Overcoming the Impact of Website Testing on Site Speed

Website testing tools can be very useful in helping improve user experience, allowing you to compare different iterations of a web page or application against each other, exploring a user’s experience of different variations of a particular page, or more extensive full stack testing in which backend elements are also tested for how they impact customer experience. However, an unfortunate side effect of using testing tools is that they can lead to slower site speeds. Many in the industry believe that a diminishment of page speed is an inevitable side effect to using website testing tools. You can overcome this, however, while still taking advantage of the benefits of website testing through using a different type of testing tool.

The section.io platform enables users to plug and play with best of breed solutions so you can benefit from the most efficient and effective tools for your stack. One such tool is SiteSpect, which offers server side multivariate, A/B and end-to-end testing designed to optimize any and all functionality while not impacting on your site speed.

Types of Website Testing and Optimization Tools

  • A/B Testing – Rigorous A/B testing allows you to compare two iterations of a web page or app against one another to find out which factors increase conversions and improve revenue. A/B testing involves two or more variants of a page being shown to users at random, then statistical analysis helps determine which variation has performed better in the context of your specified conversion goals. SiteSpect offers an easy to use, interactive Visual Editor for optimization and testing across digital properties.

  • Multivariate Testing – Multivariate testing involves the measuring of interaction between the various independent elements on a given page (e.g. headlines, product imagery, copy text, etc.) and the opportunity to test out multiple different combinations, including a control version. This type of testing can be particularly useful for optimizing and refining an existing page that has many components, such as a landing or homepage to make better use of existing design work and digital assets.

  • End-to-End Testing – SiteSpect’s end-to-end optimization tool (known as SiteSpect Origin Experiments) is the industry’s only such optimization offering, which involves advanced full stack testing to optimize the complete customer experience. Its server side testing allows you to explore the impact of multiple features, functionalities, algorithms and infrastructure components, which impact the customer, even if they are not directly aware of their use. This solution also involves front end and client side testing.

Do Website Testing Tools Slow Your Website Down?

It has been proven that various types of website testing can indeed negatively impact site speed; for instance, after Dutch telco Simyo implemented an A/B testing tool on its site, the Google Page Speed score for its homepage dropped from 99/100 to 87/100, negatively impacting its competitiveness in terms of SEO and conversion rates. This 12-point dip occurred despite the company having followed best practices recommended by the vendor. In fact, most A/B testing software uses a client-side script based on JavaScript, which not only causes a delay on loading, but also slows the render execution of other parts of each page.

How to Conduct Website Testing Without Affecting Site Speed

SiteSpect’s solution is different. In a recent blog post, Eric J. Hansen, SiteSpect’s CTO, explains why this is the case. “Every other testing solution works by using JavaScript tags which require pages to either load slower or flicker. SiteSpect doesn’t use tags at all, so your sites often even speed up after implementing SiteSpect. This is how tags impact your site speed, and why it’s important to consider this impact in your search for a testing solution.” In partnering with SiteSpect, we were excited to find a testing service that not only won’t slow down your website, but which in fact could improve site speed and have a knock-on impact on improving SEO ranking, conversion rate and overall user experience.

There is no need to rely on a third-party testing tool that will slow down your website while you are actively trying to improve it. As we wrote about recently, the negative consequences are too serious to risk. In Eggplant’s recent global study into why web speed matters, the website optimization company found that just under three quarters of consumers (73%) will transfer their business to a rival site if the website they are visiting is too slow to load.

Want to learn more about how to run A/B, Multivariate and End to End Testing in section.io? Contact Us

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