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Progressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages – What is Holding WordPress Back?

Progressive Web Apps and Accelerated Mobile Pages – What is Holding WordPress Back?

Having been involved in building Progressive Web Apps from before they were even called Progressive Web Apps, we believe that everyone should use JavaScript to build amazing user experiences on the web. This has been our mantra in the last few years and we’re sticking to it :).

However, using Content Management Systems (and in particular WordPress) as backend / APIs has proven a challenge. This is mostly due to the clash between technologies (client vs. backend rendering) and the large ecosystem of plugins / themes that surround WordPress. The value of WordPress is not only its powerful core, but all those widgets that you can install and enhance the functionality of your WordPress site. Most of these are plug & play. At the same time, I have yet to see a plug & play PWA with a 100% score on Lighthouse. Wherever you see success stories (ex. Twitter app), they also involve a lot of custom work.

So, where does that leave us? We don’t pretend to have all the answers or a magic, silver bullet that can remodel your WordPress website into a 100% PWA. However, we believe that by taking a more detailed look at the technology behind WordPress, PWAs and AMP, we can come up with ideas on how to close the gap between them. Below, you’ll find a list of 5 key points that we believe should be addressed to get us moving in the right direction.

1. Server-side rendering vs. client-side rendering

WordPress themes & plugins use server-side rendering. If you’re not familiar with the differences between server-side and client-side rendering, you can read about it here. In short, WordPress themes / plugins need a server to run the code and produce an output (HTML & CSS code).

In contrast, the PWA standard doesn’t impose a particular use of technology for implementing such an application. Most PWAs are built on JavaScript libraries / frameworks and are thus Single Page Applications (SPAs). It’s also possible to build Multiple Page Applications as PWAs, however the architecture is heavily customized. Here you can find a presentation from Google I/O 2018, describing the architecture of such a PWA implemented using a NodeJS / Express.js server and service workers. This can be even more intimidating compared to SPAs and it still requires writing JavaScript code, at least for the service worker.

So, what happens when we combine WordPress’ server-side rendering with a SPA? Well, we don’t – we have to make the choice between generating the HTML & CSS code on the server (server-side rendering) or letting the browser render that code (client-side rendering). In WordPress Mobile Pack, we use a special WordPress theme that loads only on mobile browsers. It strips down any WordPress code besides the bare minimum required to load the PWA assets (bundled JavaScript and CSS). It then becomes the responsibility of the browser to fetch the content (posts, pages, categories and so on) from WordPress’ REST API.

2. Limitations of the REST API

We strongly believe that the inclusion of the REST API in the core has opened the door for building amazing apps on top of WordPress. However, as it stands today, the functionality of the REST API is limited compared to all other things that you can do from the WordPress admin area. Just think for example about customizing the menu for your WordPress site. You can go to Appearances > Menus and do just that, your responsive theme will easily adapt to the changes.

Yet, there is no endpoint that can help export those settings to a PWA. The REST API functionality is limited to retrieving posts, pages, categories, etc. and some basic settings. So, a trivial task that is available to all responsive themes is cumbersome for a PWA. One solution is to extend the functionality of the REST API and create new endpoints (there is some work being done in that direction here). This doesn’t change the fact that we’ll have to jump through some hoops to integrate our PWAs with basic WordPress features.

3. Page Builders & Widgets

Who doesn’t love an easy-to-use page builder? These plugins promise to make our lives easier and just by using drag-and-drop we can make our website look the way we want. It’s no wonder their popularity is increasing.

The majority of these plugins rely on server-side rendering. They also insert additional JavaScript & CSS code and heavily depend on the page’s context to properly render a layout. Well, adding JavaScript code (like a widget) inside other JavaScript code (PWA) is a recipe for disaster. The embedded JavaScript code will not be executed because it’s not loaded directly in the browser.

Not to mention that the REST API doesn’t even export some of the shortcode used by page builders – which is normal because that shortcode doesn’t make sense outside of a responsive theme’s context.

4. Service workers support

Service workers are a big part of implementing a PWA. They help provide all that fancy stuff – like caching / offline mode, add to homescreen and web push notifications.

One caveat? They must reside on the root domain of your website – even if your WordPress install exists at yourdomain.com/blog, the service worker must be hosted directly on yourdomain.com. And they are JavaScript files. You might think “what’s the big deal, I’ll just copy the service worker file to my theme folder”. Well, as I already mentioned, WordPress uses server-side rendering, which makes it possible to load content from a theme folder even when in the browser you’re accessing the home page. But JavaScript files are different – their path is not changed when they are loaded by the browser. And, for very good reasons (think security!), a theme or plugin doesn’t have access to write files in the root folder of your WordPress installation.

So, what we can do? Well, we can manually copy the service worker file using FTP. But I do hope that WordPress comes up with a better solution in the future. I don’t want to be stuck forever copying my service worker whenever WordPress code is updated.

