Surveys are the best way to gather valuable data to make data-driven decisions for your business and website. There are two ways you can create surveys when it comes to WordPress:
- Use a third-party survey service
- Use a third-party plugin on your WordPress website
Using a third-party service can be costly, they often lack features and place limits on responses you can get, and ultimately – your data is hosted elsewhere. So, it’s possible to use an external survey service such as SurveyMonkey and embed their survey into the WordPress website, but it’s clunky and adds additional HTTP requests, which can slow down your website.
This is where WordPress surveys and forms plugins come into the picture. There are dedicated plugins explicitly created to do surveys, and there are general form plugins that allow you to create surveys and forms.
While both get the job done, we recommend trying the form builder plugin as it gives you more options, and you can create all sorts of forms on your website in addition to surveys. If you use a plugin that only allows you to build surveys, you’ll have to install a separate plugin for forms, and when it comes to WordPress – less is more.
You don’t want to use two plugins for the same thing, and you can actually speed up your website by limiting the use of plugins on it.
Why Do I Need A Survey?
As we mentioned earlier, surveys are great when you need to solicit important information about your business or a website from your audience. This helps understand your website visitors’ needs, what they like and don’t like, and gives you the ability to fix what they don’t like and create a better experience.
With surveys, you can:
- Receive feedback from your audience
- Start discussions on topics important in your field of work
- Get objective information from your readers that allow you to make data-driven decisions instead of relying on your gut feeling
- Create fun distractions and add exciting content to your website
- Share the survey data with your audience, and earn clout
There are several types of questions you can use in your survey, and here are some examples:
- Open-ended questions where participants need to give a complete answer
- Close-ended questions where participants answer yes or no questions (or a one-word reply)
- Likert Scale questions where participants can explain how they feel about something
- Demographic questions that help gather segmented data
- Rating questions where participants use a rating system to provide feedback (stars or 1-5 ratings, etc.)
- Multiple choice questions where participants can select more than one option to answer the question
When it comes to the form builder plugins, most of them are paid and provide free alternatives limited in features (essentially lite versions). If you want to get started with surveys and get a better grip on them – we recommend starting with the free versions of the plugins. If you’re an experienced form/survey builder and use them to gather all sorts of data for your website, we recommend purchasing the full/premium versions.
Creating A Survey
To create a survey on our WordPress website we’ll use the Formidable Form Lite plugin, which is the free version. That means it comes with certain restrictions in features but lets you create a survey on your website nonetheless.
Adding a survey to your website is done in three straightforward steps:
- Install & activate the Formidable Form Lite plugin
- Build your survey
- Publish your survey to your website
Install & Activate The Formidable Form Plugin
Log in to your WordPress Dashboard, head to Plugins > Add New, fill in Formidable Forms in the top-right search field, and click Install Now:
Once installed, click Activate to activate the plugin:
Create Your Survey Form
Now it’s time to create our brand new survey. Head to Formidable > Forms (Lite) on your WordPress Dashboard, and click + Add New:
In the pop-up window, select Blank form:
Fill in the form name and description and click Create:
Great! Now you’re ready to build your survey. Once you click Create, WordPress will take you to the drag & drop form builder. On the left, you can see the fields available for use in the free version of the plugin, and on the right is where you add the desired fields:
Drag & drop the desired field from the left to the right side of the page, and build your survey. Clicking on any field will show Field Options which you can use to fine-tune the specific question and behavior:
Make sure to click Update at the top-right periodically to save changes while building your survey.
Once you finish building the survey, click Settings in the top menu and adjust all the available options as per your liking:
For example, you can adjust the form title and description, see the shortcode, change what happens when the user submits the form, modify styling, etc.
Click Update again to save changes when ready.
Publish Your Survey
There are multiple ways to publish your survey depending on what editor you use.
Obtain the shortcode from the survey settings page, and paste it directly into the post editor. You can choose the shorter or longer version (with the description):
Publish your post, and you’ll be able to see your survey on your website:
In Classic editor, click the Formidable button:
Select your form, adjust the display options, and click Insert into Post:
WordPress will automatically fill in the correct shortcode for you. Finally, click Publish to publish your survey.
In the Gutenberg editor, click + to add a block. Use the search field to find the Formidable Forms block and click it:
Select your survey:
Select the form options on the right, and click Publish to publish the survey on your website.
That’s it! Pretty easy, right? Formidable Forms is a powerful plugin, and it also allows you to see all the entries and views for all your surveys once they’re up and running. Just head to the Formidable option on the left, and click Entries or Views.
We also recommend adjusting your form style by checking out the Styles section of the plugin. You can create multiple styles for various forms, change even the smallest details, and use custom CSS: