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It’s been a long time since I’ve written a tutorial here. I thought with Automattic’s acquisition of PollDaddy, this would be a good opportunity to write one about adding polls to your self-hosted WordPress blogs, more specifically – PollDaddy polls. In this tutorial I’ll go over:
- Installing the PollDaddy plugin
- Signing up to PollDaddy (if you don’t already have an account)
- Creating and managing polls from within your WordPress admin panel
- Inserting the polls you create into your WordPress posts and pages
And now onto the tutorial…
If you don’t have a PollDaddy account already, not to worry! I’ll walk you through it. You can sign up for a free account here.
Fill in your name, e-mail address, and password choice, and you’re all set.
Configuring the Plugin
After this, you’ll need to go back to your WordPress admin panel and type in the login details you just created. Upon revisiting the PollDaddy admin page, you’ll see a new screen to create and manage your polls.
I’m not sure what that warning message means, but I’ll just ignore it and see if the polls work anyway. Seems some others are having the same problem as well.
Click the “Add New” link to set up your poll. There’s an input box for the poll question, as well as three answers. You can click the “Add Another” button for more answer choices. You can also set up multiple choice polls, randomize the answer order, and allow other answers.
I’ll choose the “Simple White” design and leave the default settings for results and repeat voters.
After clicking the “Add Poll” button, I was greeted with a page with two warning messages on it. After re-logging in to the admin panel (somehow I was logged out) and visited the Polls page, it seems the poll I created was indeed successful.
The next step is to go write a post, and click the orange button thingy next to Add Media. You should see a screen like this with your newly created poll.
Again, the same warning message pops up. I’ll try my best to ignore those since they seem not to make a difference with the actual workings of the plugin. After sending the poll to the editor, WordPress will generate a shortcode to place in your post.
Help Me! It doesn’t work!
After saving/publishing, you’ll notice the actual poll doesn’t display in your post, just the unparsed shortcode. To correct this, you’ll need to install another plugin from PollDaddy. You can get it here. I grabbed the one for version 2.5 and above.
I’m not sure why this plugin isn’t even mentioned at all on the first plugin’s page. I had to check this support thread to find out why the polls weren’t displaying properly. Apparently the first plugin was just for creating/managing polls. This one is for having them display in your WordPress post.
That’s it. Here’s the poll I’ve just created in action.
First of all, I’d like to congratulate Matt Mullenweg and Automattic on this awesome acquisition.
It’s a mystery to me why the plugin for creating/managing polls and the plugin for displaying polls are separate. Maybe someone can enlighten me. I personally think that these two plugins should be combined into one.
I think it’s also worth mentioning the self-hosted WP-Polls plugin by Lester Chan, if you’d rather not be dependent on a third-party service.
Hope you all liked the tutorial. Feel free to comment with your thoughts on the acquisition, the WordPress integration, and the tutorial. I’d love to hear them.
About Leland Fiegel
Leland Fiegel was the original founder of ThemeLab. He is a web developer who loves WordPress and blogging.