[wp-hackers] Google Content Experiments & wp

Daniel Dvorkin elrabino at gmail.com
Wed Aug 28 20:37:46 UTC 2013

An (convoluted but cool) approach I used a while back:

1) Have two (or more) child themes of your main theme with the variations
you want.
2) Hook somewhere early (like parse_request) and check if the url has some
experiment data. Set a cookie for the user with the version he got so you
keep serving the same version to that user. Of course first check for this
same cookie, if the user already have it just ignore the experiment ID vars.
3) Filter both the 'stylesheet' and 'template' vars (example
https://gist.github.com/MZAWeb/6235272) and set them to the path of the
corresponding child theme (or the parent theme if it's not coming from an

Then you can use that same cookie value on your checkout to measure
conversions for each.

Daniel Dvorkin
Móvil: +54 (0261) 15-315-2244
Skype: mzaweb

On Wed, Aug 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM, David Ernst <david at ernsts.us> wrote:

> Thanks for the speedy response, Dobri!
> My cursory review of the plugin suggested it only worked for variations to
> pages / posts. Which is all fine and good for most needs! It's just that in
> this specific case I'm looking to test variations of site-wide elements.
> I'll be more specific about the scope if that paints a clearer picture:
> This e-commerce site I'm working on is considering adding a live-chat
> module. I'm in favor of it, personally. But other parties are hesitant...
> Being an early-stage startup with too much to do and not enough manpower,
> there are concerns that it will tie up too many resources to keep an
> operator on our end. So I suggested we run a Content Experiment on just
> small percentage of visitors, keeping it limited at first, to explicitly
> measure conversion shifts. That way we can put a specific dollar value on
> this single module, independent of other circumstances like changes in
> marketing efforts, site-content, etc. This module would probably load from
> footer.php.
> So thank you for the suggestion to investigate Analytics' cookies!  :-)  I
> suspect that might work better than using URLs variations-- I was thinking
> of passing GET parameters, but saw some issues.
> Much appreciated,
> David
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