Split Testing Templates in WordPress

Template tests are a special type of A/B tests that allows you to test different templates on your website and discover which design is best when converting your visitors into customers.

Nelio A/B Testing allows you to perform this type of tests in WordPress in a very simple way, offering the necessary tools to create alternative content, perform the test, and track visitors and achieve objectives such as increasing revenue or subscriptions to the newsletter. Install, activate, and configure Nelio and get the most out of your website

Instructions for Split Testing Templates

Once you have installed, activated, and configured Nelio A/B Testing, follow these instructions to create A/B tests.

Create a New Split Test for WordPress Templates

  1. Under the Nelio A/B Testing menu, click on Tests to view and manage your tests.
  2. Click the Add Test button at the top of the screen.
  3. A pop-up window will open with all the types of tests you can create. Each of them has a name and an icon.
    • Click Template.
Selector of test in Nelio A/B Testing.

Name and Define Your Test

First of all, give a descriptive Name to the test you want to create to help you identify it in the future. In addition, on the right sidebar, you’ll find three additional tabs:

  • Status & Management, where you see the status your test is currently in (DraftReadyScheduled, or Paused) and options on when it should start and end,
  • Description of the test, where you can indicate what you are testing and what you intend to achieve with it.

Note that a template test only applies to the set of contents that use the template under test.

Naming A/B test of templates with Nelio A/B Testing.

How to Create the Variants to Test

A split test of templates consists of testing different templates in the contents of your website that use a specific template and measuring which one works best to achieve your goals. For example, you can analyze which template design of your website generates more subscriptions to your newsletter.

Select the Template to Test

First, select the template on which you want to perform the test (called “Control Version” or commonly “Version A”). To do this you must choose the type of content from the list of options that appears by default. Next, select the specific template of that type you want to test.

Selecting the template to test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Add New Variants

Then create a “Variant B” (or more than one variant, if you wish) of the previously selected template. To do this, choose an alternative template from the list of options that appears by default.

Selecting variant of template to test with Nelio A/B Testing.

How to Define Your Conversion Goals and Actions

A/B tests are usually done with some objectives in mind, such as “getting more subscribers to the newsletter” or “showing interest in your products.” The goals are met when the visitor performs certain actions. For example, we will “increase newsletter subscribers” when a user completes a certain form on your website.

Define Your Conversion Goals

You can add as many goals as you want by clicking on the + New link. If you create more than one goal, Nelio A/B Testing will show you information on how effective each variant is for each of the defined goals.

Optionally, you can give your goal a name that helps you remember what you were interested in improving in your test. For example, your goals could be “Increase subscribers to the newsletter” or “Show interest in my products.”

Defining a conversion goal of an A/B Test of a post.

Add Conversion Actions to Your Goals

Different types of conversion actions are available to track your visitors. For example, you can control when they access a certain page, when they click on a certain element of your website or when they send a contact form.

  1. Click the Action Button that interests you. For example, if you want them to complete a form, click Form Submission icon.
  2. Each type of conversion action has its owns settings. In the case of Form Submission, for example, you must specify which form the user must complete.
  3. Repeat the process for all the actions you want to add.
Adding conversion actions to a post A/B test.

Remember that you can delete any action by clicking on the Delete link below the action.

How to Start the Test

Once you have fully defined your test, you will see that the status of the test will have passed from Draft to Ready. At that point, you can Start it so that your website visitors can see the different variants that you have created and Nelio A/B Testing will start tracking their actions.

Start an A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

Start Your Test

To start a test, check that it is Ready and, if it is, click the Start… button in the upper right corner. If it is not Ready, you can place your cursor over the information icon next to the Status to see why your test is still in Draft.

If you do not want to start the test directly, but want to leave it scheduled for a specific date, specify it using the Start field in the Status & Management section.

Once the test has started, the plugin will show you its results page and you will see that the status changes to Running.

Important: tests cannot be edited once they are active but you can pause them, modify them, and resume them to keep them running. However, depending on the modifications you make, it could be that your partial results are not valid after resuming the test. In such a case, it is best to start a completely new test duplicating the old one.

Choose the end mode in an A/B test.

When Do You Want Your Test to End?

You can also define when you want the execution to end, indicating the End Mode of the test:

  • Manual: the test will stop when you click on the Stop test button, on the test list or on its results page.
  • Duration: The test will stop automatically after the indicated time.
  • Page Views: the test will stop automatically after reaching the total number of visits you have specified.
  • Confidence: the test will stop automatically when a winner is found in the first goal of your test with the specified confidence level.

How to See the Progress of a Test and Its Results

In the menu option Tests you can see the list of the tests created, the status they are in and the date of their last update. At any time you can see the results of a test that is started or that has already ended by clicking on the View Results link below its name.

Status of the results of an A/B Test.

Summary of Results

In the right sidebar of the results page you will find the Summary of your test with the following metrics:

  • Status icon. This icon helps you quickly identify the progress of your tests. It is initially yellow, indicating that there are not enough visits to determine a winner. If the icon changes showing a clock with a heart is that there is a possible winner, but the statistical confidence is low, so things can still change. Finally, if it shows a green icon with a medal, you have a clear winner. If the icon is red then no alternative is better than the original.
  • Some metadata about your test. In particular, you can see the status of the test, how long it has been running, when it started and the end mode.
  • It also includes the description and scope of the test.

Test Progress

The results page shows, in turn, the following information on the progress of a test:

  1. Test Name
  2. Evolution with the conversion rate of the control version and all variants, as well as the total number of conversions and visits to the tested templates.
  3. Two additional graphs showing the conversion rates of each alternative and its degree of improvement over the original, respectively.
  4. For each of the variants of the test we will see a thumbnail image, if available, of the custom post type under test, the number of visits it has received, its number of conversions, the resulting conversion rate and, for all variants other than the original, the degree of improvement that they have with respect to the control version.
  5. Finally, a summary of the conversion goals and actions of the test is shown.
Evolution of an A/B test with one variant

Improve Your Web Conversion

You can end a test manually at any time by clicking on the Stop button found in the top right corner of the results page. Remember that a test can also end automatically if the condition indicated in its end mode is met.

After completing a test and to improve the conversion of your website, make sure that your pages use the template that has won the test.

Results of a template A/B test with Nelio A/B Testing.

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