As part of my research for school and work, I’ve made heavy use of various online survey applications.

The most common survey programs that I’ve seen are Survey Monkey ($20/mo or $200/yr) and Zoomerang ($200-600/yr). UCLA Anderson makes heavy use of Qualtrics, which is an incredibly powerful application but costs somewhere on the order of $5,000/yr for a relatively limited number of survey responses.

lime survey free survey software admin interface

Enter LimeSurvey. This open-source survey application lacks the polish of the paid applications, but it is much more flexible than either Survey Monkey or Zoomerang. Better yet, there’s no set limits on the number of survey responses you can request. Finally, since it’s open-source, it’s free to use. All you’ll need is a domain name and server to host it on, which can be had for $5-$10/mo depending on your source. If you already have a website, the marginal cost of using LimeSurvey is likely close to zero.

So, while the paid survey services have their place (e.g., informal polling for a limited number of people), LimeSurvey is free and carries the weight beautifully for more complex surveying needs. It has a steeper learning curve than SurveyMonkey or Zoomering and lacks some of the most sophisticated tools available in Qualtrics, but when you want something a little more powerful without spending too much money, LimeSurvey is a very happy medium.

(By the way, comment here if you’re looking for LimeSurvey hosting and I’d be glad to help.)