We all know how infuriatingly annoying some web surveys can be. They can pop out when you least expect them, ruin your flow and concentration, or even require mandatory attention. I, for one hate when that happens as it usually interferes with my job as a freelance copywriter. However, if the survey is simple, elegant, non-persistent and good-looking; half is instantly forgiven. I have even found myself completing surveys just for fun, or at least in order to escape from dull projects (not like this one 😀 ), for a minute or two.
All of this comes from end user’s perspective, and like it or not; when it comes to polls, questionnaires, etc. end users are us web surfers. I am saying (or rather writing) this because premium plugin buyers need to see the advantage of the plugin in question before they make a decision upon its purchase. Modal Survey – WordPress Poll, Survey & Quiz Plugin is a premium plugin and it costs money. It’s intended for serious people with certain needs and usually great expectations (not Dickens’ Great Expectations, mind you). After tampering with the plugin itself, I have found out that this one isn’t your average poll, quiz or questionnaire plugin. In fact, I have reviewed one similar plugin not so long ago, and instantly found out that Modal Survey emphasizes on much more than simple reviews, and offers much more features and customization options at the same time. Finally, Modal Survey is everything that it needs to be from end user’s perspective. It’s not invasive, it can be both simple or intelligently complex, and, what’s most important, it can actually be fun. With all this in mind, let’s see what this plugin has to offer to you – potential buyers and fellow WordPress-ers.
Installation and Setup
If you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance that you are already a WordPress veteran and, thus don’t require any help with plugin’s installation. That’s why I’ll only point you in the right direction (which is here), and leave the rest to you. I’ll only add that you can install the plugin manually via FTP, or automatically through the Admin panel. More important than Modal Survey’s installation is its update feature. Like every premium or serious add-on, for that matter, Modal Survey is a constant work in progress and you’ll receive free updates along the way should you decide to buy it. Only thing that you need to do is to upload the new version of the ZIP file through the admin panel.
Setting up the plugin after the installation is an easy street as well. Your left-hand dashboard menu will feature “Modal Survey” tab from now on, and after clicking on it, you’ll get eight sub categories, just like it is pictured on the right side. After you “Create Survey” which basically consists of naming it; you get to the “Saved Surveys” tab, and that’s where all the fun starts.
Here you will be able to fully customize your survey to such an extent that you’ll probably spend plenty of time just exploring all of the possible options. Let’s start with the lower part of the screen where you get to formulate your questions. Apart from choosing the number of available answers, you can create as many questions as you want. However, I have to implore you not to be too hard on us . What’s even better, you can opt to offer the open text answer to your targeted group, and believe me – everyone sometimes comes to the point where he/she can’t squeeze into the given patterns and has to give you the answer that’s outside of the box. Upper part of the screen allows you to determine the time frame of your survey. If you leave both spaces blank, questionnaire will start instantly and will never expire, unless you decide to deactivate it later on. It’s also possible to choose the font, position where you want your poll to be displayed and no less than 32 different animation styles. Font, border and background color are also there, and needless to say, you can experiment with every color available. Tick boxes below offer some advanced options. For instance, you can lock the screen during the course of your survey, or offer your users to skip it by closing it. Three tabs below these settings are: Conditions, Participants Form and Campaigns. First one is very useful for quizzes, for instance. If you decide to create a quiz, you can choose whether to display the correct answer after every single question separately, or to display the overall score in the end. Participants Form offers you the ability to collect the user info like name and/or e-mail address, but it isn’t mandatory. Finally, Campaigns tab is quite useful in collecting the user info and merging it with e-mail marketing software like MailChimp, FreshMail, MailPoet and other services.
Under the “Participants tab”, you’ll be given the results of your quiz, poll or questionnaire, and the ability to present them via one of six available chart types, and either as a score or rating list. This also gives you the insight into every user’s personal affinities which can be quite helpful in choosing the right marketing strategy for them and segmenting your users into groups.
“General Settings” tab helps both your users and yourself as it offers you the ability to prevent duplication. In other words, you can tick the box which will display the poll only once per user or once per filled form, in a single click. I have already stated above that questionnaires can be annoying sometimes, and you’ll never get the answers you need if you can’t limit your survey’s appearance patterns. There’s also the ability to save participant’s votes and even save your settings before the uninstall or update process. By turning the feature on, you can rest assured that all your settings will be kept intact when you decide to update the plugin.
“Social Settings” tab is pretty much self-explanatory. It allows the user to share the web page on the most relevant social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others.
“Import” tab offers the ability to import already created poll or questionnaire by manually browsing for JSON file or searching for the given survey via the search bar.
