Thursday, June 4, 2009

Conduct Your Own Online Poll - Free Survey Widget!

A few months ago a colleague of mine implemented a generic widget for simple web-based customizable surveys. This widget is hosted on Despite the fact that the widget did not store survey results permanently (instead it sent one email for each vote to the owner of the survey) it got quite a good user feedback. So let me introduce ....

Free Online Survey Widget Version 2 !

This post gives you a short introduction how to set up the widget for your own web-page. But let me start with it's features first:
  • Complete customizable survey widget (number of questions, text for questions, feedback type (one-off, many-off), colors, fonts, basic behavior, etc.
  • Voting results are available as diagram within the widget (customizable)
  • Voting results are stored on You do not need a database or special web-hosting service
  • It is free
  • It only requires a unique email address, no complicated registration is required

How to use This Online Poll?

All you need is to embed the widget into your web-page (see screen-shot - or the life survey on the right). An online survey is identified by an email-address. This email address (YOURS!) must be entered in the widget configuration. After the widget configuration was finished you need to VOTE AT LEAST ONE TIME TO INITIALIZE the widget.

Why is Initialization Required?

Simply because we want to avoid spam. The widget sends the owner of the survey a confirmation email if the first vote was received. If the survey owner confirms this email the online survey is ready for user votes. If no confirmation is received within 24 hours - you have to setup the widget again ;-).

How to View Survey Results?

The online survey widget offers you three options for result viewing:
  • Always: Results for the online survey are visible to everyone at any time.
  • After Voting: Results for the online survey are visible to everyone after voting.
  • Never: Results of the online survey are not visible. TEC-IT may provide a web-interface for the survey owner to view the results in the future

What's about Privacy?

The following data is stored per survey:
  • Email address of the survey owner / this email address will be kept confidential)
  • Survey basic data like title, description, questions, ...
And this information is stored per vote:
  • Survey reference (for which survey was voted?)
  • Timestamp of vote
  • Selected answer(s)
We do NOT store the IP address of the voter (this is also a small draw-back: a single user may vote multiple times. In the future we will improve this by using a cookie on the users machine.)

Does it Work With all Browsers?

The online survey widget was designed to work with Internet Explorer, FireFox and Chrome. Others may be support - but are not tested by TEC-IT. JavaScript must be activated!

Liability and Warranty - Legal Information

Please keep in mind that TEC-IT provides the online survey widget and the data-warehousing service for free. Please understand that we therefore do not guarantee for functionality, reliability, availability and so on. In legal terms this reads as follows:
  • The user of this service explicitly accepts that TEC-IT does not provide any warranties of any kind by using the service or parts of the service.
  • TEC-IT make no representations or warranties, and disclaim all warranties of any kind, either express or implied, regarding the service or service’s performance, accuracy, sufficiency or suitability or the documentation or other materials provided including, without limitation, all warranties of merchantability, durability, performance, quality, capacity and technical compatibility, and any warranty of fitness for a particular use or purpose, title or non-infringement of third party rights.
  • To the extent not prohibited by law, in no event will TEC-IT or its contractual partners be liable for any lost revenue, profit or data, or for special, indirect, consequential, incidental or punitive damages, however caused regardless of the theory of liability, arising out of or related to the use of or inability to use the service, even if TEC-IT has been advised of or TEC-IT has pointed out the possibility of such damages.