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WP Text Ads Review

Wp-Text-AdsA couple of days back I linked in a speedlinking post to a WP plugin called WP Text Ads – a plugin that allows bloggers to sell their own text links. In that post I asked if anyone had used it and offered to publish a review of one if anyone wanted to write it.

Ryan Imel from who reviews WordPress themes and plugins at Theme Playground kindly offered – here’s his review.

After kicking around WP Text Ads on my blog, I think it’s one of the best all around plugins for WordPress I’ve used, let alone reviewed. And if you get nothing else from this review, know this – Text Ads is fun to use.

It’s really fun to manage your own text ads.

IMPRESSIVE CONTROLS

The first thing I noticed was that updating aspects of the plugin on the Dashboard didn’t require a refreshing of the page. It updates and you save your place on the page. This is a huge timesaver. When will the rest of WordPress operate this way?

*Cough* 2.3 *Cough*

Note: Remember to activate all three plugins when you add this one. That’s two widgets and the main plugin.

The spread of the WP Text Ads control panel is very nice; it is usually very explanatory, walking you through the different steps of setting up your ad system. The way you are able to customize the emails that are sent to potential advertisers right from your WordPress Dashboard is awesome; each scenario is covered and you can craft your message specifically for each one. I wish the ad forms were are customizable as the emails are, thoughÖ

I would have liked to see more instruction on the control panel page about how to drop text ads in at different points of the site. There is a sidebar widget included (which works well) but it took a little digging to find the right call for text ads to display anywhere. Found answers at the WP Text Ads site under ìDocumentation.î

The display options are nice, and very welcome to extra little additions to the default code. For example, on my blog I added an extra list item at the end of the unordered list which said ìAdvertise Here.î This way every listing also gives the option to buy advertising for that particular spot.

BUYING ADS

All ad sales are done via a popup when someone clicks ìBuy a Text Link Ad.î There may be some usability issues here, so it might be worth adding a page to your blog with advertising information on it. On that, it would be nice to have the option to add the advertising form to a page within the site. Some visitors may have popups disabled and never see the ad, or just click it closed out of habit.

The way Text Ads keeps your database of advertisers organized is very intuitive and a breeze to navigate. The only option I found missing is one to manually add advertisers. It seems that even if your agreement is made in some way other than the ad forms on your site you still have to go through the dance to get it into the system.

SHOW SOME RESPECT

One of the respectable things about WP Text Ads is the form built into the control panel for sending feedback to Alex Choo, the author of the plugin. I can’t imagine how many very basic ìHow do IÖî questions he will get through this form. He’s a very brave one for making it that easy to contact him, but more power to him. It’s a very honest way to do plugins; I get the feeling he really does want the user to enjoy and appreciate his plugin.

The limitations of WP Text Ads Free Edition are worth mentioning, but it’s very cool that the Choo kept it so only the number of ads available is limited. No features are held back. In my case, I choose to purchase the license for the sake of taking full advantage of all the ads available in the Standard Edition.

While Choo claims that he doesn’t intend to replace Adsense with WP Text Ads, I can see it heading that direction. It’s much more appealing to me to have prices which I set and ads displaying exactly the way I want them to than to receive relatively less from Adsense and have little control over what ads display.

I guess the next question is: how long until full on graphics are supported? Just let me know, Choo – I’m in.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Sounds cool . . . since Text Link Ads is taking its time approving me, I may just go with this, we’ll see . . .

  2. Played around with it and put it up on my blog. Seems cool, but I wish that you could run “house ads” until you get advertisers…

  3. Hari says:

    This is really cool. TLA takes a lot of time to get approved. So this is better.

  4. Cucirca says:

    I’m using it and been happy about it:)

  5. I like this one, going to try it out, well the free version at least. It seems like a good idea for established sites

  6. Wordlog says:

    Sounds like a nice alternative to adsense. I was always amazed at the amount of ad money pocketed by text link brokers.

  7. Wordlog says:

    Wow, it costs a neat little stack. Would be nice if the review mentioned that too :)

  8. Ali says:

    Good review, though I didn’t install it myself I did do a review of it.

    It would have been nice to include some screenshots of the dashboard with the review.

  9. Phil, if your blog has PR4 then you should qualify for TLA. Once you are PR4, just give them an email/phone call, and they’ll approve you manually. That’s what I did last week.

    FT

  10. Rhys says:

    It does look good, but the main sticking point is still for most bloggers is how often will PR4 bloggers (such as myself) be able to sell ads without a “Middle Man” (such has TLA, who actually has just this second said they’ve sold more ads. WHEEEE!!!)

    Nevertheless, I have had direct advertising, so I’ll try the free version, see what happens, then if it is worth my while, I’ll buy it.

  11. Funny thing, this type of plug-in was on our todo list. I suppose we’ll keep moving down the line. Well done Choo!

  12. Thanks MillionDollarJourney, I sent TLA an email, we’ll see how it goes

  13. jhay says:

    It sounds neat. So I guess I have another plugin to play around with this weekend.

  14. Yes . . . I sent TLA an email about my new PR and they approved my site! I have the script set in my sidebar! Thanks again for the advice

  15. Alex Choo says:

    Hi everyone.

    I’m the developer of WP Text Ads.

    Thank you for your kind words so far. It’s really encouraging to get feedback.

    I’m open to more questions, feedback and bug reports ;)

    You can get me via the following methods in the contact page at:
    http://www.wptextads.com/contact

    There’s also the forum, which is the preferred method for WP Text Ads-related questions, so everyone can benefit from the conversations.
    http://www.wptextads.com/forum

    And of course, there’s also my blog
    http://www.wptextads.com/blog

    Thank you.

  16. John Stevens says:

    Try AdzLIVE as an alternative to adbrite. Better and Faster payouts. Publishers paid every 14 days.

    Tired of getting low Adsense checks? Try this new site out.

    AdzLive will even credit you $25 if you have html code on one of your sites for 6 months.

    http://www.adzlive.com

    thanks , John

  17. Alex Choo says:

    Hi,

    I just want to mention that version 1.2 has been released. Among the cool new features is an API!

    http://www.wptextads.com/blog/2007/08/15/announcing-wp-text-ads-12/

  18. blogcms says:

    This WordPress plugin violates the GNU license terms. The author states that the plugin’s license is “proprietary”, but this is not allowed according to the WordPress GNU license. The author CAN sell the program, but must release full source code w/ the sale, and the purchaser is then to be allowed to modify (or not modify) and distribute the source code without limitation.

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