I am switching my shopping cart to a custom made one and even though I have tested it locally, it won't be the same until it's released to the public.
But I am hesitant to release it to everyone all at once. So, I am wondering if there is a way to split a certain percentage of visitors to the beta version of my site, with the new shopping cart and checkout process.
I know there are the split testing tools like Google Optimizer, but that doesn't seem like it would quite work for this purpose.
Some sites* start with a simple and voluntary "Try our new beta version!" in increasingly large type over the months. Final stage is where the beta becomes your primary address but you keep a link to the "classic" version for a while longer-- or even permanently, if the new version makes significant new demands on the user's hardware. If there are increased demands on the wetware, you have made a mistake.
* Unfortunately the only one I can think of by name is Perseus, which is not what you're looking for ;) --if only because that's the whole site, not just one area.