Testing is extremely important to the success of any marketing campaign. Here is a selection of several website testing tools to help you run tests effectively:
Visual Website Optimizer
Nelio A/B Testing
AB Press Optimizer
Most digital marketers agree on the importance of website testing in conversion rate optimization. And with tools like Optimizely and Google Experiments (now Google Optimize), testing has become much easier. Website testing is now more approachable for many organizations. If you’re looking to get started, here’s a list of lesser-known options that might fit the bill. These website testing tools are also great if you have unique testing requirements or are simply shopping for a new tool.
New A/B Testing Tools
Zoho PageSense is an all-in-one platform for analytics, website testing, and personalization. It has a drag and drop visual editor that allows you to easily create and edit web page variations even if you don’t have coding skills. The tool has pre-set audience segments to target for website experiments, which you can customize along with the desired sample size.
Zoho PageSense integrates with popular website builders like Wix and Shopify. It’s also one of the cheapest a/b testing tools we’ve found. Plans start at $39 a month (for testing 10,000 visitors). You also have the option of signing up for an additional plan that costs $16 a month to access behavior analytics tools like heatmaps so you can track clicks and other behaviors while running your tests.
Convertize is an A/B testing tool that allows you to run tests without needing the help of a web developer or IT. Similar to Zoho PageSense, it has a drag and drop smart editor for creating different versions of a web page. But it takes the smart editor a bit further by including a library of 150 optimization tactics that can be used by digital marketers as website testing ideas. It also has what it calls an “autopilot” feature which automates traffic distribution while the test is running. The tool also automatically shifts more visitors to the best performing pages.
What’s great about Convertize is that you can test the tool with the 14-day free trial. You can then shift to a paid plan beginning at $49 a month for 20,000 visitors.
Established Website Testing Tools
(Note: These testing tools were new when the post was first published a while back. Since then they’ve become staples in the toolkit of many digital marketers. Some have also changed their target market and along with that, their pricing structure.)
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.
Update: Plans for this a/b testing tool used to start at $29 per month. It now costs $79 per month when paid annually or $99 when billed monthly. That still makes it a relatively affordable website testing tool for smaller to medium-sized businesses.
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.
Update: The tool has changed much over the years. It now includes multi-page and multivariate testing, and uses AI to automate traffic allocation and send visitors to the winning test variations. AB Tasty plans used to start as low as 29 Euro a month (about $36). Today you have a to pay a minimum of $1000 for setup and $200 monthly for a basic plan.
Visual Website Optimizer (VWO)
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, VWO sends you 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.
Update: Pricing now starts at $199 a month for purely testing. Be prepared to shell out $368 a month to access additional behavioral insights tools like session replays, heatmaps and surveys.
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.
Update: Convert offers a 15-day free trial period, after which you’d need to sign up to a paid plan to continue. Plans now start at $699 per month on a prepaid annual plan, which is good for testing 10K to 500K visitors per month.
Kameleoon uses 80 classification criteria to help website owners learn about their visitors. These criteria categorizes 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.
Similar to the other website testing tools, Kameleoon has a dynamic traffic allocation feature. However, it also allows you to make manual adjustments to the percentage of visitors who will see the page variations.
Update: Kameleoon no longer offers a free option, and pricing is now on a bespoke basis.
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:
Nelio A/B Testing
Nelio is a split testing plugin designed for WordPress users. It’s possible to run Nelio experiments entirely from the WordPress dashboard. The tool will automatically serve visitors the winning variation after the experiment is completed. You can use it 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.
Update: Nelio now allows you to segment your visitors for testing. The monthly subscription now starts at $29 per month or $299 yearly for 5,000 test page views. You also need to pay an additional $10 for 5,000 extra page visits.
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.
Update: The plugin website is no longer accessible. This is a 10-year code so it’s up to you if you still want to use it.
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.
Update: You can still use this but note that the developer has stopped maintaining the script. You can’t access the website anymore.
This is a split testing library written in PHP. PHP Scenario 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.
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. You can use the tool with any WordPress theme. 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.
Update: You can still install the plugin on WordPress. However, it was last updated 6 years ago and may not be compatible with more recent WordPress versions. The website also appears to be no longer working so it might not be possible to upgrade to the pro version of the tool.
Discontinued Website Testing Tools and Apps
Growth Giant was in development when this article was first published. This software was supposed to use the Multi-Armed Bandit theory to run continuous A/B tests. It would also automatically direct 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.
Unfortunately, it seems the Growth Giant never took off. The website is still available but it only contains articles.
Simple Page Tester
You can easily install Simple Page Tester into your WordPress 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.
Update: The plugin is now discontinued.
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 fruit in your conversion process. If you’re confident that your website isn’t suffering from major usability issues and has enough traffic to run statistically valid tests, then these website testing tools can help you optimize your pages for converting more visitors without putting too much strain on your resources.
And should you need help designing and implementing your A/B tests, we can always help.
Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that originally appeared in Tim Ash’s ClickZ column on December 9, 2014. We’ve updated the article to reflect changes in features, pricing, and availability of the A/B testing tools that were included in the original article.
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