“Update” tab is straight to the point as well. This is where you’ll be given the opportunity to update the plugin as the updates become available over time. You’ll only have to download the update ZIP file from CodeCanyon, and browse for it by clicking on the “Choose File” button.
Last, but not the least is the “Help” tab. There’s a quick link towards Documentation form which will give you detailed instructions on setting up and customizing the plugin.
Here’s how the “Saved Surveys” tab looks like when you manage to create your first (and only in this instance) question.
And here’s how the end-product would look like on your website if you decide to lock the screen with transparent, dark background (you can always select more vivid colors, mind you).
My Favorite Features
Well, it certainly isn’t easy to start on this topic, but I have to start somewhere. I have already stated that open answer questions are ready and available, and I consider this to be of utmost importance if you don’t want to annoy your end users. Just take the above example into account and you’ll see what I mean. Some people won’t agree with the choice of video games that I have given them, but they have the option to give you their own input. For instance:”What? No Pillars of Eternity?! You must be joking!” However, there’s one thing that you should know about this feature. The exact message, which might mean a lot, won’t be displayed in the final results. The only thing you’ll get as a result in the frontend charts is: “Other Answer.” This is limited because great number of answers (and they will always be different) can break the layout and generally, looks messy. Of course, you can always search for the complete answer in the admin panel.
Second great feature, and perhaps one of the most important ones for getting concise and targeted results is the ability to control the next question(s). Simply by putting a number in brackets behind the answer (as shown in the image below), you’ll be able to instruct your questionnaire to jump to desired question, depending on given answer. For instance, if someone had answered that their favorite PC video game of 2015 is Fallout 4 – you can give them the ability to skip further unnecessary answers (possibly related exclusively to other games) and move on to the specific part of the survey dedicated to the game in question. Here’s how this looks like. Red arrow points at the spot.
Doing this will skip the second question if user’s answer is Fallout 4, and go straight to the third question which is specifically tailored to the game in respect, as shown the next image:
Ability to use shortcodes in order to display the questionnaire on a specific page has to be noted as well. Shortcodes are fairly easy to use and only require of you to find the given poll’s ID number and execute a few additional clicks and keyboard taps. You can find survey’s ID in the upper right corner of “Saved Surveys” tab page. Default shortcode for displaying the poll would be: [survey_answers id=”********”], with asterisks standing for the numbers of poll’s actual ID. Apart from default display, there are other shortcodes too, and you can check them all on plugin’s documentation page whose link you’ll find in “Help” tab, as remembered. Only thing you have to do is to find “Insert Modal Survey” icon in your WordPress toolbar (probably all the way at the right end), and navigate through the dropdown menus.
Another one of the cool features is Modal Survey’s ability to create quizzes with built-in images next to every given answer, and to determine which of the questions gives you the most points, thus completely tailoring the given quiz. It’s easiest to explain this with the country flags as they are among the most popular quizzes of this type.
There are great many features like this that could be interesting to everyone in need of the poll, survey, questionnaire or quiz creator. I, personally, have given you the quiz-related features and those that emphasize purely on technical and visual details. Someone among you might be more interested in Modal Survey’s linking features. Aforementioned “Campaigns” tab under “Saved Surveys” offers a number of opportunities for marketing experts to collect and link their users’ e-mail addresses with number of available services. Exporting the survey in number of formats is also a nice feat, and so are participants’ details which could give you relevant info on your sample’s actual behavioral patterns, and ultimately their needs. This is, again, especially important when creating the marketing strategy. Ultimately, you can check out the list of Modal Survey’s complete set of features here. Just keep on scrolling and you are bound to find something that’s specially tailored just for you.
I have come across a few similar add-on’s during my days as a freelance copywriter, but precious few have been as complete and versatile as the Modal Survey. This plugin, not only offers abundance of features, but understands the concept of marketing as a discipline. Everyone that has had some experience at creating questionnaires will agree with me that open text answers play an important role in any poll. It might seem as insignificant or common feature, but it certainly isn’t. Furthermore, linking user’s e-mail addresses with services specially constructed for that (like MailChimp or FreshMail) can be highly useful as well. Ability to tamper with unlimited number of colors, images and animations is also quite useful as vivid and inspiring surveys can make all the difference. All in all, Modal Survey plugin has a very few shortcomings at this stage, and most of them will probably be remedied sooner, rather than later. Right now, this looks like one of the most complete plugins of its kind, and certainly deserves my blessings. Feel free to comment on the plugin if there’s anything on your mind.