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10 Best Split Testing Tools to Grow Your Optimization Program

08th Jul 2021 –

If you want your website to perform better, you need to understand your audience.

What they want, when they want it, and how to provide it in the best way possible.

That’s where testing comes in.

Whether you’re looking for your first split-testing tool to use or already running tests and looking to switch to a tool that’s a better fit for your company, we’ve got you covered.

In this article, we’re going to cover the 10 best split testing tools out there, as recommended by CRO experts.

We break them down into multiple criteria so you can make the best decision for your company.

So let’s dive in…

How Did We Come Up With This Online Split Testing List?


Although we think our tool is pretty amazing, we didn’t want it to be the only option that you look at.

To come up with these 10 split testing tools, we reached out to a number of experts in the CRO industry to find out the best split testing tools they use and what they would recommend for others. This allowed us to get an unbiased selection that you can use to help choose the right tool for you.

We then took their recommendations and broke down the important details for you:

Why do we care to include these things? You see, here at Convert, we like to try and do good in the world. In fact, we often turn away potential customers with who we don’t align, especially if their industry is harmful or against our beliefs.

Not only that, but privacy is another large issue for us. We want to make sure that we protect our users and their data.

With that in mind, we added those factors into the results. If doing good is important to you, then maybe that can help you make a decision.

Here are the top 10 split testing tools recommended to us by CRO experts (in alphabetical order):

  • AB Tasty
  • Adobe Target
  • Convert Experiences
  • Convertize
  • Google Optimize
  • Kameleoon
  • Optimizely
  • SiteSpect
  • VWO Testing
  • Webtrends Optimize

What The Experts Say About These Top Split Testing Tools (And Which They Use)

We recently wrote an article on the top 22 CRO experts to follow on Linkedin. These are the people consistently providing amazing insights and ideas around A/B testing and more. We figured who better to reach out to and get recommendations from.

Now, I’ve added Ben first because I 100% agree with him.

My tool recommendations would be based on the maturity level of testing inside the company. (We have a great audit that helps determine this and benchmark programs against 100s of others).

E.g. just getting started or low velocity?

Use Google Optimize, otherwise if limiting, use Convert Experiences.

After that I’d say most mid-high mature programs would utilize the class of tools like ABTasty, Kameleoon, VWO, Optimizely, Google Optimize 360 all roughly the same.

Then there is a jump to platform/product focused tools like SiteSpect/Split… before going down the route of building their own tool.

Outside of this there are tools like Intellimize and Evolv that do some fun ML stuff… but this is less ‘test-and-learn’ focused and more ‘optimization’ focused.  We use them all above… some more than others. They are just tools. We focus on the service of using them and can make them work.

Most of the time we see companies trying to run too fast with tools and not putting time into their own companies’ rituals and artifacts and programs….the foundation of HOW to use the tools and get results from the program. We usually recommend sticking with Google Optimize/Convert type tools for a LONG time, until there is a really good program foundation and experimentation buy-in from the top down.

Ben Labay of Speero

I also reached out to a couple of agencies to see what they had to recommend.

Here’s what Jon Crowder of Journey Further prefers to use:

My Top 5 Split Testing Tools are Optimizely, VWO, Webtrends Optimize, Convert Experiences, and SiteSpect.

What tool am I using?

All of the above.

Why?

Because we use whichever tool is most appropriate to our client and their infrastructure. If they’re using progressive JavaScript frameworks like React or Angular, then some tools are more suitable than others for working within those boundaries.  We adapt and move between tools so that our clients get the best possible experience.

Jon Crowder of Journey Further

Workato’s Alex Birkett recommends these 5 expert split testing tools:

Convert Experiences, VWO, Google Optimize, Conductrics, and AB Tasty, but it really depends on the context of the company in question.

Some won’t have use for the advanced reinforcement learning and personalization offered by Conductics, and some just need a simple free setup via Google Optimize

I’d say Convert is my favorite split testing tool in most contexts because it balances power and ease of use and is comparatively affordable.