5. Lack of transparency on how SEO works for SPAs

The lack of transparency when it comes to search engine optimization is one of the main reasons for the slow adoption of SPAs. Even though Google announced that its bots can crawl JavaScript code a few years back, this doesn’t change the fact that many people still look at their Google Webmasters Search Console and see all kinds of problems in there.

Some details surfaced last year, mainly the fact that the Googlebot uses Chrome 41 for rendering. Also, at this year’s Google I/O, we could take a sneak peak on how Google Search works and why SPAs are not as efficient as basic HTML/CSS websites when it comes to SEO. There was one very important insight that was shared:

“The rendering of JavaScript powered websites in Google Search is deferred until Googlebot has resources available to process to content.”

The recommended solution is to do server-side rendering only for bots, which if you ask me, sounds like a hassle because we end up maintaining two different versions of the same content. I do hope there’s a better solution in the making, because this one doesn’t sound good at all.

Conclusion

The good part about all of this is that Google is definitely making steps into closing the gap between its technologies and WordPress. There was another interesting presentation at Google I/O that you should definitely watch: “Make your WordPress site progressive“. The approach is very interesting – using AMP and the Gutenberg editor to build WordPress websites. It looks like the WP AMP plugin is getting a lot of love recently and there are some very cool use cases that can be built on top of it.

Even though there is no silver bullet for solving the issues I have mentioned in this article, I do hope we’ll see many more cool PWAs being built on top of WordPress, taking advantage of the CMS’s popularity and versatility.

Co-founder and CTO at Appticles.com. Likes to get involved in various activities to help women get into programming/coding, but also found their own businesses.
Progressive Web App for WordPress & WooCommerce with ReactJS

Progressive Web App for WordPress & WooCommerce with ReactJS

If you’ve followed the conversations in the WordPress community lately, you’ve realized that JavaScript is here to stay, either we’re talking about ReactJS, Angular/Ionic, VueJS or Polymer. In addition, if we combine it with the energy that Google is investing in advocating Progressive Web Applications, it really seems like the Web is entering a new and exciting development phase.

A few months back we announced that we’re building our first e-commerce Progressive Web Application by integrating with WordPress & WooCommerce REST API. Our CTO and main contributor for WordPress Mobile Pack, Alexandra Anghel, presented our progress at Bucharest WordCamp last week in front of an audience of 250 WordPress enthusiasts and we’re now excited to release the alpha version of our first PWA-Commerce theme.

Why did we build it?

Building a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions. There are several examples of companies that have successfully used PWAs to improve their metrics, you can find some of them on the Google Developers website. Here are just 2 examples:

  • Alibaba.com built a PWA that led to a fast, effective, and reliable mobile web experience. The new strategy delivered a 76% increase in total conversions across browsers and 4 times higher interaction rate from Add to Homescreen.
  • In another use case, OLX wanted to re-engage mobile web users by using Add to Homescreen and Push Notifications. They increased engagement by 250% and improved other metrics too: the time until the page became interactive fell by 23%, with a corresponding 80% drop in bounce rates. Monetization also improved, with clickthrough rate (CTR) rising 146%.

Since eCommerce is one of the main areas where a PWA can bring immediate benefits, the WooCommerce Progressive Web App theme that we’re releasing is set to bring a new level of excitement for your users and increase your business bottom line.

Here are some of the capabilities that we’ve implemented for you:

  • Products & Categories Navigation
  • Minimalist Product Section
  • Product Photo Gallery
  • Product Ratings & Reviews
  • Flexible Shopping Cart
  • Social Sharing (Facebook, Twitter, G+)

You can give it a try here: http://bit.ly/pwacommerce (use an Android/iOS device)

What’s the PWA score on LightHouse?

First of all, being progressive is a score, not a Yes or No, and there’s a Chrome plugin called Lighthouse that you can use to measure this score. Lighthouse generates a report with all the PWA capabilities, basically, it lets us know what we need to change for a web app to become progressive. For our alpha version of the WooCommerce PWA, we managed to hit a 91 score on Lighthouse.

What’s next?

As you’ve probably realized from the list of features that I listed earlier, PWAs are framework agnostic. Many are built using Angular JS or React Js, which are the most popular JavaScript frameworks at the moment. Both AngularJS and React have their advantages:

  • The Angular / Ionic combination is pretty popular nowadays. Ionic is a great framework that was originally built for mobile apps, but has expanded to PWAs and even desktop applications.
  • ReactJs is really intuitive and easy to understand. It benefits from a great boilerplate, create-react-app, which comes with PWA support by default.
  • Besides these 2, VueJS is also gaining in popularity.

Since all of our PWA themes we’ve prepared for bloggers, newspapers & magazines have been built using Angular/Ionic, it was time to give ReactJS a try. Hence, the WooCommerce PWA is built with ReactJS and you can check out the video below if you want to go deeper into the technical aspects of building a ReactJS application.

