Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Tim Ash’s ClickZ column on December 9, 2014.
Testing is extremely important to the success of any marketing campaign. Here is a selection of several tools to help you test your website effectively.
Most digital marketers agree on the importance of website testing in conversion rate optimization. And with tools like Optimizely and Google Experiments, testing has become much easier and more approachable to many organizations. If you’re looking to get started, have unique testing requirements, or are simply shopping for a new testing tool, here’s a list of lesser-known options that might fit the bill.
AB Tasty offers site owners a uniquely open A/B testing platform that has been designed to make it easier for people to create and analyze their A/B tests. Unlike other programs that require new tags for every experiment, users on AB Tasty only need to install a single tag across all pages. The tag is installed at the beginning so you don’t need to do this again. You also do not need to worry about developing and hosting both the control pages and the test pages. Instead, you can create modifications using Tasty’s editor and the tag will automatically execute the test on the client side. You even have options to control how much of your traffic is subjected to the test. Plans start as low as 29 Euro a month (about $36).
Convert supports simple HTML editing and also features a WYSIWYG editor so site owners can test their pages without any technical help. This platform integrates with apps and plugins such as Google Analytics, BITIUM, CALLRAIL, KISSmetrics, Magento, and countless more. It can do both A/B testing and multivariate testing, and can easily scale from small-business to enterprise needs. Site owners can measure everything from conversion and revenue rates to bounces and customer engagement. Convert is affordable, too: The pay-as you go plan starts at $9 per month.
Convert features a simple interface for editing the elements in your page variations.
Growth Giant is currently in development but you can request beta access once it’s launched. This software proposes to use the Multi-Armed Bandit theory to run continuous A/B tests while also automatically directing traffic toward better performing pages. Rather than direct 50 percent of the site’s traffic to the poorly performing page during the entire test, the tool will automatically start increasing the amount of traffic that goes to the better performing page. The better one of the pages performs, the higher the percentage of traffic that will be directed there. This helps to minimize any losses you might have incurred from having traffic sent to the poorly performing page during the test.
Update 11/22/2019: Kameleoon no longer offers a free option, and pricing is now on a bespoke basis.
Kameleoon uses 80 classification criteria to help website owners learn about their visitors. These criteria are used to categorize people based upon what they do on the site and their current situation – such as the weather or time of day, where the visitor arrived from, and their device. Armed with this information, you can then run split tests or multivariate tests to get the full picture of how your website is performing.
Kameleoon’s WYSIWYG allows you to modify not only page elements but also the timing and appearance of targeted offers and messages.
PageMutant gives each experiment you run on your website a custom URL and embedded code. With this tool, you have access to bulk page generators and editors so you can build hundreds of pages or more in just minutes. The information can be pulled from spreadsheets and data sources. The pages designed are all mobile responsive and the system can send information from your experiments to your CRM, form builder, email tools, and marketing automation system, making it easy to integrate with the rest of your marketing tools. Plans start at $29 per month.
Visual Website Optimizer
With Visual Website Optimizer (VWO), page owners can access a number of different tools for testing and analysis. VWO can run A/B tests, split URL testing, and multivariate testing. The platform provides insight into your website performance by looking at revenue and segmentation reports. It also allows you to use heatmaps to better understand visitors’ activities. After the tests are completed, you will receive feedback from users, an analysis of your landing page, and ideas for optimizing your website. VWO also helps you create personalized and targeted content for your users. Plans start at $49 per month, billed annually.
Visual Website Optimizer includes the use of heatmaps to understand visitor behavior.
Plug-In and Add-In Tools for Split Testing
All of the tools mentioned above feature dashboards and interfaces designed largely for use on HTML websites and require little to no technical knowledge. If your website is built using an alternative language, is hosted on WordPress, or you’re a programmer who wants a simple code snippet that you can run for A/B testing and then customize yourself along the way, you might find the following tools useful:
A/Bingo for Ruby on Rails
A/Bingo is an open-source plugin that developers can install to run A/B tests on websites created using the Ruby on Rails language. It allows you to test different variations of page elements using only one line of code. The plugin works fast and has minimal impact on page and server load times.
Vanity is another open-source split testing framework created for Ruby on Rails websites. As with most A/B testing tools, it shows visitors different page variations and then reports on which one had the highest conversion rate. When the experiment is over, Vanity automatically directs all traffic to the test winner.
Vanity, a Ruby on Rails A/B testing plug-in.
This is a split testing library written in PHP that makes it possible for web users to do A/B testing with just short bits of code. You will need to download the code and set up the library to use the tool, so while it is convenient and free, it does require a little more experience with coding than other tools.
Nelio A/B Testing
Nelio is a split testing plugin designed for WordPress users. It can be run entirely from the WordPress dashboard and will automatically serve visitors the winning variation after the experiment is completed. It can be used to test just about anything on the page and provides an analysis of the results, including heatmaps of user activities. Nelio offers subscription-based plans for users beginning at just $12 per month.
Nelio is a plugin that lets you test different elements in your WordPress website.
AB Press Optimizer
AB Press Optimizer is another A/B testing plug-in that can be run directly from the WordPress dashboard. Users can test countless options for pages, content blocks, forms, and anything else that might impact conversion rates. The tool can be used with any WordPress theme and getting started is as simple as inserting a bit of code to your posts or pages. You will then receive test results in real time. There are no caps on visitors or experiments, but price is a bit steep with plans starting at $49 per license.
AB Press Optimizer features an easy setup for your WordPress website tests.
Simple Page Tester
Simple Page Tester is also for WordPress and is easily installed into the dashboard. This tester is SEO friendly and once you install it, you no longer have to worry about the code or changing it in-between experiments. The plug-in also integrates with Google Analytics, making it easy to track your results. You can use the plug-in for free or pay $59 for the premium version.
Testing can offer valuable insights to website owners and managers. It lets you know what’s working or not on your website, and helps you take advantage of low-hanging fruits in your conversion process. If you’re confident that your website isn’t suffering from major usability issues and have enough traffic to run statistically valid tests, then these tools can help you optimize your pages for converting more visitors without putting too much strain on your resources.