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How To Get Started


Introduction to LimeSurvey

A beginner's guide

Getting started with new projects is always a difficult endeavour. Creating, distributing and evaluating surveys is no exception here.
To make things easier and enable you to go straight to creating powerful surveys and retrieving meaningful data from the people that matter most to you, here are 5 simple steps to follow in order to find your way around when starting out with LimeSurvey questionnaires.
This starter guide refers only to the setup of our Software as a Service (SaaS) LimeSurvey Professional solution. If you want to host LimeSurvey on your own server, check the documentation on our LimeSurvey Community Edition.

Step 1: Sign up to LimeSurvey

You have landed on the front page of the LimeSurvey Website and are now wondering what to do?
If this is your first encounter with this site on your way to creating surveys, navigate to the top right corner where you will see an orange 'Sign Up' button and click it.
The shown account signup form can then be filled with your preferred username, email address and password. The signup is completely free by the way.

(!) Don’t forget to confirm your signup by clicking the confirmation button sent to your provided email address (double opt-in).

Step 2: Generate a free survey instance

You can control all your settings and reach your survey interface from your LimeSurvey user account.
To start building surveys, generate a free survey instance (formerly installation) in your user account - this equals the Professional Free package with a 25 responses-per-month volume. When doing so, choose a domain name that best represents your survey and server location to determine where your collected response data ought to be stored. Then simply hit 'Save & Close' and await the completion of your instance.
The login form to your survey administration interface is loaded automatically. All that is left to do is for you to log in with your user account credentials and you are ready to start building awesome surveys.

Step 3: Upgrade your instance for more responses

To upgrade your free instance (25 responses per month) to a paid solution (1,000/month, 10,000 or 100,000 responses/year), navigate to your profile, choose 'Applications' within the profile menu and click on 'Upgrade your application' to Basic, Expert or Enterprise.
You will be sent to our professional editions and pricing page where you can choose a solution depending on your needs. Then hit the respective 'Order now' button to find the billing settings. Add your details (mandatory fields are marked) and click 'Next' at the bottom of the page. Select your payment method and make sure to tick the box confirming that you agree to the 'Terms & Conditions' as well as know your legal right of revocation. Then click 'Next'. You will then see a summary of your billing details to ensure they are correct. If not, you may simply hit the 'Back' button, otherwise click 'Buy Now!' to proceed to the final checkout.

Step 4: Design your survey effectively

Before starting we recommend you try our interactive tutorial tour which will guide you through the entire admin interface as it's perfect for getting started.
If you don't feel like going through these step-by-step instructions, you may also go straight to creating a new survey on your own.
First of all, define the survey title and base language (the base language cannot be changed later on so decide carefully if you are conducting a survey in several languages).
All other options are not mandatory; however, you may play around with these functions to your liking.
Add a question group to categorise your questions and give it an expressive title. Then hit 'Save and add question'. Your question will require a unique code identifier.

Also, you may now select one of our many question types and add a question text. Furthermore, the side bar on the right offers a powerful spectrum of features such as display and logic. For detailed information on all our question types, visit our manual article on LimeSurvey question types. Once you have saved your question, edit the corresponding answer options and/or subquestions depending on your question type, repeat this process until your survey is ready. You can always check a preview of your survey, questions groups or even questions.

Step 5: Visualise your survey data with statistics

After activating your survey and collecting sufficient response data, it's time to look into your survey statistics to get an idea of the response distribution.
Starting out from the survey summary, navigate to the tab 'Responses' and click on 'Responses & statistics' for anything statistics-related.
The response summary gives you a short overview of the amount of collected responses, 'Display responses' is table containing respondents' selected answers. 'Data entry' allows you to add response data entries to your survey manually if needed. 'Export' and 'Import' enable response and survey exports and imports.

Most importantly, the tab statistics helps you visualise your response data by offering great filter possibilities with regard to data selection, response IDs, output format, output options and response filters. On top of all of this, you can choose between a statistics 'Simple mode' and a statistics 'Expert mode'.
Set your filters and click on 'View statistics'. You may then change the individual graph types and export your results.
If these statistics don't satisfy your needs, you have the possibility of exporting your response data to various other tools such as Excel, SPSS, R, Stata, CSV or PDF.

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