Responsive Ad Shortcodes 1.0

Responsive Ad Shortcodes is a WordPress plugin that was built to scratch an itch. For some time, we’ve been trying to get AdSense and DoubleClick to play nice with responsive websites. Not easy, as the responsive ad offerings from Google fall very short and offer little control. This plugin aims to address this, allowing users to control ad display on 3 types of screen (small, medium & large). And blend ads from AdSense and DoubleClick into single units.

Because of the focus on control and flexibility this plugin uses VERY verbose shortcodes. It is not designed for newbies. If you want a simple AdSdene short code manage, take a look at WP Simple AdSense Insertion.

Core Concept

This plugin assumes you are working with a responsive site model along the lines of Bootstrap, which is what most people seem to use these days. This means that the defining metric which decides which ad to use is width. This plugin calculates the width of the parent element and decides which of your ads (small, medium & large) to place. It’s important that you order the sizes appropriately starting with largest width.

Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte

Example Shortcode

[ras aligns="center|center|center" slots="5940543366|5940543366|5940543366" formats="horizontal|horizontal|horizontal" sizes="970x90x1|728x90x1|320x50x1" adtext="1|1|1"]

Arguments

aligns
Values can be left, right or center. There should be 3 values seperated by |. The first value is the alignment for the large ad placement, the second for the medium and third for the small ad placement.
slots
Values should refer to an AdSense or DoubleClick ad slot IDs. There should be 3 values seperated by |. The first value is the slot ID for the large ad placement, the second for the medium and third for the small ad placement.
formats
Values can be horizontal, vertical or rectangle. There should be 3 values seperated a |. The first value is the ad format for the large ad placement, the second for the medium and third for the small ad placement.
sizes
Values need to be structured strings of 3 sets of numbers seperated by x. The first number is the width, the second the height and the third is a boolean to turn ad display on or off. There should be 3 values seperated by |. The first value is the ad format for the large ad placement, the second for the medium and third for the small ad placement.
adtext
Values can be 1 or 0. There should be 3 values seperated by |. The first value turns of the advertisment label for the large ad placement, the second for the medium and third for the small ad placement.

That’s it! If you need help, use the WordPress support forum for this plugin.

How to put Amazon affiliate links on Facebook and Twitter

Become an Amazon Affiliate and easily share Amazon products with your friends on Facebook and Twitter in just a few clicks.

Amazon is a great source of revenue for folks with big social networks. Signing-up as an Amazon affiliate is easy, just click here.

How to put Amazon affiliate links on Facebook and Twitter

The Amazon Affiliate sign-up process is relatively straight-forward, but they will ask for a website. I’m not sure why they still ask for this as they don’t seem that interested where you place your affiliate links once you’ve been accepted. If you don’t have your own website, borrow one. Type in the details of a friend’s site or find nice small niche site on Google. Just be careful you don’t choose a really popular site as it may already be connected to an existing Amazon Affiliate account.

Once you’ve been accepted, the next time you search for products on Amazon, you will see a handy grey bar at the top of the page. From here you can easily share products on Facebook and Twitter using the “share” button.

Now, every time one of your friends purchases from one of your affiliate links, you’ll get paid a commission.

Go make some money!

The best WordPress SEO service money can buy

Guaranteed to boost your page rank

SEO is hard, so many options, so little time. What’s more, Google don’t want you gaming their system, so they’re always changing up their secret sauce algorithm to make it more difficult for you to dominate your competition online. However, there is one way to increase your WordPress sites’s page rank. An SEO method that even Google publicly encourage all web masters implement. Page speed! Google promote faster sites over slower. So, you can easily outrank your competitors if your pages load more quickly.

The best WordPress SEO service money can buy is WP Engine

WordPress needs to be hosted right

Now, getting WordPress to load quickly out of the box is not easy. Now at version 3.8, WordPress is all things to all people. No longer just a humble blogging system, WordPress is a state the art CMS that support millions of plugins and themes. You can pretty much build any website under the sun with WordPress. Literally, anything you can think of can be built on it. That in itself is pretty amazing, and is the single reason I’m a lifelong fan. Sure, I’ve dabbled with Textpattern, Expression Engine, SquareSpace and more recently Jekyll & Ghost, but none of the competitors come close to the feature set of WP. It’s true, Jekyll is faster out of the box, but it doesn’t do as much, and it’s also not in any way user friendly for noobs. Even my Mum uses WordPress, and for years she has been happily writing about health issues and products over at mariannegutierrez.com. Occasionally the comments get a little nasty, but this is mostly due to companies desperately trying to lobby her to change her opinion of their products. Which in many ways, is a good problem to have.

I digress.

