Actions

Difference between revisions of "Quick start guide - LimeSurvey 3.0+"

From LimeSurvey Manual

m
Line 105: Line 105:
  
 
=Start Using LimeSurvey= <!--T:31-->
 
=Start Using LimeSurvey= <!--T:31-->
There is a toolbar in the top right corner of the page.  In the middle of the page, there are six boxes with shortcuts to the most commonly used LimeSurvey functionality.
+
There is a toolbar in the top right corner of the page.  In the middle of the page, there are six boxes with shortcuts to the most commonly used LimeSurvey functionalities.
  
 
<!--T:32-->
 
<!--T:32-->

Revision as of 14:40, 10 March 2021

Other languages:
Deutsch • ‎English • ‎Nederlands • ‎español • ‎français • ‎polski • ‎português • ‎日本語
Help.png Note: The following is a basic quick start guide aimed at familiarizing you with the main functions and features provided by LimeSurvey. For a more detailed review of LimeSurvey and its capabilities, please refer to our manual. Another great way to get answers is to post your questions on our forums or join the LimeSurvey community chat on Discord. We look forward to hearing from you!

Introduction - What is LimeSurvey?

LimeSurvey is a free open source online survey application written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License 2. The software enables users to create and publish online surveys, collect responses, create statistics, and export the results to other applications. You can install LimeSurvey on your own server (LimeSurvey Community Edition) or use our hosting service (LimeSurvey Cloud).

This quick start guide was written for users of LimeSurvey Cloud. If you use the LimeSurvey Community Edition, please refer to the Installation section in the LimeSurvey manual to install LimeSurvey on your own server.

Create a Free LimeSurvey Account

Try it out now! Create a free LimeSurvey account to test its features and core functions. Click the Sign Up For Free button or select Pricing on the LimeSurvey website homepage and complete the registration.


Editions and Pricing - LimeSurvey Pro.png


You will be taken directly to the registration page if you choose Sign Up For Free.

Four options will be displayed when Pricing is selected: Free, Basic, Expert, and Enterprise. Click on Register Now in the FREE option box. You will be redirected to the registration page.


Free LimeSurvey Pro.png




Next, fill in the following fields:

  • Username: Choose a username for your account. Your username will also be used to access your LimeSurvey site.
  • Email: The activation link will be emailed to the email address provided.
  • Password: Choose a password, which will also be used to access your LimeSurvey site.


Join LimeSurvey pro.png


Click in each text box to reveal more details about each field. Subscribe to the LimeSurvey newsletter in order to receive help, tips, updates, service discounts, and the latest news.

Help.png Note: You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the link provided at the end of a newsletter.


After creating your LimeSurvey account, you will receive an email. This email contains the account activation link. Click the link to access your newly created account. Clicking the link takes you to your account on the LimeSurvey website.

Setting Up Your Survey Site

You need to create a survey site before you can start creating and managing online surveys. Log in to your account and click the "Create survey site" button.


TestLimeSurveyNow profile.png


To create your LimeSurvey site:

  • Enter your site name.
  • Choose a domain name from the dropdown menu.
  • Choose a server location.
  • Click the "Save & Set Up LimeSurvey Site" button.

The process can take up to 20 seconds. When the process is complete, the window will close and you will be taken back to your account page.


View survey site.png


You can now access your survey site by clicking the View Survey Site button at the top of the page. Sign in to your account using your LimeSurvey.org credentials.


Sign in to your LimeSurvey installation.png



Start Using LimeSurvey

There is a toolbar in the top right corner of the page. In the middle of the page, there are six boxes with shortcuts to the most commonly used LimeSurvey functionalities.

