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January 2008

Pop-up Ads removed from T35 Hosting member pages!

Hate pop-ups? Why shouldn’t you? They are annoying, interfere with your web browsing experience and can often be very frustrating (especially when you try to close them). While that has been the general view on pop-up advertising over the last few years, it’s important to look back and see why they became such a popular form of advertising.

Perhaps the biggest benefit to pop-up ads is their ability to not interfere with the content of the site. Unlike banners, the pop-up ads are not placed directly in the site design/code, but instead open a new window! At the same time they can be popped up minimized, so you can check out the ad at your convenience.

Those were the primary reasons of why T35 Hosting switched from banners to pop-ups almost 7 year ago. In a sign that the tide is finally turning on pop-up ads, we have recently decided to get rid of ads on our member pages all together. My personal opinion is that a few bad apples ruined this form of advertising for everyone else.

For example, when you think of pop-up ads, what do you think of? You’re picturing the dozens of ads all poping up at the same time with no way to close them… sometimes even crashing your computer. As anyone can tell, that isn’t the best way to show an ad to a potential customer. As visitors became irritated by those ads, new pop-up blocking technology along with a strong resentment towards pop-ups developed.

To be completely fair, the advertisers have fought back and have developed pop-up blockers blockers. Yup, you read it right. Check with a few of the biggest pop-up advertisers today and they will show you their layered ads and other technology meant to block the ad from being blocked (ie: showing the ad to even those with pop-up blockers). Thus, even with the current trend’s, it’s still pretty profitable to run pop-up ads.

Alas, with overwhelming customer demand we have finally given in and removed all pop-up ads from t35 free hosting member pages. All that is left is a ‘hosted by t35 hosting’ footer link along with 1 more text footer link that we intend to sell. What’s interesting is that since the change, we have seen a DECREASE in traffic and account activity.

My theory is that over the years we have become the host for those that actually did like pop-ups and what we are seeing is the loss of those customers. I’m hoping that a few more weeks should start bringing in the much bigger majority of people who have come to dislike pop-ups and have avoided our hosting for that very reason. Only time will tell if this is an actually good move, but I’d love to hear some opinions. How do you feel about pop-ups?

First WebHostingMind Update of 2008

Ahh.. I finally got a chance to make another post on the blog! Sorry for the absence, but I am still catching up on work all the way from thanksgiving break! A real post is on the way, but for now let me just update everyone with what’s been going on.

In terms of this blog, everything seems to have stayed pretty much the same. We now get a consistent 20 visitors/day from google searches (which is impressive since we haven’t done any SEO optimization). I’m also extremely surprised by the amount of spam we have been getting – there are over 100 spam comments that get submitted EVERY DAY. You’d think that people would eventually figure out that all comments are manually approved? On top of that, they come from different ip’s (so banning an ip or two doesn’t help). I guess that’s the price you pay for an increase in traffic?

On the T35 front, we have removed all pop-up ads from member pages, but I’ll post more on this later in the week. In the mean time, I had a chance to put together a quick site for myself and you can visit it at www.alexmelen.com. I’ve used the domain for my personal email account for years, but never had the chance to have anything up there. It’s not amazingly designed, or completely comprehensive, but at the very least gives a quick snapshot of the projects I’m currently involved in. You can also add me on the two social networking sites that I participate in – Facebook (personal) and LinkedIn (professional).

I again apologize for being absent for so long, I promise to follow this up with some actual posts in the coming week!