Review: Is Basic by Ezoic Worth Setting Up on the Blog?

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

I recently had the opportunity to try out the new system by Ezoic called, “Basic.” It’s a platform bloggers and website owners can use to display ads to generate more revenue. But, is Basic something that is worth the time and effort to set up?

Today, I’ll share my experiences with the platform and perhaps help you decide for yourself whether you want to use it or not.

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What is Basic by Ezoic?

Ezoic is an alternative to AdSense that uses several ad-sharing networks to help you make the most money for displays and clicks. Pitting the highest bidders against one another, Ezoic takes the most valuable advertisement and shows it on your website.

Basic is the reduced version of Ezoic and is considerably easier to connect to your website. However, it’s also vastly limited in functionality and customization.

When compared to its parent platform, you’d probably be better off just using Ezoic instead of the Basic network, especially if you don’t want your web pages covered in ads…which I’ll get into in a moment.

What Can You Expect from the Ezoic Basic Platform?

The thing to keep in mind, here, is that I was able to give Basic a shakedown run immediately after it went live. I was invited to try the system out for myself, which turned out to have several bugs. Luckily, they were fixed relatively quickly, so, I was able to sign up and add the system to the website.

Also, keep in mind that my experiences are based on using Basic on this particular website. As a blog’s niche and target audience will greatly affect ad revenue, you may have a better or worse experience than myself.

And yes, I did run a comparison of Basic vs AdSense for this blog. The results of that test are in another blog post.

A Bit Convoluted to Set Up

First of all, setting up Basic is quite a bit more convoluted than something like AdSense. You have to set up several elements that are off-site just to run ads from the network.

You’ll also have to set up various authorizations for Basic to access your site. One of the suggested methods to do this is by using the Ezoic plugin for WordPress. However, Ezoic is not compatible with Autoptimize, so, I had to manually add the coding in the header.

Though, it’s still not nearly as much of a pain as Ezoic’s primary platform.

Redirects Ads.txt File

To use Basic, you’ll need to add a bit of code to .htaccess to redirect the ads.txt file to a third-party service. I’m not a fan of redirecting resources off-site as it will impact page speed and performance.

Setting up the file through AdsTxtManager.com isn’t all that difficult. The instructions on the site and through Basic can walk you through the process with relative ease.

Just remember that it is sending queries to an external server, which will impact site performance.

The Returns Were Less than Ideal

Basic Earnings and Ezoic Estimate

After getting Basic set up from Ezoic, and having to work through a series of beta bugs, I was able to start bringing in ad revenue. However, the money the website made through Basic was significantly lower than what I made through AdSense.

Not to mention the common ads I found on the site were often unrelated and repeated. For instance, in one case, all 15 ads from Basic on the web page were the same ad from PayPal.

This means there was very little in terms of variety. Seriously, does seeing the same ad 15 times on a web page make you want to click it eventually? I know I don’t.

No Ability to Limit Ads or Locations

Basic doesn’t have the ability to limit ad placements. This means you are at the mercy of the platform to stick the ads where it “thinks” will work best. This is in stark contrast to how you can remove certain locations for auto ads in AdSense.

Now, you can use the Ezoic platform and gain those abilities to customize where ads are shown, but Basic does not have that functionality.

Depending on the theme you use in WordPress, Basic’s placement of ads is incredibly questionable.

Previous Recorded Income Fluctuates

This one is more of a data-collection issue based on Basic’s server location. It seems the server time is vastly different from my time here in Colorado, USA. Nonetheless, there will be days when I kept track of estimated income only for the system to change the amounts nearly a week later.

The amount would fluctuate around the 5-cent mark per day for about four or five days at a time.

So, if you’re trying to keep track of daily income, you’ll have to edit your data routinely as Basic does not seem to have an accurate count at any given time.

$20 Payout Threshold to PayPal

Basic isn’t all bad. I do like how it has a $20 payout threshold, which is paid into your PayPal account. And yes, you’ll have to cover the fees for this yourself.

In contrast, AdSense will only pay you out on the 20th of the next month after you hit its $100 threshold. Depending on the amount of traffic your website generates, this could take several months.

I was able to collect a payout from Basic within 37 days. Well, that’s how long it took me to get up to $20. Basic will also pay in bulk the following month.

Negative Impact On PageSpeed Insights Scores

After jumping through various hoops to get the Ezoic Basic platform installed on the blog, I did notice how it reduced my PageSpeed Insights scores. In fact, I lost 19 points according to PageSpeed while Basic was running on the site.

Basic PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights Score with Basic

This is what I was talking about earlier. When you use plugins, scripts, or website resources that are calling to an external server, it’s going to impact performance in some way.

In fact, the PageSpeed score is worse with Basic than it is with AdSense.

PageSpeed Insights with AdSense
PageSpeed Insights Score with AdSense

This could be partly the result of having to redirect for ads.txt as well as pull ads from Ezoic.

