Optimizely Web Experimentation implementation checklist

  • Updated
This topic describes how to:
  • Implement the basic technical setup for Optimizely Web Experimentation

With Optimizely Web Experimentation, adding a small snippet of code to your site enables you to start experimenting immediately. But we recommend that you take a little extra time. This checklist helps you implement Optimizely Web Experimentation for long-term success. 

Use the checklist to perform an audit of your site's technical framework and complete your setup. You will perform most of these tasks once unless major changes to your site or business model alter the technical specifications of your site. Once you are done, you can build and run experiments and campaigns in Optimizely Web Experimentation.

Document the technical specifications and initial setup in an implementation document and link it to your testing charter. Update your technical audit document whenever your Optimizely Web Experimentation setup changes. This document will help your team keep track of the types of experiments you can run in each project and troubleshoot.

Use this list if you are implementing Optimizely Web Experimentation for the first time.

Here is an advanced implementation checklist that you can use to explore deeper functionality in Optimizely Web Experimentation.

Here is a whitepaper on optimizing performance for client-side experimentation.



Site requirements checklist

What technology frameworks are used on your site?

You may need to change the activation mode on pages if you use Angular, Backbone, Ember, or Knockout. Pages are URL templates that tell Optimizely Web Experimentation where and how to activate experiments and Personalization campaigns.

When you set up pages in Optimizely Web Experimentation, use conditional or manual activation to ensure that experiments activate appropriately. Here are resources on How Optimizely Web Experimentation works with SPAs and Using Optimizely Web Experimentation with UI libraries like React and Vue

Does your team have access to separate staging and production environments?

Yes. Use a separate snippet and project for each environment. This guide steps through how to set up Optimizely Web Experimentation for two environments.

No. Set up your production project:

  1. Implement the snippet.

  2. Add collaborators to your project.



Account settings checklist

How will you protect your Optimizely Web Experimentation account?

Two-step verification, single sign-on, and password expiration settings help you keep your Optimizely Web Experimentation account secure.

Do you want to anonymize your visitors' IP addresses?

In some countries, you may be required to remove the last block of an IP address to protect the identity of your visitors.

Here is how to enable IP anonymization.



Project settings checklist

Does your site include multiple origins: such as different subdomains or security protocols? An “origin” is a combination of a specific hostname, security protocol, and port on your site.

By default, Optimizely Web Experimentation tracks events on the same origin.

To track visitor behaviors across different origins, make sure you enable cross-origin targeting. If this is not set up, Optimizely Web Experimentation will not be able to track visitors across origins (for example, across subdomains and security protocols).

If your experiment depends on origin data being synced, you will need to use waitForOriginSync when switching origins.

What technology platforms will you integrate with Optimizely Web Experimentation?

Here is a list of best-of-breed platforms that Optimizely Web Experimentation integrates with.

The most successful experimentation programs leverage Optimizely Web Experimentation's integrations. You not only maximize the information you are getting from different data sources -- you gain the ability to segment results for impactful business insights.

Do you need to manage multiple analytics integrations on the same page? Are you targeting experiments on changes that happen on your page without reloading?

Project JavaScript lets you run code before the Optimizely Web Experimentation code snippet runs without changing your native site's code. You can run more advanced experiments that depend on reusable variables, targeting conditions, and API calls with ease and efficiency.

What are your site's privacy requirements?

Optimizely Web Experimentation allows you to customize your settings to increase privacy, help with easy QA and debugging, and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Set up privacy settings for your account.



Implementation checklist

On which URLs will you run experiments and campaigns on your site? And on which URLs will you want to track visitor actions?

How will you measure whether an experiment or campaign is successful?

Here's a walkthrough to help you prepare your Optimizely Web Experimentation project for your site by setting up four major components: pages, events, tags, and audiences.

You can add more later, but creating them now will help your organization run experiments with greater velocity.

What visitor segments are you interested in seeing more granular results for?

For example: Logged-in visitors, or a list of customers in your database.

The Results page gives you an aggregate of the change in behavior across all visitors. But visitors to your site aren't all the same. 

It's useful to segment results by characteristics that are important to your business. Custom attributes let you to define these characteristics.

Are there visitor actions that are important on your site that are not captured by clicks or pageviews?

For example: pop-up modal views, form submissions, or drop-offs in an order form.

Custom events help you track actions beyond clicks and pageviews.

Talk to your product manager and analytics team to find key events. What behaviors determine success on each page? Revisit these on regular basis to consider parts of your site that have changed.

Would you like to be able to add custom visual elements like bannerscarousels, and lightboxes to your site, using the Visual Editor?

Extensions are reusable templates that help you make changes in the Visual Editor. A developer builds it once. Then you will easily add and edit it without writing additional code.

Here is Optimizely Web Experimentation's library of pre-built extensions.

Available on select Optimizely Web Experimentation packages.

Is revenue a key metric that you would like to be able to track in Optimizely Web Experimentation?

Here is how to set up revenue tracking.

Do you want to experiment with your payment or checkout page?

Optimizely Web Experimentation is PCI-compliant, so you can safely experiment across your full checkout funnel.

Are you using the JavaScript API or REST API?

Both APIs are updated for Optimizely Web Experimentation: JavaScript API or REST API.