Everything on your WordPress site has an impact on your conversion rate. Some things might play just a small part while others could drastically skyrocket your sales. Therefore you should plan on testing every element on your website along the way. There are, of course, both effective and ineffective ways to test and measure their success. But before we dive into some of the best WordPress A/B testing tools we recommend, let’s discuss the importance of testing your web pages and why it leads to better conversions.
- What is A/B Testing?
- What Can You Split Test on Your WordPress Site?
- Best WordPress A/B Testing Tools
- Additional A/B Testing Tools
What is A/B Testing?
Successful web developers rely on two types of testing. A/B testing, also called split testing, pits two-page elements against each other in a head-to-head scenario that tells you which element readers respond to more. For instance, if you want to test a headline, you can design two identical web pages that feature separate headlines and direct traffic to each web page to see which headline results in more page views, time on page, higher conversions, etc.
The other type of testing popular among online marketers is multivariate testing. Multivariate testing allows you to compare and test multiple variations of the same page to see which page users respond to more positively. It is a great testing method, however, it is limited in narrowing down the best specific page elements you want to test.
To get an idea of how website visitors respond to specific elements on a web page, A/B testing is more effective. A multivariate test can tell you which version of a web page is more effective, but to test individual elements on a web page, A/B testing is the preferred method because it allows you to drill down to each specific page element and determine which one serves your readers the best and converts more traffic to sales. The pay off is that A/B testing can often be a long process, but that’s because it gives you the most thorough and accurate results for the elements you want to test.
What Can You Split Test on Your WordPress Site?
Since A/B testing is the more accurate of the two methods, you should plan to implement a strategy that allows you to test each element on your website and on each web page. To do that effectively, isolate each element and test them separately. The idea is to pick two versions of the same page element and test them against each other to see which one is the most effective in increasing page views, conversions, and other important metrics.
Start with your headers. Take two headers and compare them with an A/B test to see which one gets better results.
Footers and sidebars can be tested in the same manner. For instance, if you want to see whether a three-column footer or a four-column footer is more favorable for site visitors, run an A/B test where you sample each footer to a segment of your audience. The same goes for your sidebars. You can test your audience’s response to two sidebars versus one sidebar or test which of two different single-sidebar layouts is most effective.
Another site-wide test you can run involves color schemes. After you narrow down your theme, pick two color schemes and run a test on those to see which is more favorable.
Other things you can test include:
- Page titles
- Opt-in forms
- Graphic elements
- Page layout
- Calls to action
- Themes or landing pages (we published a detailed tutorial if you need some help on how to create landing pages quickly with a WordPress plugin)
If you think about it, the possibilities are really endless when it comes to A/B testing. 🤓 That is the exciting part. But that also means you should always be testing.
Best WordPress A/B Testing Tools in 2023
WordPress has incredible tools for A/B testing. Many of these tools are plugins or services that you can install and start using right away. Most of them easy to use so you don’t need any technical skills. If you can install WordPress and do some slight modifications, then you can use these WordPress tools to run effective A/B tests on your website.
Some of the tools below test specific web page elements while others are general testing tools. A few of them speak for themselves while others are recommended based on developer reputation. Note: make sure to test the A/B testing solutions with your cache (whether it is server-level cache or a caching plugin).
- Google Optimize
- Nelio A/B Testing
- Split Hero
- Thrive Headline Optimizer
- Simple Page Tester
- A/B Press Optimizer
- Title Experiments
- WordPress Calls to Action
- WordPress Landing Pages
- Marketing Optimizer
1. Google Optimize
Google Optimize, previously called Google Content Experiments, is an awesome re-developed tool from Google! This is now integrated with Google Analytics and is very easy to use and very powerful. The best part is that it’s completely free for up to 5 simultaneous experiments. Which is probably plenty for most of you. The premium version is available in Optimize 360. Check out the differences between Google Optimize and Optimize 360. We use the free version of Google Optimize at Kinsta and love it!
There is no WordPress plugin, but all you have to do is insert a piece of code into your website’s header. A great example of something we use this for is to test different copy on our WordPress sidebar widgets. Change the copy, hook up the button with different UTM parameters and an event, and then launch the A/B test in Google Optimize. We can then track which sidebar widget converts more and gets more clicks.
