Split Testing WordPress Menus and Widgets with Nelio A/B Testing

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All websites serve a purpose. For instance, some sell a product, others offer a service, and others share news and stories. Clearly, some websites are better than others in serving their purpose. Split Testing (or A/B Testing) is a simple way to test changes on the current design or content of a website and determine which changes produce better results.
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All websites serve a purpose. For instance, some sell a product, others offer a service, and others share news and stories. Clearly, some websites are better than others in serving their purpose. Split Testing (or A/B Testing) is a simple way to test changes on the current design or content of a website and determine which changes produce better results. Just take a look at our explanation and video of what A/B Testing is to learn a little bit more about Conversion Rate Optimization!

Almost one year ago, Jean reviewed Nelio A/B Testing, our native A/B Testing solution for WordPress. During the past year we’ve been working very hard to integrate new features and create the most complete and powerful split testing plugin available. Today, I’d like to briefly present Nelio and discuss two of its main new features: Widget Testing and Menu Testing.

What Is Nelio A/B Testing and Why Should You Care?

Nelio A/B Testing is a Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) service specifically designed for WordPress. With Nelio, you will be able to test everything from within your WordPress dashboard — there is no need to leave WordPress and learn a new platform for creating and running your tests.

Example of an A/B Experiment: Test your article Headlines and engage more readers!

In the following screenshot, you can see all the things you’ll be able to test with Nelio. Just to give you a hint of what Nelio offers, you can (among many other things):

  • define one or more alternative headlines (that is, title, excerpt, and featured image) of your posts and see which one attracts more readers,
  • create alternative (landing) pages and discover which one gets more leads or sells more products, or
  • generate Heatmaps and discover which are the most relevant areas in your website when it comes to capture user’s attention.

Nelio A/B Testing offers several types of experiments, depending on what you want to test.

Once you’ve created your tests, simply run them, wait for the results to come, and set the winning alternative with just one click!

Split Testing WordPress Widgets

In November 2014 Nelio introduced support for Widget Testing, thus becoming the first and only solution that permits the creation and test of alternative widgets. Widget Testing is especially useful in the following two scenarios:

  • Decide what concrete widget works better. Imagine you want to install a new featured post widget. You’ll probably start by looking for a plugin that implements such a widget and, luckily, you’ll find more than one. Which one should you use, though? Well, Widget Testing will let you try all the options at once and it’ll tell you which one converts the best!
  • Find the best arrangement. Widget Testing will let you add, delete, and rearrange your widgets. If, for example, you have some affiliate links and advertisements in your sidebars, Widget Testing will give you useful insights and detailed information about the best widget arrangement to maximize your income.

Creating Widget Tests with Nelio is extremely easy. The process of creating A/B tests is always the same:

  •  Select the type of test to create. We’ve already seen you can test everything in WordPress. In this example, we’re interested in creating a Widget Experiment.
  • Fill in some basic information. The basic information consists on a descriptive name and an optional description.
  • Create one or more alternatives and edit them.
  • Configure your conversion actions and conversion goals.

In my opinion, the most interesting step is 3: creating the alternative widgets! Nelio offers a very straightforward using interface (see the next screenshot). Simply click on New Alternative Widget Set, name the alternative, and there you have it!

Creating alternative Widget Sets only requires a couple of clicks.

When the alternative has been created, simply click on Save Experiment and Edit Content and you’ll be presented with the regular WordPress Widget editor page. As you can see in the following screenshot, we’ve enriched the page a little bit and now you have a button for duplicating your original widgets. I honestly think you need no explanation to understand how you can configure the alternative widgets, right?

Adding, removing, and rearranging alternative widgets is as easy as you’d expect! Use WordPress default widget editor and you’re ready to go.

Split Testing WordPress Menus

Three months later, in February 2015, Nelio reach version 3.4 and, with it, Menu testing support was finally available. Menus are one of the most important elements of a site. They organize all your pages and help your users browse through them. Easily duplicate your current menus, change them by adding new items, removing old ones, or rearranging them, and discover which menu helps your users browse your site better!

The process for A/B-testing Menus follows the exact same scheme we’ve presented before (in fact, all our experiments follow it, offering a consistent and delightful user experience). When editing an alternative Menu, you’ll be presented, again, with WordPress’ default Menu page (take a look at the following screenshot), enriched with a few additional controllers. Play around to create your alternative menus, start the test and see if the new menu helps your business. Moreover, a detailed example of Menu testing is described in the Tasting Menu with Nelio A/B Testing post.

Editing alternative Menus is as easy as creating and editing new navigation Menus. You don’t need to learn anything new!


During the past year, we (the team behind Nelio AB Testing) have put a lot of effort to improve and boost our service. The impact that an A/B Testing tool can have on your business is amazing, and Nelio makes it accessible to all WordPress-based sites.

With the latest release of Nelio A/B Testing, the tool finally includes support for testing all standard WordPress features, including pages, posts, post headlines, navigation menus, widgets, and even themes. If you’re looking for the most complete, easy-to-use testing platform for WordPress, you should give Nelio a try. All our subscription plans come with a 14-day free-trial period!

David Aguilera

David is PhD in Computing and Software Engineer. Co-founder of Nelio Software , a company specialized in plugin development and services for WordPress. He is one of the major developers behind Nelio A/B Testing . Free software lover and interested in contributing the community by translating apps to Catalan and Spanish.

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