By Khurram Aziz

What Is the Best Ad Server for Your Site?

By Khurram Aziz

A growing number of publishers are turning to ad servers to display and manage advertisements on their websites.

There are many reasons for this, but one major advantage ad servers provide is simplicity. With an ad server in place, a publisher can swap adverts from a central location without having to go “under the hood” of their websites.

Ad servers also give you the ability to monitor your stats and tweak your adverts for geo-location and other factors.

As a website owner, the best ad server for you will depend on a range of factors that include price, scalability, ease of use and features.

The five ad servers in this list perform the best according to these criteria. They offer something to suit both small and large budgets and are among the most versatile monetization strategies you can employ online.

DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP)


DoubleClick is Google’s own ad server company and will be a natural next step for those already using Google Analytics.

This is one of the simplest ad servers around and would be ideal for someone starting out with ad servers. It’s free and integrates with AdSense, so it’s the obvious choice for anyone who relies heavily on Google ads for advertising.

Atlas Solutions

Atlas Solutions

Atlas Solutions is owned by Facebook, the other big player in the space next to Google. It provides an impressive array of tools to help you manage your inventory and transfer data from one place to another. These include the Atdmt tracking cookie and an API that allows you to programmatically create and manage ad campaigns, access performance data, generate impression reports and access account information.

It’s also a great solution if you intend to use rich media in your ads, such as video and interactive elements, as they offer a dedicated service for this — Atlas Rich Media. However, its integration with Facebook isn’t as complete as DFP’s integration with AdSense.



AdZerk is one of the newer offerings and, compared to many of its competitors, is extremely feature rich and user friendly. It offers custom reports, conversion tracking and managing network payouts all as part of its free service, and there are even more options for Enterprise users. The fact that Reddit recently switched to AdZerk is testament to how powerful and efficient it is.



Adtech is an AOL subsidiary and is mainly geared for large publishers, although smaller companies who are looking for a robust solution to their inventory management needs will also get a lot out of it. Adtech has some powerful technology behind it, and its capabilities are comparable with industry leaders.

It allows for instantaneous campaign deployment, inventory management, live monitoring, user tracking and targeting and interactive reporting. It also provides solutions for all forms of digital advertising, including PC, TV, mobile platforms, game consoles, radio streams, advertising panels for sports stadiums and billboard.

However, Adtech’s many features and options may make it a little overwhelming for new users and there is a steep learning curve.


Open X

OpenX was previously known as phpAdsNew. This ad server provides many of the same features as larger and better known outfits, including geo-targeted ads, statistics and inventory management. OpenX also supports video, newsletter and mobile campaigns so you can create ads in many different formats for your advertisers.

It does have some drawbacks, however. Like Adtech, there is a learning curve with OpenX, and it is also widely considered one of the priciest services on the market. But for larger enterprises, it might be the most versatile solution.


The five options listed here provide a range of solutions for those looking for dedicated ad servers to turbocharge their campaigns. Which server is best for you will depend on the size of your business and your overall strategy.

For smaller enterprises, and those new to using ad servers, solutions offered by Google and Facebook (DFP and Atlas) will prove more than adequate. However, those with more ambitious budgets and desire for cross-media penetration, then services like Adtech and OpenX offer some best tools in the sector.

  • Hi Khurram, this one looks great as well: https://pro.buysellads.com/publishers

    I am using DFP for one of my sites, but there’s are 2 major downsides with it’s AdSense integration: It doesn’t integrate with Google Analytics (the Adsense page details), and doesn’t allow for the responsive code AdSense has in beta (that is, not as convenient as AdSense itself makes it).

  • Sacha Jackson

    Not the best researched article in the world. AdZerk have issued their customers with an ultimatum this week. Pay us $1000 a month or find an alternative within 60 days. A great service while it lasted. Also OpenX sold the product last year so not OpenX any longer.

    • Alex Kindle

      Yeah, do not rely too much on AdZerk. Today is “free 4ever”, tomorrow you have to pay…
      Stay away from them. Just an advice.

  • http://www.revive-adserver.com/ is what we use and is the replacement for OpenX.

  • matt_mysimpleads

    Just a little self-promotion (but hopefully useful) :). I created mySimpleAds as an alternative to OpenX about 6 years ago for people who want something simpler to sell and publish ads. We just released a totally revamped version at http://www.clippersoft.net.

    If you have any questions on it, please just ask.

  • Elisée

    Another solution, Smart AdServer could have been added to this list (By the way, it was in the former edition of this article: http://www.sitepoint.com/7-great-ad-server-solutions/. It has fine USPs: Publishers can seamlessly manage all ads (Display, Rich Media, Video), from all sales channels (Manual & Programmatic) on all screens (Desktop & Mobile) just in one interface in one fully integrated tool. This full integration provide them a greater level of granularity, control and optimization. For instance, they can make available any part of their inventory available to programmatic demand (unless most SSPs) or generate higher revenues thanks to the holistic yield managment, the best possible inventory optimization.

  • Ashraf Hameeda T

    dJAX http://www.djaxadserver.com could have been a valid addition here. They develop ad servers to suit all types of digital advertising campaigns, to serve and manage all types of ads on any platform (display, mobile and video). Their flexi ad server solutions allows seamless customizations and integrating capabilites are much simpler.

  • Surbhi Jain

    First try for Google Ad-sense if you can approve your website with it.
    Recently I have tried Mascot-Click and they are giving good CPM rates, but you can go for it if you have monthly traffic more than 150000.
    Signup Link: http://www.mascotclick.com/signup/publisher?ref=6015

    • Hemant Dudeja

      Hey Surbhi,

      i have some youtube channels, so can i post these link on description or get benefit????

  • Gerbrand

    Wonderful list of ad server solutions here :) I tried almost all of them, but none really has all that I wished for.

    To complete this discussion a bit more, I can mention two more ad serving programs for those interested. First of all, there is AdGlare (https://www.adglare.com) that offers basic ad serving possibilities and it’s free up to 10M impressions per month. Also, you may want to look at AdPeeps (http://www.adpeeps.com) which offers a PayPal checkout feature, so your advertisers can buy ads directly from your website.

  • Sam Johnstone

    Google’s DFP is hands down the best Ad Server available to publishers. I’ve tried out most.. Then I found Ad Serving experts in Sydney called “Publift” they completely setup and optimized my DFP, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, http://www.publift.com

  • james john

    Alternative adverts is scam and fake. They don’t pay publishers and just sit on advertiser’s money

  • There is yet another ad serving script – Inout Adserver. It has been used by many entrepreneurs over different countries. It has various editions which could be chosen according to ones need. You may check its demo and can have a chat with the team for a better knowledge.

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