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Old 05-24-2004, 09:45 AM   #1
studcent
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Default What Ad server do you use?

I've been wanting to ask this question in here for a long time. I get the impression that our situation is similar to a lot of other people in here where we are big enough to get a lot of traffic and be accepted by just about any network and get what some people might consider half decent revenues. But we're too small to either hire our own salespeople or even spend enough time to better analyze all that is going on with our various ad networks to maximize revenue.

Steve had a great post recently where he talked about using advertpro http://www.advertpro.com/. I am a total non-techie, but here's our situation. And I post it in this forum instead of a webmaster forum because it all comes down to figuring out how to maximize our ad revenues while keeping our costs under control.

We use phpadsnew, which I understand is what a lot of people similar to us use. But my tech guy says that the way phpadsnew is configured means that it totally hammers our database server. Apparently, for each pageview we have, it puts in 2-4 inquiries to the database server when a better ad serving platform would only require 1 inquiry. So as we get bigger, we will either have to spend a helluva lot of money for a new powerful database server or use a new ad script. My tech guy wants to write a customized ad script for our site, but that seems like madness. There must be something already out there which addresses this problem. Does advertpro serve ads efficiently where you only need a single ad inquiry per pageview? Or does anything else? For us to spend $525 or whatever it is for advertpro would certainly be a lot smarter and cheaper than having somebody write an entire new ad serving program. What we're looking to do in terms of serving different types and sizes of ads from different advertisers and ad networks is identical to most of the people in this forum. So what do you guys do? Do you have problems similar to ours where your database server gets hammered because of inefficient ad serving technology? Thanks for any input.
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Old 05-24-2004, 10:30 AM   #2
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Hey,

First of all - what system are your server running? I see your site uses PHP, so I'm guessing Linux - but it's also available for Windows, so it's just a shot

Anyway, if you're running a Windows server and have the .NET framework installed you might want to check out AdMentor.NET. I haven't tried this software out yet, but a couple of friends uses it on a website. Also I don't know how many inquiries this software makes to the databases, but hope fully not 4 - that seems a little high IMHO.

I'm also looking for the right software to get my own adserver running, and had been looking at phpAdsNew for some time. Although I haven't tested it yet and had no idea that it's hammering the database like that. I read about this another place too, but since no body had replied to it I figured it was just a one-time thing.
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Old 05-24-2004, 11:56 AM   #3
cheznoir
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There are many tweaks to phpadsnew that can help lessen the load. The easiest, go through the configuration and examine every setting, looking for settings that mention they will create more load, making sure it really is something you need. Also do you have compact or expanded reporting?

Past that, there are some tweaks with mysql you can do, make sure persistent connections are off, timeouts are lowered etc.

For an adserver to be robust and give you detailed stats, it is going to have to be a little bit heavy on the mysql calls, I have no idea how you can do all of what phpadsnews does in a single mysql statement (you can't).

Chet
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Old 05-24-2004, 12:17 PM   #4
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I currently use phpadsnew. It's on a shared server and performed very poorly when I had high traffic over my last season (I have a hockey-related site that is obviously very seasonal). However, I realized this was probably due to shared account limits, etc. and have been planning to move it over to one of my own servers now that I have a bit more free time. Buuut, after reading so many peoples' problems with server load, etc. it makes me very timid to move it. I also really would like an advertiser to sign up and possibly pay through the system for what they'd like (with me setting limits, approving banners and possibly giving discounts, etc.)

I saw someone post AdRevenue by http://www.w3matter.com on SitePoint. It looks like a possible alternative for me. I love free, but don't mind paying for something that may bring revenue to me easier.

http://www.adpeeps.com was another posted.

They each like they have plenty of features, however I don't know anyone that uses either to get an outside opinion.

I do like that the developer of AdPeeps posts a phone number. That usually ups my confidence in a web-product.

If anyone has experiences with either, I'd love to hear them.
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Old 05-24-2004, 02:51 PM   #5
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I'm not sure there's really a lot of difference in resource utilization between different ad servers. For me I use PhpAdsNew - it's free, popular (easy to get support), and has the features I need. I run my ad server on its own (celeron) dedicated machine. I do somewhere over a half million impressions a day with good performance. If you add the cost of a monthly subscription to the geo-targetting database it works out to less than $.01 CPM. Find me a hosted solution with prices at that level and I'll consider switching.
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Old 05-24-2004, 09:37 PM   #6
VodkaFish
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Quote:
Originally posted by jnestor
I'm not sure there's really a lot of difference in resource utilization between different ad servers. For me I use PhpAdsNew - it's free, popular (easy to get support), and has the features I need. I run my ad server on its own (celeron) dedicated machine. I do somewhere over a half million impressions a day with good performance. If you add the cost of a monthly subscription to the geo-targetting database it works out to less than $.01 CPM. Find me a hosted solution with prices at that level and I'll consider switching.
I can't say much about the resource utilization except that I've heard many people say they've had problems with it; and unless I get my own server for it, which I'm not completely ready to do right now.

