Split is a rack based ab testing framework designed to work with Rails, Sinatra or any other rack based app.

Split is heavily inspired by the Abingo and Vanity rails ab testing plugins and Resque in its use of Redis.

Split is designed to be hacker friendly, allowing for maximum customisation and extensibility.


Split uses redis as a datastore.

Split only supports redis 2.0 or greater.

If you're on OS X, Homebrew is the simplest way to install Redis:

$ brew install redis
$ redis-server /usr/local/etc/redis.conf

You now have a Redis daemon running on 6379.


If you are using bundler add split to your Gemfile:

gem 'split'

Then run:

bundle install

Otherwise install the gem:

gem install split

and require it in your project:

require 'split'


If you are using Redis on Ruby 1.8.x then you will likely want to also use the SystemTimer gem if you want to make sure the Redis client will not hang.

Put the following in your gemfile as well:

gem 'SystemTimer'


Split is autoloaded when rails starts up, as long as you've configured redis it will 'just work'.


To configure sinatra with Split you need to enable sessions and mix in the helper methods. Add the following lines at the top of your sinatra app:

class MySinatraApp < Sinatra::Base
  enable :sessions
  helpers Split::Helper

  get '/' do


To begin your ab test use the ab_test method, naming your experiment with the first argument and then the different variants which you wish to test on as the other arguments.

ab_test returns one of the alternatives, if a user has already seen that test they will get the same alternative as before, which you can use to split your code on.

It can be used to render different templates, show different text or any other case based logic.

finished is used to make a completion of an experiment, or conversion.

Example: View

<% ab_test("login_button", "/images/button1.jpg", "/images/button2.jpg") do |button_file| %>
  <%= img_tag(button_file, :alt => "Login!") %>
<% end %>

Example: Controller

def register_new_user  # See what level of free points maximizes users' decision to buy replacement points.

  @starter_points = ab_test("new_user_free_points", '100', '200', '300')

Example: Conversion tracking (in a controller!)

def buy_new_points  # some business logic


Example: Conversion tracking (in a view)

Thanks for signing up, dude! <% finished("signup_page_redesign") >

You can find more examples, tutorials and guides on the wiki.


Weighted alternatives

Perhaps you only want to show an alternative to 10% of your visitors because it is very experimental or not yet fully load tested.

To do this you can pass a weight with each alternative in the following ways:

ab_test('homepage design', 'Old' => 20, 'New' => 2)

ab_test('homepage design', 'Old', {'New' => 0.1})

ab_test('homepage design', {'Old' => 10}, 'New')

This will only show the new alternative to visitors 1 in 10 times, the default weight for an alternative is 1.

Overriding alternatives

For development and testing, you may wish to force your app to always return an alternative. You can do this by passing it as a parameter in the url.

If you have an experiment called button_color with alternatives called red and blue used on your homepage, a url such as:


will always have red buttons. This won't be stored in your session or count towards to results.

Reset after completion

When a user completes a test their session is reset so that they may start the test again in the future.

To stop this behaviour you can pass the following option to the finished method:

finished('experiment_name', :reset => false)

The user will then always see the alternative they started with.

Web Interface

Split comes with a Sinatra-based front end to get an overview of how your experiments are doing.

If you are running Rails 2: You can mount this inside your app using Rack::URLMap in your config.ru

require 'split/dashboard'

run Rack::URLMap.new \
  "/"       => Your::App.new,
  "/split" => Split::Dashboard.new

However, if you are using Rails 3: You can mount this inside your app routes by first adding this to the Gemfile:

gem 'split', :require => 'split/dashboard'

Then adding this to config/routes.rb

mount Split::Dashboard, :at => 'split'

You may want to password protect that page, you can do so with Rack::Auth::Basic

Split::Dashboard.use Rack::Auth::Basic do |username, password|
  username == 'admin' && password == 'p4s5w0rd'


You can override the default configuration options of Split like so:

Split.configure do |config|
  config.robot_regex = /my_custom_robot_regex/
  config.ignore_ip_addresses << ''


You may want to change the Redis host and port Split connects to, or set various other options at startup.

Split has a redis setter which can be given a string or a Redis object. This means if you're already using Redis in your app, Split can re-use the existing connection.

String: Split.redis = 'localhost:6379'

Redis: Split.redis = $redis

For our rails app we have a config/initializers/split.rb file where we load config/split.yml by hand and set the Redis information appropriately.

Here's our config/split.yml:

development: localhost:6379
test: localhost:6379
staging: redis1.example.com:6379
fi: localhost:6379
production: redis1.example.com:6379

And our initializer:

rails_root = ENV['RAILS_ROOT'] || File.dirname(__FILE__) + '/../..'
rails_env = ENV['RAILS_ENV'] || 'development'

split_config = YAML.load_file(rails_root + '/config/split.yml')
Split.redis = split_config[rails_env]


If you're running multiple, separate instances of Split you may want to namespace the keyspaces so they do not overlap. This is not unlike the approach taken by many memcached clients.

This feature is provided by the [redis-namespace][rs] library, which Split uses by default to separate the keys it manages from other keys in your Redis server.

Simply use the Split.redis.namespace accessor:

Split.redis.namespace = "split:blog"

We recommend sticking this in your initializer somewhere after Redis is configured.



Special thanks to the following people for submitting patches:

  • Lloyd Pick
  • Jeffery Chupp
  • Andrew Appleton


Source hosted at GitHub. Report Issues/Feature requests on GitHub Issues.

Tests can be ran with rake spec

Note on Patches/Pull Requests

  • Fork the project.
  • Make your feature addition or bug fix.
  • Add tests for it. This is important so I don't break it in a future version unintentionally.
  • Commit, do not mess with rakefile, version, or history. (if you want to have your own version, that is fine but bump version in a commit by itself I can ignore when I pull)
  • Send me a pull request. Bonus points for topic branches.


Copyright (c) 2012 Andrew Nesbitt. See LICENSE for details.