What Is A/B Split Testing?

Updated: October 28, 2018
by Ray Alexander

A/B split testing is often experimented by webmasters on a landing page, sales funnel or simply on a blog page. It's a method for comparing two different versions in order to determine which version performs better. It's also called A/B testing, or split testing. Not just a comparison between "A and B" but more than two variations can be compared by split test, e.g. variation A, variation B, variation C and so on.

What Is A/B Split Testing?

The objective of a split testing is to find out 'which one is more/most popular?' So really any elements on a webpage can be tested, but mainly there are two types;

#1 Page Headline or Meta Description Variations

This is to test which one attracts more visitors. Your webpage being ranked at the top of search engine does not necessarily mean people will click to visit. If the headline sounds boring or irrelevant to what they're looking for, then they don't. Publish two or more identical posts with different headlines to find out which headline performs the highest CTR

You cannot simply publish multiple pages because it would harm your site's SEO, so you need to use a tool for testing. Previously Thrive Headline Optimizer was a good WordPress plugin, and still is. But Thrive Optimize does a lot more jobs. All you have to do is to insert more than one headline per web post and set the test duration (either the maximum number of visits or how many days you want to run it for). The plugin will randomly publish different versions and reveal which headline is the champion.

#2 Any Other Elements Within the Webpage

When a user arrives at your landing page, now this is to test their behavior. Typically a style of Call-To-Action (CTA) button, it can be the variation of page layout or background color that you want to test and find out which version persuades users to take action more/the most. 

Variation A

Variation B

You could split test at no cost if you set it up using Google Optimize, but it requires a technical knowledge and it's time consuming. Especially when you want to run multiple split tests at the same time, copying and pasting lengthy code snippets onto the head section becomes a messy job. Personally I'd rather spend my precious time in coming up with new ideas (e.g. CTA layout and position), not in setting it up, or even monitoring.

Automatic Winner Option Tool

"Thrive Optimize" is an all-round, automatic A/B split testing tool. Not only does it allow you to set it up very quickly, but it automatically monitors the results and will eliminate underperforming variations when the test period's ended. From then on, all your visitors will be sent to only the highest converting version of your page.

By using this easy plugin, the steps you need to take for the split test will be;

  1. Clone (create a copy) of your existing webpage at a click of a button
  2.  Edit that page and save as a variation
  3. Pick a conversion goal (you can either choose to measure (1) page visit" (2) opt-in form submission or (3) revenue)
  4. Run the test.

Thrive Optimize only works with Thrive Architect, and many of the Architect users are already using it. I'm an annual member myself ($19 per month) so this plugin was provided for free along with any other Thrive products.

  • Unlimited Free Updates
  • Install on 1 website
  • 1 year of support


  • Unlimited free updates
  • Install on 5 websites
  • 1 year of support


  • Unlimited free updates
  • Can have all the Thrive plugins for up to 25 websites
  • Unlimited support

From $67
as an add-on

  • Unlimited free updates
  • Can have ALL the Thrive themes & plugins for up to 25 websites
  • Unlimited support

$19 /month

A/B Split Testing Tool - Do You Really Need It?

Split tests play a big role in increasing conversion rates. They should be done. Your landing pages should be experimented. But a conventional split test tool is only worth paying money for if you're willing to make time to monitor the results and keep analysing them frequently.

Although I was aware of the importance of A/B testing, I couldn't get around to try it for a long time for two reasons;

  1. Initial setup seemed complicated even by using a special tool, and
  2. I didn't want to spend too much time analysing the results. 

Thrive Optimize clears these two problems that I had. Because it's part of the WordPress visual editor, it allows you to create an alternative version of your webpage immediately after creating the original version, then set to test it immediately without leaving WordPress. It will provide you a full analysis but with its automatic winner option, you can really - in theory - set it up and forget about it. 

Thrive Optimize is friendly to someone lazy like me, and makes A/B split testing actually enjoyable.

About the author 

Ray Alexander

ASD. Recovering alcoholic. LGBTQ+ advocate. Semi-retired. 15+ years of web-designing experience. 10+ years affiliate marketing. Ex-accountant. I'm nice and real. Ask me if you need any help in starting up your home business.

Thank you for your Comments!

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  1. I never thought I would need to do A/B testing. Thank you for such an informative page. I will try to learn a little by little and hopefully deliver the best result to my customers.

  2. I didn’t know about AB split testing. I don’t sell anything on my website yet. Do I still need to test my site and how long should I spend each day? Thanks

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. Yes it will be good if you split test your landing pages in order to achieve your goal expected from your website. Attract more visitors or generate more leads, etc. You won’t spend time on split tests every day, because once you set it up you’ll have to wait while the traffic comes in (for a few days – few weeks) before you see the results. Any more questions don’t hesitate to get back to me 🙂

  3. There’s an awesome information here. I can see ab testing most important but have never actually done it. I have been looking for a way to do it for free because of my budget which is very tight right now. But if I use a paid traffic I’ll have to do it without fail. Maybe the program you are offering is worth considering. Cheers.

  4. Thank you for such an educational information. I have never tried A/B testing or split testing and was wondering how I could do it. I am a little disappointed to learn that you need to buy a tool to carry it out. I have lots of time however I am not technical. I would like to try it in the very near future.
    Thank you.

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