Comparison: Revive Open Source Ad Server v.s. AdGlare

Written by: Stephen Published: Last Modified:
If you're a publisher looking for ad server software to manage all of your campaigns, you usually end up choosing between two options. Either you opt for a free open source ad server (1) and install the software on your own server, or you can choose for commercially hosted ad server software (2), which is hosted in the cloud. This article outlines the differences between these two options to figure out which ad server solution is best for you.

1 Free open source ad server

As of today, there are not many open source ad servers that provide the full stack of ad serving technology that you may need. The most popular is Revive AdServer (previously known as OpenX), which is offered free of charge under the GNU General Public License. Revive can be used for personal as well as commercial purposes, as has some decent options to manage your ad campaigns like frequency capping and reporting.

If you're a Wordpress user, you could consider one of the many free ad management plugins available from their repository. However, those type of plugins can't be really considered an ad serving platform, but rather banner ad management software. Depending on your requirements and budget, they might do the job though.

All for free. So, what's the catch? I've outlined some pros and cons here below that you should be aware about.
POSITIVE POINTS NEGATIVE POINTS
It's cheap or for free. You usually pay nothing to get the ad server software. You need quite a big server to run the software, which can costs more than $200/month.
You own the data. I can take it with me whenever I want. However, I'm fully responsible storing that data is a privacy compliant manner. You have to monitor your server yourself: looking at bandwidth usage, fixing bugs like Spectre and Meltdown and mitigating DDoS attacks.
Customization Flexibility. If you're a developer, you can customize the ad server yourself since you have access to the source code. Updates. I'm manually installing a software update today. Hope things will still work afterwards...
- Expensive plugins. No in-banner video ads. I can purchase a plugin, but then I have to pay $899 for it.
- Bad usability. The developers of open source software spend less time on intuitive design and layout. You might be loosing time and money figuring out how things work.

Ad Server Comparison: Revive v.s. AdGlare Ad Server
Screenshot: Open Source Ad Server (Revive)



2 Commercial ad server software

Your second option is to buy a commercial ad server license of an ad server for publishers. You'll be provided a login to manage your digital campaigns via the portal of the ad server company. Essentially, you'll outsource ad serving to a third-party using infrastructure in the cloud. The advantages of a commercially hosted ad server are numerous in terms of speed, features and reliability. If you're looking for an ad server, you should carefully weigh your options. This may help:
POSITIVE POINTS NEGATIVE POINTS
It's incredibly stable. New software releases are beta-tested on separate channels. Virtually bug-free. It costs money. AdGlare's Enterprise plan starts at $199/month (which translates to $0.02 CPM).
Peace of mind. Cloud-hosted ad servers are monitored 24/7, routinely updated with the latest patches and have enough CPU/RAM resources for high performance ad serving. You can't change the software yourself. AdGlare's offers custom development. Our dev team listens to your suggestions and can implement your requirements free of charge.
Content Delivery Network. Your visitors at the other end of the world get the ads served just as fast as anywhere else. AdGlare employs 5 data centers worldwide. -
Unlimited bandwidth. You pay a fixed monthly fee for your ad server license, which includes unlimited bandwidth usage. -
Technical Support. If you need technical support settings things up, you can contact your ad server vendor requesting for help. AdGlare's support is free of charge. -

Ad Server Comparison: Revive v.s. AdGlare Ad Server
Screenshot: Commercially hosted Ad Server (AdGlare)



So, what's the best ad server solution anno 2018?

As you may expect, that answer depends largely on your situation, budget and requirements. If you know how to write code, debug issues, manage servers and if you have plenty of time or a small budget, you can go for free open source ad serving. However, if you have the budget and you want to focus on your website's core business model, the reliability, performance and features that you'll find on commercially hosted ad servers outperforms any free alternative.

Here's the deal...

If you're not sure for which to go, consider looking at the Live Demo or taking a free 15-Day Trial here at AdGlare. Your ad server will be ready to go within 30 seconds, after which you can start serving your ads right away. If you would like to have further information, please contact AdGlare Support for a chat. We'll be happy to get your questions answered.
1 Click Pricing from the menu and choose a free 15-day Trial License.
2 Fill out the form. Your name and an email address suffice.
3 Wait up to 30 seconds while your ad server is getting installed. You're ready to go.


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is an ad platform for advertisers, publishers and agencies. By employing 5 data centers worldwide to reduce network latency, the ad tags are one of the fastest in the industry.