Adding a survey, poll, quiz or dynamic customer rating to a Freeway page
26th of August, 2011There are many ways to add a survey, poll, quiz or dynamic customer rating to your website - some are very easy while others can be very involved. The simplest method is to sign up to a service which lets you construct the poll, survey, etc., and then gives you some embed code to use on your Freeway page.
If you Google around on the web, you will find many such services, such as the ones mentioned on the page at http://speckyboy.com/2010/09/23/top-10-free-poll-and-survey-widgets-for-your-website/, but you need to be aware that all the free services will mean that you will be displaying their branding (such as a "link back") or advertising (usually only seen if a visitor clicks on the button for the poll, survey, etc.). Most services give you the option to pay for a premium service - and this usually allows your website to be branding- and advert-free.
Of all the different services, perhaps the most professional, full-featured and simple to set up is Polldaddy.com http://polldaddy.com/ which allows you to receive 200 survey responses per month and have 10 questions per survey while still using their free service. First you will need to set up an account - so go to Polldaddy's Home page and click on the Plans and Pricing link, then click the Sign Up button in the Free panel. After verifying the account by clicking on the link in the email they send to you, you can then set up your poll, survey, quiz or customer rating.
There are so many options that it is not possible to cover all of them, but because the prompts on the pages at Polldaddy are intuitive and because the setting up process is very similar for each type of service, you should find that the procedure is very similar to the one below. Please note, however, that you will need to contact Polldaddy support (or the support department of the service you choose to use) if you need help with setting it up.
At the foot of this article is a Freeway Express file you can download (Pro users will be able to open this file) to see how a "Slider Popup" panel can be made to appear on a Freeway page which visitors use to take part in a survey. Below are the steps used to create the code on the Polldaddy site and how that code was used on Freeway page.
Once you're signed in to your Polldaddy account, you will see your "Dashboard". Click on the Create a new… button and choose Survey.
Enter the name of the survey in the Survey name field - this will be the name which will appear in your list of surveys in your Dashboard after it has been completed. If you wish to use a different name when the survey is displayed on your web page, you need to check the option called show participants a different name and enter the name you want to use.
Next is a horizontally-scrolling choice of "styles" or themes in the Select a style section for how your survey will be displayed after the customer clicks on the button to take part in the survey. Choose the one you want or set up your own style by selecting the Custom option.
If you want some text to appear on the survey start page below the Survey name heading, check the Use a custom start message and enter the text you want to use.
In the Survey options panel there are many options for your survey such as closing on a specified date, closing after a certain quota is reached, etc. Also here is an option to let visitors vote more than one (by switching on the Allow multiple responses option) or limit the survey vote to just once per computer (which works if the visitor has "cookies" enabled in their browser - as most people do).
After clicking on the Save and Add Questions button you will be taken to the page where you can build the survey form. Just drag and drop the various elements you want to use on your survey (such as Free text which gives you question text and a text field for the visitor to enter their answer, or Multiple Choice which gives you a list of choices with radio buttons for the visitor to check).
For the sample file attached at the foot of this article, I used the Multiple Choice option to create a list of all the actors who have so far played Dr Who in the TV series (making sure I chose the "choose one (radio)" option in the popup below), then I added some Free Text to ask why they prefer the actor they chose. Each time the Done Editing button is clicked, that particular panel closes and you can either select a closed panel to reopen it to make further edits, add new elements or click on the Finish & Embed button.
All you need to do now is to use the embed code on your Freeway page - so go to the page you want to use the survey on, go to Insert>Markup item, paste the copied code into the HTML Markup window and click OK. If you chose to use a button or HTML text for the survey form, you need to resize the item (unfortunately this needs to be done by trial and error as no pixel values are given) and then move the item into the position you want to use it on the page. However, because for my sample I used the Slider Popup, the Markup Item can be used at any size and in any location on the page (but it must be on the page area) - so make it something like 10px square and move it to a blank, unused area of the page.
Preview in a browser to see the survey panel slide into view from the bottom and then click on the button to take the survey. This will display your survey questions in a "lightbox effect" panel in front of your page. If you have tried it once, but you don't see the panel appear again, this is because you clicked on the "Close" button of the panel asking you to take part in the survey - which sets a "cookie" to prevent it displaying again.
If you don't like the Slider Popup method for the survey, you might want to experiment with the "Button" option (click on the Style popup in the Button panel and choose a Rounded or Square button rather than Plain Text Link - as this looks much better than just a default text link on the page).
Because the survey/poll, etc., is saved in the list on your Dashboard, you can make edits to the survey at any time and then use the newly generated code in your Markup Item in Freeway.
After the survey has been uploaded to the web, you can view the results (and comments if you used Free Text on your page) by going to your PollDaddy Dashboard, hovering over the survey name in the list and choosing Reports. This will show you the totals of each choice made by your visitors.
Download the sample file from the link below to see the survey working when you preview the file in a browser.