(How To) Create Ad Swapper Ad Images

Ad Swapper Ads Are Web-Compatable Images (Only)

For security reasons, the only ads that Ad Swapper currently supports are “web-compatable images”.  In other words; GIF, JPEG or PNG files.

As far as we’re aware, these are unhackable.  Whereas, for many other ad formats – eg; HTML, Javascript and Flash, for example – this isn’t the case.

GIF, JPEG or PNG

Your Ad Swapper ads can be any mix of GIF, JPEG and PNG files.

However, you probably shouldn’t use JPEG 2000 format files.  Because, as far as we’re aware, browser support for these isn’t universal yet.

Flexible Image Sizing

Unlike many other advertising platforms, Ad Swapper DOESN’T limit you to fixed image sizes.

For example, according to this page, Google AdWords ads must be one of the following approved sizes:-

  • 250 x 250 square
  • 200 x 200 small square
  • 468 x 60 banner
  • 728 x 90 leaderboard
  • 300 x 250 inline rectangle
  • 336 x 280 large rectangle
  • 120 x 600 skyscraper
  • 160 x 600 wide skyscraper
  • 300 x 600 half-page ad
  • 970 x 90 large leaderboard

But Ad Swapper imposes no such limitations.  It allows site owners to define how big the ads displayed on their pages should be.  With ad images being resized (down), in the browser, as required.

Aspect Ratio Limitations

When an (Ad Swapper) ad is displayed, it is resized – widthwise – to the Ad Slot width that the Ad Swapper site owner has defined (less the Ad Slot’s left and right borders, if it has any).

Which in theory, allows advertisers to create very tall ads (that would take up a lot of space).  So, to prevent abuse, each Ad Slot allows the site owner to specify an aspect ratio (width divided by height), after which ads will either; NOT be displayed, or; squashed vertically (to fit within some maximum height).

In general – and by default:-

  • Ads 1.5 times higher than they are wide are discarded, and;
  • Ads 1 to 1.5 times higher than they are wide are squashed vertically (so that they are square in shape).

Which means that, in general, you should make the:-

ad HEIGHT less than or equal to the ad WIDTH

if you want to avoid the ad being squashed or discarded.

However, each Ad Slot type has its own specific rules (as to exactly how ads are resized, to fit within the available space).  So this is a general guideline only.

Recommended Image Sizes

“Sidebar” Type Ad Slot

Sidebars, for many sites on the Web, tend to be roughly 200 to 300 px wide.  But sidebars down to 100 px wide (or less) – and up to 500 px wide (or more) – can be found as well.

So assuming that – for maximum image quality – we want to ensure that the user’s browser is always resizing images DOWN (and never up), suggests that normal, non-banner type ads, intended for display in the Sidebar type Ad Slot, should be roughly (say) 640 px wide.

Heightwise, a typical sidebar ad usually has roughly “Golden” aspect ratio (width / height = 1.618 and height / width = 0.618).  And taking into account that:-

  • Height less than 1/4 width is perhaps getting a bit too low, and;
  • Ad Swapper ads should be no taller than they are wide (see Aspect Ratio Limitations, above).

Means that we recommend that normal, non-banner type Ad Swapper ads, intended for display in either the Sidebar or Fixed-Row-Height Grid type Ad Slots, should be:-

640 px wide and from 160 to 640 px high

Or perhaps a little wider (with height scaled in proportion).

For example:-

640w x 160h (px)

Anything less than 160 px high is perhaps getting a bit too low.  (But you can if you want to.)

640w x 395h (px)

(Golden Ratio)

640w x 640h (px)

Avoid height greater than width – unless you know what you’re doing (and don’t mind your ad getting either squashed vertically or discarded, on some or all sites).

“Fixed-Row-Height Grid” Type Ad Slot

When ads are displayed in grids (on the Web), the grid columns are usually much the same width as sidebars.

So for normal, non-banner type ads, that are intended for display in Fixed-Row-Height Grid type Ad Slots, we recommend that you make these the same size as the Sidebar type Ad Slot displayed ads, discussed above.

“Fixed-Height Banner” Type Ad Slot

By “banner ad”, Ad Swapper means a (generally) full-width ad, that’s intended to go at or near the top or bottom of the page.

Pages on the web are typically 800 to 1000 px wide.  But pages down to 600 px (or less) – and up to 1200 px (or more) – do exist.

So for this reason (and to ensure that ads are generally resized down – for maximum quality), we recommend that you make your banner ads 1280 px (or more) wide.

Most banner ads on the Web seem to be 4 to 12 times wider than they are high.  With perhaps the most common banner ad size being 728 x 90 px.  Which is 8 times wider than it is high.

So Ad Swapper recommends that you go with these figures too.  Ie; Make your banner ads 8 times wider than they are high – though Ad Swapper should cope with anything in the range 4 to 12 times wider than it is high, if you want to go to these extremes.

