A/B Testing in WordPress: How to Run A/B Tests to Improve Your Website
How do you make changes to your WordPress site? Do you “think” of a way to improve your site, make a major change, and call it a day? If so, you’re probably doing it all wrong.
best WordPress A/B testing plugins. Now, I’m going to take you through exactly how to set up an A/B test on WordPress using three great A/B testing plugins, including a new option that integrates into the WordPress block editor.
While these methods are by no means the only ways to split test WordPress, I think they’re the most beginner-friendly.
Because I know not everyone has an unlimited budget, I also tried to pick plugins which are either 100% free or offer a free trial.
Why Should You Run A/B Tests?
Here’s the brutal truth:
Your website will never be perfect. No matter how much blood, sweat, and tears you pour into it, there will always be ways to improve.
Done right, A/B testing helps you find those ways in a fairly scientific manner.
You can improve your conversion rates, get more email subscribers, make more money, or just offer a better user experience.
What Should You A/B Test?
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can literally test any element of your WordPress site. BUT, that’s not a good idea in practice.
Because you want your tests to be valid, you should only test one element at a time. If you test too many changes at one time, you can’t be sure which change is actually contributing to the (hopefully) positive improvement.
Since you only have limited time, effort, and money, it’s a good idea to focus your testing on spots that offer the biggest bang for your buck.
Sure, changing your footer might improve conversions by 0.5%, but wouldn’t it be better to focus on testing your CTA button, which might improve conversions by 100%? I think so.
Here are some high-reward spots you should focus your WordPress testing on:
- Buttons, especially your CTAs
- Post/Page titles
- Adding testimonials
- Different promotional offers
- Different opt-in forms
- Price changes
- Ad copy
Now, let’s get into just how you can do that.
How to Run A/B Tests in the WordPress Block Editor (Gutenberg)
Note – if you’re not using the WordPress block editor, this plugin also lets you use shortcodes to run A/B tests in the classic editor.
If you’re using the new WordPress block editor, also known as Gutenberg, there’s a really neat free plugin named A/B Testing for WordPress that lets you test different block implementations against one another.
For example, you can quickly test two different button blocks to see which button gets the most clicks.
Where this plugin gets really neat is that it also integrates with blocks from third-party plugins.
For example, if you’re using WPForms to create email opt-in forms, you could create two separate email opt-in forms and then use A/B Testing for WordPress to test those two forms against one another.
Because it integrates into the native WordPress editor, it offers a really intuitive A/B testing approach without the need for any third-party services.
Some other highlights of this plugin are that:
- It’s 100% free, at least as of the time that we’re writing this section. The plugin was just released, so it’s possible the developer adds a premium version in the future.
- It will calculate statistical significance for you to help you make sure the differences that you’re seeing in the data are actually meaningful.
Here’s how to use this plugin to run A/B tests.
How to Run A/B Tests in WordPress Block Editor
Once you install and activate the free A/B Testing for WordPress plugin from WordPress.org, you can jump right into creating A/B tests – there’s nothing to configure.
To get started, open the WordPress editor for the piece of content that you want to A/B test. The plugin works with posts, pages, and custom post types.
You can use all the regular blocks to add content. Then, add a new A/B Test block where you want to run your A/B test:
WPForms form block to each variant and display different forms.
To change between content for the different test variants, you can use the “A” and “B” tabs:
Start by installing and activating the plugin. Once installed, you can just go to write a post like normal. But instead of giving your post a single title, you can click a button to add a new title variant:
Nelio A/B Testing. The full plugin is free for your first 1,000 pageviews. After that, you’ll need to subscribe to a paid plan to keep testing.
After activating the plugin, you can either click Start Free Trial or sign up for a Nelio account to start A/B testing. Note – you don’t need a Nelio account until you pass that 1,000 pageview threshold.
For this guide, I’ll show you how to A/B test a page using a simple dummy landing page I created.
page builder, you’ll be able to access that here:
other A/B testing tools, though most will cost a decent chunk of money.
Final Thoughts on A/B Testing in WordPress
If you’re just looking for the quickest way to A/B test a small part of your WordPress site, then Title Experiments free is absolutely the easiest way to do that.
But if you want to go more in-depth with your testing, I recommend using Nelio A/B Testing. It might take a few run-throughs to feel comfortable with the interface, but once you get the hang of things, you can create WordPress A/B tests very quickly.
Finally, the A/B Testing for WordPress is a nice middle-ground that makes it easy to quickly spin up new tests in the block editor, though it’s not as detailed as Nelio A/B Testing.
Are you an Elementor user? Then don’t forget to check out our guide on how to A/B test in Elementor with Google Optimize.
Have you ever taken the time to split test your WordPress site? How did you go about implementing your tests? I tried to walk the line between detailed testing and remaining affordable/beginner-friendly. If you know a better way to achieve those goals, I’d love to hear it.