Advertisements are always there with us. Earlier days you might have seen ads on newspaper and then on televisions. Nowadays, in this digital world, you can see ads on the apps and websites. Though annoying at times, small scale publishers heavily rely on advertisements to offer free content. If you are an online publisher using WordPress and loosing revenue because of ad blockers then this article is for you. Here, we will explain, how to recover earnings lost to ad blockers by detecting them and request users to unblock your site.
Why Publishers Show Advertisements?
Display advertisements are one of the major incomes for running any content website. This website itself is a best example that we monetize through Google AdSense for covering all the expenses. Many users ignore the fact that running a WordPress or any other website needs heavy investment of time and money. In our earlier article, we have explained how much it will cost to run a WordPress site. Here is a summary of monthly expenses to run a medium scale website that receives 500K to 1million page views in a month.
- VPS or dedicated server – $100 per month
- Plugins and themes – $50
- Content writing and review for around 30 articles – $1000 (approximate cost)
- Development and other work – $200
- Content publishing and updating old content – $200
- Responding to readers, customers and other queries – $200
Note that all costs are approximate as the license and requirements vary largely. The basic cost of running a decent website is $1750 per month. This can increase multifold depending upon the type and size of the site. For example, in addition to the above expenses we also need to purchase other hosting accounts, premium themes from themeforest, premium plugins from codecanyon and also hire freelancers for custom work. Therefore, every publisher needs to monetize their online content in order to run a website and take care of other life expenses.
What is Ad Blocker?
Ad blockers are piece of software code that detects the advertisement on the webpage and blocks them from loading. Generally, ad blockers come in the form of browser extensions that readers can install on their browsers. This will block the advertisements on the websites and YouTube videos to offer content free of ads. For example, these ad blockers will check the page contains adsbygoogle.js script and prevent them from loading. This is the script used by Google for serving the popular AdSense advertisements.
How to Detect Browser’s Ad Blocker Extension?
Ad blocker can be quite annoying for the publishers as they will lose big money due to the blocking of advertisements. If you are using WordPress and worry about ad blocking then there are anti-ad blocking plugins available. You can install one of the anti-ad blocking plugins and request the users to take necessary action for reading the content. The process of ad block detection in WordPress works like below:
- You as a site owner, install a plugin to detect ad blockers on the browsers.
- When a user with ad blocking enabled on the browser opens your site, the plugin will show a pop-up message.
- You can customize the pop-up message with a custom text and make it undismissible or dismissible.
- Alternatively, you can redirect users blocking ads to a custom page and ask them to take an action for viewing content.
There are many WordPress plugins available for this purpose and we will explain setting up this with the popular “Ad Inserter – Ad Manager & AdSense Ads” plugin.
Using Ad Inserter Plugin in WordPress to Recover Ad Blocker Revenue
Login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Plugins > Add New” section. Search for “ad inserter” and install the Ad Inserter plugin.
Ad Inserter is a free plugin that offers limited functions and you can upgrade to the pro version for getting complete features. Ad block detection is a free feature in this plugin though you can upgrade to premium for getting detailed statistics and reports.
Enable Ad Block Detection
After installing Ad Inserter plugin, go to “Settings > Ad Inserter” section. You will see number of ad blocks and multiple other options. We recommend you using this plugin to manage your ads so that it is easy to control the settings from a single page. In order to enable ad block detection, click on the gear icon that says, “Ad Inserter General Settings”. This is available at the right end of the ad blocks as shown below.
Now, click on the “Ad Blocking” tab to view the available options.
- Action – you have two possible options. You can either show some message in the pop-up or redirect the user to a different page. You can use the pop-up message and request users to unblock your website. Alternatively, redirect those using ad blocker to a page on your site and ask them follow certain actions like subscribe to read ad free content. We recommend using dismissible pop-up message with an unblock request to convince users.
- No action for – you can disable the ad block detection action for logged users or administrators. Leaving this as a blank will make the changes effective for all users.
- Delay Action – show the action after defined number of pageviews. For example, you can show the ad blocker detection pop-up message after 2 pageviews.
- No Action Period – enter number of days for repeating the action. For example, if the user dismisses the pop-up without unblocking, you can decide not to show the pop-up again for 5 days. In this case, you have to enter 5 in the text box.
- Custom Selectors – add custom CSS classes or ids if needed. Generally, you can leave this as blank unless you want to add custom CSS.
- Message and Overlay CSS – adjust the display of the pop-up message by changing the width, padding, margin, etc.
- Undismissible Message – enable this checkbox so that readers can’t disable the pop-up message. The only option for readers is to unblock your site from the ad blocker and refresh the page to reload without ad blocker.
- Not Undismissible for – choose logged in users or administrator can dismiss the pop-up from this drop-down.
After finalizing the settings, click on the indicator button that shows below the “Save Settings” button. Make sure to do this to first enable the ad block detection and then save your changes.
Testing Ad Block Detection
This is important to test whether your ad blocker detection is working properly and the look of the pop-up message. In order to do this, you have to first install an ad blocker extension on your browser. For example, let us use Adblock Plus for Chrome. After installing this extension from Chrome Web Store, the extension will automatically block advertisements from all websites.
Now, your website that shows Google AdSense or any other advertisement codes. You should see the message something like below depending on your settings in Ad Inserter plugins.
Test your site both in desktop and mobile and adjust the CSS if needed for displaying the pop-up message properly.
Example Message for Pop-up
Sometimes it is necessary to first find out how much is the revenue you are losing with ad blocking. Since ad block statistics is a premium option in Ad Inserter plugin, you can use the redirection or pop-up non-dismissible option. This will help you to track the pageviews or force the users to disable ad blocker. However, as a matter of courtesy, you can use dismissible pop-up message with a polite message.
Instead of stuffing the pop-up with too much content, you can show the below simple message while conveying the context.
<div class="swal-title">Possible Ad Blocker Detection</div> <div class="swal-text"> It looks like you are using ad blocker. We earn money from advertisements to keep our content free. Please support us by whitelisting our website.</div> <div style="text-align: center; font-size: 14px;">-- Continue with ad blocking --</div>
In most cases, users will whitelist your site if the content is useful and your request is legitimate.
Many users pay hefty bill for reading premium content. However, they will not be comfortable even in allowing the advertisements on small scale publishers. Fortunately, you have ad block detection plugins available with WordPress. You can show the pop-up message or using redirection using Ad Inserter plugin and recover the revenue lost in blocking.