Posted on Leave a comment

Why Diversifying with Contextual Ads Makes a Lot of Sense in 2019

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We’ve all heard it, we all understand it, but how many of us actually put it into practice? When it comes to your website’s ad inventory, diversifying your sources of revenue is critical for ensuring that you make the most of every impression.

Tap into multiple, competitive demand sources

Every ad partner brings their own set of advertiser demand. A lot of this demand overlaps across multiple ad partners, but no one ad partner has access to all the demand sources out there. Very few ad partners bring exclusive demand to the party, but when you find one that does, it’s worth adding such a partner to your mix.

The real estate on your website is a valuable commodity that advertisers want to get on. The higher the number of advertisers competing for that ad space, the greater the potential revenue from that impression. Therefore, working with multiple ad partners that bring in all of the demand you can possibly capture just makes good fiscal sense for publishers who want to maximize their earnings.

Read more »

Posted on

AdRotate Geo temporarily shut down

Today I woke up to 22 emails that my website was offline-online-offline and so on. Turns out some users are once again abusing AdRotate Geo by sending millions of requests to my API.

AdRotate Geo serves around 3 million requests per day. And scales pretty well for small to medium sites. Currently there are a couple of hundred users subscribed to AdRotate Geo. But getting upwards of 40 million requests per hour is a bit too much for my servers.

So, DDoS then, again… But they’re all real AdRotate Pro users as far as I can see. Valid authentification keys and api access… After some digging it turns out that it was AdRotate Geo being hammered with traffic from a bunch of AdRotate Pro users sites. Millions of requests per site? Come on. That’s not real traffic. Can’t be… Or is it.

Read more »

Posted on

Subscribe to the blog for updates and news

Did you know you can easily follow my blog via email and/or RSS Feeds? People often ask me; “is there an update for AdRotate Professional”. Or I get emails with support questions asking things that have either been fixed or added in later versions of the plugin. Clearly they didn’t know about updates. Some people didn’t update for years.

This is a security risk for various reasons, but also a big strain on support time. If I have to sort of copy paste “Update to the latest version, it’ll fix your issue” for half of the emails I have less time to answer real support questions.

Read more »

Posted on

Infrastructure upgrades and API changes

New infrastructure and servers

Over the last week I’ve been hard at work to finally resolve the issues with performance and up-time that plagued the AJdG Solutions website since mid December last year. MediaTemple kept denying any issues and couldn’t stop pointing fingers are everyone but themselves.

Very unprofessional for the stupendous amount of money I paid them monthly. But alas, their support was, as usual, completely inept. Too bad! So after a few days of frustratingly dealing with tickets and people pretty much ignoring me, I gave up and moved to a new hosting provider. So far that seems better and more stable.

I’m still ironing out some minor kinks, but so far so good.

Old AdRotate Geo API discontinued

Users of my AdRotate Pro plugin will know I offer various API for updates, AdRotate Geo and some other stuff.

Due to ongoing abuse of the older AdRotate Geo API, versions 1 and 2 will be obsolete effective immediately.

These API versions will soon be shut down and no longer return Geo Targeting information. If you’re still using AdRotate Versions 3.18.2 or older and you’re using AdRotate Geo, your geo targeting will no longer work in a few days.

Updating to the current version of AdRotate Pro will fix this and is the only solution. I’m not going to develop work-arounds or silly hacks. No need to ask… Just update the plugin!

A step-by-step update guide is available here.
If you need help with updating, or simply do not want to do it yourself you can use my AdRotate update service.

You are urgently advised to upgrade to AdRotate Pro 4 or newer. Version 4.11 has been released earlier today and is available for free for everyone who bought a license!

Posted on 2 Comments

Caching to improve your lousy hosting

An interesting thing and general misconception about website caching is that caching is good. Well yes, it can be. But do you really need caching? I think most people do not…

This post is not about how useful Caching can be. It is about how people misuse caching and the illusion of making things better.

most people use caching to make up for sloppy shared hosting

That’s right. You have found the cheapest hosting provider you could get and now you discovered your site is slow. Like any sane person everything is to blame but the server. Because the provider says its “quality premium ultra hosting on fast and reliable servers” and they’re experts.

Read more »

Posted on

AdRotate Pro 4.8 – Exciting new stuff!

It’s been a while, but there are still features to be added to AdRotate Pro from time to time. This is one such update. Check out the form for creating/editing adverts and groups for new controls.

Most notably you can not turn off repeated impression counting for dynamic groups – Useful for if your adverts are in a tab that’s open for a long time.
And a super useful code generator. Simply provide bits of adverts (such as supplied by your advertiser), a link, image, some settings. And AdRotate will try to generate a working from advert from that.

Read more »

Posted on

6 ways to a faster and safer WordPress

Having a WordPress website is often great, but it also makes you vulnerable for all kinds of attacks and mischief – Or maybe not vulnerable, but it invites many wrong doers to try and attack you. You’re an easy target. Let’s make it a bit less easy for them without using plugins!

Recently I’ve been plagued on another website by slowness, the occasional downtime and other annoying stuff. Paying more attention to usage stats and the error_log it turns out there was a bunch of stuff going on. A few of IP Addresses constantly tried something with wp-login.php and some other pages and files being loaded over and over again for no apparent reason.

Another issue was the RSS feed WordPress generates. Sure, it works fine. But if you get almost 10000+ requests on it per hour, that’ll slow things down, too. Sometimes.

So I did some research and have come up with a few things to try and prevent this kind of behavior. Of-course it’s no use blocking IP addresses but you can prevent access to things or if they access those things lessen the load on your server a great deal.

Read more »

Posted on

The great server migration – Upgrades!

Sunday and yesterday I finally made the move to a new server which apparently is bigger and better than anything before.

This abrupt move was made to future proof the security of the overall system. Prompted by Paypal and Stripe their efforts to upgrade security protocols. A thing the old server didn’t support the newer versions of. I can now handle TLS1.2 encryption and all that modern stuff, required for creditcard payments. Some upgrades like newer PHP and MySQL servers have been made along the way too.

All services, including AdRotate Geo and the update API were affected. I missed a day of sales, too. But everything seems to be working again.

If you run into trouble with something on the site, let me know via the contact form. Please describe what’s not working and any errors you see. I’ll get right on it πŸ™‚

Posted on

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

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

  • [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 πŸ™‚

tiny-cebu-city

Posted on

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

[unordered_list style=”arrow”]

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

[/unordered_list]

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