At Workato, I’m using Google Optimize. We’re considering other split testing tools, but for the volume and complexity of our tests, Google Optimize is able to service our needs. It’s simple, free to use, and we can integrate directly with Google Analytics with no engineering resources.  However, as we look towards more sophisticated integrations and personalization capabilities, we’ll be considering other tools.

Alex Birkett of Workato

Sam Renfrew of Journey Further recommends different split testing software to different clients:

We’re currently using a mix of pretty much all the split testing tools on the market – we recommend tools to our clients based on their traffic and budgets, but ultimately it’s up to them what they go with. (…)

SiteSpect

I’ve used this previously in other roles and found it to be one of the best tools out there, simply because it’s truly a server-side experience. There’s little need to write complex javascript, as you’re able to change the actual html contents before its delivered to the user

WebTrends Optimize

We’re really enjoying the tools provided by WebTrends Optimize to help us build out tests on a wide range of clients, as it gives us a huge amount of freedom with how the platform is loaded and performs. Very developer-friendly!

Convert Experiences

We’ve used Convert.com a lot over the past 2 years, as the flexible volume levels have allowed us to spin up new client projects in no time. A solid visual editor also doesn’t hurt, but they’ve also built some great code-only benefits too.

VWO

VWO have one of the easiest visual editors to use, so whilst this may not benefit me as a developer, it’s certainly a help when the rest of our team can build out tests in no time

Google Optimize

This one may be a curveball, because the 5-test limit on the free tier really doesn’t allow for a lot of testing, but I believe that everyone should have this at the very least to run even the most basic of experimentation programs.

Sam Renfrew of Journey Further

So now that you’ve seen what the experts have to say, let’s compare their ​​split testing tools.

#1: Convert Experiences

G2 Rating: 4.7/5.0 (46 Reviews)

Pricing: Starting as low as $699 per month, with $199 for every 100k visitors after that.

Do they offer a free plan or trial? Yes, 14 days free trial with no credit card needed.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: $199.

Pros

  • Fully privacy compliant: no personal data is ever stored
  • Accurate reporting because of use of 1st party cookies
  • Fast and flicker-free
  • Run unlimited tests
  • Condition stacking with 40+ filters to target granular audience segments
  • Flexible JavaScript insertion at project, experiment & variation levels
  • Custom JS condition goal triggering
  • Integrates with 100+ 3rd party tools (e.g., Shopify, WordPress, Mixpanel, Hotjar)
  • 4x faster, human customer support via phone, email & chat.

Cons

  • Basic post segmentation on the Kickstart plan

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Convert works as a client-side WYSIWYG editor, but it can also be set up on server side and run custom JS.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. We are the tool of choice for companies like Sony, Jabra, Unicef, and others.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes, right from the start of the trial. What type? Live chat, blog, and knowledge base with more to come.

Do they care about Privacy? We are fully GDPR compliant. We even stopped using tools for our internal work from other companies that don’t meet GDPR, that’s how much it means to us.

Do they care about the World? Yes. It’s in our DNA. We plant trees, run community programs, champion diversity from the initial application, donate to charities, and much more. Heck, we’re 15x carbon negative.

Trust Radius Review:

split testing tool Convert Experiences review

See what Convert Experiences looks like in action.

Experience privacy-compliant, flicker-free, limitless testing. Try Convert Experiences for free for 15 days.

#2: AB Tasty

G2 Rating: 4.5/5.0 (76 Reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $1900/mo for 400k monthly tested visitors for the Essentials plan. The Growth plan costs $3800/mo while the Elite plan starts at $5700/mo.

Do they offer a free plan or trial? No. You can request a demo call to see their features.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: Approx $475.

