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Don’t let PayPal fees bring you down with PayPal Surcharge for WooCommerce

Recently Paypal once again announced they will raise transaction fees. They also changed their Terms of Service in a way that you as a merchant are more liable for your customers antics, making it easier for them to charge you when trouble arrises (which should occur rarely, if ever. But still, not cool!).
By my calculations many transactions will end up costing almost double compared to earlier this year.

If you use WordPress with WooCommerce as your sales platform not all is lost though. You can easily lessen this costly burden and keep your business afloat more easy. With a simple plugin I’ve created. Read on for more information!

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AdRotate Pro 5.2 – Fixes, improvements and better updates

This update focusses on some small but important bugfixes for CSS generation. As you may know CSS is no longer generated on pageload, but stored in the database now. This makes your site faster. As a result CSS now has to be generated when you save your groups. This works more reliable now.

Next to that, a new Update API has been introduced which should offer updates more reliably and more transparent. Some people would miss updates because of it. With the new iteration this should be much less. The AJdG Solutions Update server now sends more complete data about updates on the right prompts.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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