building an ad platform with dfp
DFP is a "layer" on top of AdSense, so before you can get started with DFP, you'll need a traditional AdSense account, which is either connected to your bank account or configured to send you checks. It could take a day or two for a new AdSense account to be approved, so get started now.
In case you're not familiar, Google AdWords is a program through which advertisers can purchase ad placements across the entire internet. Because Google's search engines index your site's content, they're able to place ads that match the topic of any given page. AdSense is the system through which site publishers can register to have these ads displayed on their own sites.
DFP requires you to have an AdSense account for two main reasons:
- When you're not able to come up with enough custom ads to fill your inventory (your collection of available ad space), AdSense ads will be served in those spots by default.
- For those ads that do fall through to AdSense, Google handles deposits to your bank account.
So: Apply for an AdSense account, wait to be approved, then apply for a DFP account, and again wait to be approved.
You'll also need the ability to edit templates in your content management system, since you'll need to place small bits of code provided by DFP into all the right places on your site. If you use WordPress, you can use the built-in Theme Editor for this purpose. Other CMSs will have their own systems for editing templates.
As you're learning the system, we recommend setting up a "development" or "staging" site where you can test things out. If you don't have one already, take the time to set up a staging site on a development subdomain at your web host (we recommend something like "dev.mysite.com", using "dev" in place of "www.") Alternatively, you can do testing and development with a copy of your site running on your desktop or laptop machine, but setting that up is a topic for another tutorial.
Finally, you'll need some "creative," i.e. actual ad graphics to work with as you get started. If you don't have any handy, feel free to download our sample pack of fake ads.