Ad Groups are a very flexible method to bundle ads. You can use them to display random ads in the frontend, run split tests, set the order in which ads appear, display ad block, but also just for informational purposes. Not only can an Ad Groups have multiple ads, but an ad can belong to multiple ad groups.

On this page you are going to learn how to use and display Ad Groups.

Setting up an Ad Group

Ad groups are for ads what categories and tags are for posts. They can be created on the edit screen of an ad using the Ad New Ad Group button.

All the other information about the ad group, e.g. the group type or the number of ads to display can only be selected on the group overview page.

Ad Groups in Advanced Ads

Find example on the group types below.

Ads and ad weight

To assign an ad to a group visit the edit page of the ad and find the ad group metabox (on the right side). Click on the ad group you want to assign the ad to and save. Keep in mind that you can assign one ad to multiple ad groups.

Ad weights

Different ad weights in Advanced Ads

On the ad group overview page you can also set the ad weight for each ad. Ad weights control the proportion of views or the order in which ads of the group are displayed.

By default, any ad assigned to an ad group has the weight of 10. Therefore, in an ad group with equal ad weights, each ad would get about the same impressions as the other.

You can disable an ad within an ad group by setting the ad weight to 0.

By default, the ad weight dropdown menu offers values from 0 to 10. They will increase when you add more than 10 ads to a group. After saving your ad group you can choose ad weights between 0 and the number of ads in the group.

You can also manually increase the maximum ad weight by adding code to the functions.php as described here.

Ad Group Types

There are 4 group types:

  • Random Ads: this type displays ads randomly based on the ad weight. See an example below.
  • Ordered Ads: displays the ads in the order set by the ad weight option. See an example below.
  • Slider: rotate ads dynamically on your site, comes with the Slider add-on
  • Ad Grid: create blocks of ads, see manual

Random Ads

Some use cases for the Random Ads ad type:

  • display random ads on one place
  • run split tests
  • rotate ads in an ad block to decrease ad blindness

Using ad weights with Random Ads

Keep in mind that the ad weight does not influence the order in which the ads appear, but just the chance an ad could appear.

Ad weight examples

To rotate ads with the same chance to appear, give all of them the same ad weight – any number from 1 to 10.

Ad #110
Ad #210
Ad #310

In the next example, the chance of Ad #1 to be displayed is the same as Ad #2 and #3 together. I added percentages to make this more clear.

Ad #11050%
Ad #2525%
Ad #3525%

Ordered Ads

Some use cases for the Ordered Ads type:

  • define a specific order or ads in an ad block
  • define fallback ads that show up if the other ad conditions prevent the main ad from showing

Using ad weights with Ordered Ads

With Ordered Ads, the ad weight doesn’t define the proportion of the views an ad gets compared to the other ads from the same group, but the order in which it is displayed. The higher the ad weight, the higher the position in the chain.

If two ads have the same ad weight, they are displayed randomly. This allows you to add a small rotation into a normally fixed order.

Ad weight examples

The following ad weight example would mean that Ad #1 gets checked first. If there is only one ad to be displayed in this group and the display conditions allow the ad to be displayed, Ad #2 and #3 won’t get displayed. If the display conditions of Ad #1 return false, Ad #2 gets checked, etc. Such a setup could also be used to define fallback ads, e.g. when Ad #3 and #4 wouldn’t have any display conditions and are therefore displayed anytime when Ads #1 and #2 are not. Ad #3 and #4 are rotating evenly since they have the same weight.

Ad #110
Ad #29
Ad #38
Ad #48


The slider group rotates through ads like any other slider. It comes with the Slider add-on. You can find more details here.

Ad Grid

The ad grid allows you to order multiple ads in columns and rows. It comes with Advanced Ads Pro and you can find more details here.

Display an Ad Group

You can display an ad from an ad group almost through the same options like displaying ads.

You find the ID of the ad group in the first column of the ad group overview page.

Keep in mind that displaying an ad group means there will be one ad randomly chosen from the group based on ad weight and the display conditions of each ad. The latter can cause that no ad can be displayed.


Use the following code to insert the ad group with the ID 4 into your theme:

<?php if(function_exists('the_ad_group')) the_ad_group(4); ?>

Just open the template file and include the code. The first part will guarantee that there will be no error message in case you deactivate the plugin and forgot to remove the code snippet before.


The shortcode is the easiest method to insert an ad group anywhere within a static page or a post. For our ad group with the ID 4 just use this shortcode.

[the_ad_group id="4"]

Just open the post, page or any other post type with a content field and include the code.