Web Poll and Survey Software Key Terms

Learn how to use online surveys for market research with these key concepts

Software-generated polls and surveys are a popular option for companies collecting data for market research, evaluation and customer satisfaction. Web poll and survey software offers a wide range of options for customizing your survey or poll, including the style, size, location and administrative preferences. Knowing which features you want and need can dictate the type of program you use and how much you pay for the service, and is a simple matter of learning the key terms used by web poll software programs.


PHP is the type of web design script that enables use of software programs to embed information and features in your website. PHP scripts are used in web polls, as well as other features like hit counters and site visit tracking.

Conditional branching

Conditional branching is a survey technique offered by many web poll software programs that allows you to structure a survey that is tailored to individual response patterns. In this way, respondents are routed to subsequent questions based on their responses to a previous question.

Logic operators

Logic operators are the mechanism by which branching surveys operate, and include a range of commands that describe the relationship between questions on a web survey and how the survey software constructs an individual poll.


Blocking is a strategy used by web poll software programs to prevent data from being collected from repeat respondents. Most software programs offer blocking repeat users as an option for your poll, and blocking can be accomplished in several ways, including logging the IP address of the survey respondent, creating individual URLs for each individual survey or using cookies.


A micropoll is used temporarily for posting a poll on a website or in an email message to collect data, usually on a single question. Micropolls also feature real-time data collection, and usually show data collection results to users after they have responded.

Poll widget

A web poll widget is similar to a micropoll, but is designed as a self-contained program or script that can be placed directly on multiple websites to transmit short polls or surveys. Poll widgets provide similar user-friendly features to other widgets, which are add-ons provided by website hosts for individual users to customize their pages.

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