How to rotate ads?

Ad rotations are an effective way to test different ads or to show multiple ads in the same position on your site.

There are three methods to rotate ads:

Ad rotation on each page impressionShow a different ad each time the page is loaded using ad groups.Advanced Ads
Ad rotation with a sliderRotate ads as slides on the current page.Slider Ads
Ad refresh on the same spotLoads the next ad automatically after a certain time.Advanced Ads Pro
Rotate ads with a given orderShow ad#1, then ad#2, then ad#3Advanced Ads Pro

See more details below.

Ad rotation with random ads

You can let ads rotate in the same position using an Ad Group.

Ad groups bundle different ads. You can use an ad group as flexible as any singular ad in widgets, with a shortcode or through a placement. The advantage is that you can add new ads to this group on the fly without changing anything in the position.

Creating an Ad Group

You find the detailed instructions in the manual for ad groups. Here are the steps to create an ad rotation in a nutshell:

  • go to any ad edit page and create the group in the Ad Groups box in the right sidebar
  • go to Advanced Ads > Groups to set up the group options
  • select the Random Ads group type
  • set the Number of visible ads to the number of ads that should be visible at the same time (can be used to create ad blocks)
  • set the weight of each ad to determine the chance of an ad to appear
Ad Rotation ad weights

You can also import a prepared setup with such ad rotation in random order into your WordPress site. You can find such and other setups on the Ad Templates page.

Weighted ads

Especially when rotating ads to test a new ad network you might not want to display it with the same number of impressions as the default ads, but maybe with fewer impressions. Here is where the ad weight comes into play.

The weight represents the chance of an ad to appear. Ads with the same weight have the same chance to appear in rotation over time.

In the following example, Ad 1 and Ad 2 have the same weight. This would result in a 50% for each ad to appear.

Ad #110
Ad #210

When you want to display Ad 2 only half the time that Ad 1 appears, you could set up the weight like this:

Ad #110
Ad #25

Converted to percentages, this would result in Ad 1 to appear for 67% and Ad 2 for 33% of impressions.

If you have further questions regarding the ad rotation, then please take a look at the manual.

Ad rotation with a slider

The ad rotation with a slider can be accomplished using the free Slider add-on. You can find all the information on how to set it up on the Slider add-on page.

  • This is the first of three ads …
  • this is number two …
  • ... and after the third ad the slider continues with the first one.

Refresh ad on the same spot

You can also refresh the ad on the same spot using the feature in Advanced Ads Pro. See this tutorial to learn more.

Rotate ads with a given order

You can use some advanced options in Advanced Ads Pro to create an ad rotation with a static ad order. Just follow this tutorial.

What else you need to know

Some ad networks, among them AdSense, don’t allow to rotate their ads on the same spot or use a slider. Use the group ad rotation instead.

If you use caching on your website, please enable cache busting to make sure that the ads rotate correctly.

Using rotations and limiting the appearance of ads to only one per page can break loops and cause ads not to show or rotate as intended.

Please notice that in AJAX-loaded content like infinite scroll, the ad slider may not work as respected after the AJAX-reload. Read more about infinite scrolling here.

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