Nothing will frustrate you more than trying to manage your ad banners on a WordPress site. Sure you can manually place them. What if you wanted multiple ads? What about having the ads set to expire? Or to be able to find them again in the thousands of posts? This is where Max Banner Ads Pro comes in. It is a full featured ad banner management system. Take a look with me as I go through this premium WordPress plugin and share what I like and don’t like about it.
Note: Although I did not get paid for doing this review I do offer an affiliate link down at the bottom where I will earn a Commission if you make a purchase through it.
What is Max Banner Ads Pro?
Well if the title didn’t give it away already… It is an awesome premium WordPress plugin that allows you to take full control of your banner ads on your site. From placement, to supported banner types, setting expiration dates, or having banners expire based on the number of clicks it receives – this plugin pretty much does everything I ever wanted in an ad management system.
Types of Ads Supported
This plugin will work with any type of banner ad you can think of. It even supports Flash. If you have an affiliate and they offer advertising it should work right out of the box. MBA Pro supports every type of ad banner you can think of from those you created, to all of the major advertisers out there today.
User Created Ads
You can opt to upload and create your own banners and add your own links. This is a great option as you can use your cloaked affiliate links to associate with the ad banner you uploaded to help protect you from getting your commissions stolen. Another great thing is that you can check the “No Follow” option to help protect you from getting dinged by Google.
Affiliate Network Ads
These types are of course supported as well. I currently use and have tested most of the major site ads and haven’t run into any issues. I have confirmed that MaxBannerAds Pro will work with the following types of ad systems:
- Commision Junction
- Link Share
The Basics of How MaxBannerAds Pro Works:
To setup MBA Pro to display ads is fairly easy and intuitive. There is some scratching of your head at first but once you learn the menus it is really very simple to setup and use.
- Create Your Zone
- Select the Options within the Zone Settings and Save it.
- Add the banners you wish to display within the Zone you created
- Sit back and see your ads in action on your site
Create Ad Zones for Placement
To start with you have to create a “Zone” for the ad or set of ads you wish to display. You can create multiple Zones within the plugin which you can then edit after they are created. To do this you perform the following:
- Click on “Add New Zone”
- Create your custom note in the “Zone Name” Field
- Select the Position of where you want the Ad(s) displayed on the site.
- Use the “Where to Display” Option to select where you want the Ad to be displayed. (All, Pages, Archives etc.)
- Click the “More Options” to review and adjust as needed. (Mainly used for tweaking spacing using CSS or selecting the “Weight” feature for multiple rotating ads.)
- Click the Save Button to finish creating the new Zone
You can place ads virtually anywhere on your site without having to add any additional coding. The locations it can set to are:
- Top of First Post – Displays your Ad above the post below the header section.
- Bottom of Last Post – Displays your Ad on the bottom of the page.
- Within the Post – This will display the Ad based on the settings you choose. You can have the ad display either on the top or bottom of the post, or within the post.
- Show as Widget – You can opt to have your Ad created as a widget to be placed anywhere your theme will allow you to place it. Typically on the sidebar. With Genesis or Thesis a lot of themes offer widget areas above in the header or down in the footer section.
You can select to have the ad you wish to display to be aligned either to the right or left or centered. Or you can have it set to Random.
Defeating Ad Blindness – Randomizing Ad Positions
This plugin is great for helping to stop Ad Blindness. We all have it now. We barely even look at the ads displayed on the site. To help try and defeat this MaxBannerAds Pro offers you the Random feature.
You can take a look at the picture above to see how the Random feature works within a post. You have a literal plethora of options available on how the ad can be displayed.
Where to Display Zone
What I really like about this plugin is the control you get with it. Under this area you get to choose where you want the new Ad Zone to display the ads you add inside of it. It will automatically detect all of the Pages and Categories you have setup within WordPress and you can then select where to display the Zone on your site:
The first section gives you basic options:
- All – Display the Zone everywhere
- Home – Only on the Front Page
- Single Post – Display only on Posts
- Archive Display only in the Archive section of your blog.
- Search – Have it display only on the Search results page.