 

This is just the alpha release and we’re already working on the beta version. Here’s just a part of our roadmap:

  • Add offline mode capabilities
  • Add push notifications
  • Finalizing the checkout process

You can still order the WooCommerce PWA for just $49 for a few more weeks and benefit from frequent updates whenever we have a new release. Getting to a stable version is hard work and requires many development hours, that’s why by pre-ordering the $49 version you’ll not only get a discounted deal (from the $99 regular price) but you’ll also support us in implementing new features & capabilities.

Want to get involved in contributing to the PWA-Commerce development? Check out our GitHub repository: https://github.com/appticles/pwa-theme-woocommerce

Enjoy!

Tech-Biz in between guy. CEO at WPMobilePack.com. Organizer at BucharestJS & JSHacks. Passionate about entrepreneurship. Love to play 🎾, squash and 🏓.
PROs and CONs of Using WordPress with ReactJS

PROs and CONs of Using WordPress with ReactJS

ReactJS took the WordPress community by surprise when it was introduced in November 2015 by Matt Mullenweg announcing Calypso as the culmination of more than 20 months of work by dozens of engineers and designers. Calypso was described as being:

  • Incredibly fast;
  • Written purely in JavaScript, leveraging libraries like Node and React;
  • 100% API-powered;
  • Fully responsive.

Suddenly, thousands of PHP developers had to become fluent with JavaScript to be able to take advantage of the newly proposed tech-stack and build apps ontop of WordPress the React way.

Read More Read More

Tech-Biz in between guy. CEO at WPMobilePack.com. Organizer at BucharestJS & JSHacks. Passionate about entrepreneurship. Love to play 🎾, squash and 🏓.
Top 12 WordPress Analytics Plugins

Top 12 WordPress Analytics Plugins

Having proper analytics is instrumental in getting a proper web strategy up and running. You can depend on obtaining those analytics yourself, but this process can oftentimes be inefficient and cumbersome. Lucky for you, there are WordPress analytics plugins out there that will make this process easier by streamlining the whole process.

You might think that you can choose the first available WordPress analytics plugin that you find. Unfortunately, however, not all analytics plugins were created equal. There are several key features that distinguish the good from the not so good. You need to look at things like the number of active installs in order to gauge popularity, the latest version of WordPress that it’s been tested for, and the last time that the plugin has been updated. We’ve provided all of that information in our guide in order to make it easier for you to make your final decision. With that being said, let’s get started.

#1 Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights

This first WordPress analytics plugin on our list has over one million active installs, which speaks to the popularity of the plugin. It’s been tested up to WordPress 4.7.4, so newer versions of the plugin should be compatible with all of the versions of WordPress. The last update as of this writing was two weeks ago, so it appears that the developers are committed to keeping this plugin up to date. It has a four-star rating and has over 13 million downloads.

This plugin is the lite version of the MonsterInsights Pro plugin. It offers a Google analytics dashboard and real-time stats that will allow you to keep an eye on your data in real time. There’s also universal tracking and page level analytics. This way, you can track your users through all of their devices and platforms.

PROs CONs
Insights reports are simple and clear. Free version is limited in its features.
Support staff sometimes fixes problems within the hour. Ads interfere with the experience of the plugin.
Easy to follow instructions help with the implementation process. Updates are released without proper testing.

#2 Google Analytics Dashboard for WP

This WordPress analytics plugin has over 900,000 active installs and has been tested up to WordPress 4.7.3, meaning that you should have no problem getting this to work with just about any version of WordPress. The last update was two months ago, so the team seems to be moderately involved with its plugin. This plugin is rated at four and a half stars, so it has some substantial support from the community.

This WordPress analytics plugin takes advantage of the latest Google Analytics tracking code in order to best track your analytics data. Page and post reports allow you to further segment your data into comprehensible bits of information. This way you can get performance details either for each post or each page. This tracking code is fully customizable.

PROs CONs
The setup process is easy, leading to rapid implementation. “Could not resolve hosts” error hampers functionality.
Easy to access graph allows for stats to be efficiently managed. Support requests sometimes go unanswered.
Graphic representation of data makes data management easier. Automatic updates can sometimes break sites.

#3 Google Analytics

This WordPress analytics plugin was tested up to WordPress 4.7.3, so it’s compatible with all new versions. It has 700,000 active installs and was updated five days ago as of this writing. The support seems to be there, allowing you to best implement your analytics strategies. It only has a three and a half star rating, which shows that there are some concerns with the content that is presented.

This plugin allows you to add tracking codes to your website without having to modify any of your files. You can simply log in from your dashboard and choose the website that you want to link to. You’ll be able to see Google Analytics reports right from your dashboard, which adds to the convenience factor. It also has a feature that learns about your traffic patterns and shows you content that’s performing well so that you know what’s working.

PROs CONs
Being able to see dashboards within WordPress is convenient. Version 2.0.0 isn’t compatible with the latest version of WordPress.
Implementation of tracking ID increases efficiency. Latest version is vulnerable to hacking.
Supports the latest version of Google Analytics. Latest version won’t authenticate with Google.

