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WordPress School: Polls and Surveys

Badge - Learn WordPress with Lorelle VanFossen at WordPress School.Coming up soon in Lorelle’s WordPress School free online course is a huge section on interactivity with WordPress, learning about comments, integrating social media, social media automation, and how to encourage and support such interactivity without draining your time, energy, and emotional being. To help you get started thinking about how you can use your WordPress site to promote interactivity, we begin with polls and surveys.

Everyone asks readers “What do you think?” at the end of their posts, a lousy way to interact. It asks for an opinion not a dialog. A fun way to gather information and interact with readers is through polls and surveys.

Automattic, the owner of WordPress.com, also owns Polldaddy.com, a company serving polls to WordPress.com and WordPress Community for free and paid accounts.

In this tutorial and assignment, you will be creating a poll in a post on your test site.

What is a Poll and Survey?

A poll typically answers a single question with multiple answers. A survey asks many questions.

When would you use either?

  • You might do a survey to check with with clients on how you are doing as a company with customer support and services
  • A poll is often used to gather a collective opinion on a subject such as who you would vote for in an election if the election was now
  • Want to make a change in your website? A survey asking visitors to comment on what they enjoy or don’t, and ask them for suggestions on how to improve could yield interesting results.
  • A poll is used to vote up or down on something, calling for a yeah or nay
  • Wish to learn more about who your readers or customers are? A survey carefully scripted can yield surprising results especially if the person knows it is anonymous. They are often more willing to be honest.

There is an art to designing and developing polls and surveys for specific demographics, ranging from political polls to scientific surveys.

Polldaddy is one option, but there are many more for WordPress users including the use of Google Docs, Forms, and Spreadsheets. I’ll only cover Polldaddy, but do consider exploring the various poll and survey options if this is something you wish to include in your WordPress site often.

To help you understand more about how polls and surveys work, and to come up with your own, here are some references articles on the subject.

Creating a Polldaddy Poll or Survey

Remember, a poll is one question with multiple answers and a survey contains multiple questions for single or multiple choice answers.

To create a Polldaddy poll or survey in a WordPress.com site, use the Add Poll button on the post or Page.

To create a Polldaddy poll or survey on a self-hosted version of WordPress, download and install the Polldaddy WordPress Plugin, then click the Add Poll button on a post or Page.

  1. Place your cursor where you wish your poll or survey form to appear. I recommend an introductory paragraph to introduce the subject, but that is not necessary. Click Add Poll.
    Polls - Click the Add Poll button to add poll where cursor is placed - Lorelle WordPress School.
  2. If you have created polls before with Polldaddy, the past polls would appear on the list of the overlay that appears (interstitial). If you haven’t or wish to start a new one, click Add New.
    Polls - Polldaddy displays list of previous polls or create new - Lorelle WordPress School.
  3. Title your new poll with the question you are posing to the readers. It is typically a question or a statement to agree or disagree with.
  4. Enter each answer in the section below. Add a new answer by clicking the Add New Answer button. To remove an answer or blank answer, click the X.
  5. Choose from among the options to customize the look and feel and results of your poll:
    Polls - Fill in poll form and options and choose a style - Lorelle WordPress School.

    • Poll Style: Click the next and previous arrows to scroll through the various design options.
    • Results Display: Choose how to display the results of the poll.
    • Repeat Voting: If you wish to allow or not repeat voting to protect the integrity of the poll, make a selection. Note that when you block by cookie and IP address, if the person changes computers, they may vote again.
    • Comments: Turn comments on and off the poll not the post, or moderate them, easily.
    • Save: Select from among the options to randomize the order of the answers, allow other answers with a form for the user to add their answer, multiple choice, and whether or not you wish to add sharing so people can help you promote the poll.
  6. When the options have been selected, click Save Poll.
  7. Next to Save Poll will appear Embed in Post. Review the poll, make changes if necessary, save it again, and click Embed in Post.
  8. A WordPress shortcode will appear that looks like [polldaddy poll=12345609]
    Polls - Polldaddy poll shortcode in post - Lorelle WordPress School.
  9. Save Draft and click Preview or Right Click View Post and choose open in a new tab to review the front end view of the post to see how the poll will look.
  10. Edit the post and the poll if you wish to make changes
  11. Turn off comments on the post by looking for the Discussion section on the Edit post screen. Don’t see it? Go to Screen Options and select it from the list. On the Discussion module, uncheck the comments to turn comments off. Most of the time the interactivity is on the poll and you may not wish to have a discussion there but later when you announce the results.
  12. When ready, publish the post with the poll.

Polls - Final Poll in post - Lorelle WordPress School.

For more help with Polldaddy, see:

Assignment

Lorelle's WordPress School Assignment Badge.Your assignment is to create a poll or survey on your test site.

Your test site is closed to the public, so unless you link to it, no one will see your poll. Below in the comments, share your experience and include a properly formed HTML link, or head to our popular WordPress School Google+ Community and find the post for this assignment (search for polldaddy on the community page) and tell us about the process and paste in the link (no html). We will check out your poll and vote.

WordPress School Google+ Community
Polls and Surveys Assignment Discussion

This is a quick assignment, but give it some thought. Polls and surveys are powerful ways to interact and get feedback from your readers. How will you use them on your site?

This is a tutorial from Lorelle’s WordPress School. For more information, and to join this free, year-long, online WordPress School, see:

Subscribe to Lorelle on WordPress. Feed on Lorelle on WordPress Follow on Twitter. Give and Donate to Lorelle VanFossen of Lorelle on WordPress.


5 Comments

  1. Posted March 26, 2015 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    Hope WordPress will have it too here in the Phillipines. Many scholars are very eager to learn more about WordPress. ☺

    • Posted March 26, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Hope WordPress will have what? A WordCamp? Poll, survey, this online free course open to everyone? Fly me to the Philippines and I’ll teach WordPress in an instant! LOL!

    • Posted March 26, 2015 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Can we have it everything?

      I am sorry I am financially ill and I am just a scholar here. I don’t have money to make you fly to here.

    • Posted March 26, 2015 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I think we should have everything, and thank you for the invite. There is a WordCamp Philippines but it doesn’t appear to be active. No reason why you can’t gather up some WordPress friends to help put that on. WordPress takes on much of the financial responsibility, so all is needed is energy and enthusiasm and the determination to see the process through. It isn’t hard, and easy to get involved. There is great help with the WordPress Foundation to make it easy for you, too. See the information on becoming an organizer and bring WordPress to you! It’s a great way to meet others in your community interested in WordPress and to learn more about it.

      Good luck and I’m here to help!

    • Posted March 26, 2015 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you that much. Hope to see you soon.


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