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Setting up Ad Tester placeholders with the Ezoic Wordpress Plugin

Modified on: Wed, 29 Sep, 2021

Ezoic’s Wordpress plugin allows publishers to easily set up and adjust placeholders based on Ezoic's best practices.


This guide will walk you through installing, activating and updating your placeholder setup via the Ezoic Wordpress Plugin. For help with troubleshooting specific issues, please see this article here.


Installation


Please note, only publishers who use Wordpress CMS are able to install and activate this plugin and it's features.


You’ll first want to make sure you have the Ezoic plugin installed. 


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If the plugin is already installed (as in the above image), you'll need to update it before you see the new features.


Once activated / updated, navigate to “Settings”, then “Ezoic”, select the “Ad Settings” tab:


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Then, select "Let's Go". 


Features

Automatic Ad Placeholder Creation


If you haven't created any placeholders yet, new placeholders will be automatically generated for you. These new placeholders follow the naming convention “wp_” and can be found in the placeholder dashboard.

These placeholders are automatically generated and assigned positions
recommended by Ezoic. These positions should work in the majority of cases, but it is possible that the ads may appear in odd locations. In this case, the placeholder positioning can be managed in the “Ad Settings” tab in the Ezoic plugin.

Existing placeholders are not modified or disabled during this process. When determining whether an existing placeholder or new placeholder should be used that might be in a similar location, it is recommended to use the existing placeholder. The existing placeholder will retain various historical data (for example, EPMV).

Placeholder creation can take a few minutes (between 3 and 20). During this process, a message will be displayed on the Ad Settings tab.

If you already have placeholders that were created either within your publisher dashboard or by using the Ezoic Chrome extension, the default WordPress placeholders will not be automatically created. This is to avoid confusion and the accidental doubling-up of placeholders which may occur when both the new and old placeholders are generated on the page. If you would like to use the generated placeholders, you may click on the “Generate Default Placeholders” button that appears on the Ad Settings page:


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Manage Placeholder Locations


Placeholder placement can be managed under the “Ad Settings” tab within the Ezoic plugin settings. This page allows publishers to disable placeholders, set placement, or reset the placeholder configuration.


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It’s important to note that this will not show any placeholders created using the Chrome Extension.


Page Type


The composition of a page can differ based on the page type within Wordpress. For example, many themes use article excerpts on the homepage, rather than the article content. In this case, users would want to configure placement based on excerpt location, rather than paragraph location. By default, the settings page displays the post configuration, but the home page configuration can be selected as well. All page types contain the same list of placeholders and only vary in placement.


Placeholder List


The placeholder list contains a list of configurable placeholders. This is limited to placeholders that were created by the plugin during activation (those placeholders whose name begins with “wp_”). The position id and placeholder name will match what is displayed in the placeholder dashboard. The “Display” and “Option” columns identify the positioning configuration for each placeholder. For example, a display of “After Paragraph” and an option of “1” indicates that this placeholder will be located after the first paragraph. 


Initially, the list displays all placeholders that form part of the default configuration. Other placeholders are created that are not part of the default configuration. These can be displayed by clicking the “Show All” slider.

Editing Display Rules


Placement rules for a specific placeholder may be edited by selecting the row on which the placeholder is displayed on the placeholder list. Upon selection, a dialog will appear:


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The set of display rules includes:


Disable


This will disable the current placeholder. The placeholder will not be displayed on the specific page type.


Before/After Content


This will position the selected placeholder either before or after the main body of content for the specific page type.


Before/After Paragraph


This will position the selected placeholder either before or after the specified paragraph. The option allows users to indicate which paragraph based on a count. For example, a display of “After Paragraph” and an option of “3” indicates that the placement should be after the third paragraph. Note that paragraphs are identified as blocks of the page surrounded by a specific HTML tag. The default tags are p, article, section and div tags, but these can be changed in the advanced configuration. 


After Widget 


This will position the selected placeholder after the specified sidebar widget. Each element of the sidebar is considered a “widget”. For example, if a sidebar contains author data as well as a summary of related articles, each element is a widget. So a placement rule of “After Widget” with an option of “1” would place the selected placeholder after the author data. Sidebars within WordPress represent additional page data that is not part of the main content. This can include information on the right or left side of the page as well as the bottom of the page. It is possible that a placeholder placement may seem out of place because the plugin is locating the wrong sidebar. 


Before/After HTML Element 


This is both the most flexible and most specific placement rule. This option will allow the user to select a specific element to use as a reference for the placement. This allows the user to have the most control in the placement of a placeholder; however, it can also be problematic if page layout varies from post to post. The option in this case is an XPath expression indicating where on the page the placeholder should be located. 


The HTML Element Picker 


Upon selecting a placement rule of Before or After an HTML element, a button will appear under the option field:


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Clicking on this button will open a copy of a random article in the HTML Element Picker:


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This tool allows the user to select an HTML element on the selected page to use as a reference for placeholder placement. HTML elements that are candidates for placement are highlighted as the cursor is moved around the page. Upon selecting an element, an XPath expression will appear next to the “Selected Element” prompt:


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Note that the selected element is highlighted in blue. The selection can be cleared by pressing the ESC key on the keyboard. If the selected element is the desired reference location, the user can continue by clicking on the “User This Element” button. The picker will be closed and the selected XPath expression will be filled into the option field:


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Once selection is complete, press “Update” to continue.

Advanced Configuration


When viewing the “Ad Settings” page, clicking on the gear on the upper-right will take the user to the Advanced Settings for the plugin. This allows the user more fine-grained control over placement as well as the option to “start over” with their configuration:


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Inserter Settings


Paragraph and Excerpt Tags


When the plugin is positioning placeholders relative to paragraphs and excerpts, it will attempt to locate elements based on HTML tags. By default, Wordpress surrounds excerpts and paragraphs with tags. Some themes, however, may use or tags instead, or a combination of tags. These fields allow the user to specify which tags to use during placement rule execution. Multiple tags can be specified by typing the tag, pressing ENTER and typing the next tag. 


Placeholder Embed Mode 


When placeholders are positioned using the HTML Element Picker, placeholders may be inserted in one of two ways: client-side and server-side. Server-side insertions is the preferred mode of rendering placeholders as the placeholders are positioned on the server before the page is sent to the client. This mode, however, requires the “dom” PHP module to be installed. Client-side rendering of placeholders involves sending placeholder information along with the page, then inserting the placeholders as the browser is displaying the page. This mode will generally work more often than server-side rendering, but may negatively affect Core Web Vitals.


Clearing Default Configuration 


The “Clear Default Configuration” button will reset all tag placement options to “Disabled.” This will only affect default placement rules and will not modify and customizations made by the user. 


Reset Configuration 


The “Reset Configuration” button will erase all placement configuration and restore the Ezoic recommended configuration.



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