I often see people search for “AdSense ready WordPress theme” and you probably also entered this phrase before you ended up on this page. Here you’ll learn, what it actually means, what best practice for inserting ads on your pages is, and how to do it step-by-step, theme-independent. Last but not least, you’ll get a list of free and premium AdSense ready WordPress themes, as well as guidelines for performing search for such themes on your own.
What is “AdSense Ready WordPress Theme”?
WordPress themes come always with a set of features and, in many cases, topic or intended use. This makes them easy to use for almost any purpose, directly out of the box. Because there are many bloggers out there, who are very focused on the opportunity to get an income via advertising networks, some themes are nowadays labelled as AdSense ready. A WordPress theme is considered to be AdSense ready, when these conditions are fulfilled:
- The theme allows you to display AdSense ads
- The theme allows for optimal positioning of ads
- The theme allows for different AdSense formats
Even though it sounds as if a whole lot is necessary to enable ad insertion on your pages, the simple truth is that there isn’t a special set of features, exclusively used to display ads. The features you need to insert ads on your pages are pretty mainstream and found in most themes:
- The theme must be widget ready
- The theme must have a Text widget
- The theme should optimally allow for both left and right sidebar, as well as header and/or footer widgets to give you maximal flexibility
That’s what really makes themes AdSense ready and these features are, luckily included in the vast majority of free and premium themes.
How to Add AdSense to Your Site
AdSense is usually added to pages via widgets, via code insertion directly in text, or via special plugins.
When adding AdSense to your theme via widgets, you follow these three simple steps:
- Find your ad code. Log into your AdSense account. Navigate to My Ads->Ad Units. Find the add you want to display on your site (or create it by clicking on Add New) and click on Get Code. Copy the snippet.
- Log onto your site and navigate to Appearance->Widgets. To the right on the Widgets screen, you can see all available widget areas, usually sidebars, footer, and bottom bar of your site. Some premium themes allow you to create custom widget areas to use in custom locations on your pages.
- Find the widget area that refers to the sidebar, where you want to place the ad.
- To the left on the screen, locate the widget called Text. It is a basic widget, offered by the vast majority of themes. You can use this widget to inset text or code snippets in your pages.
- Drag the Text widget to the chosen widget area. Once put in place, it opens and allows you to edit it.
- Paste the ad snippet in the Text widget and click on Save.
Now, you should be able to see the AdSense field (usually empty or as an error page in the very first minutes) on all pages, using the chosen sidebar.
The default setting in AdSense is that the ad is responsive and fills the space, you provide for it. You can therefore freely add ads to any sidebar, regardless of settings. If you prefer, you can choose between different non-responsive ad formats during ad setup.
Adding AdSense via widgets is the most common way to insert ads on your website, as well as the optimal way in regard to page speed, user experience, and ease of implementation. For that reason, a true AdSense ready WordPress theme is simply a theme allowing you to use widgets in sidebars. This means in practice that almost all themes on the market can be considered AdSense ready.
If it is important to you to be able to choose yourself, exactly where on your pages ads appear, you should look for a theme with integrated page builder or advanced customization options.
This method is expected to work with virtually all WordPress themes, as it doesn’t require any additional feature. It has these downsides that it slows page load times a few milliseconds more than AdSense placed in sidebars and that ads appear only on pages, you’ve manually inserted the code in. It does, on the other hand, provide optimal conditions for ad visibility.
The third option, inserting AdSense ads via a plugin, used to be popular for different reasons: people didn’t know how to do it otherwise, they thought it is easier or quicker this way, they got some additional functionality, etc.
This is the past, however. Google has already deprecated their own AdSense plugin and advises publishers to use the widget method, described above. AdSense plugins by other authors seem also to have reached their expiration date, as they can’t really offer any significant advantage.
Plugins make your site heavier and increase the risk for plugin incompatibility. In the same time, Google AdSense provides flexibility, ease of use, and complete statistics out of the box, making the use of a plugin unnecessary.
If you, however, still prefer to use a plugin, you can find a long list of options in the WordPress repository.
Choosing the Best AdSense Ready WordPress Theme
As mentioned above, the best AdSense ready WordPress theme is simply one that allows you to display ads using widgets in sidebars. The reason is that this ad positioning is optimal in terms of page load times and user experience.
In practice, this means that the vast majority of themes out there are AdSense ready out of the box, without being labelled as such. What’s even more important to understand, is though that themes, specifically advertised as AdSense ready, very rarely offer some ad-specific features that can increase your click rates or earnings. Their authors are simply trying to benefit from the fact that you are looking for AdSense ready WordPress themes.
In order to choose smart, stop focusing on the AdSense ready feature. Instead, make sure that your theme is widget-ready and customizable, if you’d like to have that option. In addition, remember to choose a theme that is HD-ready and responsive. These are the key features of WordPress themes.
Find Your Theme
In order to find free AdSense ready WordPress themes, go to WordPress repository, as the largest collection of free themes out there, and perform a search. Use the feature filter and, as a minimum, select Left Sidebar, Right Sidebar, and Footer Widgets.You can, of course, select as many features as you want and need. The three selected on the image are only AdSense-related.
Here are some free AdSense ready WordPress themes to choose from:
- Publishable Mag: Offers diverse ad display options, including in the header. The theme has at the moment of writing about 1000+ installs and has been updated less than a week ago.
- Blog Expert: Offers right, left sidebar, and footer widget functionality. Well suited for bloggers. The theme has 600+ installs and has been updated less than a month ago.
- Responsiveness: Offers ad display options in sidebars. It is fully responsive and has a lot of customization options. The theme has 700+ active installs and has been updated a month ago.
- Magazine Point: Offers two sidebars and footer widgets that can be used to display ads. In addition, the theme authors offer support, which is rarely the case with free themes. The theme has 2000+ active installs and has been updated a month and a half ago.
- Telegraph: Offers two sidebars and footer widgets. In addition, it allows for featuring of posts on the front page. It has around 1000+ active installs at the moment and has been updated more than 2 months ago.
If you don’t want a free theme or can’t find one with the features you are looking for, you can always check out the three largest marketplaces for premium WordPress themes and try your luck there. To be AdSense ready, premium WordPress themes need simply to be widget ready.
Here are the three picks of WPBloggingNerd:
- Avada: Avada is a premium WordPress theme with more than 300000 sales. It is the best-selling theme on Themeforest and offers an incredible palette of options. Displaying AdSense is enabled via customizable widgets.
- The7: The7 is one of the most customizable themes on the market. It has around 73000 sales and is among the bestsellers on Themeforest. Inserting AdSense is enabled via customizable widgets and is possible both in sidebars and on custom spots on your pages.
- Zum: Zum is a new arrival on the market. It offers customizability via Visual Composer. This means that you can shape your pages exactly as you want, one by one, including displaying different ads in different spots by inserting widgets. The theme has only 6 sales so far but offers high value for its low price.
I hope this post helped demystify the phrase “AdSense ready WordPress themes”. If you though still have questions, please get in touch via mail to help improve it.