Wordpress Ad manager to intersperse ads (not adsense/jetpack ads) ?

For my wordpress blog (hosted at wordpress.com / business plan /  my domain ),  I create custom ads which are basically  a .JPG image linked to the advertiser.
 
These are not Google Adsense or jetpack ads.  

What's the most popular /well-supported plugin/solution for me to create an ad (picture w/ link) , have them automatically interspersed between posts, and permit me to specifically place them in certain locations on the left & right?

I don't know if Wordpress.com as a hosting company has any restrictions.

The guy who ported my site to wordpress.com wrote a custom plugin but I don't want to be tied to this guy forever.

Thanks for any suggestions,
Mike
mike2401Asked:
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David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Read their TOS carefully... If you do... you'll quickly determine you should install your own WordPress instance with a hosting company.

There are many restrictions.

Also, keep in mind you can never really make a backup + restore it anywhere.

You can only export content + reimport content into another WordPress instance, which means you must recreate your entire site from scratch.

This also applies to all WordPress.com resellers like FlyWheel.

Tip: If you're running a site you intent to pay your bills... you'll only make the mistake of using WordPress.com once.
mike2401Author Commented:
Thanks David.

Our site was on a BlueHost VPS before it was not a good experience.

The primary user has ZERO tech skills and got convinced to port it from the Google blogger platform to Wordpress in the context of a PR/Marketing deal.  I didn't have any experience with WordPress and then became tasked with keeping it up & running.

My biggest problem was I didn't see and easy way to restore the site should something bad happen (virus or bad Wordpress / plugin update).

The site would go down often, BlueHost support was often terrible and ultimately I didn't update it regularly for fear of breaking it and not wanting the spend the time to research the compatibility between all the plugins, theme and WP core.

Then, the user's new friend convinced him to port it to Wordpress.com.

Honestly, my first reaction to Wordpress.com was utter delight that you can granularly go back to any point in time (e.g. before plugin X got updated, or WP core got updated, or just before the site was hacked.

Now I can instruct the user to 'update-all' the plugins and I believe WordPress.com keeps the WP core up to date all the time.
 
#WOW! That's amazing!

Since we can't transfer the site back to Blogger (the one Blogger import tool I found is no longer supported), this seems like a great Wordpress option for someone who doesn't want to spend the time to become a proper WP admin.\

From your reply I totally get your now a Wordpress.com fan but in our narrow use case, what little I know, it sounds pretty good.

I will hunt down the terms of service; what was the worst part that got you concerned?

Thx
Mike
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
You said, "My biggest problem was I didn't see and easy way to restore the site should something bad happen (virus or bad Wordpress / plugin update)."

Simple Fix: Setup a nightly backup using something like BackupBuddy + store a years worth of backups at some remote location. In the event of a problem, restore from one of your backups.
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David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
The WordPress.com TOS summarized...

You can't monetize as you like. You can only monetize as WordPress.com imagines you should.

They will ignore you, until your income become significant enough to hurt you when they turn it off.

They they'll turn off your income or your site + tell you to do what they say (usually a 50/50 income split with them). Note this is income, not profit, so you'll always lose big on this deal.

Also, using WordPress.com means WordPress.com owns your content, not you (read the fine print), so if you ever argue with them about anything, they'll just cut you off + steal your content... er, I mean use their content, because they own it... to monetizes as they deem fit.

Guideline: For hobby sites, use WordPress.com + use WordPress.org when you're building a business to feed your family.
mike2401Author Commented:
Thanks @David.

Did they change their TOS because I don't see anything like that on their current TOS:
https://en.wordpress.com/tos/

BTW, we have the $25/month Business plan.  

I did contact support and the tech never heard of revenue sharing (of course that is meaningless :-)

Thx for raising these issues because it never occurred to me to check TOS.

Thanks,
Mike
David FavorLinux/LXD/WordPress/Hosting SavantCommented:
Never trust a grinning demon... or Automattic...

Keep in mind, if you use WordPress.com (Automattic) you're at their mercy. If this is acceptable, use them!

Good luck!
mike2401Author Commented:
Just as a follow-up, I shared the concerns raised here with Wordpress Customer Support in the context of my business plan.

Here's what I got back:

Thomas B. (Automattic)

Jan 24, 19:22 UTC

Hello!

I signed up for a Business Account and was ready to go live when an acquaintance raised the following concerns about WP's TOS. Does any of the following apply to my business account ($25/month hosted by Wordpress)?

The WordPress.com Terms of Service, linked below, applies to "all use of the WordPress.com website and all content, services, and products available at or through the website":

https://en.wordpress.com/tos/

You might also look over our user guidelines:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/user-guidelines/

As for the "interpretation" of our terms, I'm not sure where they are coming up with that. Do you have specific parts in the terms you have questions about?

I'll address a few points, though:

Monetization

You can't monetize as you like. You can only monetize as WordPress.com imagines you should.

You can certainly monetize your site as you like. We have an article on this, and give you several suggestions, including direct payments/donations, advertising (our own network or any third-party network), affiliates, referrals, sponsored posts, eCommerce sites, etc.:

https://en.support.wordpress.com/monetize-your-site/

Note that with the Business plan, you do have more flexibility than some of the lower tiers.

Content ownership

Using WordPress.com means WordPress.com owns your content, not you.

As per our terms, your content is yours. You retain ownership, and you are responsible for it. We do gain a license to your content "to reproduce, modify, adapt and publish the Content solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing, and promoting your blog," which of course is needed to display your content from your servers.

As for any concerns about us stealing content, doing profit-sharing, or cutting you off because we feel like it, I don't know of any such instances. We feel quite strongly about promoting freedom of speech, contributing to open source solutions, and supporting our users in their endeavors.

Let us know if you have any further questions!

Cheers,
Thomas B.
mike2401Author Commented:
Back to the original question: what's the best/most popular solution to inject ads into a post (regardless of where the blog is hosted)?

In an ideal world: you could create a bunch of ads and have them rotated / inserted into posts and in between posts.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
Mike
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