In many of your emails you mention, how great and easy the interface of Advanced Ads is. In fact, I put a lot of thoughts into the workflow and how to make it easier. Version 1.6.6 takes a large step towards such an easy-to-use and intuitive interface with the placements.
Placements are pre-defined positions that you can use to show ads in your frontend without having to use a function or shortcode. I often received questions about the placements, especially when also using the Sticky Ads or Layer add-ons, so that I decided to improve this part of the plugin.
Long story short, just take a look at the new form to create a placement to see what I am so excitet about:
The most important change is obviously that the placement type is now represented by an image. When you hover over an image the title and description of the placement is visible, but I hope that most of them are self explanatory.
I am aware that the images might not be the finest piece of art. If you have problems with some of the images then please let me know.
If you have used the form to create new placements before then you might also notice that it is now possible to add the ad or ad groups you want to display already while creating the placement. You can change it later, but this way it is not easy to miss it like it was with the previous interface.
6 new placements with Sticky Ads
The decision to redo the placement section actually started when one of you asked how to include sticky ads as a sidebar. Until now, this was only possible with some coding, but since I get this request more often now, I decided to include it into the last update of the Sticky Ads add-on.
When diving into the changes I noticed that setting up sticky ads was confusing before as well and it also didn’t make sense to put these settings into the ad when it was in fact more like a placement already. So I decided to move the sticky ads settings into placements and to create some pre-defined positions that you can select without having to think about margins. widths, etc.
These are the 6 new placements you can choose from when using the Sticky Ads add-on.
The Header Bar placement is fixed at the top of your page and not moving away when users scroll down. It is not only interesting for ads, but for navigations, internal promotions or any kind of content you want to have fixed on top.
The Footer Bar placement is practically the same as the Header Bar. This is actually the most common use case for users who purchase the Sticky Ads add-on and can perform very well.
Left Sidebar & Right Sidebar Ad
The Left Sidebar and Right Sidebar placements were the starting point of this whole change. This is also a very popular use case for sticky ads, but was not yet possible out of the box. These new placements allow you to attach an ad to your content box. The options of these element allow you to select whether this ad should stay put while users are scolling down or not and to adjust the main content element just in case it is not recognized by the plugin automatically.
Left Bar & Right Bar
The Left Bar and Right Bar is similar to the Sidebar Ads. The difference is that they are not attached to the main content box, but the browser window. You can also select whether to fix the ad to the screen or let it be scrolled away.
The old and confusing settings for the Sticky Ads on the ad edit screen are still available for those who are currently using them, but I’d suggest to take a look at the new placements instead.
Not yet using these placements? Take a look at the Sticky Ads add-on.
3 new placements in Pro
I also used the update of the existing placements to create 3 advanced placements that are included in the Pro add-on. They were all among the feature requests you sent me.
With the Random Paragraph placement the ad position within the text is constantly changing. This helps to fight ad blindness. The feature was actually included in the plugin before, but not working well on cached websites, so I rewrote the code completely.
In most themes, the headline of a post is not included in the post content, so using the post content placement didn’t work in order to place an ad above it. With this new placement you can now place the ad before the first main headline on your page.
The Content Middle placement places the ad into the middle of the content so you don’t have to stick it to a specific paragraph.
Bonus: Minimum Length option
Not a placement, but a related option to the content injection placements is the new option that lets you enter a minimum length for posts before ads are injected automatically. This helps to prevent ad stuffing into short posts.
Check out Advanced Ads Pro to find these cool placements.
Close Button for every ad type
In one of the upcoming updates I am also going to move the Layer and PopUp feature into a placement. However, I already made one change in the PopUp and Layer add-on that might interest you as well. The close button that was previously reserved for layer ads only, is now working for all kinds of ads, those within a floating box or just normal, in-text ads.
I am very excited about this update. Please let me know if I made a good job optimizing the interface or if you feel that it is more complicated or something is missing.