Pros

  • AI and ML built into the optimization
  • Run unlimited experiments
  • Clean and easy-to-use interface
  • Easy to set up and preview tests
  • Dynamic Widgets
  • Multiple integrations
  • Extensive analytics reports
  • Wide range of targeting options available, along with personalization
  • Reliable customer support
  • Pricing is mid-range

Cons

  • Doesn’t give automatic insights about audience performance (especially for an active experiment) and will sometimes require customer support to see
  • Statistical Significance calculator is a bit basic in its UX
  • The Google Analytics integration is complex, it requires coding
  • No free trial

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. They are the tool of choice for companies like Disney, L’Oreal, Kalviyo, and others.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes. They have a knowledge base and live chat.

Do they care about Privacy? Yes. User IP addresses are used to create an ID code and then immediately deleted before moving into the tool. ID codes are anonymized and then deleted after 13 months.

Do they care about the World? They donate directly to NGOs, they work with social action groups, they recycle and sponsor beehives.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#3: Adobe Target

G2 Rating: 4.0/5.0 (29 Reviews)

Pricing: Only available after an 11 part form, an email, and a call. Starting rate is $10,000 a month.

Do they offer a free plan or trial? No.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros

  • The interface is easy to use
  • Provides accurate real-time data reports
  • Integrates well with Adobe Analytics and is designed as an upsell offer
  • Website personalization tools for both beginners and experts
  • Walks you through the setup and testing process
  • Has advanced AI to continually test and improve campaigns and personalization

Cons

  • Testing on a large scale can be slow
  • Requires very high volume of traffic to work best
  • The form-based editor requires a learning curve
  • High price point
  • No trial option
  • Works best when already using Adobe Analytics
  • Can get great insights when connected to other paid Adobe Marketing Cloud tools

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. Almost exclusively due to the cost.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes, in the form of a knowledge base and video training programs.

Do they care about Privacy? Yes, but ironically they require your email and phone number to learn more about this. They are however doing a lot of work in 1st party data for non-intrusive tracking.

Do they care about the World? Very much so. They champion diversity, work towards 100% renewable energy buildings, lowering emissions, running community action programs, and much more.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#4: Convertize

G2 Rating: 4.0/5.0 (3 Reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $49/mo for 20k tested visitors.

$329/mo for 500k tested visitors each month, $499/mo for 1M tested visitors each month and $829/mo for 2M monthly tested visitors. All plans are billed annually.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes, 14 days free trial and no credit card needed.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: $199.

Pros

  • Incredibly cheap
  • Has an internal tactics/training program to help you get ideas for tests
  • Simple to use editor
  • Easy to read stats
  • Fast loading time for tests
  • Social proof and FOMO notifications

Cons

  • Has an autopilot feature to redirect traffic to winning campaigns DURING the test. If your test has hit stat sig, testing power, and ran for a cycle already then this could be great. But it might also be redirecting traffic early away from a potential winner though.
  • No MVT test abilities
  • No server-side setup
  • Ideas are great, but tests should ideally come from a hypothesis on your current data.

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Client-side only.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes.

Do they offer Customer support?  Yes, right from the start of the trial. What type? Live chat.

Do they care about Privacy? They are fully GDPR compliant.

Do they care about the World? They wrote a book on persuasion and all proceeds of sales go to the Books2Africa charity.

Trust Radius Review:
There aren’t any reviews on Trust Radius for Convertize, so I pulled the latest review they have on G2 instead.

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#5: Google Optimize

G2 Rating: 4.3/5.0 (27 Reviews)

Pricing: Free. For advanced features, you have to opt for Google Optimize 360.

The pricing for Optimize 360 is custom (although rumored to be around $150,000 per year). To get your monthly price, you’ll have to fill a form to contact their sales team.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros

  • Easy to set up tests — little technical knowledge required
  • Great for first-time A/B testers
  • Quick integration with Google Analytics
  • Has a super detailed audience segmentation, thanks to Google’s huge data resources

Cons

  • Limited to 5 tests at a time on the free tier
  • No drag-and-drop editor
  • Cannot upload your images directly
  • Cannot test apps, only browsers
  • Not suited for complicated tests
  • UI/UX and reports aren’t as visually appealing as most other split testing tools
  • Flicker happens sometimes

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes, but only via Optimize 360.

