Have you ever struggled to choose between two different titles for a post? Wouldn't it be great if, instead of having to choose between them, you could use them both and find out which grabbed more readers' attention?
Well, if you had read this post before that happened to you, you would’ve known that A/B testing (AKA split testing) could’ve solved your problem. A/B testing lets you compare two things, say post titles, to find out which option performs better.
And it’s definitely not just limited to post titles. With the right WordPress A/B testing plugin, you can test different variations of themes, plugins, menus, featured images, and lots more. After testing, you’ll be able to know, not guess, that your site is working as effectively as possible.
What is A/B Testing?
In the abstract, A/B testing is a fairly simple concept. All it does is pit two different variations of an element against each other to discover which variant performs better. Most A/B testing plugins will then give you the option to make the "winning" variation permanent.
But while the concept is simple, implementing A/B testing is far more difficult. You need to accurately track and measure traffic to each variation in order to accurately find the winner. Trying to do this manually is a massive pain, which is why I’ve put together this handy list of the best WordPress split testing plugins.
Check ‘em out...
Title Experiments Free
You can write the greatest post in the world, but not very many people will click to it if reading your title puts them to sleep. Title Experiments helps you avoid this unfortunate situation by letting you A/B test your WordPress post or page titles.
You can quickly add multiple title variants when you publish a post. Then, you can forget about your post and let Title Experiments sort out the best title. Once the plugin finds a winning title, it will stop the test and make that title the permanent title.
Title Experiments Free is so simple that there’s no reason not to use it.
Nelio AB Testing
If you’re looking for much more full-featured A/B testing, then Nelio AB Testing is for you. It’s definitely one of the most comprehensive internal WordPress split testing plugins. It lets you split test a variety of content like:
- Post / page titles
- Site headline
- Featured images
- Widgets/menu items
- Different themes / CSS
It also provides heat maps and click maps so you can drill down into how each change actually affected user behavior. And it’s fully compatible with WooCommerce so you that you can add some much needed split testing for your WooCommerce store.
Your first 1,000 pageviews are free, but after that you’ll need to subscribe to a Nelio plan to continue using the plugin. Plans start at $29 per month with discounts for annual billing.
Simple Page Tester
True to its name, the free version of Simple Page Tester lets you set up quick split tests between different variations of posts or pages. The plugin will track different metrics (it even integrates with Google Analytics) and then declare a winner.
If you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll also be able to track individual page elements using shortcodes, track conversions, as well as integrate the plugin with WooCommerce for eCommerce split testing.
If you’re looking for a free plugin with more functionality than Title Experiments Free, this is a good option.
Go to Simple Page Tester
AB Press Optimizer
As far as testing options go, AB Press Optimizer definitely gives Nelio AB Testing a run for its money. AB Press Optimizer lets you split test a variety of WordPress elements including:
- Content blocks
- Site headlines
Basically, you can test any element in your theme, page, post, or custom post types.
You can set up as many tests and variations as you want and the plugin will automatically do the math to declare a winner.
And here’s where it really differentiates itself from Nelio AB Testing:
AB Press Optimizer is a one-time fee. No recurring monthly costs like with Nelio AB Testing. Prices start at just $49 for a single-site license.
If paying a monthly fee for Nelio sent you running, definitely consider going with AB Press Optimizer.
Optimizely is an external service designed to help you test pretty much every aspect if your website. But while it’s external, they also include a WordPress plugin to help you integrate Optimizely with WordPress.
While you have immensely granular control over what you test, it definitely comes at a cost.
I’m not going into too much detail for Optimizely because its price is out of range for most WordPress users. If you’re running a serious business (with a similarly serious budget), definitely give Optimizely a look, though.
WordPress AB Content Optimizer
WordPress AB Content Optimizer comes with a caveat - it’s still in beta at the time I’m writing this post. But, I still wanted to include it because it has some great functionality. Just keep that in mind as you read about the plugin.
The plugin lets you test different variations of themes and plugins to find the most effective version of your site. Where something like Title Experiments Free is testing very specific elements, WordPress AB Content Optimizer, in its current incarnation, is more about testing high-level site changes.
I’m interested to see how this plugin grows because it already seems very polished for a plugin still in beta.
WordPress Calls to Action
WordPress Calls to Action allows you to create, and then A/B test, various calls to action on your website. Your call to action will obviously have a major effect on how effectively you can drive traffic, so it's one of the most important things to split test.
The plugin can either work as a standalone solution or integrate with WordPress Landing Pages for even more functionality.
BONUS - Divi Theme
Ok, you caught me. This isn’t a plugin. But if you read my Divi theme review, you know that I’m a huge fan of the split-testing functionality baked into Divi.
So, if you’re still looking for a WordPress theme, or willing to change to Divi from your current theme, I think it’s one of the easiest ways to add detailed A/B testing to WordPress.
Which A/B Testing Plugin Should You Pick?
If you’re not planning to spend a ton of time running A/B tests, I think you should pick something lightweight like Title Experiments Free. It’s the quickest and simplest way to improve your site with a little split testing. WordPress Calls to Action is also a simple solution that can offer major improvements without much time investment.
If you want a full-featured solution, then definitely look at Nelio AB Testing or AB Press Optimizer.
And if you want something in between those two extremes, look at WordPress AB Content Optimizer or Simple Page Tester.
Do you have a story about how split testing improved your WordPress site? It would be great if you shared in the comments!