WordPress is slow, because it does so much. Once you have a typical site loaded up with 10+ plugins, you are probably creating an unnecessary amount of calls to the database. This slows things down, because if you bought an off the shelf hosting service from GoDaddy or someone, the database will be poorly optimised for the task at hand. And this is just one area of performance that cause pages to load slowly, you also need to optimise your images and serve them form a CDN. A what!?! I hear you ask. A CDN is a content delivery network; modern websites—even relatively small blogs—are no longer served from a single box. CDNs serve content from a global network of servers so that your user is delivered that cute picture of your cat from a server that’s closest to their physical location. Sounds awesome, but also quite complicated, right? That’s the problem. It is feasible to optimise WordPress yourself using some VERY good plugins, but it’s not easy. I’ve been there and done it, and it’s not worth the effort when their is a better turn-key solution out there. Seriously, if you’re into content marketing, the less time you spend on tech and the more time you spend on creating content, the better off you will be.

Sign-up for WP Engine and live a happier life

WP Engine are experts at caching, database optimisation and content delivery. Hosting a WordPress website on WP Engine will instantly speed it up. Google will spot this page speed increase and award you better ranking in a matter of hours. What’s more, WP Engine have an amazing support team, readily accessible via email or chat and they understand all of the messy mumbo jumbo around website optimisation. You can literally zero out your brain of all your WordPress optimisation worries and fill it with something more fun.

The best WordPress SEO service money can buy is WP Engine

Other options/ WP Engine’s competitors

WP Engine are not the guys offering managed WordPress hosting. In fact, this vertical has become pretty busy in recent years, with several companies offering great services to ease the pain of traditional WordPress hosting. Let’s face it, the previous professional WP hosting method of ordering a VPS sucks, because you are forced to administrate the server yourself. Learning Unix is fun for a while, but when the shit hits the fan, it’s miserable, unless you’re an expert. When I signed up for WP Engine, I was also looking at Pagely and Synthesis, but at the time, WP Engine were offering the best value for money for the amount of sites I needed to host. I plan to try out the competition at some point and do a better comparison of their offerings alongside WP Engine.

Is Rovio the new Nintendo?

Released just before Xmas 2012, Angry Birds Go! is truly a masterpiece. Once you get past the wall of in-app purchases, you’ll find solid game play action that will keep you hooked. The game is so well produced it feels as good as the Nintendo classic it’s based on. As responsive and playable as classic 16 Bit Mario Kart, but with the fun visual appeal of the later 3D versions. And given Nintendo’s lack of presence on the world’s most popular gaming platform, this begs the question is Rovio the new Nintendo?

Angry Birds Go!

Interestingly, the dreaded in-app purchases, which can often frustrate gamers and burn through parent’s wallets become an integral part of the game. If, like me, you do not like the idea of ongoing, hidden charges then the game brilliantly incentivises you to earn your way through the game. So far, I’ve only paid for “double coins” and I’m hoping to complete the game on that purchase alone. This will mean focusing on the time trials, fruit splats and one on one games which will greatly improve your skill and enjoyment of the game. Of course, if you’re more impatient, you can easily buy your way through and skip a lot of the repetition. The balance between paying your way through and earning your upgrades through play is perfect and creates a whole new dimension to gaming.

British Airways Customer Relations Suck!

Late last night after a long day I stupidly booked some flights online with BA.com. I say stupidly because I was tired. And when we are tired as human beings we are prone to make mistakes. Which I did. I entered the wrong date by one day in error. I thought okay, no problem I can see the error I’ll just phone up British airways customer support and have them change the date, shouldn’t be a problem seeing as I’m about to correct this mistake within 5 min of making it.

It turns out that the British Airways UK customer relations helpline was closed. So I called the US British Airways customer relations. Although the latter could not assist me because my booking was made with the Ba.com UK website they advised me that it wasn’t a problem, it wouldn’t cost anything, that they would make a note of my call and to wait until the next day and call the UK customer relations when the helpline was open again. I thought great, fantastic response, filled with confidence, I’ll fix my flights in the morning!

The next day…

Sorry sir you cannot change your booking without it costing you an extra £130! What?! (knowing full well it actually costs £90)

But it was an honest mistake. The lady from British Airways Customer Relations in the US said it would not be a problem.
Surely you have some flexibility when you make a mistake and try to amend that error with in 5min?

The response was like a robot.
No,
No,
No Sir,
British Airways cannot do anything.
I’m a brain dead operator who cannot be bothered to help or understand.

Not very helpful at all.

Can I speak to your manager please? (thinking they may be more sympathetic and could possibly over ride the operators scripted response.

No I will not escalate this problem.

What?!

That got me angry!

I’ve been a loyal British Airways customers for over 5 years now, booking flights here and there and more recently quite a few more. This obviously counts for nothing.

So I went back online, payed the extra £90 (not £130) to change the date of my ticket. I then jumped on to my blog to moan and rant about them.

I feel a little better now for the rant. It’s good to to talk! :)