The even better part is that it’s tied in automatically with Google Analytics, so you can hook it up directly with your goals. Pretty cool! Google Optimize is definitely our favorite A/B testing tool at the moment.
Basically, any HTML or CSS element on your WordPress site can easily be changed in Google Optimize. For details on how to set it up on your WordPress site and how we are using it take a look at our detailed guide: How to A/B Test with Google Optimize in WordPress for Free.
2. Nelio A/B Testing
Nelio A/B Testing is the most powerful and versatile conversion optimization services for WordPress. It helps you define, manage, and keep track of A/B-testing experiments, combined with powerful and beautiful Heatmaps. Nelio’s also compatible with WooCommerce. Never leave WordPress, you can do everything from your admin dashboard.
The basic plan is $29/month. There is also a professional-level service for $89/month, great for small businesses. Finally, the enterprise-level plan is $259/month. Pricey, but you can use it on up to 10 websites, you can schedule your experiments, and there are other cool features like Auto Stop Experiments. Annual billing can shave off a little on these prices.
Nelio A/B Testing would be our first choice if you’re looking for a tool that integrates really well with WordPress.
3. Split Hero
Split Hero is a simple, user-friendly A/B testing tool for WordPress. It is primarily aimed at Freelancers, Agencies and their clients although it’s also perfect for the DIY web builder looking to take their website to the next step.
All you need to do is select up to 4 variations of a page you want to test plus the conversion page, for example, a contact form thank you page, and then enter the campaign run dates and you’re good to do.
Compared to more complex tools Split Hero has a strong focus on keeping things simple and empowering the user with only the data they need so you can take action.
As Split Hero works just based on whatever pages/posts you have in WordPress you can continue to build your pages however you like including using any page builder of your choice.
Tying in with the idea of simplicity, Split Hero offers just 1 simple account plan at a very reasonable cost of $27/mo. This includes its use on unlimited websites with unlimited page views and unlimited visitors as well as all features current and upcoming. The only restriction is the limit of 3 concurrent campaigns you can run at any one time but extras can be purchased for $5/mo each should you need them.
For people and agency owners who are ready to get started into split testing for themselves or their clients, Split Hero is a great option.
4. Thrive Headline Optimizer
Thrive Headline Optimizer is a great solution for improving your click-through rate, time on content, and scrolling. This is a premium plugin that starts at $67 a year for one website. It’s fully compatible with WooCommerce and you can put it on auto-pilot. Set your own automatic winner settings to get better CTR and walk away.
Just like Nelio, this has a very tight integration with WordPress and is well supported by the developers.
5. Simple Page Tester
Simple Page Tester is a plugin that lives up to its name. It’s free with a premium upgrade, the cost of which is $59. It’s SEO friendly, supports caching solutions, and is compatible with Google Analytics.
With the premium upgrade, you get split testing on custom post types, shortcodes, conversion tracking, WooCommerce integration, and a year of e-mail support.
6. AB Press Optimizer
AB Press Optimizer lets you quickly and easily create dozens of different versions of your images, buttons, content blocks, forms, and headlines. The personal version of this WordPress plugin allows you to install it on one website for $49. For $99, you can test up to three websites. The Agency plan offers unlimited site testing for $199. Each level of service provides an unlimited number of experiments for an unlimited number of visitors. You get real-time reporting with expert features and support.
Test your themes, posts, pages, and custom post types using shortcodes. Easy to use and install. This is also great for split testing WordPress widgets and different advertisements to see which has a better CTR.
7. Title Experiments Free
Title Experiments is very basic, but does one thing and does it well. Test your titles and discover which ones get a higher click-through rate for free. There is a premium version for $19.99/year which allows you to test multiple features images, detailed statistics, and even automatic experiment freezing.
8. WordPress Calls to Action
Besides headlines, calls to action are one of the most important page elements for conversion optimization. The WordPress Calls to Action plugin lets you test your links, social media buttons, file downloads, and set up call-to-action templates. This free plugin will also help you to track conversion rates and run multivariate tests.