The toolbar contains the following options:


QSG LS3 Homepage toolbar LimeSurvey.png


  • Tutorials: Here, (in any LimeSurvey 3+ application), you will find a "Beginner Tour" tutorial to help you get a basic understanding of LimeSurvey and its most essential features.
  • Configuration: Click the Advanced, Users, and Settings options to access the application's many features.
    • Settings: Here you will find options for customizing your LimeSurvey application.
      • Home Page Settings: This option allows you to customize the home page.
      • Global Settings: The changes made here are applied to the entire LimeSurvey application, including the non-superadministrator settings for all users.
      • Plugin Manager: Here you can activate all LimeSurvey plugins, which are supported by the LimeSurvey team. You can also add your own plugins.
      • Menu Configuration: You can create a new menu or add entries to an existing menu.
      • Menu Entries Configuration: Allows you to create, edit or delete menu entries.
    • Users: This page gives you access to options related to the management of the users and survey participants.
      • Manage Survey Administrators: You can add new survey administrators from here.
      • Create/Edit User Groups: This function allows you to separate administration users into groups.
      • Central Participant Databases: You, as an administrator, can use this function to store the information of survey respondents in a central table/database that is independent of any table of participants.
    • Advanced Settings: These are non-user or survey related settings you can use to enhance your LimeSurvey application.
      • Theme editor: Click on the Theme editor option if you would like to add/edit/delete survey themes, admin themes, or question themes. You can choose a theme to customize a survey as well as the LimeSurvey interface.
      • Manage Label Sets: Label sets are a list of codes with labels that can be used as answers or as subquestions in most questions types.
      • Check Data Integrity: This checks the consistency and the redundancy of the data.
      • Backup Entire Database: Option for backing up the LimeSurvey data when an important upgrade is pushed or when the LimeSurvey application is moved to another server.
  • Surveys: A survey includes: languages, question groups, questions, question attributes, answers, subquestions, default answers, assessments, quotas, quota members, and quota language settings. When clicking the green arrow, a window with the following options will appear:
    • Create a New Survey: Creates a new survey.
    • Import a New Survey: Imports a new survey.
    • Copy a Survey: Lets you easily copy a survey that appears in the surveys list. Once copied it can then be edited.
    • List Surveys: Lists all of your existing surveys.
  • Response Balance: Shows the number of responses left on your subscription. As you only have access to a free account at the moment, you are limited to 25 responses per month. If you run out of responses, simply purchase more using the following link.
  • Storage: This is the amount of MBs available to you to store your responses and surveys. You have 10 MB of storage space on your free account. If you would like to increase the storage space, choose one of the following paid options from here.
  • Username: Here you can view your user preferences or log out of your account.
  • Bell Icon: Click the green bell to view notifications related to your LimeSurvey application.




There are six boxes on the home page of your LimeSurvey application.


QSG LS3 LimeSurvey homepage.png


  • Create survey
  • List surveys
  • Global settings
  • Manage survey administrators
  • Label sets
  • Themes
Help.png The boxes are shortcuts (click on them) for the different LimeSurvey functionalities. The boxes and their number can be changed from Configuration -> Home page settings.




Create a Survey

To create a survey, click on the Create survey box.


Create a new survey - Example.png


The Create survey page will be displayed.


QSG LS3 Create a survey model.png


The following options will be displayed:

  • Survey Title: Type in your survey title here. This is a required field. The title of the survey can be changed later.
  • Basic Language This is the language used in the survey. The settings of the survey can be modified later to support additional languages.
  • Sample Question: This feature is disabled by default. You can enable it to add a question group and question examples to your survey.
  • End URL: If users finish filling out the questionnaire you have the option to redirect them to another page. If you wish to redirect them, place the URL into the field and activate the "automatically load URL" option that is located under the Presentation & navigation tab.
  • URL Description: A brief "End URL" description can be added if the user is re-directed to another webpage not related to the survey. It may be helpful to add a note (explaining the reason for the redirection to the respective URL).
  • Date Format: This option is important when you want to record timestamps together with the survey participants' answers. You can click on it to display a drop-down list of date formats. Choose the date format that your survey respondents will recognize (remember that different dates are used across the world).
  • Decimal Format: Two options are available: dot (.) and comma (,). Select the one that is most widely used in the region where your survey will be conducted (e.g., US vs Germany).
  • Description: A short description of the survey can be added here.
  • Welcome Message: The survey participants will receive this welcome message if anything is typed in.
  • End Message: Enter the message that participants will see once they submit their answers to the questionnaire (when the survey is complete).


