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LaunchDarkly vs Optimizely: What are the differences?

LaunchDarkly and Optimizely are both popular feature flagging and experimentation platforms used by developers and businesses to manage feature releases and optimize user experiences. While they serve similar purposes, there are some key differences between the two platforms.

  1. Architecture and Implementation: LaunchDarkly operates on a client-server architecture where the feature flag evaluation happens on the client-side, supporting extensive targeting and customized rollouts. On the other hand, Optimizely primarily uses server-side feature flag evaluation, allowing for real-time decision-making and advanced audience targeting, but with a fixed client library.

  2. Experimentation Capabilities: Optimizely is known for its robust experimentation platform, offering A/B testing, multivariate testing, and server-side testing. It provides a range of statistical analyses, allowing businesses to optimize conversions and user experiences. LaunchDarkly, while offering basic A/B testing capabilities, focuses more on feature flagging and operational control.

  3. SDK and Language Support: LaunchDarkly provides extensive SDK support across multiple programming languages and platforms, including web, mobile, and server-side frameworks. This allows developers to easily integrate feature flags within their existing codebases. Optimizely also offers SDKs, but with a narrower language and platform support, concentrating more on web and mobile experimentation.

  4. Optimization and Personalization: Optimizely offers advanced personalization features, enabling businesses to create dynamic user experiences based on visitor attributes and behaviors. It allows for detailed audience segmentation and tailored messaging. In comparison, LaunchDarkly's focus is primarily on controlled rollouts and progressive deployments, rather than extensive personalization.

  5. Collaboration and Team Management: Optimizely provides robust collaboration and team management tools, allowing multiple users to work together on experiments, manage access levels, and track changes. It also provides comprehensive reporting and analytics capabilities. LaunchDarkly, while offering basic collaboration features, doesn't have the same level of collaborative and project management functionalities.

  6. Pricing and Flexibility: LaunchDarkly offers flexible pricing based on the number of feature flags, monthly active users, and integrations. It allows businesses to start small and scale as needed, making it suitable for both small startups and large enterprises. Optimizely, on the other hand, has a more structured pricing model based on feature sets and usage, which may be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses.

In Summary, LaunchDarkly focuses on feature flagging and operational control with extensive SDK support, while Optimizely excels in experimentation capabilities, personalization, collaboration, and advanced analytics. Choosing between the two platforms depends on specific business requirements and priorities.

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Pros of LaunchDarkly
Pros of Optimizely
  • 6
    Easy to use UI
  • 50
    Easy to setup, edit variants, & see results
  • 20
    Light weight
  • 16
    Best a/b testing solution
  • 14
    Integration with google analytics

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What is LaunchDarkly?

Serving over 200 billion feature flags daily to help software teams build better software, faster. LaunchDarkly helps eliminate risk for developers and operations teams from the software development cycle.

What is Optimizely?

Optimizely is the market leader in digital experience optimization, helping digital leaders and Fortune 100 companies alike optimize their digital products, commerce, and campaigns with a fully featured experimentation platform.

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What companies use LaunchDarkly?
What companies use Optimizely?
See which teams inside your own company are using LaunchDarkly or Optimizely.
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Blog Posts

Mar 18 2020 at 9:12AM


Nov 4 2019 at 11:39AM


What are some alternatives to LaunchDarkly and Optimizely?
Feature flags as a service for data-driven teams: Split automatically tracks changes to key metrics during every feature rollout. Split serves billions of impressions, helping organizations of all sizes to rapidly turn ideas into products.
Firebase is a cloud service designed to power real-time, collaborative applications. Simply add the Firebase library to your application to gain access to a shared data structure; any changes you make to that data are automatically synchronized with the Firebase cloud and with other clients within milliseconds.
Airship is a modern product flagging framework that gives the right people total control over what your customers see & experience - without deploying code.
Cross-platform feature flag service for Teams. It is a hosted or on-premise service with a web app for feature management, and SDKs for all major programming languages and technologies.
Bullet Train
Manage feature flags across web, mobile and server side applications. Deliver true Continuous Integration. Get builds out faster. Control who has access to new features.
See all alternatives