Ad calculators

Walking people through the nuances of estimating display ad costs based on column inches, color vs. black and white, design services needed and other factors can get confusing quickly. When it’s a small business owner short on time, or someone just trying to place a “happy anniversary” ad and get on with their day, I always feel a little bad that there are so many details to process. So I’m always on the lookout for ways to make our advertising placement process a bit smoother.

Today I decided to try out asking ChatGPT to help me build a web form that would let someone select a few options and then actually see what their ad size would look like proportionate to the size of the print newspaper, and to quickly calculate the cost.

It took a fair amount of back and forth to refine the details and I did end up having to make a few more refinements directly in the code, but ChatGPT really came through in general. I was able to take the resulting HTML, CSS and Javascript it generated and implement it on our WordPress site as a plugin pretty quickly after that:

While I was at it, I had it build a classified ad cost calculator too:

I know this will help us internally in the office as we take calls and field requests about “what would this cost” but mostly I hope it’s helpful to our advertisers and readers.

Chris Hardie is a journalist, newspaper publisher, software developer and entrepreneur based in Indiana, USA. Read more from Chris on this site, learn more on his personal website, subscribe for updates or follow Chris on Mastodon.

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