There are six options on the top toolbar. The one you just read about is Text elements. The other five are: General settings, Presentation & navigation, Publication & access control, Notification & data management, and Participant settings (known as Tokens). Clicking on each will display more advanced menus. You can use them to enhance your survey. The survey can be enhanced later from its settings once it is created, so selecting enhancements here is not required.


After completing the fields, click the Save and Close button located in the upper-right corner of the window. You will be redirected to the home page of your newly added survey.


QSG LS3 General view.png

Create a Question Group

A question group is used to group different elements of a survey like descriptions, questions, and responses.

To create a question group, first choose the survey you want to add the question group to. You will find this option in the top toolbar of LimeSurvey's home page.


Quick start guide - Surveys list.png


Click on the survey you wish to add the question group to. The survey page will be displayed. The menu on the left contains two tabs: settings and structure. It is necessary to work from the Structure tab when adding questions and question groups.

QSG LS3 Visualise settings tab.png


The menu will appear as follows when the Structure tab is selected.


QSG LS3 Add question group.png


Next, click on the Add question group button. The following page will be displayed.


QSG LS3 Question group options.png


  • Title: This is the name of the survey group.
  • Description: A short description of the question group can be typed in. It will be displayed to the survey participants if the corresponding option is enabled from the settings of the survey.
  • Randomization Group: This function is used to randomize certain question groups (the same must be allocated to the respective question groups).
  • Relevance Equation This feature is used as a way to limit respondents to certain question groups based on their previous responses.

Click the Save button in the upper-right part of the window once you are done.

The last two fields on the screenshot, Randomization Group and Relevance Equation, are left empty because knowledge about the expression manager of LimeSurvey is required. If you would like to read more about them, start with our wiki on question groups.
Important.png
  Warning : You must create a question group first in order to start adding questions to your survey.

Create a Question

Remember that you must first create a question group in order to create a new question. Please check the steps presented above to see how you can add a question group to a survey.

Once you have finished creating the survey and adding a question group, select the Structure tab again and click on the add question button or click on the “add new question to group” button under the "Group quick actions" heading.


QSG LS3 Add question.png


Once clicked, the Create question page will be displayed. It contains the following options:


QSG LS3 Create question menu.png


  • Code is a representation of the individual question name/code with which the survey is stored in the database.
  • Question: This is the name of the question as it will appear to survey participants.
  • Help: This is a short text that can be provided to help the survey participants better understand the question.
  • General Options: The functionalities found in this option allow you to change the most important question-related settings. It includes four options:
    • Question Type: Many question types can be used in LimeSurvey. To better understand them, hover the mouse over each option or read our wiki on questions.
    • Question Group: Here you can choose which question group you would like to add the question to.
    • Validation: This feature is available on all free text type or numeric questions. It is used for response validation. If the response is not validated, the user will be prompted to try again before they can progress.
    • Mandatory: This option is available for all question types. This setting allows you to require users to answer the question before they can move on to the next question.
    • Relevance Equation: This is a setting for advanced users. We recommend that the default value of "1" is used (it means that the item will always be shown).

Please note that, depending on the type of question selected, different tabs will be displayed below the General settings tab. To find out more about this, we suggest that you to first read the following wiki section.

For example, if the Long free text question type is selected (the default option), then the following tabs will be displayed: General options, Display, Input, Logic, Other, Statistics, Timer. Click on the Save button. You will be redirected to a page that contains the summary of the recently added question.


QSG LS Summary question added.png


To add more questions, follow the same procedure described above.

Add Subquestions and Answers

Different types of questions require subquestions, predefined sets of answers, both or neither. For example, a question that requires the age of a survey participant does not require any subquestion or predefined set of answers. On the other hand, a simple array question requires both subquestions and answers.

Help.png The lack of subquestions and/or sets of answers is highlighted if they are absent in the questions summary.

The next screenshot contains an array-type question.


QSG LS3 Subq q example.png


Add subquestions

To add subquestions, go to the top toolbar and click on Edit subquestions. Type in the subquestions you wish the survey participants to answer.


