A/B Testing in Umbraco

  • by Ondrej Pialek
  • Friday, December 1, 2017

What You Should Know Before A/B Testing in Umbraco

A fully-featured, open-source content management system, Umbraco gives those who choose it the flexibility to run anything from their own small blog right up to a massive and complex website. Both easy-to-use and highly powerful, Umbraco is used by some of the biggest names in business. Since managing content is easy and the CMS is highly integral, it naturally lends itself to A/B testing. Despite this, integrating foreign tools into Umbraco often leads to complications that make life difficult and actually negate some of the very advantages that made the CMS so appealing in the first place. Let’s learn a bit more about Umbraco, why it’s great, and some instances where you might need some help to get the most out of it.

 

Why Have So Many Chosen Umbraco?

Umbraco is an enterprise-level CMS that is currently being used by more than 125,000 websites across the world. Everything from small-time blogs to large eCommerce sites have gotten with the program. It’s even been used to power educational games for kids. So what’s all the fuss about?

The answer is that even though this CMS isn’t necessarily as simple or beginner-friendly as competitors like WordPress, it combines a few major ingredients to create a potent recipe: user-friendliness, open-source code, customizability, and near infinite-potential. Making content edits is simple and painless, a dedicated community exists where experts share updates and knowledge, a large ecosystem of plugins make it highly extensible, and it’s highly flexible. Plus it doesn’t hurt that you can be up and running in about an hour’s time. To sum it up, Umbraco’s main advantages are its:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Extensibility
  • Large and helpful community
  • And flexibility and scalability

The company is also well known for commercial support and security.

It’s pretty clear what has made Umbraco so successful. The combination of ease of use, powerful and intuitive editing capabilities, strong support, and flexibility all make it the great tool that it is. It’s those advantages that facilitate the running of A/B tests to begin with, but as we will see there are still some issues that you’ll face when trying to optimize your client’s pages if you don’t add some plugins or extend the CMS naturally.

 

Running A/B tests in Umbraco: the plot thickens

A major challenge facing digital agencies and other companies on the web is actually implementing a test; that is, getting one set up and doing the legwork to create variations and run/maintain (being an interative process, maintenance is key for A/B testing) the test. With Umbraco, split testing presents some technical barriers that complicate using what was supposed to be a simple-to-use CMS. Whereas before, editing sites with Umbraco didn’t require extra technical knowledge or any outside help, you may now find yourself needing developers or other people to help with complicated tasks.

What it boils down to is that Umbraco is a great tool for managing your content and running your website, but since there is no notion of a variation and all content is created equal (when you create a new variation it’s just an ordinary page and will behave as such, including appearing in your menus, becoming searchable etc) properly handling all of the new variations of pages you will be testing will require extra effort. What made Umbraco great in the first place doesn’t really carry over when it comes to split testing. Running A/B tests and maintaining user friendliness while keeping your site functioning well will require a little help.


 

Next up: What You Need to Know for A/B Testing in Umbraco

Installing uSplit
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Enterprise-level support for uSplit
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Using Optimizely for A/B Testing
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