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Advertising and Ad Sales

The advertising module in WebGUI gives you an easy way to put advertisements into a rotation on your web site. You may be thinking to yourself, “Why is that useful? I get the code from my ad partner and put it into my HTML. I don't need no stinking advertising system.” You're only half right if that's what you're thinking. Depending upon what your site is about, you may be able to make more money by selling ads directly to advertisers. In addition, you may be able to make more money by using more than one ad network. Using the ad system allows you to distribute ads for multiple ad networks in the same space, and allows you to throw in your own advertisements as well.


Beyond selling advertising on your site, have you ever thought about how you could use the popular areas of your site to increase awareness of the newer or less frequented areas of your site? You can do this too using the ad management system. Instead of placing advertisements, you're placing your own site elements into the rotation. You can see this in use on the home page of where the server ad is displayed at the top of the page:



Creating Ad Spaces

An Ad space is a placeholder for where you will put advertisements. With it you can define the size of ads allowed, and where they are placed on your site.


To create an ad space go to Admin Console > Advertising. Then choose “Add ad space.” on the right side.


Give a name title and description to your ad space. These can each be anything you want them to be, but the name should be unique amongst all ad spaces defined on your system.



You can also define how large of an ad space this will be. The ad system will enforce this so that ads can't disrupt the look and feel of your site even if someone ads and ad that is too big for the ad space.



Hit save when you're done editing this new ad space. You'll now see a box appear that shows you how to use the ad space.



You'll note that an ad space is placed using nothing more than a macro. It takes the form of ^AdSpace(ad space name); You can define as many ad spaces as you want on a site, and place as many as you want into a given page. Normally you'd place the AdSpace into a style template.


Create Ads

Now that we have an ad space, let's create an ad. From the ad space screen click on “Add an ad.”


Enable the ad. You can disable the ad if you ever want to stop running it, but don't wish to delete it.



Then fill in the title. The title is displayed in text ads, and is used as the alt text in image based ads.



Now fill in the URL. This is where the user will be directed to if they click on text based or image based ads.



If you wish you can set the priority of the ad. The closer the priority is to 0 the more often the ad will be displayed. This is not an exact ratio, but rather a scaling mechanism. The more impressions per minute your site displays the larger the impact of the scale. If your site only displays one impression per minute, then priority will have no effect.



Now enter the number of impressions or clicks to be displayed for this ad. The ad will only be displayed that number of clicks or impressions. If you want the ad to run indefinitely then enter 999999999 clicks. Note that you can only use impressions as a counter for rich media ads.



Finally, choose the type of ad that you wish to display. You can choose from text, image, and rich media ads.


Text Ads

Text based ads generate the ad using just text and a simple color palette. First enter the text of the add, which will appear under the title. Then pick the colors you'd like the ad to use.



Image Ads

Image based ads are the more traditional banner ads that you see around the world wide web. If you selected image based ad then you can upload an image to use here.



Rich Media Ads

Rich Media ads are ads that allow you to place HTML tags in them. Using this you can make ads from complex HTML, video files, or flash movies. Simply place the HTML into the rich media field.



Viewing Ads

If you edit an ad space after you've defined ads you'll see a list of the ads assigned to this ad space.



If you edit one of those ads, you'll be able to see how many impressions and clicks it's had.


Ad Sales

The Ad Sales asset allows you to sell ad space on your website. Prices can be set on a per click or per impression basis.


To sell ad space on your site:


  1. Select “Ad Sales” from the New Content menu. The “Add Ad Sales” screen will open.



  1. Enter a title for the asset in the “Title” field.

  2. If you would like, a “Menu Title” can be entered. This is the title as it will appear in the site navigation and the asset manager. If left blank, the asset's title will be used here as well.

  3. The URL field is the URL for this specific asset. It an be left blank, and WebGUI will create one, or you can enter one.

  4. In the “Description” field you can enter text. This could be a description of what this asset is used for, or a set of instructions for your site users. This would be a good place to enter things such as the size of images that may be uploaded for use in an ad.

  5. In the “Ad Space” field, select the ad space, from WebGUI's Advertising administrative interface, that would you like ads purchased through this asset to be displayed under.



  1. The “Priority” field indicates the level of priority (10 highest, 1 lowest) ads purchased through this asset will hold. Ads with a higher priority level are displayed more often. If all assets are to hold the same level of priority, you can leave this field set to one.

  2. Set Display options in the Display tab.


    1. The first three fields are the standard in the Display tab.

    2. The template fields relate to specific templates used to display the ad purchase screen and ad manage screen of this asset. If you have a custom template, you could choose it in these fields, or just leave them at the defaults.

9. Set Security options in the Security tab. These are the standard Security fields common amongst most assets.

10. Manage optional Metadata fields in the Metadata tab. These are the standard Metadata fields common amongst most assets.

11. Set Shop-related properties in the Shop tab.


    1. SKU: stands for stock keeping unit, and is a unique value assigned to this asset. You can edit this field to something different if you would like.

    2. Vendor: this asset can be associated with a specific vendor that has been set up in the Shop's Vendor screen. This is helpful if you are selling outside vendor items on your site and need to keep track of those sales.

    3. Ships Separately?: indicate if this item ships separately from other items in a transaction. If it does, separate shipping costs will be charged for this item.

    4. Price Per Click: you can charge for ads on a per-click basis. When people by ad space on your site, they will indicate the number of clicks they would like to purchase.

    5. Price Per Impression: you can charge for ads on a per-impression basis. When people by ad space on your site, they will indicate the number of impressions they would like to purchase.

    6. Click Discounts: enter discounts one per line at the start of the line. Extra text is ignored so you can add comments to the discounts. Each discount consists of two numbers separated by '@' with no spaces. The first number is the percent discount(no decimal point) the second number is the number of items purchased. So 5@1000 indicates a 5% discount for 1000 or more clicks purchased.

    7. Impression Discounts: Enter discounts one per line at the start of the line. Extra text is ignored so you can add comments to the discounts. Each discount consists of two numbers separated by '@' with no spaces. The first number is the percent discount(no decimal point) the second number is the number of items purchased. So 5@1000 indicates a 5% discount for 1000 or more impressions purchased.

    8. Override tax rate?:“Override tax rate?” allows you to override the default tax rate for an area. This is most often used in areas of the world where essential items, like food and clothing, are exempt from taxes. In the case of Ad Sales, you can probably leave this set to No.

    9. If “Override tax rate?” is set to Yes, “Tax Rate Override” is where you enter the new tax rate to calculate on this item.

12. Click save to create the Ad Sales asset.


When site visitors come to this location, they can purchase an ad space on your site by filling in this form, and an purchasing the ad through Shop's cart.



The fields in the Ad Sales purchase form are:


Title: the title of the ad being purchased. This will be used in the manage screen to identify this ad.


Ad Link: the location people will be linked to if they click on an ad.


Image: the ad image that will be displayed.


Number of clicks: the number of clicks being purchased (at the price indicated).


Number of impressions: the number of ad impressions being purchased (at the price indicated).


Then, users click on the Add to Cart button to add the ad to their shopping carts and complete the check out process from there. The ad the user purchased will be added to the appropriate ad space, and displayed in the location on the site configured to display advertisements. Once the number of clicks/impressions has been reached, the ad will no longer appear in the rotation.

Keywords: ads advertising

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