Select Pages to Display Ads: The section underneath that allows you to select what Pages you wish to have the Ad Zone to display on. This will list all of the current Pages you have created on the site. You can enable it to Display All, Check the boxes next to each Page you wish to Display it on or leave it blank if you only wish to have the Ad Zone display on your Posts
Select By Category to Display Ads: The next section allows you to select which Categories you wish to display the Ad Zone. You can select all of the Categories, or select just the Categories the Ad Zone is relevant to.
- This is where you can enable features that didn’t quite fit anywhere else when creating Ad Zones.
- Show “x” Banners at Once – You have the option to have it display more than one ad banner at a time although I suggest leaving it as ‘1’ so the ads will rotate.
- Weight – Enable the “Weight” feature if you are planning on rotating ads and need to adjust how often specific ads are to be displayed within the rotation.
- Edit the Style, CSS, Before and After Code for Banners – This is where you can adjust placement if needed or create custom coding to help format ads on your site.
Adding Banners to an Ad Zone
This is pretty simple. You either have your Affiliate Ad code copied, or you upload your Banner and ad the link. You can use the Name field to add custom notes to let you know what the ad is to help you stay organized.
Selecting the Ad Type
Select whether you are going to upload your own Ad Banner or Paste in Your Affiliate Ad code. Notice that under the Zone field you have the option to select which Ad Zone you want to display the ad on here as well.
Advanced Options (Optional)
This is where you can opt to set an expiration date or number of impressions before the ad is automatically disabled. You can also set the link to “No Follow” here as well. You also have an option to add any type of notes you might need for the ad as well.
After you click the Save (or Save All if you selected the Advanced Options) the ad will be placed into the Ad Zone and will start displaying if you have the Ad Zone active.
Editing Ads and Ad Zones
If after you create everything you find you need to edit an ad or move an Ad Zone you can do this easily and quickly from the menu using the Controls. You can even disable/enable ads from the menu as well. It is all on the one screen so you don’t have to go digging for it.
MaxBannerAds Pro offers reporting as well! It will display the number of times an ad is displayed as well as how many clicks it receives*. You can select reporting based on all of the ads you have currently running, by zone, or even by single banner. Unfortunately during my testing it appears that the reporting feature is not working 100% correctly. It is taking in all of the raw data of everything that hits the site instead of just tracking real people visiting the site. So using the # of Impressions feature is essentially broken at the moment.
*Note: This feature does NOT work with anything but banners you create. If you use any third party affiliate ad like Adsense, CJ, LinkShare etc. it cannot report on it.
Ads are Now Responsive
We all know the importance of having a site that looks great everywhere now. Whether its on a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. It has to format on all of those devices and still be legible. With the older version of the plugin it didn’t scale the ads down correctly causing issues with website layouts on mobile devices. With this version they have resolved it and made it work seamlessly with your WordPress site’s responsive theme!
How Does it Perform?
Unfortunately I wasn’t able to really hammer on it with visitors and see how the site performed. I have tried to strain the plugin itself by testing out most of the features mentioned above. I have the Header displaying a Widget set of banners that rotate using the Weight Feature. And I setup multiple Ad Zones that only display on specific Categories and I haven’t ran into any real performance issues.
With the older version of this plugin – I ended up having to limit how many ads were setup within the plugin as it was causing the site to lag and take longer to load/display ads. This version they seemed to have cleaned up that issue.
If you have a site that receives a ton of traffic? Your results may differ from mine.
Of Course You Could Always Look at the YouTube Trailer
Just turn down the volume, the music is a bit cheesy.
What I Like
I really like this plugin. With this version they MaxBlogPress appears to have re-worked the plugin from the ground up and improved it a lot. I used the prior version and although it had a lot of functionality it was nothing like this. It does everything needed for managing ads on the site. I like that they even offer automatic expiration dates or based on impressions. So if you sell advertising this plugin can help you manage that too in a limited fashion.
What I Don’t Like
I don’t like the fact that the reporting and impressions seem to be broken. Also I would have loved the functionality of having a start date as well as the expiration date. This way you could place ads and set the time frame for when it should be displayed.
How Much Does It Cost?
How much does this cost? $27 for a Single License and $47 for Multi-Site License. It is pretty affordable for what it does for you. Go out and grab your copy of Max Banner Ads (affiliate link) today!