Setting up advertisements across one or more websites can be daunting if done the old fashioned way. It can be time consuming to add and remove ads, scripts and similar without an ad server, so don’t make that mistake. You can easily make the most of your website or blog by reviewing your free ad server options in order to add flexibility and monetization opportunities. However, understanding your free ad server options and setting up appropriate tests can be a challenge, so let us make it a little easier on you.

Free Ad Server Options: Understanding the Different Ad Server Solutions

By making the choice to setup an ad server you are already a step ahead of many small businesses and bloggers. The flexibility and time savings gained from exploring your free ad server options will far outweigh the initial setup commitment of time and resources.  Whether you are performing direct sales or utilize remnant solutions such as Google’s Adsense or the Amazon Affiliate program, an ad server provides the infrastructure to be nimble and focus on monetization.

So where do you get started? First of all, you need to be aware of the top free ad server options available to you and your small business or blog. Currently, the top solutions are Google’s DFP for Small Businesses, Revive Adserver (formerly OpenX) and AOL’s Lite ADTECH. While there may be other options out there, these are the ones we have found the most success with. Each of these ad servers have pros and cons, you will likely find a solution that is right for you.

First on the list is Google’s DoubleClick ad Server, the free version is known as Google DFP for small business. This is one of the favorite choices for obvious reasons – scale and trust. Google’s DFP is a widely adopted ad server and its tags are accepted by major sites. This solution doesn’t require you to host the platform, so it is all on Google’s servers not yours. Of course it is 100 percent free as long as you have less than 90 million ad impressions per month, minus any Google Adsense impressions. Pretty impressive for cost, scale and features.

The second free ad server option is the Revive Adserver. This self hosted solution is based on the OpenX platform and has been kept up by an online community among other resources. We like this option for the simplicity it offers and that you can manage your own destiny by having your own ad server hosted locally. This can help with serving speed and there is no limit of how many impressions you serve in a given month. It does take someone with a bit of technical knowledge for the initial install, though we were able to complete it in under an hour and then took about an hour getting everything setup for our sites. It also beat out Google and ADTECH by offering CPS/CPL management meaning it provides tracking pixels for conversion tracking. Lastly, this is also a great solution when you want to shy away from terms of use, content adjacency issues (if you serve questionable content) or similar.

A direct competitor to Google is AOL’s ADTECH ad server. The ADTECH lite version is quite robust and free to anyone or company serving less than 50 million impressions per month. The draw backs are only in the total free monthly impressions and that Adsense impressions are counted towards that total. Otherwise, we have found it to be a great alternative to Google or Revive.

Test Your Free Ad Server Options

Regardless of your preference, you should set up a test or bake off of your top choices. We recommend running one or two comparative placements in each ad server. Run all the reports, try some targeted campaigns and see which ad server fits best for you. Don’t always go with the one with the most bells and whistles either, sometimes simple is better for many small businesses and bloggers. So go ahead, let your digital marketing acumen loose and start managing your own free ad server.

Need help with your advertising needs, iFame Media offers internet advertising services and can provide full service solutions for your business needs.