9. WordPress Landing Pages
The WordPress Landing Pages plugin is created by the same developer as WordPress Calls to Action. Instead of testing single elements on your landing pages, you can run split tests on the landing pages themselves. Customize templates, track conversion rates, and even run multivariate tests if you want to test several elements at once. This free plugin has a visual editor, pre-populates your forms, and allows you to clone your splash pages.
There are premium add-ons which you can purchase to extend this plugin even further.
10. Marketing Optimizer
The Marketing Optimizer plugin is completely free and allows you to A/B test everything, from overlays, CTAs, landing pages, headlines, page layouts, images, button styles, and much more. They even include a bunch of free templates you can use right out of the box. It’s also fully compatible with popular caching plugins and WordPress hosts that use server-level caching.
Additional A/B Testing Tools
Here are a couple of additional A/B testing tools that might not have as tight of an integration with WordPress as some of the ones above, but still deserve a mention. Some of these work similarly to Google Optimize, letting you edit HTML and CSS elements directly on a page. However, they also have a higher learning curve to implement and use. And pricing is significantly more than the solutions mentioned above.
If you want your WordPress website to convert visitors to customers, then A/B testing your web page elements is essential. That includes headlines, graphics, opt-in forms, the content, page layout, and anything that could potentially hinder your sales. And remember, A/B testing is a never-ending process.
Have we missed anything? What other WordPress A/B testing tools have you tried on your site and pages? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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I’m surprised that there is no mention of Thrive Optimize and Thrive Leads? Both tools have built-in a/b testing.
We’ve added Thrive Headline Optimizer to the post above. Definitely one of the best out there.
Could you recommend tools for A/B pricing test?
Hey Liew, so this post is queued for a rewrite. But I can tell you we have been using Google’s free Optimize solution recently here at Kinsta and it’s great! In fact, we’re going to be publishing an in-depth walkthrough with how we use it to A/B test all sorts of things.
What about VWO?
VWO is included in the post. Definitely one to check out.
How can I make a/b test on single.php pages?
Look, I have lot of posts in single.php like : mysite.com/one-post and mysite.one/another-post
How can I make a/b test on those pages? Both are using single.php file but how can I split it?
Many of the tools listed above have the ability to run split tests. This isn’t something you have to worry about configuring on the WordPress side. Rather in the A/B testing tool, you say that you want to split test traffic against URL #1 and URL #2. You can do 50/50 traffic, etc. to test the results.
I am looking since days for a testing tool/plugin to test the sales conversion of two sales pages.
All plugins I found just count the visitors and the clicks on a button for example, but not the sales.
A few years ago there were plugins that enabled it. You just made an alternative sales
page put a code on the thank you page and you were able to measure/test the
sales conversion of each sales page (original and alternativ)
Does anyone knows an affordable wordpress tool/plugin that measures the sales conversion rate?
Most of the above solutions allow you to measure the results of sales/conversions of two pages. Google Optimize is great for that, Split Hero is another one you might want to check out.
We have had a problem of version “a” appearing first and then switching to “b” after js loads.
Yes, you might run into this depending on what tool you use. We have seen this first-hand with Google Optimize, however, they let you set the timing, therefore you can set it to be fast enough where the human eye wouldn’t notice it.
Amazing post. Can you discuss about the AI based automated testing software?
Came across https://www.testly.com/
Haven’t used it, but I am a fan of their other software. Any comments on how it matches up against your top 3 A/B Testing plugins above.
I’ve used Hotjar … it’s not for A/B testing directly. Its more a call recording widget. Like it’s competitors it creates serious drag on the website.
Hi, Title Experiments Free is Discontinued. Is there something instead you’d recommend?
Btw. I discovered your blog today and already did install a few plugins and started some tests. Thanks for your great work!
Just use Google Optimize – totally free and you can just test headlines or more advanced stuff.
Thanks a lot for this article and for your tutorial on Google Optimize.
Hi, Thanks Brian
The A/B testing tools you introduce here are very useful. This can really help to improve the effectiveness of the campaign.