Introducing the Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin For WordPress

After several months of development, we're pleased to announce the initial release of a plugin that will help publishers automatically insert widgets in the middle of posts: the Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin (SCAIP, for short).

SCAIP creates widget areas that are inserted programmatically into every post after every Nth paragraph.

A screenshot of the configuration page of the Super Cool Ad Inserter Plugin
Here's the main SCAIP settings page. Read more about these settings in the plugin's documentation.

You can then fill the widget areas that SCAIP creates with ads, newsletter signup forms, donation messages, other calls to action, related posts widgets, or really anything else that fits in a WordPress widget (including the default text/html widget).

To see the plugin in use, check out Religion News Service, which uses another one of our plugins, DoubleClick for WordPress, to insert ads within posts after every few paragraphs. The Cornell Daily Sun uses WordPress text widgets to display ads within posts using another ad network.

Another example is this screenshot, which shows the plugin in use in the Twenty Thirteen theme, inserting image widgets. Anything contained in a WordPress widget can easily be inserted by SCAIP.

Ads are normally inserted automatically, but the plugin also supports shortcodes to allow manual placement of the widget areas within posts, and per-post overrides to disable automatic ad placement.

To learn more about what the plugin is capable of, check out the docs or download the plugin and try it out! We're eager for your suggestions, bug reports and pull requests on GitHub or in the open tech channel on the INN Slack.

Developers will be happy to learn that the plugin is easy to integrate with themes. Our Largo WordPress theme required no changes to support SCAIP, and we believe that is the case with other themes.

Nerd Alert 41: Adpocalypse Now


Ancient Mayan prophecies foretell the end of ads.


What we're reading this week

  Adam: Lots of talk about ad blockers this week with the release of iOS 9. Nilay Patel explains how this is less about Apple caring about a better experience for users, but rather money, power and a fight for control amongst big tech companies.

  Ben: A first-generation Pokemon talks about the sad state of web development, and comes to the conclusion that PHP has so many users because it just works.

  Kaeti: Welcome to the (ad) block party.

  Ryan: Take Lauren Rabaino's advice for fostering a happy, productive team.

  Bert: Is Google's 418 error page actually served by a teapot?

This Week's Guest Contributor: Thomas Thoren, open data reporter at The Lens.

Drudge Report, the news aggregation site created by Matt Drudge, is known for its conservative stance and its bare-bones web design. The site looks like something that might have come out of a "Hello world" beginner HTML lesson. Its famous siren would fit right in on a late '90s GeoCities page.

Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp, argues that this seemingly oversimplified news site actually does a lot right. In an era of bloated websites, the stripped-down Drudge Report is a breath of fresh air. It doesn't try to do anything more than give you headlines, so it excels in getting you your news and getting out of your way. By hardly changing its design over the past two decades, it has a distinct style that readers can rely on. It exists as a single web page that requires little technical knowledge, allowing Matt Drudge to focus most of his time on the content of the page instead of fighting with a content management system.

While your editor might not appreciate any future design mockups that offer little more than black text on a white background, it's worth remembering that simpler is almost always better.

Each week we ask someone from outside our team to contribute a link, tool or idea. Are you our next guest star? We think you might be. Send us a note at


Work we admire by our journalism peers

More than 2,000 enslaved fishermen have been set free as a result of an Associated Press investigation.


Work for people we admire

The Sunlight Foundation is hiring a director for Sunlight Labs.

Chalkbeat is hiring a Director of Product and Growth.

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is hiring a Data and Visual Director.

INN's tech team is hiring a contract WordPress developer, and applications are open for spring 2015 apprenticeships.

If you're posting jobs, let us know!


Gather ye rosebuds

LISTEN: How about a mashup?

COOK: Summer's almost over, but there's still time to make sorbet.

WATCH: Where CSS color names come from.

GIF: Enjoy your weekend!

A gentlebro on a wakeboard is pulled down a flooded street by a small hatchback car that is up to its axles in water.