NOTE: I already know I have a lot of work to do on this website to get it to score better. However, Basic did greatly reduce overall performance for both PageSpeed as well as human interaction.

Very Limited Analytical Data

Unlike AdSense, or even Ezoic for that matter, Basic does not have the most intuitive set of analytical tools. Then again, it was never meant to show extensive data.

Though, it would have been nice to at least show a running total of how much the website made over time. The only thing that shows how much you’ve made is a line graph of each day.

But good luck trying to add it all up to create your own totals. As I said, Basic often changed how much each day actually brought in. I had to constantly go back and make adjustments to my spreadsheet.

Easily Migrate from Basic to Ezoic

One of the things I was guaranteed is how easy it is to migrate from Basic to the Ezoic platform. But it makes me wonder why Basic was even a thing, at that point.

Since you have more features, control, and customization options in Ezoic, why not just bypass Basic altogether?

The downside for me, though, is the last time I tried Ezoic, it borked my blog. I lost more than a month’s worth of revenue and no one could figure out why I wasn’t showing ads. Not to mention I took a severe hit to performance speed tests.

However, that was more than a year ago, and a lot has changed since then. Still, if Ezoic is even a fraction of what Basic is in terms of performance, I think I’d rather just stick with AdSense.

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Will I Continue to Use the Ezoic Basic Platform?

When all is said and done, it all comes down to whether I will continue to use Basic or not. For me, it comes down to three aspects of the system:

  • Less income
  • Poor visitor experience
  • Poor site performance

I’m always on the lookout for ways to boost how much I can make from ad revenue. And although Basic touts as having a higher return than AdSense, that simply wasn’t the case for my test blog.

In fact, the amount of money I brought in was quite a bit lower than what Google is paying me. I’ll share the data in a future blog post, but the end result was AdSense making in excess of $10 more in a month than Basic.

As I said earlier, though, you also have to consider your blog’s niche. The income may be vastly different for you than it was for my “writing” website.

Something else that rubbed me the wrong way is how Basic saturated my blog with ads. There is no reason to show 15 advertisements on a blog post that has just over 1200 words. It looks tacky, unprofessional, and ruins the visitor experience.

It’s practices like this that propelled the popularity of ad blockers.

Even as I write this, I cringe at the thought of how many ads are on my site as I am running a comparison test. Once I’m done, you can bet that I’m going back to a reduced number of ads.

Then, you have the fact that the website scored lower for PageSpeed Insights with Basic than it did even with AdSense. I have enough of a hard time as it is fixing speed issues without having to worry about yet another third-party resource problem.

Which Should You Use, Basic or Ezoic?

From what I’ve seen others use from Ezoic, it’s probably a better bet to use it over Basic. You’ll have far more control over ad placement and tracking. Though, you’ll still have to contend with the reduced performance in PageSpeed Insights.

It’s a bit more of a convoluted setup for Ezoic, but the functionality is worth the extra time. Well, at least from what I could tell. In my first attempt at using Ezoic, the system simply didn’t work at all.

Tech support, forums, YouTube videos…it didn’t seem anyone could help me with my specific problem with Ezoic. But like I said, that was more than a year ago. I’m sure they fixed certain issues by now.

Although my experiences with Ezoic have been soured, I know of several people who have made quite a bit of money with the platform. So, I can’t say for absolute certainty if either Basic or Ezoic is a waste of time.

But from what I can tell from the experiences of others, Ezoic itself is probably the better of the two if you really plan on making ad revenue from your blog.

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Things That Will Affect Your Ad Revenue from Any System

There are plenty of ways you can make money from a blog. Out of all of the methods available, ad revenue is probably the worst in terms of total potential. Unless you’re pulling in hundreds of thousands of views per month, you won’t replace a full-time income with ads alone.

However, ad revenue can help with some of your expenses. For instance, my blogs generate more than three times what I spend for hosting every year with AdSense alone. In other words, they pay for themselves.

So, what can you do to make more money from advertisements?

  • Choose a profitable niche. Not all website niches will generate the same amount of ad revenue.
  • Create high-quality content. More visitors equals more money. But no one will visit if you’re writing stuff no one wants to read.
  • Cover high-value topics. Some topics are going to bring in more per click than others. Especially if you have contextual ads enabled.
  • Focus on site performance. Google values speed. The faster your site, the more it’ll be shared in search results.

The common denominator of these is “traffic.” Every method of making money from your blog centers around how many people you can get to its pages. The user experience is vital for success, which means you need to write posts that people want and are searching for on Google.

Not to mention overall visual appeal.

Is Basic by Ezoic Right for You?

Signing up with Basic is free, so, the only thing you really lose by trying it out for yourself is time. And if you’re new to running and maintaining your website, you’ll probably spend quite a bit of time setting up the network.

Although my experience wasn’t the most stellar, I’m sure it may work well for others with websites in different niches and industries. Unfortunately, it’s not something I will continue to use myself.

Have you tried Basic by Ezoic, and if you have, how well has it worked for you?

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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