Skip to the content

Optimizely’s Main Features

Making content changes, building variations, and launching tests are all made easy with Optimizely. Brimming with features and capabilities, it offers a multitude of ways to sweeten the fruit that your tests bear. The following are some of its main features and which plan they’re available with (yes, you do have to pay for this tool!). The plans are Standard, the cheapest ($); Professional, middle ($$); and Premium ($$$), expensive but worth it for large organizations:

Note: Optimizely’s pricing plans and structure are constantly in flux, and they rarely give concrete details on real dollar figures. We encourage readers to stay up to date and visit for more information.

  • An easy editing interface – we’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  To make content edits in Optimizely, you click on an element, select what you’d like to edit, and voila. You can fiddle with the size, layout, font, colour, placement, and just about every other aspect of the content of your site. The straightforward nature allows those with limited technical experience to use it, reducing developer time and and speeding up the testing process. More drastic changes, however, may require some outside help. It’s easy to make changes regardless of how much you pay. $
  • Convenient testing capabilities – you can run simple A/B tests and multivariate tests across the entire customer experience. Running tests across multiple pages is also fairly simple. With URL targeting you can enter multiple pages (for example, an entire category of retails products) in rather simple fashion. The basic package still allows A/B and multivariate testing, but you’ll have to upgrade to professional to get more features (such as funnel testing or site-wide testing). $-$$$
  • Test scheduling – you can schedule your tests to stop and start and predetermined times. $$ +
  • Audience selection – you can select which visitors to include or exclude, creating an audience that is personally selected to see the experiment. You can select factors like geographic location, mobile visitors, or visitors who’ve come from an ad campaign. This powerful tool allows you to segment audiences for better, more-focused results. The standard plan offers basic audience targeting but the preciseness increases as you go up in price. The premium plan offers geo-targeting, time of day targeting, IP address targeting, and third-party data targeting. $-$$$
  • Highly integral – there are a number of tools you can integrate into Optimizely to provide more-targeted results. Google Analytics, KISSmetrics, and Crazy Egg are a few of the most popular options. $
  • Powerful stats engine – Optimizely’s unique Stats Engine analyzes data as it comes in, providing actionable information for making business decisions.You can’t integrate the data into GA, but it’s still helpful to have. $
  • Custom goal setting – Optimizely gives its users the chance to set goals with experiments. You can choose a predetermined one such as clicks, pageviews, or engagement, or you could have a developer create a custom goal for you. Some examples of custom goals could be total revenue, sales funnel drop off analysis, or form submission goals. You can view Optimizely results in terms of your GA goals, but you can’t integrate custom Optimzely goals into GA. $

Thousands of companies large and small are using Optimizely to make changes, test variations against one another, and make business decisions aimed at improving the effectiveness of their sites to drive revenue. It offers numerous features that can take your A/B testing to the next level, depending on how much you pay of course. Speaking of payment…

Caveat Emptor: Optimizely pricing

Optmizely offers a free trial, but unlocking the full potential of tool can be quite expensive. For starters, there is a pay-as-you-go plan that charges $49 per 1,000 visitors. After that, things get a bit complicated. Pricing depends on a multitude of factors and on whether or not you get Optimizely X (the new version of the software). Many of the core features that make it so good in the first place are conveniently set behind a pricey paywall. If you want to unlock the full potential of the tool, you are now talking thousands of dollars per year. Of course, if you are a large enterprise that will use the tool to its full potential, then it’s worth the money.

Optimizely is a powerful tool that is both highly customizable and relatively simple to use. With the ability to set up, run, and analyze tests right through a simple interface, you can gain effective and actionable insights that will help you transform your website and offer the customer experience most conducive to your business goals. It’s important, however, to realize that this kind of power comes at a price, and the best features of the tool (the ones that make it worth it to use) are often out of reach unless you pay for access to them. Also, it only removes some of the barriers to A/B testing that stand in your way (and might even create a problem or two). In terms of Umbraco, it doesn’t really integrate well with the CMS, and designers are often weary of working with it because it’s a “black box”, meaning that it’s impossible to get into the inner working of it and it adjusts the designs that they’ve been honing for ages. If you’d like to have a truly simplified and complete testing experience, you’re still going to need some extra help.


Next up: Visual Web Optimizer