How to Create a Live Poll in WordPress with TotalPoll

How many of us have heard of the term, interactive content? No… this is not a new buzzword, but an immersive tool to leverage for every event manager, keynote speaker, and lecturer.

keynote, poll, audience
Live poll during a keynote.

The internet has allowed immediate access to information with a click of a button, hence our attention span has decreased to 8 seconds - via global communication company Cision, and has left brands asking the question, “How do we keep our audience engaged?” Whether you’re throwing a multifaceted event, speaking on a panel, or presenting your quarterly numbers, audience engagement will always be key. (if you’re still reading, then we’ve done our part).

On average 93% of marketers see interactive content as an effective marketing tactic.

— via

Live polls#

One of the best forms of interactive content is live polls. It pairs perfectly with webinars to emphasize key talking points and creates an immersive experience to increase active listening.

Live polling can serve as interaction points with your audience and can be structured as a Q&A, multiple-choice question, or open text response. It can also serve to gauge your audiences' knowledge before revealing a statistical standpoint or even as support for your empirical research.

Business people talking and taking decision using insights from collected data.
Taking decision using insights.

Here are a few key benefits of using live polls:

  1. Real-time data equals real-time decision making: The ability to have your results on-hand during your presentation can allow you to take action and change direction to address each segment of your audience.
  2. Let the poll take control: Live polls can provide an immersive experience to live streams, webinars, or events by allowing your audience to weigh in on discussions.
  3. Collect data with a click of a button: It doesn’t take weeks to collect your data. Your poll data will be available within seconds and can be displayed live for your participants.

We know work-life has changed over the past few months and working remotely has become part of daily life for many. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have shifted to virtual meetings and events have pivoted to online formats.

Taking into account the global shift, TotalSuite has built a robust plugins to help every business, educator, and keynote speaker engage with their audience and gain crucial insights. But let’s use a sample use case to see TotalPoll WordPress poll plugin into action.

TotalPoll WordPress poll plugin
TotalPoll WordPress poll plugin, a simple yet powerful poll system for WordPress.

Case Study#

A Michigan based design platform (for our purpose, we'll call it VITAL) is planning a design webinar for 500 attendees. During the webinar our keynote speaker, Vick, would like to know “which tool is used most by designers?” Here’s our brief:


Primary: Which tool do designers use most in their workflow?

Secondary: What type of designers are attending the Webinar?

Choices: Photoshop, Affinity Photo, Sketch, Pixelmator

Place of polling: VITAL Design Webinar

Population: All webinar attendees

Poll creation#

Ok, our brief and goals are set. Now let’s prepare the live poll to integrate into Vick’s presentation. Beforehand, you’ll need to install the TotalPoll WordPress poll plugin on your WordPress site.


Create new poll in TotalPoll

Once TotalPoll is installed, head over to your dashboard and select “Create poll” from the TotalPoll drop-down menu.

You'll be forwarded to the poll editor where you can set up your poll.



For our example, we’ll name the poll “Designer's toolbox.” Let’s add a question and prepare the choices. To save some time, we’ll use the excellent bulk insertion feature in TotalPoll.

Design and Customization#

TotalPoll has developed templates to work exactly like WordPress themes. Every template has a different set of settings, giving you the option to choose the template that fits your brand’s persona and poll parameters best.

TotalPoll design options
The available templates under Design tab.

Since VITAL is design-focused, we want vibrant colors to evoke the importance of VITAL’s brand and give our poll a cohesive feel when users visit the site. For more in-depth information, check out the design customization knowledge base article.

Here’s a little side note for developers:


As a WordPress developer, you may want to extend TotalPoll's functionality or create a custom template to achieve a certain aspect or look. The codex helps you learn the essentials of TotalPoll’s APIs and have a good grasp of different concepts. This is a bit technical, but we encourage you to review our developer's documentation to better format your polls for your brand.

We’ll use the media contest template to get a fancy look and feel for the VITAL’s poll and to boost participation:

A poll of design tools: Photoshop, Affinity, Sketch and Pixelmator
Design tools poll using TotalPoll and Media Contest template.

As we browse through TotalPoll’s poll editor you can see different options for your questions and choices, custom container width, and some fields to help increase your SEO efforts as visitors engage with your site. For our purposes we’ll keep these features standard, but we encourage you to take a look at TotalPoll’s features to maximize user experience for your poll participants.

Poll Settings and Integration#

After setting up your design, we’ll have to set some parameters to ensure we are collecting poll data accurately and to assure votes credibility. TotalPoll provides options to limit and restrict users by IP addresses, cookies, authenticated users, votes per user, and vote time out.

Poll vote frequency settings

We’re now ready to save and integrate our presentation for Vital’s webinar! TotalPoll’s easy integration process supports 6 methods of integration (shortcode, widget, direct link, embed, email, and REST API), for our case, we’ll use shortcode for integration.

Available integration methods in TotalPoll

Finally, We’ll need the Live Poll extension to display all metrics live during the webinar. This extension lets you add a live results chart of your poll anywhere on your website through a custom shortcode available under the "Integrations'' tab.

Live poll integration in TotalPoll

Live Poll Results: Vital Design Webinar#

After a successful webinar, VITAL found that 60% of attendees use Photoshop in their workflows and favor tools that saves time; With this information, VITAL can pair content material to retarget its audience and also reiterate Vick’s presentation for future webinars to focus more on Photoshop-related topic and time-saver tips.

Now that you’ve seen TotalPoll in action, how would you use it in your next presentation, webinar, or live stream? We always love hearing from our community, let us know how you’ve used TotalPoll and what type of insights you’ve gained from your event via @TotalSuite.

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Last updated on May 19, 2020