A-B Testing Made Easy

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2011
Updated • Dec 19, 2012

I'm usually not reviewing commercial services for obvious reasons, but I'd like to make an exception today. I was looking for an A-B testing service that would allow me to test web page variations to find out which variation worked best for a site that I own. I first thought about using Google's Web Optimizer but had the impression that it was not really that easy to use. I then stumbled upon Optimizely and their service simply blew me away.

They basically allow you to create variations of an existing web page in a drag and drop like manner. For that, you do not need any coding experience whatsoever. Here is what you do. You create a new experiment first by entering a web page address that you want to A-B Test.

The web page is then rendered in the interface. A click on any element on the page displays a context menu with options to move, resize, hide or remove the element, change an image, edit the HTML directly, edit the link destination, track clicks or use custom JavaScript for advanced functionality.


You can make fonts bigger, move images around, exchange contents and manipulate the page in any other imaginable way. You can create one or multiple variations of a page.

Once done you get a single line of JavaScript code that you need to add right below the head tag of the web page that you want to A-B test. And that's it. No manual creation of pages on your web server, no code editing.

A click on Start Experiment starts the monitoring. You can from that moment on access the stats for that experiment to compare conversion rates, improvements and the performance of specific links on the page that you have chose to monitor.

Here is a video that outlines the whole process.

A-B Testing Video:

What I personally really like about Optimizely is the ease of use. You don't have to create multiple pages on your web server to test their performance, which speeds up the process significantly. The downside is the price of the service. Users get a 30-day free trial after which they pay $79.99 for up to 20,000 visitors or $399,99 for up to 200,000 visitors, both with an unlimited number of experiments.

Optimizely has more to offer, including multi-browser testing of pages, automatic goal tracking or multiple page testings which is very helpful if you want to make changes to an element that is displayed on several pages of the website.

Optimizely is an A-B Testing service that I can recommend to web developers, Internet marketers and enthusiasts regardless of their technical background.


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