I’ve been looking for different ways to get more engagement with my blog posts. Of course I do the usual Social Sharing etc. But I wanted something different. And although it has been done before I decided to throw Polls together! Mike the creator of Easy Polls was kind enough to give me a copy to review. Take a look inside for my WordPress Plugin Review of Easy Polls. Is it really easy – or a pain in the ass?
Note: I no longer have the link to the plugin. Do a search for it on Code Canyon and you should be able to find it. I was not compensated for writing this article.
What is Easy Polls?
Easy Polls is a premium WordPress plugin that allows you easily add polls to your blog! You can select from different styles, custom colors for the options, display percents or number of votes, and set up security so your votes aren’t skewed. And then display it easily with a simple bit of shortcode.
Installation & Activation
Installation is a two-step process. You have to get it installed and activated. Then to actually activate the plugin you’ll need the provided code so it will start working.
This plugin is available through Code Canyon. After you go through the initial purchasing process then you will need to install it onto your site.
- This is the simplest part. It is the same method you would use for manually installing any type of WordPress plugin for your site.
- Download the easypolls.zip file
- Go to your WP Control Panel
- Go to your Plugins section and select “Add New”
- Select Upload, Click on “Choose File”, Browse to where you have the simpleazon.zip file located and click OK
- Click on Install Now
- After it completes click “Activate” and then you will need to enter your key before you can get started.
This is where it might be tricky if your not looking for it. You’ll need to click on the Easy Poll Admin menu and not the separate Easy Polls section to input your Purchase Code. Once you enter the Purchase Code you will be able to start creating Polls on your site in no time! Take a look below for a picture on where you are supposed to click and enter your Code at.
Creating A Poll
There are two ways to create a Poll. First is using the Easy Polls menu to creating a Poll or you can easily add one in any post you create. I do suggest the first way only because if you need to remove it or edit it – it is easier than creating it in the post.
Add New Poll Option
It is a simple process:
- Enter the Title of the Poll (Example: What Kind of Pie Do You Like?)
- Put in the Answers/Options (Apple, Peach, Strawberry, etc..)
- Put in the Corresponding Color next to the Answers (Green, Orange, Red, etc..) You can either use the color wheel or the Color in Hex (#FFFFFF)
- If you need more Answers/Options click on the ‘Add Option’ Button.
- Style of Poll – Choose from “Bar” or “Box”.
- Display Type – Either Percentage of Votes or Total Number of Votes.
- Click on the Publish button to create the Poll.
You can also add a Poll from within a Post (like I have in this review.):
After it is Published you will need to take note of the Post ID so you can insert into your Post or Page within WordPress
After you have created your poll you need to use the shortcode to have it displayed on your Page or Post within WordPress. You will need to enter in the specific code I have displayed below using a few select parameters.
You will need to put in the following code:
[ myo_poll poll=ID type="bar/box" perc="yes/no"]
The inputs to the shortcode are:
- poll = ID – where ID is the ID of the poll (shown below)
- type = bar / box – which type of poll would you like to display
- perc = yes / no – wheter you’d like to show the number of votes, or the percentage of votes
Examples of Poll Styles
You get two styles of Polls to choose from. A “Box” or Horizontal style or a “Bar” or Vertical style. Here are the two styles of Polls that can be displayed on your blog. (I’ll have a Box style Poll at the bottom of the post!)
Above is the “Box” style of Poll. You will see the results with either number of posts or the percentages based on the setting you choose.
To help protect the integrity of the Poll results. You can make it so only one vote per IP is selected. This will help ensure (at least a little) that your data is truer. I do suggest checking the box so the data won’t get skewed by someone continually clicking on a poll skewing the results!
OK, I know this isn’t the most exciting part. But a lot of plugins out there give you a little readme.txt file and leave it up to you to figure it out. This plugin isn’t one of them! The documentation found with it is probably some of the best I’ve seen so far!
Usually I don’t go into this as it is way too complicated and over my head. So this will be an ‘average joe’ version of it.
Easy Polls uses the built in jQuery libraries for WordPress – this is why you have to essentially create a new post when your creating a new poll. The more I think of it the more I like it. If I ever decide that I no longer want a Poll or if I decide to drop this plugin entirely? I can easily remove the Polls as they are just posts created for this purpose!
This plugin does use a third party jQuery library called Farbtastic as the color chooser. You can check out the author’s site here if you are interested in learning more about it.
This plugin is 100% compatible with WordPress 3.5!
What I Like
I like the simplicity of the plugin. It isn’t overly complicated for setting up Polls on your posts.
- Shortcodes – Make it so I can put the Poll anywhere I want within the post.
- Easy to Setup – From colors to Poll styles it makes it easy to setup a new poll quickly and easily.
- Documentation – Has the best documentation I’ve seen for a plugin yet!
What I Don’t Like
No way to post a Poll on the Sidebar- There isn’t a Widget and shortcode does not work on the Sidebar of a WordPress blog.Update: There is a way to do this – thanks Mike! It does involving hacking your php – so please back up before doing this! Go to WPRecipes for the info!
- No central reporting for Polls that are setup on the blog.
How Much Is It and How Do I Get It?
This is a paid plugin just like everything over at Code Canyon. This plugin will cost you $12.00 for the single use license or $60.00 for the multi-site.
Overall I really do like this Plugin. It took a little bit of learning to figure out how it all worked at first. But once I figured it out it I found it to be an actually very sweet little plugin. You can see it working in the poll I setup below too.
What do you think? Is this something that you could use for your own blog to help bring about more engagement? Leave a comment and of course Vote on the poll below!