I generally use Gravity Forms (same plugin we installed to field feedback on your last site). It can definitely be used as a survey tool to create quick and simple surveys. It can also be used to create long and complex multipage surveys.
Imho Survey Monkey is a great service, but for one off polls, I like Gravity Forms better. There is no monthly subscription fee, no limits on how many questions or even responses you can receive without having to pay more. I think there is a place and time for Survey Monkey, especially when you want to provide a survey with a somewhat sterile looking response medium outside of your own site. A survey loaded on your own website might have subjective distractions such as ads, or things a survey taker can click on and quite before the survey is completed or saved.
As a disclaimer, Softduit Media charges $40 to install and configure the Gravity Forms plugin itself or alternatively you can purchase a Gravity Forms license directly at prices starting at $39 and going up to $199. Softduit Media can also create individual surveys or other forms with Gravity Forms.
If you simply need a survey, this is definitely something you could learn to do yourself with either Gravity Forms or Survey Monkey. Gravity Forms offers some options that include creating user generate feedback forms or blog article submission tools that definitely have a learning curve for the do-it-yourself types. We can help if you don’t have time to conquer the learning curve.
Where is Survey Monkey better? Graphs and Infographics!
One of the functional areas where Survey Monkey may trump Gravity Forms is in the display of the results. Gravity forms allows you to receive email notifications of each submission, or you can download results in a csv file, which can later be pumped into a spreadsheet to manually create a graph of results or something. However, there is no built in tool to display survey results in a cool looking graph. (note you have to pay for survey monkey to get excel export)
Update – Formidable Pro and Formidable Free or Lite Form and Poll Plugin – A Middle of the road option
A couple weeks after publishing this article Formidable Pro was brought to my attention by Richard Farr at Clickadvisors. :) I have not tested it yet so this is not a recommendation but more of an awareness update. The Formidable plugins and add ons seem to strike something of a middle ground as compared to Gravity Forms and Survey Monkey. It is priced at a level that just slightly under cuts Gravity Forms. There is a freemium offering called the Formidable Free Edition or Lite version that offers Form options with a limited set of basic form elements. Then the premium level kicks in at $37 for a single site and $97 for unlimited sites with the full range of services.
Two things immediately distinguished the Formidable Pro plugin besides the $2 savings as compared to Gravity Forms:
- Formidable Pro does provide infographic or graph presentation options of results. The main thing missing from Gravity forms (when contrasted with Survey Monkey) is the presentation of polling results for those situations where you are conducting a survey with the form as opposed to some other form usage.
- Lifetime updates – instead of having to renew the license on a yearly basis (as required from Gravity Forms) Formidable Pro only requires a one time purchase. So in addition to that $2 savings, you don’t have to spend the money all over again next year!