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Can you totally change a page for testing?

SuzyThomas 05-05-16

Can you totally change a page for testing?

Hi all, I am new to Optimizely so forgive my lack of knowledge.


I understand it can be used to tweak pages but can you use it to test total redesigns?





JasonDahlin 05-05-16

Re: Can you totally change a page for testing?

@SuzyThomas - Yes you are able.  The question becomes "should you" and "how".


If you use Optimizely to replace everything inside the <body> element and load all of the apprpriate CSS and JS and images for the new page, the new page will be significantly slower than the original page:

1- the original stuff is probably already loading when you replace it

2- there is a slight delay before Optimizely can replace the contents of the <body> so the replacement itself will happen a couple hundred milliseceonds after the initial page load.

All things being equal, expect the page load of the redesign to take at least an extra second or two.


Instead, a better solution would be to use a "redirect" experiment where you send users from one URL to another URL.  The delay on a redirect is only a couple tenths of a second (and happens before any of the original page's images, etc start to download). But this requires that you have the ability to publish a new page.


--Jason Dahlin
Analytics and Testing Guru Smiley Happy

Experimentation Hero

Re: Can you totally change a page for testing?

To elaborate on what @JasonDahlin is saying, I have some anecdotal evidence,

On one of our products, we wanted to make big changes on a lander page, and we originally did this all in optimizely. The beauty of that was how fast we could bang out new landers to test against the champion. The downfall is that there is a noticeable change in page-load that had a material effect on conversion rates.

After, we were much more disciplined on how we constructed our optimizely tests (variation code-wise) and it significantly helped, but the ultimate solution for PAGE level changes would be the redirect test. If anything, build the test variation in Optimziely, and then show it to your devs so they can actually build the new page, and use the optimizely redirect function. 

IDEALLY, if these page overhauls CAN be done in optimizely, it shouldn't take devs too long to push it along.