So in summary then, the recommended banner ad sizes are:-

1280w x 110h (px)

Anything less than 110 px high ***might*** be ignored/discarded (it’s just getting a bit too long and thin).

1280w x 160h (px)

The Web standard size (aspect ratio wise), for banner ads.

Ie; Standard 728 x 90 banner ads are this shape.

1280w x 320h (px)

Anything over 320 px high ***might*** be ignored/discarded (it’s just getting too short and fat to really be a banner ad).

In other words, if your banner ad is 1280 px wide, then anywhere from 110 to 320 px is perfectly acceptable, heightwise.

Font Sizes

Standard sized text on the Web (like this sentence you’re currently reading), is normally 12 to 14 px high.

And a (say) 640 px wide Ad Swapper ad – displayed in a Sidebar or Fixed-Row-Height Grid type Ad Slot – will typically be something like 200 to 300 px wide, when displayed.  And it’s the typical displayed image size which the 12 to 14 px standard font-size should be relative to.

In other words, when creating a 640 px wide ad (with text on it), the smallest font size you use should probably be something in the range 24 to 32 px.

Similarly for a 1280 px wide banner ad – which will typically be 800 to 1000 px wide, when displayed.

Different Ways To Create Your GIFs/JPEGs/PNGs Ad Images

Most computers have an almost endless range of methods to create GIF, JPEG and PNG files.  Just use whichever works best for you.

The choices include:-

  • Photoshop/Gimp/Illustrator, Etc
  • Microsoft Paint, Etc
  • Word Processors like Microsoft Word and Open/Libre Office, Etc
  • The WordPress Post/Page Editor ?
  • Hire a Designer Online, Though Fiverr and Elance, Etc
  • (Free and Paid) Online Ad Creation Tools
  • Advertising Agencies

Photoshop/Gimp/Illustrator, Etc

If you know how to use these professional graphic tools, then you know how to create Web ads with them.  And presumably, that will be your first choice for doing this.

Microsoft Paint, Etc

Most computers come with simple graphic programs like Microsoft Paint, etc, pre-installed.  And there are squillions more similar programs you can download – generally for free – from the Web.

Programs such as these are all that’s required to create Web ads (though some may be easier to use than others).

Word Processors like Microsoft Word and Open/Libre Office, Etc

Even if you’ve never used a graphic editing program like those mentioned above, you’ve probably used a Word Processor before.  And these are perfectly capable of creating Web ads (with text and possibly some background and/or decorative images).

Most Word Processors don’t allow you to save GIF, JPEG or PNG files directly.  But you can easily get around this with the help of your keyboard’s Print Screen key – and an image cropping program.

Note! If you don’t have an image cropping program, they’re readily available on the Web (for most common operating systems).  Or alternatively, use the image cropping tool built into the WordPress Media Library.

Here’s a quick example of creating a Web ad with a Word Processor.  In this case, we’re using the Libre Office Word Processor (which is a Microsoft Windows clone, for the Ubuntu operating system).

1. Open your Word Processor and create your ad… word-processor-ads-1
2. Press the Print Screen key (on your keyboard), and save the screen (on which your ad appears – preferably as a GIF, JPEG or PNG file).

It’s OK to save it to some other graphics file format.  But if you do, you’ll have to convert it to GIF, JPEG or PNG later (as Step 4).

word-processor-ads-2
3. Run your image cropping program, and cut out and save the ad part of the screenshot you saved in Step 2.

And that’s it; quick easy ads…

word-processor-ads-3

The WordPress Page/Post Editor ?

The WordPress Page/Post Editor is a simple Word Processor.  So you could create your ads with that too.

If you do this, you’ll need to convert your ads to GIFs, JPEGs or PNGs – using the Print Screen key and image cropping tools – as for ads created with a Word Processor program proper (see above).

Hire a Designer Online, Though Fiverr and Elance, Etc

Perhaps one of the easiest ways to create your ads is to have a professional do it.  And freelancer hire sites like:-

offer a cost-effective way to do this.

These sites are especially useful for people with little or no graphic design skills.

Generally speaking, you need only give the freelance designer the:-

  • Wording
  • Size in pixels, and;
  • Format (eg; GIF, JPEG or PNG),

of the ad(s) you require.  And they the rest.

With delivery frequently in a matter of days – and pricing from USD 5.00 up.

As an example of what’s possible, the following ads were created by freelancers hired through Fiverr:-

And none of the above ads cost more than USD 10.00.

(Free and Paid) Online Ad Creation Tools

There are a number of both free and paid sites that help you to create your ads online.  For example:-

The above list is just a small sample of the many such services available online.  We haven’t tested any of the above services in any detail.  The idea was just to list some of the available services – in case you wanted to check these online ad creation services out…

Advertising Agencies

Most ad agencies will be able to create Web ads for you.  And most can provide a whole host of related services as well.