The End of Free A/B Testing

Blog | 08 Mar, 2018

...Or is it just the beginning?


By Daniel Hayes, 8th March 2018


If you’re not already A/B testing on your website then I’m guessing you’re either only just starting out as a business or you’d better start now because you’re about 10 years behind everyone else! Testing is the best way to try out new creative ideas and offers on your audience to gain a better understanding of what your customers want. Testing platforms split traffic between variations of a specific page element or website to your audience to see which one performs better. This is an ongoing process which means you are continually improving.

Optimizely has been the biggest A/B testing platform in the world, leading the industry with approximately 37% of the market share for web optimisation tools. However, Optimizely no longer offers a free starter plan for new users. However, there are still some free optimisation tools on the market available with a proposition that is arguably better than Optimizely’s free plan... Since 2007, Google has provided a free tool for website optimisation, from its earliest incarnation, Google Website Optimizer, to the current platform Google Optimize. This platform offers more than just experimenting with website design and content, with the inclusion of a visual editor, advanced targeting options and native integrations with the entire Google stack, which means there is zero discrepancy in your data reporting.


The free versions of Optimize and Optimizely are not so different when comparing basic functionality, but where Optimizely only offers users 30 days free, Optimize allows users to try it for free indefinitely.

Optimizely and Google Optimize both offer the following standard functionality:
- A/B testing | Multivariate testing | Redirect testing
- Intuitive visual editor
- Advanced targeting options
- Advanced reporting capabilities
- Now let’s compare the advanced features of these two heavyweights...



Comparing Optimize and Optimizely is a bit like comparing Android and Apple devices. If you are an Apple fan then it will be in your best interest to stay within the Apple “family” (continuity), given they integrate with each other and you are already familiar with the UI and functionality. In this analogy, Google Optimize is Apple, because it integrates with everything from Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and every other tool in the Google Analytics 360 Suite, as well as AdWords and DoubleClick. However, Optimize is still developing as it’s only around two years old, so if you are after a robust, reliable tool that has been leading the industry for the last decade, with more third-party integrations than you can plug a stick into, then Optimizely might be the choice for you.

Having said all that, if you are here because you want a free A/B testing tool then the choice is easy, because Optimizely are rescinding their free version, leaving Optimize as the best (and only) choice between the two. If you’re just starting out or not too sure about which tool to use, then at least experiment with the free version of Google Optimize. If after a while you feel you are ready to take the next step, utilising the native integrations within the Google Analytics 360 Suite and developing some next level personalisation capabilities, then you might want to consider Google Optimize 360.


For any further questions about Google Optimize 360, click here or get in touch with us at

If you already have Google Optimize and would like training, then visit our website to see dates for courses. Call us on 0808 250 4012 or email us at

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