#4 Google Analyticator

This WordPress analytics plugin was tested with the latest version of WordPress and found to perform admirably. It has more than 300,000 active installs and was actually updated only two days ago as of this writing. However, it only has a three and a half star rating, which speaks to some potential problems that the plugin suffers from.

This plugin gets rid of the need to edit your template code in order to begin logging. The plugin also allows you to use widgets to display your analytics data in both your blog and the admin. It has over 3.5 million downloads, which speaks to its relative popularity.

PROs CONs
Adding a stats panel to the dashboard is convenient. Options are limited.
Real-time stats provide you with valuable information. Necessary Google authentication code cannot be found.
Pared down plugin is simple and convenient. Widget page was destroyed after latest update.

#5 Statcounter – Free Real Time Visitor Stats

This WordPress analytics plugin was only tested up to version 4.6.4 of WordPress, so its functionality may be limited for some users. Its active installs are a bit low, only around 100,000 as of this writing. The last update was seven months ago, so there may be some issues that haven’t yet been fixed. The plugin has a whopping five and a half star rating as of this writing, which speaks to the community support for the plugin.

It uses a configurable counter which allows you to keep track of your data in a more efficient way. You have configurable summary stats that allow you to keep an eye on what’s going on with your plugin in a functional way. There are a variety of features that allow you to easily search the data that is available to you.

PROs CONs
Easy setup process allows users to get started quickly. After adding the proper codes, this plugin still sometimes doesn’t work.
Implementation process allows for you to retain your projects. After removing stats counter, plugin leaves an unfixable bug.
Provides a better view of what’s going on than other plugins. Not capable of aligning the counter.

#6 Slimstat Analytics

Slimstat Analytics has been tested up to WordPress 4.8, so there isn’t much it hasn’t been tested against. It has just about 100,000 active installs and was updated about a week ago as of this writing. It actually has a five-star rating out of over 700 reviews, so there must be something going right with this WordPress analytics plugin.

The plugin allows you to have stats directly within WordPress, allowing you to access your information in a clear and accessible way. The add-ons that this plugin offers are convenient and allow you to easily access your information.

PROs CONs
Having stats directly inside WordPress is convenient. WordPress is known to crash when code is downloaded.
Support team resolves issues quickly. Plugin has been known to create slowdown.
Provides instant visual of how many users have visited. Access log is missing important data.

#7 WP-Piwik

WP Piwik is a WordPress analytics plugin that was just tested up to WordPress version 4.7.3. It only has 70,000 active installs, which does affect the way that the plugin is seen. It was last updated four months ago, so there’s a bit of a gap between updates. It has a rating of four and a half stars out of five, so there clearly has to be something right that the team is doing.

This plugin works by adding a Piwik stats site directly to your WordPress dashboard. You can also add this tracking code to your blog. It’s important to note that you need your own Piwik instance in order to use the plugin. You can do this through using either self-hosted or cloud-hosted options.

PROs CONs
Support team quickly and efficiently handles problems. Necessary for the user to FTP into server space to determine location of the Piwik folder.
Simple explanation for config options makes things easier. API key is elusive to find.
Easy configuration process makes setup simple and efficient. Needs support for breaking out sites in a multisite install.

#8 WassUp Real Time Analytics

This WordPress analytics plugin was tested up to version 4.6.4, so there are some things that it might not be compatible with. It only has 40,000 active installs, so it’s a little low on the active install site. It was last updated five months ago as of this writing, so it’s a little behind in terms of updates. It has a three and a half star rating which speaks to its level of quality.

This plugin has been designed to analyze visitor traffic with real-time stats that are accurate and provide chronological information. It also supports visitor tracking which will allow you to have a clear understanding of who is visiting your site and what they’re doing while on it.

PROs CONs
Tracks more visitors than other popular trackers. Recent update killed the plugin.
Years of support for the plugin payoff for the end user. Plugin has been known to cause plugins to crash.
Allows for easy implementation and draws in more visitors than other, more popular plugins. After recent update, the plugin stopped recording stats.

#9 WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration

WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration plugin was tested up to WordPress 4.5.7, so it’s a little behind on keeping up to date with WordPress. It has about 40,000 active installs, so not as much as some of the more popular WordPress analytics plugins. The last update was 11 months ago as of this writing, so the admins could stand to update their plugin a little more frequently. It has a three-star rating, which isn’t the best that we’ve seen from these WordPress analytics plugins.

This plugin allows for the integration of Google Analytics and the WooCommerce plugin. It allows you to link a referral to a purchase and also add transaction data, which adds a degree of convenience to the entire process.

PROs CONs
Easy setup makes for quick implementation of the plugin. Options panel isn’t clear enough to facilitate easy use.
Immediately displays stats in GA. Requires user to logout to check that it works.
Seamlessly identifies where traffic is coming from to allow for easy tracking. Requires “Add eCommerce tracking code to the thank you page” to be checked off in order to function.

#10 Statify

This WordPress analytics plugin was tested up to WordPress 4.7.3, so while it isn’t completely up to date, it’s fairly close to the latest version of WordPress. It only has around 30,000 active installs, but that shouldn’t deter you considering it has a four and a half star rating out of five. The last update as of this writing was three weeks ago, so the team seems to keep their plugins updated very well.

This plugin is both free and ad-free, which will be a welcome piece of information for those who are used to their plugins being overloaded with ads. Personal data is not stored by this plugin, so all of your information is safe. The plugin features an interactive chart that helps you to visualize the data.

PROs CONs
Gives you necessary information at a glance. Recommended Chrome plugin didn’t work.
Compliant with European privacy laws. Minimalism theme is overdone in some parts.
Support team often provides solutions within the hour. Not as powerful as some of the other statistics tools.

#11 Clicky by Yoast

Clicky by Yoast was only tested up to WordPress version 4.5.7, so there are parts of it that might not be completely up to date with the latest version. On the downside of this WordPress analytics plugin, it only has 20,000 active installs and was last updated nine months ago. With all of that said, it does have a five star rating out of five, so there has to be something this plugin’s team is doing right.

This plugin works by integrating Clicky web analytics in order to better serve your blog. This also allows you to automatically add your Clicky tracking code wherever you want it to be. This gives you the option to ignore admins and store the names of commenters. An overview of your site’s statistics is provided right on your dashboard.

PROs CONs
Simple integration takes seconds to do. Last update was nine months ago.
Meaningful statistics offer you actionable information. Has a small number of active installs.
Easy setup process streamlines operation. Isn’t compatible with all versions of WordPress.

#12 Yandex Metrics

Yandex Metrics was tested up to WordPress version 4.6.4 and has as of this writing 20,000 active installs. The last update was nine months ago, which would put some users off. However, this WordPress analytics plugin does have a five star rating.

This plugin allows you to insert the code counter Yandex Metric on your site’s pages. This counter will continue to work for you even if the active theme is changed. It’s important to note that you need to have admin privileges on the WordPress website in order to start this process.

PROs CONs
Minimalistic plugin does what’s needed to be done efficiently. Hasn’t been tested on the latest version of WordPress.
There is no arrangement of customization options, which is convenient. Active installs leave something to be desired.
Simple install allows you to get up and running quicker. The last update was nearly a year ago.

Conclusion

There is a large number of WordPress analytics plugins out there for you to choose from. While it can seem overwhelming when it comes to deciding on the right one for you, the whole process becomes much quicker when you break each one down according to a simple list of pros and cons and see what each one has to offer. We hope that this guide has shown a fair share of WordPress analytics plugins for you to choose from and gives you an idea of what to look for in a plugin.

 

Actives Reviews Unique Features Pricing Range
#1 Google Analytics for WordPress by MonsterInsights 1+ million ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Allows you to connect with Google Analytics.
  • Shows comprehensive reports.
  • Allows you to complete setup without code.
Free-$199
#2 Google Analytics Dashboard for WP 1+ million ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Utilizes Google Analytics tracking code.
  • Performance details for each post or page is available.
  • Fully customizable tracking code.
Free
#3 Google Analytics 700,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Add tracking code without modifying files.
  • Google Analytics reports can be seen in the same interface.
  • Trending Content feature tracks traffic patterns.
Free
#4 Google Analyticator 300,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Eliminates need to edit template code.
  • Display of Analytics data on blog.
  • Supports universal and traditional analytics.
Free
#5 StatCounter – Free Real Time Visitor Stats 100,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Invisible counter option.
  • Configurable counter.
  • Configurable summary stats.
Free-$399
#6 Slimstat Analytics 100,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Efficient stat tracking.
  • Provides an overview of usage and popularity.
  • Shortcode functionality can be inserted wherever.
Free
#7 WP-Piwik 70,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Supports a number of languages.
  • Both self-hosted and cloud-hosted.
  • Adds a Piwik stats site to WP dashboard.
Free
#8 WassUp Real Time Analytics 40,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Offers accurate real time stats.
  • In-depth visitor tracking.
  • Adds WassUp chart to the admin dashboard.
Free
#9 WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration 40,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Integration with Google Analytics.
  • Link referral to a purchase.
  • Add transaction information to Google Analytics data.
Free
#10 Statify 30,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ad-free plugin.
  • No storage of personal data.
  • Community support via forums on wordpress.org.
Free
#11 Clicky by Yoast 20,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Automatically add Clicky tracking anywhere.
  • Option to ignore admins.
  • Option to store names of commenters.
Free-$159.99
#12 Yandex Metrics 20,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Ability to insert code counter.
  • No need to edit theme files.
  • Simple implementation and setup.
Free

 

Nicholas Olson is a freelance writer from Chicago now living in North Carolina. When he’s not writing a novel or wrangling a cat, he’s editing at The Citron Review/Cease, Cows or reviewing for The Review Review. He was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s 2016 Very Short Fiction Award and has been published in SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, Literary Orphans, decomP, Cease, Cows, Crack the Spine, Molotov Cocktail, Identity Theory, Corium, Thrice Fiction, Eunoia Review, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Oblong, Foliate Oak, Every Day Fiction, The Open End, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Read more at nicksfics.com.
Top 11 WordPress Advertising Plugins

Top 11 WordPress Advertising Plugins

When you take a look at all of the WordPress advertising plugins that are out there, it can get pretty overwhelming to figure out just where to start and where you should turn for advice. Unfortunately, not all WordPress advertising plugins were created equal, so you have your work cut out for you when it comes to finding the right one. But just because it can be hard to find the right WordPress advertising plugin doesn’t mean it has to be. By weeding out some of the better ones from the rest, you’ll be able to see just how convenient and effective some of these WordPress advertising plugins can be.

