A/B split testing with Plone

I have a deep interest in the lean startup method. One of the favorite tools of the lean startuper is A/B split testing. My favorite software package is Plone. Can Plone be used for A/B split testing without having to develop a specific python product ? The answer is probably yes.

Here is my recipe for a starter toward A/B split testing with Plone :

  1. take a fresh Plone
  2. add a PloneFormGen
  3. add a « Thank you » page for each and every option you want to test ; note the ID of the pages (e.g. page « optionA » and page optionB ») ; the user will be redirected to one of these pages
  4. add a text field to the form (multiple-lines text field not one-line string field)
  5. override the default value of this field with the following tales expression :

    python:[random.seed(str(request.AUTHENTICATED_USER) + request.REMOTE_ADDR), random.choice([i.getId() for i in here.aq_parent.aq_inner.listFolderContents(contentFilter={« portal_type » : « FormThanksPage »})])][1]

  6. make the text field a hidden and server-side field
  7. overrides the form’s custom validation action with the following expression :


    where « page » is the ID of the text field you set up above.

  8. add a Data Recorder to the form so that the value of the « page » field gets recorded

What do we have now ? We have a form with a button. When the user clicks on the button, she is randomly redirected toward one the several « Thank You Pages » that you have defined. The redirection is based on the IP address of the user and her username if she is authenticated. The redirections are uniformly distributed against your destination pages. And they are recorded in the data record field.

You A/B split test is not complete and several further steps must be taken before this is a fully operational solution but that was an enjoyable hack to make for me. Have fun with it and tell me how you would proceed with split testing and continuous deployment using Plone !