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Optimizely Knowledge Base

Get started with Optimizely X Web Experimentation

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

  • Implement one line of code to run Optimizely on your site
  • Get quick optimization ideas to start out
  • Use six key steps to run great experiments in Optimizely X Web

Optimizely X Web Experimentation makes it easy to test experiences on your site with actual visitors, learn from them, and take action based on results.

What do we mean by "test experiences"? A/B Testing, also known as split testing, is a method of optimization that lets you run two (or more) versions of an experience to compare which is more effective at achieving your conversion goals.

Visitors are randomly bucketed into one version ("A") or the other ("B"). By measuring how visitors interact — for example: clicking a button, viewing a page, watching a video, submitting a form, or completing a purchase  — you can determine which version is most effective at achieving your conversion goals.

Optimizely allows you to set up and run A/B tests (as well as other test types, such as "multi-page" tests). In Optimizely, these are known as experiments. The different versions of the page that a visitor might see are known as variations.

If you've been using Optimizely Classic and want to learn what's new, check out this article to compare Optimizely Classic and Optimizely X.

You can also add other Optimizely X Web products -- Personalization and Recommendations -- for seamless experimentation.

Implement the snippet

Optimizely makes implementation simple: just take a small snippet of code, and copy and paste it into your site's code.

To find the snippet, navigate to the Settings dashboard.

Paste the snippet as high as possible in the <head> tag of any page you’d like to test or track a goal. For simplicity's sake, you should add the snippet sitewide.

You'll choose between a bundled snippet (which includes Optimizely Classic and Optimizely X) and a standalone snippet (only Optimizely X). The bundled snippet is ~50kB larger. Use it to keep running experiments in Classic while you try out X. When you're ready to move to Optimizely X, switch to the standalone snippet to reduce snippet size and improve speed and performance.

Check out our article on implementing the Optimizely snippet for a full walkthrough.

Get optimization ideas

Now that you've set up Optimizely, you're ready to start experimenting! You probably have ideas for what to test and optimize already. But if you need a few more, check out our articles with testing ideas:

The book A/B Testing: The Most Powerful Way To Turn Clicks Into Customers, provides many ideas and examples to get you started.

Build an experiment in six steps

There are six essential steps that you'll use in every experiment:

  1. Add a page (where your experiment will run)

  2. Add an audience (who will see your experiment)

  3. Add metrics (how you'll measure success)

  4. Set traffic distribution (how traffic will be split between variations)

  5. Create variations (make changes to your site with the Visual Editor or custom code)

  6. QA your experiment and publish it live to the world!

Learn to create an experiment step-by-step.

Make the transition from Optimizely Classic

If you're making the transition to Optimizely X from Optimizely Classic, check out these tips.