron man’ shirt, unwieldy beard. Claims he made AdRotate and thinks that makes him famous. Perhaps you’ve heard of him?

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New widgets for AdRotate Pro coming soon?

It’s been a bit overdue I guess… Or perhaps neglected. The widget for AdRotate Pro is basic and clunky to say the least. I’m not exactly sure what to do with them but making them compatible with Post Injection is probably a nice start, right? If you have ideas for widgets please send them in, as well. Keep in mind that any options must appeal to a broader audience than your site alone.

New widgets

This will be a big change for widgets, and most of it will not be compatible with the current widget. So when these get added AdRotate Pro will sport 3 widgets total. Of-course there will be the current widgets. Which will continue to do it’s thing just fine. Eventually (think 2017-ish) this old widget will be removed from the plugin.

In the meantime you can start using this one, which is specifically crafted to show groups.
widget-post-injection

It does the same as the current widget in group mode, you can show a group and select a ID. Just a little bit more easy. If your selected group has Post Injection for Widgets enabled the Widget will detect that and switch to use it automatically.

I’m also working on a widget specifically for single adverts. But it’s not in any state to show off yet. The group widget is for now far more interesting 😉

Post Injection for Widgets

As for setting up Post Injection, you’ll get a new option in the already familiar settings for Post Injection. This is very easy to get going.
widget-post-injection2

This feature will be available in the next update for AdRotate Pro.

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AdRotate 3.14.1 – Compatible with WordPress 4.4

logo-512x512A small update with a few tweaks to the overall dashboard. AdRotate 3.14.1 is tested to work on WordPress 4.4 with no known issues. An obsolete field in the database has been removed, old adverts will be migrated over to the “new” system which was introduce almost 2 years ago.

changes

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  • [change] Few dashboard updates, better wording and such
  • [change] Removed obsolete ‘link’ column from database
  • [i18n] Updated translation strings

[/unordered_list]

Phoney hamburgers

When you order a hamburger you expect a round pattie. Some lettuce, tomato and a circular piece of ground beef.

Not this –
filipino-hamburger

Even though the taste was ok, it’s not a hamburger.

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Automatic update bug – Fixed, but…

ajdg-logo-compactWhile updating the slug for AdRotate Pro I’ve discovered a bug in the automatic updating system for AdRotate Pro and Merchant E-solutions for WooCommerce. While building the system I never accounted for plugin slugs that have a dash in them. So I happily used dashes elsewhere. This breaks the downloads of updates. Yay! 🙁

AdRotate Pro

WordPress may not see the update for AdRotate Pro 3.18.2. In my tests I would get the update for AdRotate Free or no update at all. On 2 of the 3 sites I tested this on I got no update notification at all.

If you’re missing the update notification or get an update for AdRotate Free instead you should update manually. Accidentally installing AdRotate Free will not break your adverts but will disable the AdRotate Pro features (including having multiple schedules for adverts).

You can do a manual update quickly and easily following this guide – Upgrade AdRotate Pro to a newer version.

Merchant E-Solutions

For Merchant E-Solutions things are a bit more straightforward. The plugin already has the right slugs. Now that the update server can understand the ‘merchant-esolutions’ slug updates will be offered as advertised.

When running into trouble

If you’re having trouble with updating to AdRotate Pro version 3.18.2 or Merchant E-Solutions version 1.0.1. Let me know as soon as possible via the contact form.

Include any errors or notifications you saw while updating. Also create/share an admin account for your WordPress dashboard and a (s)FTP login so I can go in and fix things quickly. Sending complete and accurate information will get this sorted faster.

Golden skies!

If you’re on a boat at the right time, you may see this.
sunset