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How to Discourage Visitors from Using AdBlock

How to disable AdBlockIf you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website. I had this idea from a comment I found on one of my favorite blogs (Webmaster Source) regarding combating AdBlock.

Before I go on, let me say that I am not interested in discussing/debating the use and ethics of AdBlock software in depth in this post. I’m planning on writing a post with my research and data on the effects of discouraging AdBlock use in a later post, so let’s save that discussion for another time.   For now I would like you to evaluate the pros and cons of this mod and decide for yourself if you would like to install the mod or not.

Update 1/11/2009

I have created a WordPress plugin to do this. Just activate and go. Check it out here, Anti-AdBlock WordPress Plugin.

Pros

  • Makes your visitors aware that your website is funded by advertisements.
  • Visitors are encouraged to turn off their AdBlock software for your website.

Cons

  • The mod is written using jQuery so it will not have any effect on browsers with javascript disabled.
  • It does not guarantee that the visitor will disable AdBlock on your site.

Installation

  1. Insert the following tag into your theme.  This div block will be populated with the AdBlock message when AdBlock usage is detected. For my WordPress installation, I placed it just above my main content div block in header.php.
    <div id="content_adblock_message" style="display:none"></div>
  2. Download the following bait banner and put it into a directory called “ad” on your server. For example,

    “http://omninoggin.com/wp-content/themes/omninoggin/images/ad/banner.gif”.

  3. Refer to the “bait banner” image anywhere in your theme. Make sure your set the IMG ‘id=”banner”‘. For example:
    <img id="banner" src="/path/to/ad/banner.gif" width="1" height="1"/>
  4. Download the following onload.js javascript and place it anywhere on your server.
  5. Open onload.js to modify the message if necessary.
  6. Refer to jQuery library and onload.js, by add the following lines into your footer.
    <script type="text/javascript" src="http://jqueryjs.googlecode.com/files/jquery-1.2.6.min.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript" src="/path/to/onload.js"></script>

Testing

  1. Try visiting your site with AdBlock on. You should see the AdBlock message.
  2. Disable AdBlock and refresh the page. You should not see the AdBlock message.

WordPress Plugin?

I’ve already received a request from one person that I should package this into a plugin. Would anybody else like to request this? The more number of requests makes it higher priority on my to-do list :).

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30 Responses to “How to Discourage Visitors from Using AdBlock”

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  1. redwall_hp

    This is pretty neat. I'm not about to start using it myself, but it certainly is an interesting idea, and there surely are people who would use it.

    Now if you could display a little strip along the top of the screen reprimanding the AdBlockers for blocking your ads, that would be good too. Sort of like the “x popups blocked” bar, or that WordPress plugin that warns IE users that their browser isn't so great.

  2. Cristi

    The people that block ads won't click on any so I find this pointless. You'll just annoy them.

  3. McBane

    Exactly, its not like you have the site of sites here buddy…. People will just plain never ever comeback. I use ad block plus and your little message didn't show. I couldn't see your site at all until I turned it off….

    So unless you have the holy grail of the internet, don't do this !

  4. Thaya Kareeson

    @Christi, @McBane:
    Thank you for your inputs.

    What do you guys think about something like AdBlock detection one time request for the reader to turn off AdBlock? (see AdBlock Detection)

    P.S. @McBane
    I try to deliver the best content as I possibly can, so I'm sorry if I've let you down!

  5. Thaya Kareeson

    Thank you for your input. What do you think about something like AdBlock detection one time request for the reader to turn off AdBlock? (see AdBlock Detection)

  6. Thaya Kareeson

    @McBane,
    Thank you for your input. What do you think about something like AdBlock detection one time request for the reader to turn off AdBlock? (see AdBlock Detection)

  7. Cristi

    True… that would be a honest request towards the user. Most understand that you need ads on the site to keep up the good work.

    I personally don't like forcing the user to take more actions then needed to access the content unless I have a really good reason for it.

  8. rosyidi

    wow..this's the greatest plugin.
    Thank you very much Thaya. I love your plugin very much. I'll use it on my new blog. Cause my blog using Indonesian Advertiser, so Ads Block Plus not affected at all.

  9. rosyidi

    But If our blog is very usefull. And visitors need it, I think they will come back although they must turn off adblock plus.

  10. Thaya Kareeson

    Welcome back Rosyidi! I still haven't gotten the chance to package this JS into a WordPress plugin. I'm planning to set aside a few hours this weekend to do so. Hopefully I should be able to release a one-click activate WordPress plugin version of this early next week.

  11. Anonymous

    Do text ads : problem solved.

  12. fil1995

    How to make a script to display the text encoded in UTF-8 and Polish points ?

  13. Thaya Kareeson

    Hi fil1995. You will have to modify the message in your onload.js to show your Polish message.

  14. Aaron

    With some development this script could really be put to good use without the need to explicitly inform the user to turn off adblock. Instead of telling the user to turn off adblock, text based ad links in a proportionally sized div could be subbed in to where your ads would previously appear.

  15. Mack

    Haha … I like this. Some people dedicate themselves to do an Ad Block… and others are working disable it. That's the online world. Love…

  16. Michaels

    Some people which don't like ads (and are aware of them) won't bother clicking.

  17. Mack

    I agree with that. People will get annoyed by ads anyways.

  18. Jason

    From what I can tell your adblock plug in did nothing, I don't see any ads, I did have to allow your chat to load, but I rarely comment anyways. Way to fail.. any attempt at getting around a users settings just makes that person not trust your site, what else are you trying to get around?

    In short if this site has any ads, your plug-in blows and you suck at life for wasting the energy..

  19. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  20. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  21. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  22. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  23. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  24. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  25. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  26. Thaya Kareeson

    @Jason,
    Did you even read this post? The first paragraph explains what this plugin does. It seems like you "YOU suck at life" for not reading instructions. I don't know how you get around in life not reading instructions and assume everything. Here is what the plugin does, reiterated for Jason and the like:

    'If you are a new user and you use any form of advertisement blocking (e.g. AdBlock) on your browser, you would have been greeted with a neat little message saying “Doh! It appears that you are using AdBlock software…”.

    The purpose of this post is to show you how to create such a message for your own website.'

  27. Dibbit

    Great plugin! Its just an encouragement for visitors to do the right thing and view the ads that pay for the site.

    If you ever get round to updating it, it would be great to have a feature to change ads to text links as suggested by Aaron above.

  28. Sinalkar

    Is is works on Blogspot? i Interested to integrate this script but as blogspot doesn't allows to host the file, is it possible to other way?

  29. Jack

    I got AdBlock because I am tired of dancing around all the stupid ads EVERYWHERE on most pages.

    Some don’t even require clicking. All you have to do is pass your cursor over them. My hand is held hostage near the scroll bar…..

    It is even worse with videos. I don’t like them. I’d rather read text.

    I REFUSE to purchase products from those who torture me with crap ads while I’m trying to read a story, etc.

  30. Sotam

    This won’t work when people use other Adblocking plugins like Ghostery or DNT+.. therefore I check if the iframe of my AdSense block is there, if not, I assume it’s blocked and display my message :)

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