Polls are always a good way to get a conversation started with your website or blog visitors. Most of us have participated in polls on websites and blogs.
Recently I also conducted a poll about our own blog asking readers about their most painful administrative tasks. Polls provide a way for a visitor to interact with the site and express their opinion. Visitors can also get a sense of how your readers feel about a topic simply by viewing the results of the poll on your site.
I took some time to review and search through a number of poll sites to find one that would be easy to use and customize, even with limited web design skills. So here are the top 10 web polls and survey tools that I found.
1. Poll Daddy
Poll Daddy is a fairly new site that allows you to create free polls and place them on your website, blog, MySpace account or anywhere online. After you sign up for a free account, you can create a poll and customize it to fit into your site design or choose one of 14 “skins”. Results can be viewed via the poll posted on your page, or you can see all the results of multiple polls from their site after you log in. Poll Daddy is great in that it provides specific instructions on how to embed the HTML code into WordPress, Typepad, and Blogger. Results can even be accessed via an RSS reader made possible by an RSS feed generated from your poll.
2. Cool Web Toys
After you register for a free account at Cool Web Toys, you can create a poll by choosing from a web poll, an embedded web chat client, or a “CoolWebOfTheDay”. The poll can include content such as word of the day, quote of the day, or any other content. As far as poll creation goes, it’s quite easy to use. You can specify size and colors to match your site! Results appear quickly and the visitor will not leave your site unless they click on “More Info”. If they click on that link a new browser window will open up and they will be on the site with a bunch of Adsense ads.
4. Blog Flux
Blog Flux requires that you create an account on their site before you can create a poll. Once your account is created, you can then create the poll with up to five options. You also have a choice of customizing the poll's look and feel. After the visitor clicks on the add my vote link, the results will appear in place of the poll questions on your site. A unique feature is that the voting results are mapped on Google maps. The site has other tools to enhance your blog such as a button or chicklet creator, a link logger, and a page rank checker.
Creating a poll at Quimble.com is a simple two step process. After you are registered, log-in and choose your question and create the answers. There is no customization however. Visitors who choose to click on the “Discuss this poll at Quimble.com” link will be taken to their site, where they will need to register as a user before they are allowed to leave a comment about the poll.
SurveyMonkey is a web-based service that allows you to create online surveys. It is quite intuitive and easy to use. You can either create from scratch or use templates. Participants can go to the site to respond, or you can create a link from your site. You can add logos and banners, change colors and customize in many different ways. Basic subscribers are limited to a total of 10 questions and 100 responses per survey. The basic subscription is free. If you want to go beyond 100 respondents, and up to 1000 and gain access to many more features, there is a cost.
Zoomerang is a subscription-based web survey tool. With basic membership, you can conduct free surveys of up to 100 people! Effective, affordable and easy to use, Zoomerang helps organizations conduct professional-looking surveys and instantly analyze the feedback. The great thing about it is that no technical expertise is needed. You can easily create, send and start receiving survey responses in minutes. They also have some deals for non-profits and offer a version with limited-features for free.
8. Survey Gizmo
Survey Gizmo has an easy-to-use interface. It requires that you create an account on their site before you have access to the tools to create a survey. Once your account is created, you can set up an online survey with over 12 different styles of questions. You can also generate multiple reports when all of your data is inputted. Finally, the connect-to-website feature is just great, allowing you the copy HTML into your site or just provide a link. I also like that it is free for up to 250 responses per month. After that the pricing goes up to $14/month for 1,000 responses. For surveys where you're expecting thousands of responses, Survey Gizmo's pricing is very reasonable and offers very good value for money.
Ballot-Box allows you to create a free online poll for your website. Before you can get started, you'll need to create an account. Then you can create 15 questions for your poll and each question can have 15 answers. Poll appearance are completely customizable with real-time updates and poll results. Poll results can be made private or public and also prevents users from voting twice. You can also create up to 25 polls. If you are conducting a survey, you might want to consider creating a poll with multiple questions.
10. Easy Poll
Easy Poll is an easy and effective way to make your site more interactive. Easy-Poll has a large selection of patterns and colors for free polls. They offer two sorts of polls: a yes or no poll and a multiple-choice poll. Another great thing about this poll creation site is that you don't need additional software or IT support - everything is handled and calculated on their servers quickly and safely. Two minutes is all it takes to sign up, and you can create a poll for free.
As you can see, there are many choices for poll creation, but my favorite one would be Polldaddy.com for ease of use and customization options.
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