What's The Best WordPress Ad Management Plugin? 4 Options Compared

< Blog home

Complement your related posts plugin with the right ad manager to improve monetization

Here at Bibblio, we spend a lot of time helping you serve up related content suggestions to keep people on your WordPress site longer.

We understand that, for a lot of you, perhaps the most important aim of having a good related posts plugin is to increase your revenue. A plugin that drives higher engagement without slowing down your site will get you more page views to monetize, and one particular benefit from that is better performance from display ads.

But managing display ads on WordPress can be tricky, especially if you sell ad space directly or are always trying out new ads. If that sounds like you, a dedicated WordPress ad management plugin will make your life a lot easier.

It will let you manage multiple ads and locations, rotate them as needed, view stats, and go even further with things like:

  • Direct ad sales
  • Targeting options
  • A/B testing
  • ...and a lot more

To help you find that plugin for your site, we've rounded up 4 of the best WordPress ad management plugins. Let's jump right in…

1. Ad Inserter

Ad Inserter is one of the most popular ad plugins at WordPress.org, where it's maintained an impressive 5-star rating on 800+ reviews. Amazon Affiliates also recommends this plugin in its help docs, which is a nice vote of confidence.

One of the unique things about Ad Inserter is its streamlined interface. Rather than breaking everything into different sections, you can access pretty much every feature from one screen (and with no page reloads).

To help you manage your ads, Ad Inserter gives you a feature called "blocks". A block can contain any type of ad (or really any code snippet). You can include:

  • Google AdSense - there's even a dedicated tool to help you create AdSense ads without leaving the interface
  • Custom banners
  • Amazon ads
  • ...anything

You can then inject your ad blocks into a ton of pre-defined locations, including options like:

  • After X paragraphs
  • Before comments
  • Near a specific CSS selector
  • Shortcode or widget

Some of the other helpful features include:

  • Ad rotation
  • Ad scheduling
  • Device detection/targeting
  • Lots of whitelist/blacklist rules
  • Adblock detection

If you don't need to be able to sell ads directly, this is one of the best options that you'll find… and the fact that the free version will work fine for most sites certainly doesn't hurt!

If you do need more than the free version, the Pro version is still quite affordable at just €20.

2. Advanced Ads

Advanced Ads is another popular and well-rated WordPress ad plugin. It's just a little bit behind Ad Inserter, with a 4.9-star rating on over 550 reviews at WordPress.org

Advanced Ads can do a lot of the same things that Ad Inserter does. Two notable differences are that:

  • It has a different approach to the interface - things are more spread out
  • You can sell ads directly via WooCommerce

Beyond that, it's the same general idea. You can add any type of ad to the plugin: 

Then, you can automatically inject those ads in a variety of locations including:

  • After X paragraphs
  • Via shortcode, widget, or PHP function
  • At the end of your content
  • Etc.

You can rotate ads according to your own weighting preferences and the plugin also tracks impressions and clicks, which is helpful for A/B testing.

Beyond that, you also get responsive controls to change how ads behave on different devices, which is great for offering a good mobile experience.

Finally, with the Selling Ads add-on, you can sell your ad space directly via WooCommerce. You also get the ability to create advertiser profiles where advertisers can upload ad materials by themselves.

Advanced Ad's free version isn't quite as generous as Ad Inserter, but it should still work for a lot of sites. The Pro version starts at €69 and includes all 8 add-ons (you can also purchase individual add-ons).

3. AdRotate Banner Manager

AdRotate Banner Manager is another long-standing ad management plugin that's popular and well-rated at WordPress.org.

As the name suggests, it does indeed let you rotate multiple advertisements. But there's also a lot more to it than that.

Like Ad Inserter and Advanced Ads, AdRotate lets you create any type of ad by pasting in the code snippet. Unlike the other plugins, there aren't any different options - you just get a single AdCode box:

From there, you can inject ads into your content. You can either randomly insert a banner or choose specific banners to insert. You can also set up custom weights to rotate ads according to your preferences.

AdRotate tracks everything and gives you stats for impressions, clicks, and CTR.

One neat thing here is that you can match ads to WordPress user accounts so that you can provide people with a custom dashboard where they can view stats for just their own ads. Combined with a PayPal integration to accept ad payments, this is a nice solution if you want to sell ads directly.

AdRotate's free version is also pretty generous. After that, the Pro version starts at €29.00.

4. WP Quads

Let's finish things out with one more popular and well-rated option at WordPress.org (notice a trend here?!).

WP Quads is a fork of the older Quick AdSense plugin but, while WP Quads definitely focuses on Google AdSense, you can use it to display any type of ad, so don't feel like you're limiting yourself if you choose it.

WP Quads helps you inject your ads in a variety of places, either at static positions or in random spots.

One area where it excels is its ability to control exactly who sees ads. First, you get responsive controls to enable/disable ads by device. But beyond that, you can also hide ads for specific:

  • Post types
  • User roles

And you can also display ads on Google AMP content.

If you're looking for something lightweight that's just about displaying ads, this is a good option. But it lacks some of the more advanced features like stats and direct ad sales (which makes sense because of its focus on Google AdSense).

Which WordPress Ad Management Plugin Is Right For You?

For most websites, the two best overall options are Ad Inserter and Advanced Ads. The numbers reflect this, with 5-star and 4.9-star ratings respectively on a significant number of reviews.

Of the two, Ad Inserter has a more streamlined and usable interface, while Advanced Ads includes that WooCommerce integration to help you sell ad space directly.

Of course, there are plenty of smaller feature differences that might affect you, so you should always think about how you're planning to actually use the plugin before making a decision.

If you are selling ad space directly, another good option could be AdRotate because it includes that neat feature that lets you create a custom reporting dashboard for individual users (Advanced Ads also offers this feature).

Finally, if you're primarily focused on AdSense, WP Quads is a great option because it dispenses with all the analytics and ad sales features since you can already do all that via the AdSense interface. So if you're big into AdSense, that lightweight approach is good for you. It also can display other types of ads - that's just not its focus.

And remember - more eyeballs equals more ad revenue. And when it comes to getting more eyeballs on your ads, displaying high-quality related content is a great way to keep people browsing your site. With our clients, we've found that quality related content suggestions can:

  • Boost site engagement by 11%
  • Increase page views by 8% (that's 8% more ad impressions!)

Head here to learn how Bibblio's AI-powered content recommendation system can help keep your WordPress site's visitors around longer, or find how to get started here

Related articles

Related articles

Publishing in peril

Web users have enjoyed free access to content for years, which has meant some digital publishers are having a tough time of it. To make money they either put up a paywall or rely on ads and clickbait. Google and Facebook offer easy ways to share content, but these referrals are fickle, hard to monetize, and dependent on algorithms that can change in a heartbeat.

In this ecosystem, quality journalism cannot thrive, replaced instead by sensationalist content and filter-bubbled fake news. The experience for users is jumbled and distracting, putting customer loyalty at serious risk.

Help is at hand

Bibblio's discovery platform lets publishers increase engagement, build loyalty and improve how they monetize. Our AI understands the context of each content item, recommending it at the right place and time, recirculating the publisher's content and personalizing their audience's experiences across any touchpoint.

Using either light-touch self-serve tools or running deeper integrations with support from Bibblio's engineers, these successful publishers have found smarter ways to deliver value through their sites, gain a better understanding of their audience and return their focus to quality editorial.

Subscribe to the Vertical Heroes newsletter

Get the latest in vertical publishing in your inbox, from interviews and trending news to events.