My main problem with phpadsnew though is I would like to accomodate the smaller webmaster a bit easier with a built-in payment gateway (and let the advertiser control their own account). As some say - just approve the ads, let the app take care of everything else.
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Old 05-25-2004, 10:52 AM   #7
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Ah but that's not a resource utilization issue it's a feature issue. And admittedly one that phpAdsNew lacks.

I've had some advertisers who want to purchase "remnant" inventory but need some targeting (US only, 1/24 is typical). The "problem" is that I don't have a lot of remnant inventory these days and it's not worth my time to setup and bill for campaigns under $50 a month which many of these are.

I was using AdProject a while back but then they had a lot of stability issues and since they've been sold I haven't seen anything done with the site to indicate that it's active. An ad serving solution that could take payments and allow the advertiser to control the campaigns would be nice but I don't know that any are going to have the flexability that I need.
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Old 05-25-2004, 11:16 AM   #8
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I use AdPeeps www.adpeeps.com on some of my sites and it has the built it payment/advertiser gateway that some of you are looking for. I find it pretty fast but, I also run it on a dedicated server. But it advertises itself as being extremely fast and light on the web server.

Only thing is that it's being developed by one person and that person has not updated the software now for 2 months and has had some personal problems so I am not sure how well the software is supported anymore. But try it out, there is a 14 day free trial and even after that for $50, you can't get much cheaper!
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Old 05-25-2004, 12:59 PM   #9
VodkaFish
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Farmingdale? I used to live in Huntington and Plainview... too much Long Island in here

jnestor - definitely a feature issue for me at the moment above anything else. Unfortunately many of the straight-to-me campaigns are kinda low paying at the moment (especially since it's the summer) and I have to say dealing with each would be much easier with a built-in payment gateway. I'm very, very surprised phpadsnew hasn't gone after this yet. It's an amazing product (with great documentation for a free product) and this is one of very few things I feel it's lacking, but I feel it's a pretty large thing. Ironically, if phpadsnew had it built-in, the ease of sign-up for advertisers would probably allow me to get my own server for it pretty quickly.
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:42 PM   #10
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You lived in Huntington, in which part? I live in Huntington! I live in the Melville part of Huntington! And I went to Half Hollow Hills High School West. But Huntington is my town, born and lived here my entire life.

Farmingdale is just where my office is (which I don't really use much any more except for mailing purposes).

Good to see some other Long Island people here too
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Old 05-25-2004, 01:49 PM   #11
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I grew up in Plainview, lived in Huntington Village for a little bit. Just a block away from being "in town", although I was practically in it.

Live and work mainly in NYC now.

Last edited by VodkaFish; 05-25-2004 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 05-25-2004, 05:30 PM   #12
georgec
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I use PhpadsNew, and this month will probably serve 1.5 million impressions through it. Granted, the site is on a dedicated server, but really not that powerful. Furthermore, I've noticed little difference in server load before Phpadsnew was put up, and after on my site.

Two possible reasons:

1) I always use the external JavaScript/HTML invocation method of serving ads, instead of the local, php route. I gather this must have some effect in reducing the server resources required.

2) I use compact stats, and run the hourly clean up job as a cron faithfully.
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Old 05-26-2004, 09:40 AM   #13
studcent
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Thanks so much for all of this valuable input. I'm going to talk to my tech guy about this today. Maybe if we put all the ad serving on a dedicated server, it would help. We actually are doing fine now. I just know that as we grow, this is going to become a problem in the future, and unfortunately, in the near term future.
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Old 05-26-2004, 10:58 AM   #14
VodkaFish
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It's a shame phpadsnew doesn't have a "sub-admin" like account. Someone you could assign to certain domains so they can have control over those and then create advertisers for them, etc. Then I'd be more then willing to setup an adserver and split it with a few others. I guess you can still do it by running a couple of copies of phpadsnew on the server, but it'd be nice to have just one instance of it and split it internally I'd think (although possibly harder to export later).

My problem is that the things I do are so seasonal that I'd probably serve very few ads over the summer (although with multiple spots and chaining through PAN I could probably still hit 100k-200k per day I guess). During my season with chaining it could be an easy 500k per day with large spikes to a few mil here and there. Perhaps I'll just wait until the season comes around and make a few new sites to make me some cash in the offseason

If anyone is interested in maybe doing a "server split" with me, please feel free to send me an email.
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Old 05-26-2004, 01:15 PM   #15
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We use PHPNEWADS on MYSQL within its own section on a shared database. Serve about 3m - 5m impressions monthly. We use the javascript coding on our shared server. Runs w/o a problem..
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