How To Test a Completely New Website?

Test a Completely New Website

If you have designed a completely different website (for example ecommerce shop) setting up a Split URL experiment is great for everyone that wants to test if the new design/structure has a positive impact and slowly gives it traffic (10% at a time). We use a split URL experiment for this.

Step 1: Setup a new subdomain

We experienced that setting up a subdomain with the new website can confuse users and lower conversion rate. can lower trust and hurt conversion rates. We have seen client using the following "trick" htpp://wwvv (the last two are "v") making it look like "w" in many browsers and avoiding too much confusion for the users.

Step 1.1: Add the new subdomain into the project's settings

Make sure the newly created subdomain is allowed to be part of the project.

Step 2: Turn off robot indexing

Make sure you new website under the subdomain has no indexing turned on. We are not SEO experts but you don't want duplicate content to be indexed.

<meta name="robots" content="noindex">

Step 3: Get SSL certificate in place on new subdomain

The checkout has to be secure on both domains so make sure you verify that your subdomain has a secure checkout. You surely lower conversions sending SSL warnings from your new site to the user.

Step 4: Create a New Experiment

In your Experiment Dashboard you with find the (plus) icon in the top right that indicates you can make a new experiment (see screenshot below)

Step 5: Select Split URL Experiment

There are 5 types you can select, for this split URL experiment select the second one (see screenshot below)

Step 6: Add Variations

By default we added your main URL as the original in the wizard, the variation on the right hand side you need to add yourself. You can give a name to each variation and using the (plus) icon in the top you can add more then one variation. The traffic will be split evenly over your original and all your variations. In the example below (see screenshot) we set it up to redirect every path on to the same path under Regular expressions are being used(see below):

Step 6: Need Regular Expressions (Optional)?

Unless you want to test one individual page against one or more other pages, regular expressions are needed. You need to define a pattern of your original URLS and which parts(matches) are gonna be transferred to the variation URL. In the above example, we'll capture everything that comes after the domain and add that into the variation URL. See more on regular expressions:

When the "Support Regular Expressions" option is checked, a link to a regular expression checker is displayed, making it easy to test regular expressions without leaving the screen: 

Step 7: Verify Audience

When you clicked Save you will be going to the Experiment Summary next. Verify the Audience since by default we set this to New Visitors and you might want to remove that to target every visitor or make it more specific.

Step 8: Verify Goals

In this same Experiment Summary you can change a lot, but to focus on the basics we just verify that goals are setup well.

When URL's for the websites are different for example the checkout has a different URL, consider an advanced goal, monitoring 2 URL's at the same time (see image below).

Step 8: Launch Experiment 

Don't forget to add the code to your site. Now launch your test by activating it.

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