It doesn’t have to be hard to find the right WordPress advertising plugin, and that’s why we put this handy guide together. We want you to be able to count on our guide as a resource to get you on your way towards getting the work you need to do done. We are something like a big brother guiding you towards your next plugin, giving you advice and steering you towards the best WordPress advertising plugins wherever they may be. One of our prime beliefs is that it takes the best plugins to deliver the best websites, and that’s why you shouldn’t settle for less. Presenting a review guide like this is sometimes the only way to get a clear view of the situation. So let’s go ahead and get started with our review guide and find out which of these plugins is the best among the rest.

#1 Google AdSense

This WordPress advertising plugin is ubiquitous and well known for a reason. It’s Google’s flagship advertising plugin and it’s been optimized to deliver a good experience for you. It has over 100,000 active installs, which shows just how well liked and popular this plugin is. It’s been tested up to WordPress 4.5.7, so you should have no problem installing it on the website of your choice.

This WordPress advertising plugin was last updated 12 months ago, so it’s been fairly recent that the last update was applied. This WordPress advertising plugin works with automated mobile ads to make your advertising experience that much easier. With the whole experience automated, you’ll have one less thing to worry about when you’re mounting an advertising campaign. There’s also a proprietary ad manager built into the system to provide a way for you to manage all of your ads in a way that is simple and effective for you. Google AdSense was built around the concept of simplifying the way that you advertise, and it does this by stripping away all of the inefficient trappings of most WordPress advertising plugins and instead focusing on making the core experience better.

 

PROs CONs
The interface for dropping ads is basic. It’s being deprecated, so you’ll soon lose access to some functionality.
You can figure out which ad placement works the best. When trying to adjust settings for ads, it doesn’t show options.
Allows you to add and delete ads on every page. It keeps looping the verify process.

 

#2 AdRotate

Believe it or not, this WordPress advertising plugin is rated higher than Google AdSense. Perhaps part of that is due to the fact that there are regular updates being made to this software based on user feedback. In fact, as of this writing, the last update was just about a week ago. It has 50,000 active installs and has been tested up to WordPress 4.7.3. This WordPress advertising plugin features an easy to use dashboard interface that allows you to drop advertising banners nearly anywhere on your site that you could possibly want.

Because of this easy to use dashboard, you have the choice between handling your site’s code or not. For those intrepid code adventurers who like to get their hands dirty, you have that option. But for those who would rather have a simple, easy to use interface, you have that choice now too. You can create your own ads using HTML or Javascript code, or you can use your service of choice to deliver that same exact functionality. You can manage all of your advertising campaigns in an easy way, right from your proprietary dashboard. You can also see just how many impressions your ads have.

PROs CONs
Easy to use dashboard simplifies the process. Pro version still comes with ads.
Great features for free version, and paid version gives you more complex features. There’s a gap between impression statistics in the plugin and in reality.
A quick and easy install gets you up and running quickly. Functions are greatly limited in the free version to get you to buy the pro version.

 

#3 Ad Inserter

This WordPress advertising plugin features a solid five star rating, and it was last updated two weeks ago which shows just how invested in the plugin the developers are. This five star rating is the most telling that this plugin features compelling content that is useful for its users. It has more than 50,000 active installs and is compatible with WordPress 4.7.3, which means that users don’t have to worry about functionality with their system. This is version 2.1.4 of the WordPress advertising plugin, so there’s still an active presence with this plugin that’s being demonstrated.

This simple WordPress advertising plugin is useful for inserting any code or ad into WordPress. It can be used with Amazon ads or AdSense ads, so the options are pretty wide open for users. This WordPress advertising plugin touts the fact that you can insert anything absolutely anywhere on the page. This sort of functionality is a godsend for users who are looking for a more open system where their options are fairly wide open instead of closed off. It features a syntax highlighting editor, 16 code blocks, automatic insertion, and a code preview complete with a visual CSS editor.

PROs CONs
Support team has been known to solve issues within an hour. Even using manual shortcodes there are issues with getting this plugin to work.
Isn’t for ads only, but can be used for any code. Ads from webmedia.com can be placed in place of your own ads.
You can place ads at will with minimal knowledge of code. Use on Internet Explorer is limited compared to other browsers.

