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About designing ads
Please carefully read this page before bidding in the ad auction. If you buy ad slots and then your ad is rejected due to not following these rules, then you'll end up wasting some of your ad's time, we'll all end up being in a rush to get an acceptable ad up, and nobody will be happy. If you have any doubts at any point, PM theymos.

This page is only about the ads sold by in periodic auctions. In addition to the inhouse forum ads, it is common for forum users to sell ad space in their signatures, but these ads are not intermediated by in any way, and this page is not about such ads.


See the auction thread for rules on ad content. Anything which seems like it may be risky for forum users to use could potentially be rejected. Anything which a person could be said to "invest" in (or be used for investing) is especially at risk of being rejected. Check with theymos before bidding.

Delivering ads

Send theymos a link to your ad via PM. If possible, you can also copy/paste the ad directly into the PM.

Ad design

There are three methods of designing ads. In all cases, we do no click tracking. If you want clicks to be tracked, you have to put tracking tags (eg. &utm_source with Google Analytics) in the URL.

If we find your ad to be especially annoying, we may reject it even if it follows the written rules.

Method 1: single image

Send us a single image banner and a link. No other HTML/CSS is allowed with this method. The banner can be no taller than 47px, and if it is wider than the size of the ad area in the user's browser, then it will be cut off. The maximum image size is 51200 bytes. Absolutely no animation. We will host the image on our server while your ad is up. We make no attempt to avoid adblockers with this method.

Method 2: BBcode

You can send us valid BBcode (the markup used when making posts). If you're running a signature ad campaign, usually you can copy the BBcode for that directly, and it'll display about the same in the forum ad area. No [img] tags.

Method 3: HTML+CSS

You can send us HTML+CSS, subject to many restrictions. For this method, it is vital that you use the ad test file:
  1. Download the file and open it in a text editor.
  2. Put your CSS after the comment around line 55. You can't put CSS anywhere else, nor can you change any existing CSS. Your CSS is actually just going to be copied into the page similarly to this, so your CSS must not interfere with anything: you can't use selectors like body which would screw up the rest of the page, each of your ads should have CSS rules that don't clash with each other, etc.
  3. Put your HTML after the comment around line 437. You can't put HTML anywhere else, nor can you change any existing HTML.
  4. Open your modified version of ad_test.html in your browser and see if it's displaying correctly. Make sure your ad isn't affecting anything outside of the ad area or stretching the page or the ad area beyond its normal size. Make sure your HTML/CSS isn't screwing up the rest of the page somehow. Test it at different browser sizes, as well.
Additionally, you must follow these restrictions:
  • Absolutely no resources can be pulled in from elsewhere. No fonts, scripts, stylesheets, or images can be pulled in via HTTP(S). Visiting ad_test.html should start no network requests (except to
  • You can include images, but they must be base64-encoded data: URIs. No <svg> tags; SVG images are allowed, but they must be base64-encoded in data: URIs. Here is a site for converting images to data URIs.
  • No JavaScript or custom fonts (ie. @font-face).
  • Everything related to your ad must add up to less than 52000 bytes. If you buy multiple slots running multiple ads, each one is separately limited to 52000 bytes, but the total over all of your ads can be more.
  • Your ad can animate on hover and for a couple of seconds afterward, but not passively. In other words, if your ad animates without the user's cursor moving over your ad, then this is not allowed.
  • No form elements such as <button>s.
  • No <table>s
  • Your HTML should be valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional. Make sure all tags are properly paired. Make sure special characters are escaped, such as & symbols in URLs. It is invalid XHTML to put a block element such as a <div> inside of an <a>, so avoid that; it's best if you stick to only <span>, <img>, and <a> tags, and put everything else in CSS.
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