"The age of the banner ad is dead" shouts a self-proclaimed online marketer. "Banner ads represent a bad return on investment" writes another. The truth of the matter is that banner ad's aren't dead, my friend. In this article Tim shows us how to create a banner management application that lets us add nifty MySQL-blobbed, two part drop-down banners to our sites. If you run your own site then you can't afford not to read this tutorial!
Traditional banner ads are receiving lower click-thru rates, however many web sites are trying to combat this by introducing spin offs from these typical ads. One particular spin off that always gets my attention is the drop down ad.
For those of you who haven't seen them, they're the type of ad that display as maybe a 700x100 banner for 5 seconds, and then when the page is fully loaded, they expand to 700x350 for a couple of seconds and then collapse back up. Once they've collapsed however, you still have the option to expand them again with the help of a button ingeniously titled "see more" or "expand".
These ads *can* get on your nerves if you see them more than once however, so using some sort of tracking method to make sure that the ad only expands once for each visitors is a good idea.
In this article I'm going to show you how to make your very own drop down ad management system with PHP and MySQL. I will show you how to create scripts that will allow you to create drop down ads, how to add those ads to your web site, and also how to track when one of these ads are clicked.
I will be using PHP 4.1 for the code in this article. More specifically, I will be using the newer $_xxx arrays instead of the deprecated $HTTP_POST_VARS, $HTTP_SERVER_VARS, etc. If you're running an earlier version of PHP, then you'll need to replace $_GET with $HTTP_GET_VARS, etc.