There seems to be some confusion as to what to do with the new blocks. Especially if your site looks wonky after the update.
This was expected of course. Thousands of people use blocks and suddenly it changes. No amount of blog posts with warnings was gonna change this.
I did write about it a few days ago. But I didn’t quite explain what to change when you adverts show up wrong.
I’ve been on the forums today answering posts and also received some emails. Most people were confused at first but quickly figured it out after a few pointers to adjust the sizes and such on blocks. But why is this needed and how do you *really* fix the problem?
Details details details!
So what’s changed, really? Thers is a new set of wrappers adding to the ‘old’ one. That wraps around each ad and one that wraps around the entire block. This in itself doesn’t mean too much. But what is important is that Blocks used to be a set amound of ads. You defined how many columns it should have and AdRotate bluntly injected a linebreak were required to give you the impression of a block.
This is no longer the case. A block now needs to know the size of the ads. The thickness of the margins, borders and padding and the sum of it all determines the ad size. Which in turn sets the block size. All this uses a set of div tags that create an actual grid. Not unlike a spreadsheet.
How to configure?
The block needs to make a grid so it needs to know how many rows and columns it will have. Set a padding and/or border if you want.
You define the size of the banners and set a margin or padding if you want. Also here a border is possible.
One important cave-at is that if you use a border or padding on the individual ads these add to the ad size. So if you have a 125px banner a 2px border and a 3px padding. The ad-size will be 130px. A margin goes around the ad expanding to the outside and thus will not add pixels to the actual ad. But it will make the total block larger. You need to account for this when reserving space in your sidebar or page but AdRotate will calculate the size automatically for you.
Migrating existing blocks
Because AdRotate did not know what ads you showed in the old system and just went with whatever was offered there was no way for me to determine the size of ads. Assuming that many people used blocks to show button banners I set a default of 125*125 adverts with a tiny margin of 1px and no border. Obviously not everyone uses these settings and they will have to edit the blocks to suit their needs. This means defining the proper ad sizes and perhaps a border or margin.
Because there was no definition of rows in the old system I migrated over as much as I could and also for rows made an assumption based on the amount of ads you had using a simple sum. If your block was to show 10 ads in 2 columns that meant you had 5 rows. This value is used to determine the new grid size. However, the sum and resulting grid is not always correct because it’s an assumption.
This means that everyone using blocks needs to check the settings and very likely needs to alter a few things to make it work again.
Why screw up the old wrapper function?
It’s not screwed up, Nor is it a bug. It’s expanded into a better system. The old system inserted an ugly linebreak where a new row would start. The new system is more strict and uses valid CSS and HTML code to achieve a better looking result.
More on blocks can be found in the all new manual.