If you are a webmaster, there will be times when you need to conduct a survey to gather feedbacks from your reader. While there are plenty of online services that allow you to create nice and beautiful survey forms, most of them require you to pay a subscription fee. Unknown to many, you can actually use Google Docs to create survey forms. They might not be pretty, but alas it works without any glitches. Best of all, it is easy to set up and it is FREE.
Here’s how you can create a survey form using Google Docs and embed it to your site.
Login to your Google Docs account.
On the Dashboard, click on the Create new button and select Form.
Give a name for your form. This will be displayed as the header in the main survey page. Optionally, you can also give a description to let the users know what this form is about.
Enter your first question of the survey form and choose the input field type. It can be a text field, textbox, multiple choice, checkbox, scale, grid or a list of options. To make it a compulsory field, check the box beside “Make this a required question“.
To proceed on to add the next question, click the Add item button at the top. Similarly, you can choose from the various type of input field.
Keep adding items until you have completed setting up all the questions.
Decorating the Form
The default theme template used by the form is a plain design with no decorations at all. If you prefer a theme that is more visually pleasing, you can click on the Theme button to select from a variety of background theme. There are currently about 95 themes in the library, so you should have no problem getting one suitable for your site. At the moment, it does not allow you to create your own theme.
The last thing to do is to edit the confirmation message. This is what the users will see after they have finished and submitted the form.
Click the “More Actions” button and select Edit confirmation”
Enter the confirmation message in the textbox. You might also want to include a link to allow your users to return to the home page. The Publish response summary allows your users to see the answers they have submitted.
Previewing of form
Once you are done with the form, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will see a preview link. Click on it to preview your form.
Making your form public
Ok. You are ready to publish your form. There are two ways to do it: Email the form or embed it to your site.
To email the form, simply click the Email this form button and you will be able to enter the recipient’s email address.
To embed the form, click the More Action button and select Embed. You will be presented with a iframe code to embed it to your site.
The iframe code is set to a default width of 760px. You might want to change it to a custom width to match your site width. In WordPress, you just have to switch your text editor to HTML mode and paste the code into your content. Publish the page and your form will appear on the front page of your blog.
To view the result of your form, you just have to click the See response button.
Image credit: alliancelibrarysystem
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