Revive Adserver is a free open source ad server, enabling publishers to manage and optimize the advertising space on one or more sites.
What is an ad server used for?
When managing a website, or maybe even multiple websites, it can take a lot of time to add and remove advertising, especially if this is done by placing these ads directly in the site. It takes a lot of work and it reduces flexibility. An ad server like Revive can make this easier and more efficient.
What does Revive Adserver do?
Websites and zones
In the Revive Adserver, you define web sites, and for each website you then define one or more zones. A zone is a representation of a place on the web pages where the adverts must appear. For every zone, Revive Adserver generates a small piece of HTML code, which must be placed in the site at the exact spot where the ads must be displayed. This completes the integration between the site and the Revive Adserver. This is a one-time project, which should take little time from an experienced webmaster or developer. The word ‘zone’ is a term specific to Revive Adserver, other systems call these ‘locations’, ‘spots’, ‘placements’ or ‘positions’.
Advertisers, campaigns, and advertisements
You must also create advertisers, campaigns and advertisements in the Revive Adserver. In addition to your own campaigns and running campaigns that you’ve sold directly to advertisers, you can also add advertising that comes from external ad networks like Google AdSense, from affiliate networks or from advertisers and agencies that use Google DoubleClick.
Targeting: the right ad at the right place
The final step is to link the right campaigns to the right zones. This determines which ads will be displayed where. You can combine this with various forms of ‘targeting’, which means you can adjust the advertising to specific situations. Revive Adserver can do targeting based on: dates, day and time, geographic location (like country or city), the browser used by the visitor and their language setting. It’s also possible to do advanced targeting using any information that is known on the web site about members or customers (for example: their gender, education level or age), or information about the content or the structure of the web site (for example: only on pages of the ‘news’ section or anywhere except on sports pages).
Statistics: To measure is to manage
The Revive Adserver counts the number of displays and clicks, and reports on these in combination with the revenues of campaigns. It also has the functionality to measure conversions, that’s signups or transactions that occur on the advertiser’s web site after a visitor clicks a banner.
Getting started with Revive Adserver: hosting and scalability
Revive Adserver is free open source software that anyone can install and deploy on their own servers. It was developed using the PHP programming language and it runs on to of a MySQL database. Both PHP and MySQL are also open source. Other than time and hardware, there are no additional costs, no licenses to pay. Another options is to outsource the hosting of the Revive Adserver software to a specialized hosting provider.
The Revive Adserver can be used by small and large websites. The system has been designed so that it can be run on a cluster of servers, enabling growth that matches the growth of the web site. There are publishers that display more than 1 billion ads per month through Revive Adserver, but this obviously takes a fair bit of hardware.
The functionality described above are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more features and applications.
Advanced features and extensions
With the release of version 2.8 of the Revive Adserver software, an important new feature has been added: the plugin architecture. This enables third party developers to add functionality to the system without having to modify the core code. This approach has been successful with many other open source software products like the blogging and content management system WordPress and the webshop system Magento. A good example is the Retargeting plugin for Revive Adserver.