While there is a good selection of survey plugins available for WordPress, today I want to illustrate another way to survey your readers by adding a Google Form to your WordPress site. The benefit of doing this is that you get all the ease of use that comes with setting up a Google Form, as well as having the responses automatically delivered to a Google Spreadsheet.
This makes not only collecting the data straightforward, but you also get a lot of tools for analysing the results, thanks to the functionality of Google Spreadsheets.
By using a free plugin, the form can be seamlessly integrated into the posts, pages, or sidebars of your WordPress site. This allows you to not only run a survey on your site, but also create a wide range of forms to allow your visitors to communicate with you, including advanced contact forms, questionnaires, orders, and a whole lot more.
How to Add a Google Form to WordPress
While this post is focused on adding a survey to WordPress using Google Forms, any type of form could be added to your site in this way. Surveys are a great use for Google Forms, but thanks to the different options for the form fields, as well as the ability to create multipage forms, it’s a great tool for any type of form, especially for those who aren’t using a premium plugin already, such as Gravity Forms and its many add-ons.
Creating the Google Survey Form
The first step in using Google Forms to add a survey to your WordPress site is to create the survey itself. Hopefully you should have a Google account; otherwise you will need to create one before getting started.
Once you are equipped with a Google account, login to Google Drive, then click on the ‘Create’ button and then choose ‘Form’ from the dropdown menu.
Then on the next screen, give your survey form a name, and then start adding the questions.
Hopefully you know what sort of information you want to gather, but as you can see from the image below, there are a number of ways to let your participants submit their answers, including text, multiple choice, lists, and more.
Once you’ve entered your questions, you can then move on to the confirmation page to set the message to display to the participants once they’ve finished the survey, as well as some more options.
After that it’s just a case of clicking on the ‘Send Form’ button to publish the form. If you are wondering where the responses will be sent, by default they are added to a new Google Spreadsheet. You can configure the settings for this by clicking the ‘Choose response destination’ button on the top menu of the Google Docs page.
If you want to see what the form looks like, then the ‘View live form’ button will allow you to see how it will appear to your readers and the survey participants when viewed as is. However as were are aiming to integrate this form into your site, the end result will look a little different in terms of the formatting.
As we do want to integrate the form with our WordPress site, the next steps will show you how to configure the necessary plugin and add the form to your posts or pages.
Google Forms Plugin
The next step is adding the form you your WordPress site, thankfully there is a free plugin which lets you do this. Google Forms is that plugins and it’s one that allows you to embed a published and public Google Form into your WordPress posts, pages, or widgets. As this Google Form could be a survey, it’s an ideal choice for helping us achieve our goal of using a Google Form to survey our readers.
Once the plugin has been installed and activated, it will create a new top level menu item on your site entitled ‘Google Forms’. From the plugin page on your site, or from the sub-menu, click on the ‘Add New Google Form’ button.
There are a lot of options on this page, but don’t let it put you off. The only one you really need to worry about is the one entitled ‘Form URL’. In this field you must paste the URL of your published form.
You can get the URL of the published form by clicking on the ‘Send form’ button, back on the Google Form creator page. This will display the link for the form, which you can copy and then paste into the plugin options page.
Once you’ve entered this URL, you can then either explore the rest of the settings, or just hit the ‘Preview’ button to see what the form looks like on your site.
As you can see, the survey form is nicely integrated into the WordPress post area, making it look just like a part of your site. If you are happy with how it looks, you can publish the form like a regular post.
When it’s time to check the results of the survey, you can open the Google Spreadsheet file with the same name as your form, but that has also been appended with (Responses), to see the responses from your readers.
From there you can analyse the results in any way you see fit, including using the features of the Google Spreadsheet, such as charts and graphs, or export the data for use elsewhere.
If you are looking for a free and well implemented way to survey the visitors to your site, or allow them to submit a questionnaire, or other types of information where a simple content form for WordPress might not suffice, then this combination of WordPress, Google Forms, and a free plugin should be able to help you do so.
While there are other survey plugins for WordPress, this solution is a great choice for those who want to harness the power of Google Spreadsheets and also integrate the form seamlessly into their WordPress site.