uSplit: A/B Testing Made Easy by Combining the Power of Umbraco and Google Analytics Experiments
An A/B testing tool native to Umbraco
In our previous posts we covered some third-party tools, but nothing native to Umbraco itself. One of the main reasons Umbraco is a great CMS is because it is open-source and highly extensible, meaning that a dedicated community regularly contributes to the product by extending its capabilities, fixing bugs, and making it better for those who use it.
The common theme so far has been that all of these tools fall a bit short in creating the perfect A/B testing experience. That’s where uSplit comes in. This free software built natively for Umbraco removes the technical barriers that are either holding companies back from testing altogether or making life very difficult when they do so. uSplit combines the best of both worlds for your A/B tests: the familiarity and seamless use of Umbraco plus the powerful capabilities of Google Analytics. This natural extension of the CMS is easy to use, powerful, and it’s worth mentioning again, free!
It’s time to delve a bit deeper into how uSplit works, what makes it worth using, and how to get it set up.
“uSplit removes the technical obstacles that prevent us from actually doing A/B testing in the wild” - 80 DAYS, a creative & digital marketing agency
A bit about uSplit
uSplit is an A/B testing plugin for Umbraco that combines the best of both worlds in terms of analytics and the Umbraco platform. The resulting partnership between Google Analytics Experiments and Umbraco has all of the positive aspects (the same familiar and intuitive interface that you’re used and the analysis and reporting capabilities of Analytics) but none of the technical barriers or the drawbacks that come with it.
Aside from automating most of the boring legwork that comes with GA Experiments, it also eliminates the headaches in terms of management on your side, UX, and SEO. It leaves you and your team to focus on the experiments rather than the issues that come with implementing them.
A crash course on how uSplit works
uSplit makes creating variations really simple. The variations are stored as different instances of the same doc type, and you can create them simply by duplicating the page, making the desired changes, and then selecting it as a variation. When running a test, you define several variations of the original page and uSplit picks one based on a suggested algorithm. When a variation is selected for rendering, uSplit overrides the original document’s properties and shows your changes. Since the variations are just the same doctype, you get the same Umbraco that you’re used to, and you can save them in a separate place on your site that’s nice and hidden away from the public (more on this coming). The plugin is even kind enough to report the variations to Google Analytics by using a piece of code embedded right after your head tag.