Do they offer Customer support? They have a resource hub with tips, video tutorials, help community, and more, all organized in a central help center.

Do they care about Privacy? They comply with applicable data protection laws in the countries where their products are used.

They also work with third parties and data protection authorities to keep users’ data safe.

Do they care about the World? Google has been carbon neutral since 2007 and plans to be carbon-free by 2030. Apart from that, they’re known for numerous philanthropic gestures with their $1 billion commitment.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#6: Kameleoon

G2 Rating: 4.7/5.0 (24 Reviews)

Pricing: Customized according to your requirements. You get your unique price by contacting the sales team.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros

  • Easy to set up click tracking
  • Smooth integration with many other tools
  • Has an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor for non-developers
  • Advanced anti-flicker technology
  • Knowledgeable and helpful support team
  • Accurate and detailed planning and execution of tests

Cons

  • WYSIWYG editor loads slowly
  • The reporting dashboard could use a bit more personalization
  • Need developer-level skill to implement some complex scenarios
  • Cannot archive tests
  • Old browsers like IE7 are excluded from the tests

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both. You can make edits on the WYSIWYG editor as well as use Kameleoon’s in-built code editor to edit CSS and JS.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. Lexus, Unity, Providence, Toyota, and Rakuten use Kameleoon.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes. You can even get a dedicated account manager to assist you with complicated projects.

Do they care about Privacy? They are HIPAA, GDPR and CCPA compliant. They also have a flexible consent management feature to adapt your privacy policy for each A/B test.

Do they care about the World? I couldn’t find evidence of any charity they sponsor or environmental causes they support. Although, it’s interesting to know they have two live chameleons in their Germany and France offices.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#7: Optimizely

G2 Rating: 4.3/5.0 (109 Reviews)

Pricing: They’re using a custom pricing model. But Splitbase predicts they cost at least $36,000 per year.

Do they offer a free plan? No. They stopped the free plan in 2018.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros

  • Run unlimited experiments
  • Clean and easy-to-use interface
  • The widget feature is fun to use
  • Wide range of targeting options available
  • Reliable customer support

Con

  • Doesn’t give automatic insights about audience performance (especially for an active experiment)
  • Google Analytics integration is complex, requires coding
  • Optimizely snippet usually increases page loading time

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both. Optimizely offers client side experimentation through a Javascript snippet and server side experimentation through developer SDKs.

Do they serve Enterprise? Due to pricing, it mostly caters to an enterprise level. Brands like Microsoft, IBM, HP, eBay, Yamaha, Pizza Hut, and Atlassian use it.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes. They have a bank of resources to help users get unstuck and phone numbers to call for help 24/7.

Do they care about Privacy? They take into consideration old and new privacy laws and integrate that into their products so that you, the user, don’t have to worry about compliance.

Do they care about the World? Most new hires are sent to volunteer in the community on their second day.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#8: SiteSpect

G2 Rating: 4.4/5.0 (50 Reviews)

Pricing: You’ll have to contact SiteSpect for a customized price according to your needs.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes, they offer a free trial.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros:

  • Supports all markup languages (HTML, WML, XML, and JSON), style sheets, and scripting languages
  • No javascript tag means no content refresh or flicker
  • Versatile enough to test almost any scenario
  • Non-intrusive testing
  • Integrates with analytics tools
  • No need to modify the production version of your code

Cons:

  • Technical knowledge required to implement tests
  • Adds an extra hop that could slow down your site a bit
  • The reporting interface could be better

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. Staples, PetSmart, AmericanGirl, and Urban Outfitters use SiteSpect.

Do they offer Customer support? Customer support is available via phone call and email for free and paid versions. There are also pre-recorded webinars available in their knowledge base.

