How to Do A/B Split Testing in WordPress Using Plugins

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Before making any final decision, we tend to think about the consequences it will bear. We look for choices. Similarly, before launching a product like computer software or a website, organisations tend to conduct testing on different systems to check the performance and compatibility of the site or the program that is to be launched. This is where the concept of A/B split testing comes into play.

What is A/B Split Testing?

A/B split testing has become an integral part of website hosting. It’s just like having two versions of the same product: one for the first group of customers, and one for another group of customers. If you have a WordPress website and want to optimise it, I’d advise you to opt for A/B testing to check and compare which of the components are most effective and user-friendly in converting visitors into customers. Version A is usually called the “control”, while version B is called the “treatment”.

Which Elements can I Split Test?

Most of us remain confused on where to start. We all know that WordPress is huge, and it offers multiple choices to test plugins and functions all in one go. Well, one step at a time is better. You can run A/B split testing for page elements, such as buttons, text alignment, etc.
You can check themes, logos, and colours as well. The page elements should essentially not change too much, except the change that might affect how the user interacts with the WordPress interface.

Some of the elements that you can test on your WordPress website include but are not limited to:

  1. Comparing entire themes
  2. Logos and header graphics
  3. Sidebar positioning (left vs. right, two vs. one)
  4. Size of image (to check the impact of images on clicks)
  5. Buttons (to understand the effect of styles, colours, text, and positioning)
  6. Text links (colours, underline, hover effects)
  7. Forms (What kind of text on a form increases opt-ins? Is the number of fields directly related with signups?)
  8. Call-to-action events (Do users like “click here now” or do they prefer “visit this
    page”?)

A/B Testing WordPress Plugins

In this section, I will provide a detailed account on the plugins available to facilitate A/B testing for Word Press website.

1. Optimizely

Optimizely is an A/B service with a free and useful WordPress plugin that split tests different site elements, which may include but are not limited to buttons, links, themes, and call-to-actions, resulting in the increase of website traffic. Optimizely also provides an editor. Through this editor, you can test images and create their alternatives while performing A/B testing. Using this plugin, you do not have to edit the code of your website.

2. Nelio AB Testing

Nelio AB Testing is a premium WordPress plugin for AB testing. With this plugin, you can perform multiple tests and keep track of these tests, as it works perfectly with the WordPress dashboard. It is a paid plugin, but it’s really affordable.

3. Aweber Opt-in Forms

With this site, you can create attractive signup forms to enrich your mailing list for your customers. This plugin automatically takes care of split A/B testing, and you can make changes to the header and footer fields of the form. You can also instil different variations within the form.

4. Title Split Testing for WordPress

If you want to test the title of your post, then you can use the title split testing tool. It’s a really useful tool as it can help you choose the most effective and suitable title for your post, in order to attract visitors. When using this tool, you can enter a maximum of 10 titles, though for effective testing purposes, only two should be used. The procedure lasts until the best title is selected.

By using this process on different pages of your website, you can get the site fully optimised. This practice will lead to attract more visitors, thus increasing the chances of turning them into customers.

You should note that Google doesn’t support multiple titles. Therefore, the plugin will show the original title of your post and therefore won’t disturb your search engine rankings.

5. SES Theme Split Test

This plugin works in conjunction with Google Analytics. This plugin helps you to split test multiple variables and themes in an instant. Through this plugin, you can also assign a group name to specific customers visiting your website. Once a theme is selected, the Google Analytics comes into play, analysing the data and traffic results.

In Summary

All of these plugins are either free or come at very affordable cost. A/B testing is a really huge and diversified topic. In this post, I’ve elaborated on some of the user-friendly A/B testing plugins. If you know of any other plugins,feel free to share them with us in the comments section below.


This post was written by Syed Waseem Abbas. We are very grateful that Syed Waseem has written this post for us, however, the views expressed here belong to the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of wpContent.

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About Author

WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways.
Waseem has a knack for exploration. Whenever he explores a WordPress trouble, he tries his best to solve it. He is also a food explorer and travel lover.

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  • http://www.samberson.com/ Sam Berson

    Great post, thanks for contributing to wpContent!

    • http://www.cloudways.com/en/ Syed Waseem Abbas

      You are most welcome Sam. :-)

  • http://ssdpress.com/ Patrick

    Another one which is free is phpABtest (I believe it’s called.) It uses Google Analytics and it’s quite easy to implement.
    I’m working on my own little php/mySQL version which I’m testing out on my WP theme, but it’s not quite finished. Would have loved to share it here otherwise :(

    • http://www.samberson.com Sam Berson

      Hey Patrick, if it’s this you’re talking about (http://phpabtest.com/), then it looks really nice – thanks for sharing. When you’ve finished your WordPress version, send me a copy via the contact form and I’ll be sure to check it out and post a review on it. Cheers :)

    • http://www.cloudways.com/en/ Syed Waseem Abbas

      Hey @leito3:disqus, First of all thank you so much for giving it a look. Glad to see your input and will definitely check this out. I would also love to see your work when it is done. :-)