 

#4 Easy Plugin for AdSense

This plugin has a three and a half star rating, so there is a little room for improvement. Perhaps part of the reason for that rating is the fact that the last update was seven months ago. It does have more than 30,000 active installs and it’s compatible with WordPress 4.6.4, which means that it’s going to be compatible with most users’ setups, but not all. This WordPress advertising plugin provides an easy way to generate revenue using Google AdSense. It has a full set of dynamic features that allow you as the user to have the greatest level of functionality possible. It will give you a comprehensive solution for everything that’s related to Google AdSense.

Easy Plugin for AdSense does follow the procedure that Google AdSense has laid out of not supporting more than three adsense blocks per page. There are also sidebar widgets available in Easy Plugin for AdSense. These can be used for search purposes for customized titles or images, and also for content that has a custom title. Either way, there are features for you to use that will help you to gain a better sense of how the advertising campaign on your site is running.

PROs CONs
Support will work nights just to solve problems in a timely fashion. Widgets sometimes remain on the site after uninstall.
Ease of use and control of ad placement are both superb. Needs ads box for web and mobile web users.
Allows you to customize AdSense in a set and forget fashion. After a recent update, it stopped placing ads on some sites.

 

#5 Ad Injection

Image result for ad injection plugin

This WordPress advertising plugin has a whopping four stars on its review page. It has more than 30,000 active installs. The only hang up with this plugin is that the last update was two years ago. It’s been tested to work with WordPress 4.3.9, so it’ll work for just about any type of WordPress that you are running. The way this works is to literally inject ads into your content in much the same way that you would expect it to. You’ll be able to control the number of ads based entirely on the length of your post, and you can also restrict it based on any number of things such as the age of the post and by IP address.

Ads in the page can be completely configured in the post based on bottom, top, or random positioning. They can also be placed in the widget or sidebar area. This is a more advanced plugin for users to explore, and so users who are looking for a simple plugin would be better off looking elsewhere. But for those who want a dynamic, personalized user experience, this just might be the WordPress advertising plugin for you.

PROs CONs
Just shows the ads instead of extra styling. No updates or support in two years.
Works well for rotation while using cache. It won’t save when adding a new widget.
Is especially good at preventing hacking. Is no longer compatible with Supercache plugin.

 

#6 AdSense Plugin WP QUADS

The great news about going with this plugin is that it has a solid five stars. What’s more, the last update as of this writing was only one week ago. It has more than 30,000 active installs and has been tested up to WordPress 4.7.3, meaning that it’s up to date with the latest WordPress version. This is a free plugin which will add to the positives for many users. There will always be those who seek out a pro version, expecting it to have more features, but almost all of those features have been built into this version. The pro version comes with more.

This plugin is meant to be an improvement to the WordPress advertising plugin Quick Adsense, and this has been used on more than 100,000 sites in total. This kind of trustworthiness is not found across the board regardless of type of plugin. This is something that’s considered to be rare and hard to find. It’s coded very well and it has no overhead, which is another major boost for prospective users. It’s been used on large sites that have millions of monthly page impressions. It’s a useful WordPress advertising plugin that can be used for any number of potential solutions.

PROs CONs
Actively developed and receives regular updates. 503 security errors are wont to pop up.
Simplifies the placement of ads without coding. Widget says no code even after saving data.
Imports Quick AdSense settings directly. Used to be able to use responsive ads with free version, now cannot.

 

#7 Advanced Ads

This WordPress advertising plugin has a solid five-star rating, with the last update being posted just three weeks ago. It has upwards of 30,000 active installs and has been tested up to WordPress 4.7.3, the latest version of WordPress. This WordPress advertising plugin was made by publishers for publishers.

It delivers millions of ads per month and is a lightweight design that’s still going to pack a major punch. This will allow you to insert and manage banners but also will allow you to optimize and test them also. It’s this sort of freedom that opens up possibilities for the budding advertiser.

PROs CONs
Full edit view offers simple solutions. Has problem with banners disappearing from pages.
Step-by-step sequence makes setting up easy. Every banner will create a site indexed by Google, not good for SEO.
Included documentation answers questions well. Configuration process can be confusing.

 

#8 Website Monetization by MageNet

This WordPress advertising plugin has a respectable four star rating, and it has over 30,000 active installs. However, its last update was a good six months ago, so those who are looking for a current WordPress advertising plugin would do best to look elsewhere. It’s only been tested up to WordPress 3.7.19, so it’s not completely up to date with WordPress.

This is a WordPress advertising plugin that allows you to sell contextual ads straight from your pages in an automatic way and then receive compensation via PayPal. To get started with it, you need to sign up for a MageNet key, which is a relatively simple process.

PROs CONs
Takes only two steps: adding your site and installing the plugin. Can activate Google’s manual penalty.
No manual integration involved. Issues with incompatibility with WordPress.
The ads have a natural appearance. Large number of separate errors have been reported.

 

#9 Meks Easy Ads Widget

This WordPress advertising plugin has a rating of four and a half stars. Its last update was three months ago, so about in the intermediate range of updates. It has more than 20,000 active installs and is compatible with WordPress version 4.7.3, bringing it completely up to date with WordPress.

