Today nearly 3.6 billion people use the internet every single day. This overwhelming increase in the number of internet users has also increased the number of online advertisements. The digital ad spending is valued at about $300 billion in 2019. The internet is packed with disruptive and annoying ads that force more people to opt for ad blockers. A survey states that nearly 40% of internet users in the USA have an ad blocker installed on their laptops.
What is really an AdBlocker?
An Adblocker software blocks the display of advertisement content on the websites we browse. These programs work mostly as a browser extension. Most of the popular browsers like Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Opera support such ad blocking extensions. These tools mainly block pop-ups, sticky ads, banner ads, etc. They mainly work by looking at the website’s content during the page load and comparing it against an already available list of advertisement scripts from their database. If a matching script is found the tool prevents that script from being rendered in the web page thus blocking the ads.
Is Ad Blocking beneficial?
By blocking ads and tracking cookies our privacy is definitely increased. But most of the sites on the internet provide us with information for free. These sites require large sums of money for maintaining the website and meeting allied expenses such as content creation etc. Advertisements are the major source of income for most of these sites. Hence by blocking ads, we are actually cutting them off their revenue. This, in turn, may affect the very existence of the website.
How to fight Ad Blockers?
There are typically four ways to deal with Ad blockers. Let us see each of these methods in detail.
Method1: Do not bother
In this approach, we do not have to take any measure to fight adblockers. The total number of people using an adblocker plugin might be small as compared to our total visitors. So we can focus more on content creation and lead generation rather than spending time on fighting ad blockers. It is true that there might be some loss in our revenue due to ad blockers but we have better options to monetize our website rather than depending on ad programs like Google AdSense. Affiliate marketing is one such option which is unaffected by an ad blocker. It is also a well-known fact that affiliate marketing has better money-making potential than Google AdSense or any other CPC ad programs.
Method2: Membership website
In this option, we can allow users to view our content after paying a small membership fee.
For those customers who are paying us a subscription fee, we must provide an ad-free experience. For regular customers, we can include ads as usual.
Method3: Aggressive approach
By adopting this method we are completely blocking users from viewing our site unless they disable the ad blockers. We can show a popup intimating the users to disable their adblocker extension to continue viewing our content.
This approach may negatively affect our site’s reputation and visitor count. So unless we are a well established and authentic platform like Business Insider it is better not to try this.
Method4: Mild approach
In this method, we are intimating the users that we are depending on the revenue from ads to run our site. The user has a choice to disable the ad blocker or continue browsing the site with the ad blocker enabled. The sites like TechRadar use this less aggressive approach.
How to detect Ad Blockers on WordPress websites?
Now that we have decided which approach to adopt let us see how we can identify if the users have an ad blocker extension enabled on their browser. Luckily for WordPress users, there are some really effective plugins that do the work.
In this tutorial, I am trying to detect two ad blocking extensions Adblock plus and AdBlock on our WordPress website. Both of these are popular ad blocker extensions with more than 500 million downloads and 60 million downloads respectively. Both of these are available as browser extensions for Chrome, FireFox, Opera, Safari and Edge. Now let us see the detailed steps to detect ad blockers on our WordPress site.
Step2: Go to plugin settings from the dashboard.
Step3: In the settings page within the Ad Blocker Notify Options tab we have two choices to deal with adblockers. First is to show a pop-up box and the second is to redirect the visitor to a custom page. It is better to go with the option of pop-up as it is less annoying when compared to a page redirect. After selecting the Modal Box radio button click the Save Changes button at the bottom.
Step4: Now go to the Modal Visual Options tab and choose the pop-up template. The free version of this plugin provides us with only one template. We can also customize the text inside the pop-up by using the editor.
Step5: We can also customize the color, style, and appearance of the popup using the various available options here on this section.
There are two important options to consider here. First one is the Hide modal box close button option. If we select Yes for this option then the close button in the pop-up is not shown. This means that the user is not able to close the pop-up as such. The second option is Close the modal box on background click. If we select No for this option then the user is also not able to close the popup by clicking anywhere on the background.
If we select these two options then we are completely restricting the users with ad blocker browser extensions from accessing our content. It is better to go with the mild approach by not hiding the close button and allowing the users to close the pop-up on background click as well. After finalizing the options click the Save Changes button at the bottom
Step6: Now let us see the plugin in action on our website on some major browsers with ad blockers enabled.
Case1: Chrome With Adblock Extension
Case2: Opera With Adblock Extension
Case3: FireFox With Adblock Extension
Case4: Chrome With Adblock Plus Extension
Case5: Opera With Adblock Plus Extension
Case6: FireFox With Adblock Plus Extension
Thus with this plugin, we can easily detect ad blockers on our WordPress website in all the major browsers without any issues.