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Everything you need to switch from Optimizely Classic to X in one place: See the Optimizely X Web Transition Guide.

Optimizely Knowledge Base

The Visual Editor in Optimizely X

This article is about Optimizely X. If you're using Optimizely Classic, check this article out instead.
relevant products:
  • Optimizely X Web Experimentation
  • Optimizely X Web Personalization

  • Create variations or experiences in the Visual Editor
  • Target a group of visitors according to behavior, custom attributes, or standard attributes like language or device type 

The Optimizely X Visual Editor quickly loads your website and enables you to change the visitors' experience using our Visual Editor or powerful custom code options.

Here's what the Visual Editor looks like:

Often, you'll edit multiple variations or experiences. Use the variations dropdown menu to toggle between different variations (in Optimizely X Web Experimentation) or experiences (in Optimizely X Web Personalization).

Page not loading in the Visual Editor? Try loading it in the Pop-out Editor. If you're still having problems, read about troubleshooting Visual Editor loading issues.

Change the page that loads in the Visual Editor

When you enter the Visual Editor, you'll see the page you're editing. At the top of the Visual Editor, you'll see the name and URL of that page. These are the same pages that you set up when you implement Optimizely X.

You may want to change the page that loads in the Visual Editor so that you can edit a different element on your site. Here's how to do that:

  1. Click the bar with the name and URL of your page, and click View.

  2. In the Configure Page screen, you will see something different, depending on whether your page type is a single URL, or a set of URLs.

    For single URLs, you can change the URL field. This changes the page definition in every experiment where it's used. If you're using this page in multiple experiments, we recommend creating a new page instead of changing it.

    For A set of URLs or Global page types, you can change the Editor URL field. This only affects which page displays in the Visual Editor; not the actual URL targeting of your page as it displays to visitors.

For Single URL pages, changing the URL on the Configure Page screen will change the targeting of the page in every experiment and campaign where it's used. If you're using this page in multiple experiments, we recommend creating a new page instead of altering the existing one.

Add pages for a multi-page experiment

To create a multi-page or funnel experiment, click Add Page in the dropdown menu to add an existing page or create a new one. You can create variations for different pages on your site in a single experiment.

When making visual or custom code changes to a multi-page experiment, first select the page you're editing from the dropdown to ensure that your changes are applied correctly.

We recommend that you create new pages in the Implementation section of Optimizely X whenever possible. Pages are reusable across experiments and campaigns. Setting them up in  the Implementation tab lets you create experiments quickly and gather consistent data on the events you add to each page.

Select an element

Create visual changes in the Visual Editor by selecting (clicking on) an element on your page. The selector for this element will populate at the top of the left menu and in the Selector box. Then use the options in the menu on the left to make changes to that element.

You may also click on the magnifying glass to the right of the Selector box, and hover over various elements on your page to see what selector is chosen. Once you've found the one you want, click that element. If you were in the middle of changes to the previous element, you'll be prompted to save or discard those changes. If you don't want to select a new element, click the magnifying glass again.

To see the how Optimizely executes your visual changes, check out this article on change execution in Optimizely.

Sometimes, the element you want to select is difficult to access via a click, or you want to select multiple elements.

Modify the selector, as shown below:


To interact with your page, use the interactive mode () icon to switch the Visual Editor mode to interactive mode. Use this to: 

  • Close a dialog modal

  • Open a navigation bar

This disables the Visual Editor's element selector functionality, so you can interact with your page.

Visual and text changes

To begin editing, click Create in the menu.

The Visual Editor allows you to modify many of the HTML and CSS properties of your site. Here are your options for visual changes:

  • Edit Text and HTML: directly modify the text or HTML for an element

  • Layout:

    • Show, hide, or remove elements

    • Rearrange the initially selected element relative to another element

    • Position CSS property options allow you to choose alternative rules for positioning elements

  • Typography: font size, weight, and color

  • Background: color and image

  • Border: width, style, and color

  • Dimensions: width and height of the selected element

  • Styles:

    • Inline CSS. You can add any CSS here that will override prior changes or CSS styles for the selected element, including Optimizely's own custom CSS (except for inherited styles).

    • Modify, add, or remove classes of the selected element

  • Timing:

    • Choose between synchronous and asynchronous timing for a change

    • Synchronous means your change loads at the same time as the Optimizely snippet loads (technically inside the snippet), before the page is visible. Use this option for lighter changes that need to run right away without flashing, like a headline swap.

    • Asynchronous means that your change will load after the snippet, applying the change while the page loads. Use this option for heavier changes where a delay won't be noticeable, like a popup or a section below the fold.

  • Track clicks:

    • Attach a click event to a new element that you added to the page with the Visual Editor

    • Use it to track clicks in that campaign

Aside from changing existing elements, you can also do the following:

  • Insert HTML

  • Insert Image

  • Redirect

  • Add an extension: extensions are reusable elements that your team build once and reuse across multiple campaigns. Check out Optimizely's library of pre-built, reusable extensions here.

Rearrange elements

The Visual Editor allows you to rearrange an element relative to other elements on your page. Here's how:

  1. Select the element on your page that you want to rearrange.

  2. Click Rearrange in the left-hand rail. 

  3. Choose the positioning (Before, At the beginning of, At the end of, After) for where you'd like the element to go.

  4. Use the magnifying glass icon beside the Choose target selector field to choose the element on the page where you'd like to place your original element.

Think of this like a statement. For example: "Rearrange [original element] to go before [target element]."

Redirect variations

Sometimes, you'll want to redirect to another existing URL instead of designing a variation in the Visual Editor. For example, you may be testing two pre-built landing pages against each other. In Optimizely, this is called a redirect experiment: one (or more) of your variations will redirect the visitor to the URL of the landing page instead of the original experience.

Here's how to create and test redirect variations.

Optimizely won't erase the existing variation code you've generated if you select this option. Any variation JS or CSS changes that you've made will execute before the redirect.

Preview your changes

As you make changes in the Visual Editor, Optimizely will save your changes and upload them to our CDN (Content Delivery Network). You can preview the changes you've made directly from the Visual Editor.

  1. Check the status of the upload: if Uploading to CDN appears, your experiment is still uploading. Wait until this message disappears to preview your changes.

  2. In the Changes menu, select Preview Tool to view your changes

You can also use the Preview button to:

If you don't see the Preview option in the left-rail, you may may be in the Change Options sub-menu. Exit that menu to find the Preview options.

Pop-out Editor

The Pop-out Editor helps you work around header issues if you're having trouble loading a page in the Editor.

In the Pop-out Editor, click the () icon to load your page in a new browser window.