Online survey tools range from desktop applications to complex web systems that collect data through questionnaires. Here we have listed the main software solutions and briefly describe their features.

Poll Daddy offers surveys and polls that can be easily embedded into external websites and applications. The free package offers a maximum of 10 questions per survey and 100 responses per month, plus basic reporting. Survey features are more limited than some of the other options in this category, with no skip logic or piping, but survey administrators have a lot of flexibility over the look of the survey, by selecting from pre-designed templates, or fully customizing the template by editing stylesheet code. Surveys can be delivered in pop-up windows, and results can be tracked via RSS feed.

Survey Gizmo offers a low-cost solution with some advanced features—it supports 1,000 responses per month, and basic logic—as well as a range of more advanced packages. At all levels, SurveyGizmo offers basic piping, fully customizable survey look and feel, and the ability to embed images and videos hosted on your own website. More advanced levels offer many randomization options (question options, questions per survey page, and pages themselves), skip logic,  and more.  SurveyGizmo offers an API for integrating survey functionality into websites, blogs and other applications, including integration with

Survey Monkey offers a popular online hosted survey tool that works well for basic surveys. The free version might be useful for very small and informal surveys, but allows very little customization of the look of the survey, no downloads of reports or data, and can only collect 10 questions and 100 responses per survey. The package’s folder structure and “search by title” feature makes it easy to navigate through many surveys. Reports are minimal, but they allow you to export results to another application to do more serious analysis. Higher end Gold and Platinum versions offer advanced logic features like question and answer piping, randomisation, text analysis for open responses, and integration with IBM’s SPSS statistical software.

Zoomerang is similar to SurveyMonkey in many respects, but offers in general a somewhat more powerful package. Like SurveyMonkey, there’s a very limited free package; The survey building tools are not quite as intuitive as SurveyMonkey’s, and it can be more difficult to learn. However, Zoomerang offers more extensive reporting, with a flexible cross-tabulation report tool that lets survey administrators see the data relationships across any set of questions.

Lower Cost Integrated Solutions

Constant Contact. Although known primarily as an email marketing tool, Constant Contact offers “Listen-Up,” a hosted survey tool with some interesting benefits. Constant Contact offers more than 40 predesigned templates with some ability to customize. Surveys can include skip logic, and can be scheduled in advance. The tool also offers a variety of emailing and email management services, including contact importing, list segmentation and basic contact management. Reports are quite basic, but data can be exported for analysis in another tool.

FormSite offers a tool for building website forms—everything from simple “contact us” forms to evaluation forms. Although the focus is forms for feedback and test-taking, FormSite offers a basic set of survey features, and may be useful to those looking to collect a lot of different types of information via web-forms. Features include multiple page surveys, question randomization, basic skip logic and piping. Surveys can be customised to match your website by someone familiar with HTML.

Moodle is a powerful open source course management software package primarily targeted at schools and universities. It integrates website content management and online course management with survey and test-taking solutions. The survey tools are geared toward those gathering feedback from students to assess teaching methods, and several verified survey instruments are provided for this purpose. Moodle may be appropriate for nonprofits running training programs or schools seeking an all-in-one website, course and survey management solution for their programs. The package is free to download, but will require substantial technical knowledge to install, configure, customise and support.

Advanced Survey Packages

Key Survey offers a full set of features, including several unusually advanced ones such as LDAP integration to allow single-sign-on models for large organisations, role based permissions, support for “teacher/student” surveys, multimedia questions and much more. Key Survey also offers an API to exchange survey data with outside applications, with a module for Salesforce.com integration.

Lime Survey is a powerful, free and open source survey package appropriate for nonprofits looking for advanced survey logic and analysis features and who have substantial technology support. Its range of features includes full customization of survey look and feel, support for 40 different languages, piping, skip logic, a library of available survey questions and blast emailing. The tool has a large support community and is under active development. This is an open source package that can be downloaded for free, installed on your own web server, and customized to your needs by a developer with knowledge of PHP/ MySQL. Although the tool itself is free, be prepared to bear the costs for your own web hosting, and the time it takes to properly install, configure, customise and support this product on your own.

Qualtrics provides advanced survey logic and analysis targeted at research surveys, with a focus on academic institutions. The Qualtrics Research Suite provides data analysis support for cross-tabulation, conjoint analysis, subgroup analysis, time series analysis, and more.

QuestionPro packages range from limited free versions to more advanced $15-$99/month options. The free package lets you re-use questions from one survey to the next, or pull questions from a standard survey template library. The more advanced packages offer unlimited surveys, questions and responses with skip logic, piping, randomization and even more complex survey logic, as well as multimedia and multilingual support. QuestionPro also offers an API to exchange survey data with outside applications, including a module for Salesforce.com integration.

Smart survey is an UK based digital survey solution that helps anyone create surveys, build questionnaires and analyse the results.With an online survey software you have the flexibility to conduct multiple studies using multiple methodologies, all from a centralised location. Quantitative research with cross-sectional studies, opinion polls, longitudinal studies, social attitude questionnaires or qualitative research with open text surveys.