If you have ever put Google Ads or some other type of ad on a website, you are pretty familiar with the few pennies you might get for the pleasure of making your website look cheap and messy. These types of ads may be your only option unless you or your client have a premium website upon which you can sell advertising space directly. An adserver makes it possible to manage the ads you sell.
Let’s take a look at klms.net, a website that uses an adserver to display several advertisements. You’ll notice that the website has ads scattered in positions around each page. Try reloading the page and you will see that some of the ads change. Likewise when you go to another page on the site, you will see the ads change. It’s the adserver that makes all this happen.
An adserver typically:
- Holds the image or video that is the advertisement (called a banner)
- Holds the link associated with a click on the ad
- Tracks impressions, clicks and conversions generated by the ad
- Allows the person buying the ad to change their ad
- Emails ad statistics to the buyer periodically
- Prevents the ad from appearing after the alloted impressions are used
- Places the ad on websites in places specified by you.
- Allows the creation of ad campaigns (like you see with Facebook or Google ads)
- . . . and more.
Where is the Adserver?
The adserver can be on any webserver. For a fee, you can use a commercial adserver to handle your ads and take advantage of their programs that place ads on your website. We have an adserver running on this domain, although it isn’t used here. It’s the adserver that manages the ads at klms.net.
What is an Adserver?
An adserver is simply a program that handles the things mentioned above. In our case it’s a PHP program associated with a database. There are a lot of ways that adservers can be constructed, but the PHP system works for us.
We were using the open source openX Source adserver and it did quite well for us. It continued to serve us well even after its parent company stopped supporting it. In the summer of 2013 some of the original programers that developed openX purchased the system and renamed it Revive. They immediately put out a new version and have modified that version a couple times since then. It’s still open source, meaning it can be used at no cost. We highly recommend it.
For us, Revive is just one of the tools in our tool kit. Anytime we need to manage images or videos placed on a website, we can use it – even if there are no ads per se. If you are creative you can do some pretty interesting things with an adserver. Like our other tools, listed in the column to the right, we’ll post articles about aspects of Revive when we come across something that we think we should document.
To learn more about revive and to get it for your own use, see the website at: revive-adserver.com