One of the problems I had with AdRotate was that the widget form doesn’t allow for multiple widgets to show different groups of banners in a sidebar. (At the time of this writing.) At least, not using the WordPress admin panel. But, after reading through the site I realized you can ad banners everywhere. No really…, everywhere!
Thinking about that I realized we can even add them to our headers, or better yet use it to replace the header image entirely! *shock*
Now one thing I’ve always wanted to do is to have my “skins” change for the seasons. More over the images (that would be an amazing plugin!) would change while the structure of the site remained the same. I’m sure this could be done by using a PHP script that changes a CSS document per a certain time period. But I’m not PHP wizard… yet.
But then I got to thinking, and that is a dangerous thing as I begin to experiment. I may not be able to use AdRotate that way straight out of the box, ( although with the new “timed” ads it -may- be possible to at least change the header per season, there is an experiment to do to be sure) but it can be hand-coded into the theme of the site. The Plugin’s support website offers a list of code snippets. You can even add individual or random rotating ads to a post or page, inside the post or page! It doesn’t have to stay inside the widget!
How so? Easy!
First you’ll need to install the plugin. You can either do this by hand by downloading the plugin, or if you have WordPress 2.7 installed you can go into the Plugins Panel and do a search for banners, ads, adrotate, or other such words and look for it in the list. Installing it through the Plugins panel is a lot faster.
Now the next thing you may want to do, if you can, is add the \banners (<– note the ‘s’) folder to you wp-content folder. (wp-content\banners ~ don’t forget that ‘s’). This is where you can put all kinds of banners that you will want to use. How ever, sadly, you cannot organize them into sub-folders in order to keep like-images together. You must label them in a way that you will be able to distinguish them.
What’s this do? AdRotate can attach images to the banner rotate code so you don’t have to type out a huge line of code. Not to mention you can -change- what the image is with a simple few clicks if you use the %image% inside of you image tag. (<img src=”%image”>) All you have to do is upload the images into the banners folder and then pick the image from the Banner Admin Panel.
Next you need to log into WordPress and add your banners and links. These can be affiliate links, or they can be general links, it doesn’t really matter.
Set up your groups first, this is done under the mainPlugins Panel under the Manage Banners link. Create groups to help keep yourself organized.
Then under the Posts Panel you can find the Write Banner link where you can start adding your banners! So, next is to start adding banner code and images!
Under the Settings Panel is an option for AdRotate. This is the opt-in / opt-out to help the creator with determining how the plugin is being used and what the creator can fix it to be more beneficial. It’s a study, nothing more. But, you can opt to not have your specific information sent. None of the information is sold and may only be shared in a stsitical analysis. Make sure you set these settings to what you are most comfrotable. Me. I left myself opt’ed -in.
Once this is done then you need to decide where your banners are going to go. Doing a quick design prior to this will help you get an idea of what it will look like. If the banners are too big, you’ll need to re-size them and re upload them. Far as I know AdRotate doesn’t re-size banners for you, you still have to do that by hand in general.
Each of the tags or PHP snippets goes into specific locations. The first number in the PHP code displays banners from a specific group, where the the second is the specific banner ID number. In the shortcode the group and banner numbers are a bit more obvious as you have to type them out. You can find these group and banner ID numbers in the Manage Banner link in your main Plugins Panel.
Make sure you book mark the install list for future reference!
Side note: In the most recent update (as of this posting) the creator has added a CTR (Click Through Ratio) to give you and idea of how your banners are doing!
Suggestion: Donate to this man if you use this Plugin and make money from it. It’s such a powerful and useful plugin, even a dollar or two is a nice thank you. It’s kind of like tipping your waiter. ~ Drakenhart