What are most commonly used banner sizes and why?
What do you mean by banners? Ads? Headers? I find it a vague term. It may depend on the width of your site.
primarly ones for ads. sorry for being vague.
Make it a width that fits your design. You obviously want people to see it and click on it, but ideally, don't let it be so big that it makes the site look ugly. I think you need to be more specific, because there aren't any rule, so far as I'm aware.
There are a few fixed sizes that are popular for displaying ads - so that different ads can be placed in the same spot and also so that ad blockers can easily recognise the ads and delete them.
If you get an adsense account with Google you will be presented with all of these popular sizes for generating the ad blocks you want Google to display ads in. Other advertisers use the same sizes for their ad blocks. Thats how ad blockers can block ads so easily while leaving real content alone - because the ads are usually those fixed sizes and other content generally is not.
Look at the standard sizes that come with Adsense and why they are popular for advertisers. This will give you all the size info you need to present them correctly on your site.
thanks for the heads up guys. i have an adsense account i just didn't having any commonSENSE to check that out.
That's a good place to start. Another link that may be beneficial in overview: http://www.iab.net/iab_products_and_industry_services/1421/1443/1452
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