QSG LS3 Edit subq.png


Help.png Click on the green plus sign located under the Actions column to add more subquestions.

Add Answers

To add a set of predefined answers, go to the top toolbar and click on Edit answer options. Type in the answers.


QSG LS3 Edit answers.png


Help.png Click on the green plus sign located under the Actions column to add more answer options.

Save the set of answers and preview the question (look for the Preview question button located on the top toolbar).


Quick start guide - Toolbar Preview question.png


Our question looks like this:


QSG LS3 Preview queston.png


Congratulations! You have successfully created your first array-type question.

Organize Questions

If your survey contains dozens of questions, it is a time-consuming process to access each question and/or question group and edit the order one-by-one. The survey Structure menu allows you to quickly reorganize your questions and question groups. Select the Structure tab from the menu on the left and click on the three-line symbol that is located in front of the question or group name and drag it to its new location.


Reorder-question.png

Activate/Stop Survey

Now that you have at least one question and question group added to your survey, you can activate it. Select the Settings tab from the menu on the left and click on the Overview option. The following page will be displayed.


QSG LS3 Activate survey.png


Click the Activate this survey button on the toolbar.




Before activation, a window will be displayed asking you about general survey settings.


QSG LS3 Save and activate survey.png


Important.png
  Attention : You will not be able to add or delete groups, questions, subquestions or change their codes once the survey is activated.
  • Anonymized Responses: This option allows you to decide if the information in your survey's token table is matched to the responses in your survey or kept anonymous. If you decide to enable it, your survey is set to anonymize responses. You will not be able to link answers to respondents.
  • Save IP Address: If enabled, the IP address of the survey respondent will be stored together with his/her answers.
  • Save Timings: If enabled, the time spent on each page of the survey by each survey participant is recorded.
  • Date Stamp: Turn this option on if you would like to see the date the answers were submitted.
  • Save Referrer URL: If enabled, the referrer URL will be stored together with the answers.

Once the desired functionalities have been enabled, just click on the Save & activate survey button. The following message will be displayed.


QSG LS3 after activating a survey.png


Select the option No, thanks to disable the closed-access mode! This will allow everyone to access to your survey using the survey link.


Congratulations! You have activated your first survey! If you want to start sharing the survey URL, go to the home page of your survey, and look for the survey URL in the Survey summary section under 'Share your survey'.


QSG LS3 Survey url.png


Copy the link and start sharing it.

If you want to deactivate (stop) the survey, click on the Overview tab from the menu on the left and look for the Stop this survey button located on the top toolbar.


Quick start guide - Stop this survey.png

Statistics

To quickly view your survey statistics, click on the Survey button located on the top toolbar of your LimeSurvey home page. A list with all the available surveys will be displayed. Next, go to the last column and click on the Statistics button (Quick start guide - see Statistics survey.png) that corresponds to the row of the survey you wish to analyse.


QSG LS3 Survey statistics.png


A new window with a set of graphs will be displayed. If you would like to use them in a report, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the Export images button. Each chart will be saved separately in.png format and archived as a.zip file.

Click the 'Expert mode' button in the upper-right part of the window to access more statistics-related filters.

Once you have chosen your filters, click on the View Statistics button in the upper-right corner of the window.


QSG LS3 View statistics expert.png


The results are displayed in HTML, Excel, or PDF format based on which is chosen.

Exporting the Questions and Responses

You can export survey results in a different format in order to produce statistics and graphs using apps such as SPSS, R, STATA, etc.. Access the survey you wish to analyze. Click on the Responses button on the top toolbar, and then select Responses & Statistics.



QSG LS3 Responses and statistics.png


Now you are on the Browse Responses page. Look at the top toolbar for the Export button and select the desired format you wish to export to. If you select the first option, all the available formats in which you can export the data will be displayed.


QSG LS3 Export responses.png


Quick start guide - Export different formats.png


Once the filters are set, click on the Export button located in the upper-right side of the window.

Other LimeSurvey Features - Advanced Users

Check out the features of the LimeSurvey Cloud package.

Still have questions? Please join our LimeSurvey community chat on Discord.