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Split users to a beta version of site

3:04 pm on Jun 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

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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.

4:49 pm on June 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Instead of sending x% to one site and the rest to the other, why not sending your traffic to the new beta for a short period of time? releasing your bet from 4pm to 6pm per example.
8:28 pm on June 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

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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.
7:39 pm on June 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

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thank you both for the suggestions. I think I will go with launching for a brief period of time, and then switch back to my original site if needed.

my new site is exactly the same in look and feel, i have only change the cart, so users wouldn't even know it's changed yet.

have a great weekend!