Do they care about Privacy? They do. They are PCI DSS 3.2 certified; GDPR, CCPA, and privacy shield compliant; and HIPAA ready.

Do they care about the World? SiteSpect is known to sponsor some charity projects since 2014.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#9: VWO Testing

G2 Rating: 4.2/5.0 (239 Reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $99/mo. Anything more requires customized pricing according to your needs. And you’ll have to contact the VWO sales team for yours.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes, you can get started with a 30-day free trial.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: ~$500

Pros:

  • Flexible customization options to adapt your test to a lot of scenarios
  • Easy to plan and execute tests with little coding knowledge
  • Dedicated support team to guide you through any challenges
  • Has the ability to track long-term goals
  • Ability to group tests together
  • Useful recordings for observing users and troubleshooting

Cons:

  • There’s a learning curve to understand the full functionality of VWO
  • Pricing plans change frequently
  • They only test client side

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Only client side.

Do they serve Enterprise? Yes. Their enterprise clients include Ubisoft, AMD, Penn Foster, Optimeria, and IMB Bank.

Do they offer Customer support?  Yes, you can call them when you need help. Or consult their resource page.

Do they care about Privacy? Yes. They comply with the major privacy laws and regulations but they store some visitor data on their servers.

Do they care about the World? Recently, the chairman of Wingify (the brand behind VWO) Paras Chopra, tweeted their support for a couple of COVID relief initiatives including setting up a 10-bed COVID-care facility in Delhi.

Trust Radius Review:

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

#10: Webtrends Optimize

G2 Rating: 4.9/5.0 (107 Reviews)

Pricing: Starts at $212 per month but can be lower or higher depending on what you require. They have a very flexible pricing structure, but you have to speak to the sales teams to confirm your price.

Do they offer a free plan? Yes, for less than 1,500 sessions per month.

Cost per 100,000 visitors: N/A

Pros:

  • User friendly, suitable for non-technical users with a WYSIWYG editor
  • Supports team collaboration
  • Gives data-driven insights
  • The support team shows genuine interest in your success
  • Smooth integration with your website and existing tools
  • Clear and straightforward reports

Cons:

  • The UI can be difficult to use for new users
  • Takes time to set up even simple tests
  • The cost of the full service is on the high side

Client Side, Server Side or Both? Both. They have a proxy-less visual editor for client-side rendering and server-side testing capabilities too.

Do they serve Enterprise? Microsoft, London North Eastern Railway, Marks and Spencer, and Virgin Wines use Optimize.

Do they offer Customer support? Yes. You get access to tech support, training, and your own dedicated CRO consultant.

Do they care about Privacy? They are fully GDPR compliant.

Do they care about the World? In April 2021, Webtrends Optimize challenged themselves to 100 Push-ups a day in a GoFundMe event to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. And they did something similar in 2020 called Xmas Charity Donations. So, they care.

Trust Radius Review:
Although there are reviews on Trust Radius for this split testing tool, the latest was December 2019, and before that 2018. Because a tool can change and so can the service, I’ve pulled their latest review from G2.

What this split testing tool looks like in action:

Conclusion

So there you have it: the top 10 split testing tools recommended by expert CROs and agencies actively using them.

Each split testing tool has its strengths and weaknesses, as well as some unique features. The pricing can also vary depending on this and how they break down your usage.

So which should you use?

As a rule of thumb, you want the best tool for your situation:

  • If you’re just starting, then Google Optimize is one of the best free split testing tools, until you get limited by features.
  • After that, you can upgrade to Convert Experiences (that’s us) where you can then do more sophisticated tests and at a great price point, with amazing support.
  • Then, once you’re program matures to a very high level, you might want to start looking at either ML or AI testing programs, or simply ones that interface best with any high-end analytics platform that you migrate to i.e Adobe Target but only if you’re currently using their Adobe Analytics.
Originally published July 08, 2021 - Updated July 22, 2021

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