Our international readership will grow with every new issue we publish, and we invite advertisers to benefit from it. We’ve created a responsive web ads package that gives advertisers fair visibility no matter what device a magazine reader is using. This page demonstrates the experience. You don’t have to download a media kit; just keep reading and resize this page in your browser, or use whatever mobile device you have, or compare many devices at once. Our responsive ads package is smartly designed and reasonably priced, and we’re perhaps one of the first web magazines to offer one. Read the specifics below, give this demo a test drive, then let us know if you have questions or would like to sign up.
- Table of Contents
- What we write about and who reads us
- The responsive web ads package concept
- Ad units comprising the package
- Package design and ad units positioning
- The ad hosting technology
- Summary of advertiser benefits
What we write about and who reads us
This informs the kinds of products and services we’re willing to put in our content and pass to our readers.
Topics and scope
TXP Magazine is a quarterly publication operating on an issue basis. It’s principally written for people interested in, or associated with, the open source content management system (CMS) market, with a modest emphasis on the Textpattern project.
Articles in each issue are associated to columns having specific themes. There are currently… six columns defined (and a seventh in planning).
Between five and seven articles are published each issue, representing at least four columns. Sometimes this means more than one article in a given column.
Readers of TXP are from around the world, and are likely users of at least one open source CMS—perhaps familiar with several. Readers are digitally-inclined, with as many Linux and Macintosh users as Windows. Most readers use social media, are tapped into the cloud in one way or another, and own at least one mobile device. Readers may be independent professionals to company directors, and titles/activities include business owners, project managers, publishers, content planners and producers, designers of all kind, developers, information architects, webmasters, CMS market analysts… even conference organisers. Essentially, anybody who contributes to the content, design, development, and ongoing governance of a website powered by a CMS may come to TXP and read an article.
Suggested products and services
The contextual relationship between advertised products and services and TXP content is established at the site level (as opposed to a column theme or article topic). The following list of products and services (not exhaustive) are examples that advertisers may consider to work well:
- Web hosting: People enquire about web hosting all the time. If a host particularly caters to Textpattern CMS, all the better.
- Productivity resources: Everyone could use help with productivity, even the most productive.
- Content creation and planning: None of us would be here if it weren’t for content. We need ways to write it, organise it, measure it, and so forth. These workflows are often supported by specialized applications independent of a CMS.
- Design and development tools: The open source CMS industry is full of designers and developers, and they’re always looking out for new and useful tools. There’s a rainbow of possibilities, from text editors to graphics applications to frameworks.
- Cloud services: File transfer and backups. Remote access. Sharing and collaboration. Invoicing. The reasons go on. Where would we be without cloud services anymore?
- Content management: Though TXP is a publication of the Textpattern project, we believe in fair competition and positive relationships. Ultimately, systems speak for themselves and users decide what tools work best for a given project. That’s how it should be.
- Publications: Everybody likes to read and learn new things. Indeed, much of what makes our industry tick is recorded by specialists in books, journals, e-publications, and other forms of reference from major publishers.
- Events: You have a big industry event to share? We’ll help you make it known.
- Design shops selling Textpattern services: Licensed (legal) businesses (freelance and up) that provide Textpattern CMS design or development services are welcome to advertise with us.
If your product or service is related but not accounted for above, get in touch and we’ll let you know if we think it’s a good fit.
The responsive web ads package concept
Mobile is here. People are now as likely to use a mobile device to access the Internet as they are a stationary computer, and by 2013 mobile is expected to overtake desktop access entirely. We imagine that trend will continue, and so do other publishers and designers who are already creating content solutions that work across platforms and mobile devices. (The Boston Globe is a good example.)
A responsive approach to content is quickly becoming the mode for accommodating the different devices consumers use to access the web. In terms of web advertising, it can lower the cross-platform development overhead required on the part of publishers, and it can lower the investment advertisers must make for providing the creative. Of course, there are many factors influencing a given responsive package solution, but solutions are likely to vary as more responsive packages become available.
The publisher’s responsibility
In the article Readability tools break digital advertising. How to adapt?, the author writes “[A]ds (and their placement) don’t have to suck. This is especially true on the web, and even more so for mobile ads.” We wholeheartedly agree, and feel that a limited number of relevant ads smartly arranged with great content in an attractive site is a winning combination. We strive for great content and a pleasant reading experience with the native design so readers aren’t compelled to use third-party tools to strip respectable advertising out. This is the ideal approach to providing the best experience for advertiser, publisher and reader alike, and this is the setting we offer.
