Support » Plugin: AdRotate Banner Manager » Too heavy on the server, and possibly unethical ad impressions

  • G P


    There are ethical questions that arise in this plugin. If you use dynamic ads (rotating every few seconds) they record impressions on every view as they rotate. So, when people are just sitting at a window looking at your website, the impression counter is continuing to climb …and climb. If someone leaves your page up, and walks away from their running computer, the impression count is astronomical (and unethical, as well as against many ad-server agreements like Google Adsense). Also, for every page view, there is a hit on the server as well, so conceivably you could have thousands of hits to the server coming through just from a few dozen people leaving your page up on their unattended computers.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Plugin Author Arnan de Gans


    Lucky for you there is a configurable cooldown for re-counting impressions. So you’re quite wrong about AdRotate counting too many impressions.

    The minimum timer required before another impression is counted has even been increased lately from 10s to 60s. You can increase the timer/cooldown to 1 hour if you wish. This mechanic has been in place for several years.

    But it’s easier to write uninformed reviews I guess 🙁

    G P


    A “cooldown” timer, which prevents legitimate impressions from being counted in a haphazard attempt to subdue the out-of-control impression counter, is not a valid fix. Why block hundreds of valid impressions in a blunt attempt to block the unethical ones? Just don’t record impressions that were not initiated by a human. The impression counter in version 3.10.13+ is in need of a complete rethink. The impression counter needs to be a solid, accurate, reliable administration tool. People have to be able to tell their advertisers exactly how many times their ad was shown to visitors on their site. Anything less makes them unwitting liars. Your impression counter counts impressions indefinitely even when nobody is sitting at the computer causing the hits! Not only is this unethical, but it causes unnecessary strain on the host server, which has to serve hits to untold numbers of computers out there that happen to have been left with their page showing in a browser window. This is unacceptable. You told me it isn’t any different than someone reloading the page over and over — but it is different, as your plugin does it without the need for a human to reload the page. I’m not complaining that your plugin is counting “too many impressions” I’m complaining that it is counting unwarranted, unethical impressions. Hey… I want all the impressions I can get just like the next guy, but I’m not willing to throw out morals just to see the numbers skyrocket. Your “impression timer” fix is like throwing out an anchor to keep your boat from speeding while you hold open the throttle.

    In reading your support forums, I see you claiming “I’m not a server manager and don’t know too much about <servers>. Such support is outside the scope of what I do.” If you don’t know the details of how the servers work that your plugin runs on, there is no way you will ever be able to optimize your plugin to work efficiently. Also, you won’t be able to understand what kinds of things you shouldn’t do with MySQL and PHP so that people’s servers won’t be made to crash from too many requests. Over and over in your support forums you end people’s complaints by telling them that their servers are “too slow” to run your plugin properly. Many of those people are system admins running high-powered dedicated servers which you claim to know little about. I think it may be time for you to dabble in the server side of coding so you’ll have a better idea why your plugin is killing servers.

    This is a completely informed review — perhaps more informed than you realize.

    This is very concerning to me. Arnan de Gans, do you have a response to G P’s allegations?


    We are experiencing a serverwide slowdown because of one website using this plugin on a shared hosting server.
    This one website is requiring more resources than the rest of the websites combined.

    Aran (& G P),

    Have you addressed the server stress issue, detailed by G P), for your plugin yet?

    I am itching to try it, but not if it stress my server.

    Your “impression timer” fix is like throwing out an anchor to keep your boat from speeding while you hold open the throttle

    Harsh, but completely accurate.

    While attempting to figure out why a server was going sporadically down/rebooting every day; there were many POST requests to the admin-ajax.php file. After ruling out the WordPress Heartbeat, it was finally discovered that it was AdRotate impressions timer logging impression data into the database.

    False impressions.

    As G P wrote, I can confirm: The “cooldown” for re-counting impressions is a false indicator that will increase even if a user has left their computer open on a page that has a rotating add.

    These “impressions” place an increased load on the server from each user that has left the page open (which ranged from 5-10 users in this case) every 10 seconds (or whatever the timer is set to), each request taking between 1.5-2.5 seconds. This kept the load on the database high, and bogged down other site access by hogging server resources by flooding the server with Apache daemon to handle the ajax requests.

    Not only are the impressions false, but it skews the CTR and other stats based on the inflated “shown”/”impression” counts.

    It would “appear” not.

    In any event, I am not going to even try.

    I have seen other reviews and what puts me off is that while Arnan clearly has and continues to work on the plugin (which has many very useful rich features) his PR is as bad as a serious road accident.

    Blaming and offending users for (a) constructive and useful criticism and (b) posting in a place which is to his disliking is simply dreadful marketing and a sure way to restrict your income.

    This topic is so true…

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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