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Polling Hosting and Software

There are a lot of opinions out there that need to be shared - and polls are a great way to get opinions from a wide variety of people on important issues. 

Whether you are a company trying to get feedback from your customers or potential customers on your products and services, or you are someone who embraces debate, polling applications and websites can bring the masses together to form an opinion on anything. 

If need to keep the surfers of the Internet up to date with public opinions on almost any issue, then creating and hosting a polling website may be the perfect solution for you.

Good Reasons to Use Online Polling Software 

Taking polls of your website visitors are great for gathering all sorts of information. On top of that, who doesn’t love being given the opportunity to offer their opinion? Polls are great for increasing engagement on your website, and what you do with the results of the poll can go a long way towards making your site an industry-leader on whatever topic you survey.

Regularly conducting online polls can help scale the engagement on your site and escalate the process of solidifying your position of thought leadership in your industry.

Plus, most poll participants are likely to share the results of your poll when complete. Having the results of your polls shared on social networks, blogs, and message boards can help your site go viral and dramatically increase the amount of visitors (or more importantly, customers) who click back on a regular basis.

Generally speaking, everyone loves being given the opportunity to provide their opinion on issues they care about - online polls give your visitors that opportunity in mass. In terms of helping your website, conducting online polls provides you nearly instant content you can use to market your brand on social media, blogs, and forums. There is very little that can go wrong when you conduct polls on your site.

Reasons to Avoid Using Online Polling Software

Most online polling softwares are meant to extend the features and user engagement on a website. However, there are several reasons why self-hosted online polling software may not be necessary for you to launch polls of your visitors and readers. Let’s review some of those below.

Polling features are included in your content management system - while there are some older content management systems that do not have polling functionality included in their software, polls have become a very common application for websites. If your content management system has plugins, modules, or a comparative gallery of apps, it can be very easy to get a poll solution without having to self-host a software.

There are too many custom fields in the survey software - because of the variety of answers your users can give during a survey, there can be times when a self-hosted survey software may require several question layers. 

On the flip side of the coin, there are also times a polling partner doesn’t provide the amount of data they need to report. When fields are left optional or go unfilled, it hurts the accuracy of the poll results and makes them less credible with casual site visitors.

Popular Hosted Polling Software

Compare the top polling applications and content management systems reviewed on our website below and don’t forget to review our top rated hosting plans for polling before choosing your next provider.

Advanced Poll Hosting

Advanced Poll is a free script that is easy to download and install that can add a powerful polling tool to your website. It is so easy to get started with that many hosting providers even offer it as a one-click installation.

Advanced Poll lets you set up polls on your site and begin collecting responses within minutes, storing all of the information in a MySQL database, which makes retrieval of data easy when you need to export it - whatever the reason. You can customize the design, questions, language, response methods, user tracking, display of the results, and more. Each poll can be set to expire after a given time or run indefinitely. You can also add a customer response area to collect user comments, and you can even run multiple polls simultaneously.

In short, Advanced Poll is a great free tool for designing and posting polls and then keeping track of the responses.

LimeSurvey

LimeSurvey was once known as PHPSurveyor. No matter its name, LimeSurvey is a survey-creation tool designed to help users collect information from (and about) respondents. Many hosting providers offer this open source software as a one-click installation, making it easy to setup and start using as a solution for polling and surveys if you need a quick fix for a project.

Once installed, LimeSurvey lets you create surveys through a simple to use "WYSIWYG" editor. If you have the programming chops for it, you can also use an HTML editor. Questions can be set each question in one of 28 categories. It's built-in logic for questions allow for answers that require context, which is a bonus for survey participants to whom not all questions apply.

LimeSurvey owes much of its popularity to the fact that it is free and open source. LimeSurvey was formerly known as PHPSurveyor and, as the name suggests, it is written in PHP. It uses MySQL for database management, which means there is an abundance of developers who can get to grips with it. This fact also helps make LimeSurvey more popular.

LimeSurvey also allows you to create various contextual scenarios, changing the survey depending on input. Thanks to CSS support, it is possible to tweak the appearance to match your organisation's design, but if custom design is not something you are looking to have for your survey and polling application, there are plenty of templates to choose from.

While it is free, LimeSurvey is a powerful tool with countless customization options and a range of features that should meet all online survey needs.

phpESP

phpESP is a script that allows website owners that want to easily administer online surveys and collect the results for statistical purposes with next to no technical knowledge. Just be sure to choose a hosting plan that supports PHP.

Using phpESP, you can create an unlimited number of surveys and make them as simple or complex as you want them to be. Results can be reviewed in real-time, and results can gathered at any time to perform if you want to perform your own analysis. This is particularly useful for market research, as you can survey your customers to find out how they would feel about a pricing change, additional products or services, and more. Analysis is critical as it lets you tune content, further surveys, question length, question placement and much more. As it is based on PHP, the surveys can even be configured to report in real time, present different levels of survey questions depending on responses and other features that take advantage of the dynamic nature of PHP.

PHPESP may or may not be available on shared hosting plans, depending on the provider. Check with your Web hosting company to find out which script repository they use, and whether phpESP is included with it. If so, then installing the script on your website can be done in just a few clicks, with no technical knowledge.

How do Advanced Poll, LimeSurvey, and phpESP Compare?

Advanced Poll is a free script that is easy to download and install that can add a powerful polling tool to your website. It is so easy to get started with that many hosting providers even offer it as a one-click installation. While it is also free, LimeSurvey is a powerful tool with countless customization options and a range of features that should meet all online survey needs. phpESP is a script that allows website owners that want to easily administer online surveys and collect the results for statistical purposes with next to no technical knowledge.

When it comes to ease of use on an existing website, you will be better off using a solution like Advanced Poll or phpESP. Since each of these solutions is a script, once you integrate them into your site files - they are live on the web. By comparison to those applications, 

LimeSurvey is an actual content management system for surveys and polls. If you are building a survey and polling website to host multiple questionnaires, LImeSurvey will be tough to beat for that application. If you keep this overall understanding of the softwares, you will have an easy time selecting the right poll service for your site when the times comes.

With many online polling services, why would I host one myself?

It is an easy to do a search online for polling software and find tons of options for services with hosting included. If there are so many hosted solutions, why would a site owner want to host one themselves?

The biggest reason to use a self-hosted solution - is due to the pricing of hosted survey services. Let’s face it - when you are just starting out with a website, you don’t always want to spend a lot of money to build your idea. 

There are a lot of methods today to provide polls and surveys in order to connect online with your customers and fans. While email is still one of the most effective ways to do it, hosting your own polling and survey software seems necessary if you want to provide a better user experience for your followers.

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