The challenge of responsive advertising
The standards of the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and particularly the focus on fixed-size ad units, can make responsive design a little more challenging against the range of mobile devices (notably their screen widths) out there. But publishers can overcome the technical aspects of the challenge and help advertisers feel comfortable with responsive solutions by offering them a well-defined responsive ads package. We offer such a package here.
Ad units comprising the package
We use ad unit sizes defined by the MMA and the IAB. We try to accommodate as many of the MMA’s Universal Mobile Ad Package and IAB’s Universal Ad Package sizes as we can, but we find a combination of both organisations’ recommendations support the broadest device range while still working with our content layout, and being convenient for our readers. Our ad package requires seven ad unit files from advertisers (Tables 1).
|† A “delisted” (but valid) ad unit.|
These particular ad unit sizes may change over time as our website evolves or we determine better ways to meet advertiser interests with ad unit sizes. Should that happen, the details provided in this document about required ad units will change to reflect it. For now this is the package.
Package design and ad units positioning
The package is designed so three of the seven ad units are displayed at any given impression where advertising is allowed, regardless of screen width or device used. (“People” pages, and pages linked from TXP’s footer are ad-free.)
We don’t speak of ad position in terms of being above or below the “fold”. Besides the fact that web pages are continuous, the responsive nature of layouts, and the various heights of mobile screens and pixel densities, make the notion of folds even more meaningless. However, we understand the importance of default web views, so we position ads vertically in strategic locations (dependent on screen widths), with an emphasis, when reasonable, towards the top of the page. Readers are exposed to ad units intermittently when moving down content.
The pattern of ad unit positioning differs between the homepage and remaining website sections (Issues, Columns, Topics…). The website sections are where the real quality content is found, thus ad units are positioned most strategically in relation to content in those pages.
The pattern in both homepage and sectional pages is to always have a banner ad unit at the top. When screen widths allow two column layouts, the next ad unit is positioned as the second element at top of the “complementary” column (left-most column), and another underneath it in the middle-to-bottom column region.
When screen widths narrow, the homepage column ads move around a bit due to the more complex positioning of the 3-column template. For sectional pages, and as layouts become single column, the pattern is a bit more even; there’s still the constant ad unit in the banner, then an ad unit in body copy (position is variable to nature of article content), and then a final unit immediately at bottom of the main article.
In every layout (and screen width range between layout changes), all three ads in a given impression are directly visible in relation to the main content. Having confidence in 1) the quality of our articles, 2) the tailoring of page content to mobile contexts, and 3) the positioning of ads in smart relation to the great content, we bank on articles being read from beginning to end regardless of device used, and thus every ad being seen, all the time.
In the next sections, we’ll walk through this site’s responsive behaviour and point out where to look for ad units in context of a given screen width range. You can see the ad units and switch-behaviour yourself by resizing your browser and/or viewing this page in various mobile devices. We recommend doing both to appreciate actual content display and negotiation in mobile contexts.
The banner (or header) region of TXP offers three different ad units that change as screen widths change. Table 2 shows these specific ads, the allowed formats, and the corresponding size limitations in kilobytes, as defined by the MMA and IAB.
|Unit||Format†||Size‡ (Kb)||Display range|
|† Universal (static): GIF, PNG, JPG. Supplemental (animation): GIF only (no Flash allowed).
‡ Maximum size as suggested by the MMA and IAB.
The XX-Large and Full Banner units display at the very top of the screen in phone portrait and landscape orientations, respectively. At wider widths, the Full Banner and Leaderboard units display at right of the TXP logo, still at top of the page.
The remaining four ad units in the package—most of the IAB’s Universal Ad Package (UAP) and a 3:1 Rectangle—will appear in the homepage columns, and column of site section pages for magazine articles. Which two ad units appear (rounding out the total of three permitted per given impression, including the banner) depends on screen widths.
For the homepage, there are three range changes for content-level ad units, as reflected by the two range columns in Table 3.
|Unit||Format†||Size‡ (Kb)||Range1 (px)||Range2|
|† Static (universal): GIF, PNG, JPG. Animation (Supplemental): GIF only (no Flash allowed).
‡ Maximum size as suggested by the MMA and IAB.
|3:1 Rectangle||Static||40||≥ 320-599||1105-max|
|Medium Rectangle||Static||40||≥ 320-599||1105-max|
The ad units in Table 3 are the same ones used in the side-column of magazine articles too, shown in Table 4, but in different ranges due to the 2-column structure of article page templates.
|† Embedded in middle of actual magazine article.|
We aim for a balance between advertiser visibility and overall length of web page. Since page length is greatest at narrower widths, it’s prudent to use shorter (less tall) ads in those cases to reduce the scrolling imposed on web visitors.
For example, we don’t use a Wide Skyscraper ad in linear content states because the height of the ad directly contributes to the overall length of the page. By contrast, the Wide Skyscraper works well in two-column layouts because its height parallels the main content area. In fact, the skyscraper ad helps provide content balance between the main and side columns.
When the state is linear, we reduce our own web content in the side column to spare readers a journey after the main article is done. In this case, a single 3:1 Rectangle is provided in phone portrait and landscape widths.
Main content area
As noted in Table 4, ads in the main content area are restricted to just a Medium Rectangle, from 320-844 pixels widths. When layout widths increase, the Medium Rectangle appears again at widths 960px and above.
The ad hosting technology
TXP provides the ad hosting and rotation technology, which is a custom Textpattern development for this specific process. Advertisers provide their ad creative and we load the files into our CMS, integrating them with the ad rotation tech. Again, only the ads of a single advertiser display during any given impression; there’s no competition for user attention. We may promote Textpattern project activities too (such as design competitions and swag store merchandise), but these will not occupy regular advertiser space.
Ad rotation model
When multiple advertisers are involved, ad sets rotate with each new impression. For example, a user arrives at a given TXP article and sees only ad units for Advertiser A. She then clicks to another page, and now sees ad units for Advertiser B. Should she click back to the first page she was on, she’ll then see ad units for Advertiser C, and so forth. By design, this rotation continues until all ads for all active advertisers have been shown once to the same user, then the cycle repeats. In reality, a given user’s exposure to ads will depend on the number of active advertiser contracts, and the number of pages a user actually visits.
Each additional magazine visitor begins seeing the ads in the same rotational order, beginning with the advertiser having the oldest contract (the default ads in the rotational order). Advertisers come and go in the rotation as their contracts begin or end. As older contracts fall out, existing contracts move up in the order of rotation. Ads appear in all pages except those linked from the website’s footer (these are TXP business pages and ad-free).
Context between ads
TXP’s range of topics are not so great to warrant specific contextual relationships between ads and the content on a given page. The contextual relevance happens at the site level (see again the Ideal products and services section above). This keeps the ad rotation behaviour simple, and all advertisers rotated in the same way over time; i.e., advancing to the head of rotation order as older contracts expire and fall out.
Please let us know if you would like to learn more about rates and negotiation.
Summary of advertiser benefits
We’ve covered a lot of ground in this presentation. Hopefully not overwhelmingly so. Here’s a summary of all the advertiser benefits we’ve tried to highlight:
- Optimal ad positioning: Ad units are vertically positioned in direct relation with main article content, and with an emphasis towards tops of pages (default page viewing territory) so that all ads per impression are seen in the course of following a TXP article.
- No advertiser competition for reader attention: Only ad units for a single advertiser are shown on a given impression, regardless of screen width or device used. When the page changes, the advertisers rotate, but until that time, it’s a single advertiser show.
- Ad space treated with respect: TXP was designed with ad slots in mind as much as the main content. Every page element was given due consideration for user attention; nothing was compromised for something else. We cater to ad slots as if they were our own.
- Well-defined reader types and product interests: We know who reads TXP and what they like, this will only get more precise with time. We share that intelligence with you up front so only the most suited advertising is contracted. That’s good for TXP and advertisers alike.
- A smart package and low investment: Our package is optimised for making advertising seen without complex pop-outs, heavy animations, and other time and code–intensive work. We provide a range of ad unit slots to keep files lightweight and simple. The result is less development overhead to accommodate complex advertising, and less need for creative investment on the part of advertisers.
- Competitive rates for a progressive advertising solution: With mobile adoption comes increased use of responsive design to serve multiple platforms. We offer one of the first responsive ad solutions and thus at a low price, enabling advertisers first-hand experience with what is sure to be a growing trend.