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In IP.Board 3.x, we have a setting group where you can specify some global advertisement HTML. You can enable and disable advertisements, and you can specify code to insert into the header and footer of the page. For the forum index, forum listings and topic view pages, you can override these header and footer ad codes, and you can specify advertisement code to insert into a couple of other areas specific to those pages. If you install IP.Nexus, this setting group redirects you to the IP.Nexus advertisement control panel where you can effectively do the same thing, but with a few more options (including click and impression tracking, advertisement image uploading, automatic cutoffs for advertisements, and more).


We felt that the entire system and process was too basic when IP.Nexus was not installed, and too disorienting once you do install IP.Nexus. This setting group suddenly redirects you to another application and configuring the advertisements is an entirely different experience prior to installing this application.


Subsequently, we have done the only logical thing and consolidated the two systems and improved the functionality.


(Please be aware that, as with all early screenshots of the 4.0 Social Suite, the interface displayed in the following screenshots is very much subject to change before release)



Advertisement Configuration




First and foremost, we have consolidated the functionality provided by IP.Board and IP.Nexus in previous software releases into one control panel. Now, whether you install IP.Nexus or not, you can have powerful advertisement management at your fingertips. Installing IP.Nexus still provides additional enhanced functionality, such as the ability to sell advertisements to your members.


You can now have both HTML and image-based advertisements available, and you can create multiple advertisements for the same "location" (more on this in a minute). There is a setting available to tell the software how to pick which advertisement to show if more than one is configured for a single area (options include picking one at random, showing the newest advertisement, showing the oldest advertisement, and showing the advertisement with the least number of impressions).


You can configure start and end dates for advertisements, set them to cut off after a certain number of impressions (or clicks, in the case of image advertisements), and you can filter by status (and toggle the status from this page). If IP.Nexus is installed, an additional status of "pending" is present and supported for advertisements that have been purchased but not yet approved. Naturally once you reach any cut offs specified or the end date has passed, the advertisement will no longer be rotated.


As you can see in the screenshot, javascript is removed from the preview for security reasons.


If you have a caching engine enabled, advertisement data will be cached to improve performance.



Some new functionality


If you are already familiar with the feature set of the current release of IP.Nexus, the advertisement functionality you already know and love will be carried over to the 4.0 Suite. You can still specify which groups are exempt from seeing advertisements, for example, to help you upsell subscription packages to users on your site. In addition to the current functionality, however, we've made some great improvements.



Ability to specify SSL advertisement code

Google Ads does not have an SSL version of its advertisement code, and including their advertisements on secure pages can lead to browser warnings for your visitors. This is especially troublesome when you only use SSL for logins or for your store (IP.Nexus), as it gives an impression that the page is not secure.


Now, you can specify an alternative secure page advertisement code if you wish, or choose not to show a specific advertisement on secure pages at all.



Ability to specify multiple images

When uploading an image advertisement, you now have the option to also upload a small and/or medium version of the advertisement image. The small and medium versions, if present, will be used on the responsive layout on the alternate views for mobile devices and tablets. If not provided, the software will simply use the next best size available.


We have NOT included the ability to specify alternate HTML for the different resolutions. In our research, most advertisement partners either (1) already handle responsiveness with their own javascript code or (2) provide alternative instructions for responsive ads.



If you use a CDN such as Amazon S3 for your file storage in the 4.0 Suite, your advertisement images will be served from the CDN.



Extendable application support

As of 4.0, any and all applications that wish to support advertisements can do so via the extension system built into the software. All an application will need to do is provide an extension for the advertisement system, and then call the advertisement location in the template where they feel the advertisement should display. You can even add custom settings (so for example, the forum application can allow you to configure which forums an advertisement will be displayed in...).


Skinners can move the advertisements around however they like in their skin templates simply by moving the appropriate custom tag.



Custom locations

You can now define entirely custom locations for advertisements easily in the advertisement configuration page. Once you have defined a custom location for the advertisement, defining where to show that advertisement in your themes is as simple as inserting a tag where you want the advertisement to be displayed.





We hope these small changes will help you better manage your advertisements and provide you with the options you need to capitalize upon your community. If you have no use for advertisements, you can completely ignore this area of the software and no resources will be used by it, but if you do utilize advertisements on your community, the new tools should make it much easier to manage your site.

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