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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.

Read more »

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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.

Read more »

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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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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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:

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.


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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


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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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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.


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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


Sipalay Islands

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


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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.


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.


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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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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


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 ๐Ÿ™

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.

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

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.


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


Phoney hamburgers

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

Not this –

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