The Perfect WordPress Adserver

Image representing OpenX as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

O.K, So I lied, this adserver will work stand-alone and as a plug-in for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! It’s called OpenX and is a complete adserver solution. In fact, this is a buddy with benefits.

See the bookcase ads at the side of this page? They’re managed and delivered via OpenX. They’re not ordinary ads. OpenX uses built-in geolocation to determine which ads to serve so if you are in Europe you will see ads for, if you’re in Canada you will see ads for and if you’re from the US or anywhere else then you will ads for It’s a very impressive product and it’s free.

OpenX can be used to manage all types of ads from simple banners and links to HTML and Java scripts.  Take a look at these benefits:

Ads can be timed to display at specific times, between specific start and end dates, and for a set number of impressions,

Ads can be prevented from showing twice on the same page,

You can make money by advertising adspace to advertisers through the OpenX Market,

The ads can be served to multiple websites,

Ads can be targeted to particular locations, browsers, IPs, visitors from specific referrers and more, and

Clicks and impression are monitored,

It does much more too. In short, it’s a very versatile product that can be expanded with plug-ins.

Those who don’t need to use it as a plug-in for a content management system (CMS) can use OpenX’s free hosted ad server. This works like a free hosted blog or forum i.e you OpenX host your ads and serve them to your website, free.

To use it as a plug-in the main package must be downloaded from OpenX, uploaded to a directory on a server then installed before the plug-in is installed into the CMS of choice. For me, the installation went without a hitch and the WordPress plug-in was as easy to install and set-up as any other (just remember that the “adserver’s delivery directory” for your OpenX-WP settings will be located at http://yourdomain/openx version/www/delivery).

The OpenX Market Place plug-in (located on your server at openx version/www/admin/plugins/oxMarket/) might need its file permissions changed from 777 to 755 for folders and644 for files. This will depend on your server.

The ad server software can be downloaded from OpenX and the CMS plug-in for WordPress, Drupal and Joomla! can be downloaded from here (at OpenX).

As a little tip, ad servers are not limited to serving adverts; they can be used to serve targeted and rotating images, movies and links. And they don’t need to point outside of your domain.

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um. yeah no.  OpenX is a horrible, horrible system that is so dog-slow and painful to use it’s ridiculous.  everything about it, from the back-end administration to overall system requirements and performance just reek of bloated, horrible code.

not worth the time you’ll waste installing it.

It’s been a while since I last used OpenX. I prefer to use my own scripts now but when I last used OpenX it was a convenient way of targeting ads (and other content) to site visitors based on their geographic location.

Do you know of another free solution that is easier to use than OpenX that offers ad targeting and that can be used as a WordPress plugin?


How does one use his “own scripts.” I would love to see an article on that.

Excellent idea. I will write an article about it. Thank you for your suggestion.