5 April 2018

Shipping Polls+

The past weekend I worked hard to finish the first version of polls.plus! It’s an easy way to create and manage polls for websites. After the poll is created, it can simply be embedded on a website, the same way as a YouTube video or a Facebook Like Button. I found that polls were a low-effort way to get to know my visitors. Yesterday I added a poll to one of my own websites, and it has some insightful results in just 24 hours. I have a niche website about the Dutch “dog tax” and I always wondered whether my visitors actually had dogs or they just wanted to get the information for some other reason. 85 percent of the visitors voted “Yes”, so there is also a fairly high percentage that does not have a dog. There are a ton of questions I can think of to get some more results. I could lean towards questions and content about having a dog, or more towards the taxes and financial part of the website. It’s a small bit of feedback, easy to manage and easy to answer. No registration required, no contact information, just two mouse clicks.

If you've been reading my blog the past couple of weeks, you might've read that I started building this project about three weeks ago. I challenged myself to build and launch smaller projects. After I quit my latest project I planned to post a blog every week around Thursday or Friday, and I wanted to release my next project within a couple weeks instead of months. It has been stressful getting in the habit of writing a weekly blog, and trying to launch a decent “Minimum Viable Product” of an idea, while also working full-time. My previous blog post was almost three weeks ago, but looking back, I can learn from it and just keep trying. The stress from trying to write a weekly blog while challenging myself to release quickly was holding me back. I was even considering writing two articles within two days because I felt like I missed one, but that seemed even more daunting. I like tasks that I can combine in 4 to 8 hour time slots, so making up that pile of work in my head was actually making me procrastinate. But when I focus on one thing, and just work on it at least 30 minutes a day, I’ll be more productive. Usually those 30 minutes become a couple of hours, but I don’t mind if I stop at 30 minutes. I’ll be done earlier than expected, with a better result than expected, and a more peaceful mind. It’s also important for me to realize that I can skip a blog post if it takes so much of my energy and my time right now. Maybe I even should, to keep momentum instead of trying to make everything perfect and never expressing anything.

What is Polls+?

Polls+ is a “Software as a Service” (SaaS) that lets you create beautifully simple polls for your website.

Polls+ Example GIFA poll in action | polls.plus

It allows you to create your own polls, embed them on your website, and use the results for new content. Website visitors can select a specific answer and vote without requiring any registration or contact information.

Why embeddable polls?

I’m starting to like the idea of embeddable software, and wanted to experiment with it. It’s easier to implement even complex functionality for website owners. It’s also a solution separate from the website framework. So if you decide to migrate from WordPress, Drupal, or anything else, you won’t even need to consider migrating all these polls and their results. It’s also very easy to embed the software on multiple websites, regardless of programming language, coding framework or even device.

What's next?

The next update will be the ability to directly link to the poll, hosted on Polls+ itself. This allows you to just share a link, for example in WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups or any other website. There are more features I want to add, but that depends on the amount of users that will try the free Early Access. The next couple of days I will take some time off from building, and next week I’ll continue with another project I started on a couple of months ago.

Are you interested in building a website with minimal effort? Need an easy way to engage your new website visitors? Check out polls.plus! Even if you aren't interested, remember Polls+ the next time you hear the word "poll". 😉