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PhpAdsNew (and improved)

Serving Web advertising doesn’t get more affordable. PhpAdsNew (and improved) Serving Web advertising doesn’t get more affordable.

With many sites facing decreasing advertising revenue, the sales and support costs of some of the large commercial ad servers are coming under increasing scrutiny. Luckily, there’s a new tool that is poised to take some of that market away, especially for small- and medium-sized sites. If you are currently looking to reevaluate your ad-serving solution, I would urge you to give phpAdsNew a look.

phpAds, a Tobias Ratschiller project, recently got a new lease on life and found a new home at SourceForge as phpAdsNew. I’m very impressed with the third beta release of version 2. (Ratschiller began development on quite a few promising projects before becoming CEO of Maguma AG in Italy; I have written previously about one of those projects, phpMyAdmin.)

While phpAds was originally intended for very small sites to be able to serve their own banner ads, phpAdsNew has the potential to upstage some of the larger players. It has recently remained among the top 25 most active projects on SourceForge, and the effort is showing on two levels–the code and the UI.

The Code

Work was revived on phpAdsNew to address bug fixes and improvements to the phpAds codebase. Sites that had downloaded and started using phpAds discovered problems and found that they wanted new features added to the program. Beta 3 has rewritten most of the original code, resulting in a much leaner and much more scalable underlying codebase.

The UI

As the face of these inner workings, the original UI of phpAds was functional, if not pleasant. Debuting in Beta 1, an extremely pleasant new UI, courtesy of Niels Leenheer, has been a wonderful addition to phpAdsNew. The UI is a very clean layout that makes the program’s features easier to navigate. The UI screens for adding new banners to the rotation and checking their status are also elegant. Also present is support for 13 languages and some spiffy new JavaScript tricks. This UI should win over the sales and marketing types who will be using this face of the software.

PhpAdsNew is very easy to install. Simply uncompress the files, fill in the configuration file and create the MySQL databases. It literally took me about five minutes to get the system up and running, including the download. (System requirements and a feature list are below.)

PhpAdsNew Requirements:

PHP3 3.0.12+ (100% PHP4-ready !)
MySQL

Summary:

phpAds is a banner management and tracking system written in PHP. Currently, it can:

manage multiple banners (any size) per client view daily, overall and summary statistics send statistics to clients via email use HTML, GIF, JPEG and PNG-banners show random, predefined or HTML/image banners supports multiple keywords for groups of banners supports conditional keywords activate and deactivate single banners show banners based on filters: user-agent, day-of-week, IP masks, domain, source page, time perform banner weighing target banner clicks to frames use random or sequential banner retrieval

Garth Gillespie is architect and chief technologist for ComputerUser.com.

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