By using this plugin you can create a truly unlimited amount of ads via your widget. It comes with many smart options to customize your ads directly to service your needs. You can choose your own customized size or select from predetermined sizes. Also, you can randomize the order of your ads and slide and rotate ads.

PROs CONs
Simple to use ad rotator makes crafting ads easier. Lacks the nofollow attribute for ad links.
Allows display ads to be rotated like a slider. Doesn’t incorporate an add image button.
Updated frequently with a support staff that’s responsive. Widget defaults to one column instead of two.

 

#10 Infolinks Official Plugin

The name of the game with this WordPress advertising plugin is accessibility. It has a four star rating with over 10,000 active installs. The last update was two months ago, so the team regularly keeps updating the WordPress advertising plugin. This version of the Infolinks plugin was tested up to WordPress version 4.7.3.

Infolinks boasts itself as being the third largest online ad network on the globe, and they service more than 150,000 publishers in over 128 countries worldwide. This WordPress advertising plugin has been touted as a way to easily and quickly improve revenue, and they do this in a relatively simple series of steps.

PROs CONs
Latest version is most compatible with users and their sites. The showing of ads can suddenly stop working.
Makes it so you don’t have to manually enter the integration script. Support staff is often unresponsive.
Rated highly and regularly updated. Deactivates searching magnifying glass in top right with search box in bottom left.

 

#11 Content.ad

This WordPress advertising plugin only has a three star rating, but as of this writing it was only updated less than 24 hours ago. It was tested to work with up to WordPress 4.7.3, and it has more than 10,000 active installs.

Content.ad is billed as a platform for content recommendation that can help site owners generate more ad revenue in a simple and highly unobtrusive way. Content.ad can rightly claim that they serve billions and billions of impressions over thousands and thousands of sites each and every month. It features a simple setup and improved styling.

PROs CONs
Quick and simple setup is helpful for fast implementation Before recent update, updates were few and far between.
You can place the ads either after the post, in a widget, or anywhere else you want with a shortcode. Plugin developers don’t approve everyone to be let in.
Improved styling allows for attractive designs to be implemented. Isn’t fast with support help.

 

Conclusion

There are many WordPress advertising plugins to choose from out there, and many of them have the sort of functionality that you’d be looking for and expecting in a plugin. Where they differ is in small details that would be difficult to tease out ordinarily. We’ve seen that there is a variety of different ratings and coverage options available for each of the plugins. All it takes is for you to make the right choice for you.

 

Actives Reviews Unique Features Pricing Range
#1 Google AdSense 100,000+ ⭐⭐
  • Three ads per page feature.
  • Matched content placement.
  • Ad display on landing page.
Free
#2 AdRotate 50,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Can migrate data from other plugins.
  • Incorporates DFP, AdSense, and Chitika.
  • Ad creation with basic code.
Free-$36.00
#3 Ad Inserter 50,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • 16 code blocks.
  • Syntax highlighting editor.
  • Code preview with visual CSS editor.
Free-$100
#4 Easy Plugin for AdSense 30,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Also uses three ads per page feature.
  • Provides sidebar widgets.
  • Control positioning and display of AdSense
Free-$18
#5 Ad Injection 30,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Set position of top and bottom ad.
  • Full position setting of random ads.
  • Add page age settings to status.
Free
#6 AdSense Plugin WP QUADS 40,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Full AMP support.
  • Mobile optimized and responsive AdSense ads.
  • Ad disable feature.
Free
#7 Advanced Ads 30,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Easy banner creation.
  • Group ads for ad rotation.
  • Date setting for publishing ad.
Free-$123
#8 Website Monetization by MageNet 30,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Hassle free interface.
  • Regular payout system.
  • Full control over layout.
Free
#9 Meks Easy Ads Widget 20,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Unlimited ad creation.
  • Predefined sizes or custom size.
  • Randomize ads order.
Free
#10 Infolinks Official Plugin 10,000+ ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • InFrame banner ad solution.
  • InFold search and display feature.
  • InTag keyword display solution.
Free
#11 Content.ad 10,000+ ⭐⭐⭐
  • Simple setup feature.
  • Flexible styling of ad space.
  • Performance driven algorithms.
Free

 

Nicholas Olson is a freelance writer from Chicago now living in North Carolina. When he’s not writing a novel or wrangling a cat, he’s editing at The Citron Review/Cease, Cows or reviewing for The Review Review. He was a finalist for Glimmer Train’s 2016 Very Short Fiction Award and has been published in SmokeLong Quarterly, Hobart, Literary Orphans, decomP, Cease, Cows, Crack the Spine, Molotov Cocktail, Identity Theory, Corium, Thrice Fiction, Eunoia Review, Apocrypha and Abstractions, Oblong, Foliate Oak, Every Day Fiction, The Open End, and Flash Fiction Magazine. Read more at nicksfics.com.