Best tool for self-hosted surveys

While searching for some specific information on LimeSurvey, I came across an article entitled The 10 Best Online Survey Apps in 2020 1). The latest versions of several survey applications are compared and categorized.

In the category self-hosted surveys the top position is for open-source tool LimeSurvey. By self-hosting open-source software on a server, one has full control over code and data. For me, being able to modify and extend the codebase is important when delivering custom-made IT solutions for specific business cases.

An additional, often overlooked, benefit to using open-source, self-hostable applications is the fact that the code keeps working even when the company or developer group stops development. If a proprietary-software development company goes bankrupt, users might no longer have access to the code and their registered user data.

In the old days, most businesses had their own physical servers stacked away in their own separate server rooms or buildings. These were often well protected, organized and cooled, although I have seen otherwise.

Back in the good old days ;-)


Nowadays, the majority of companies have their own servers hosted in the cloud. So, situations like the one depicted above belong to the past.

Even though hosting-in-the-cloud is normal in 2020, many cloud-hosting architectures and providers exist, giving businesses lots of options to choose from.

Ask one person for feedback, and it's hard to know whether they represent the majority or minority. Ask a hundred, though, and you'll start to see a clearer picture and distinct trends.

[To do this, you will need a survey tool of which hundreds are] on the market designed to help you ask the right questions—and get responses from the right people. But if you're brand-new to survey-building, you might not know where to start. So we tested a lot of online survey tools and narrowed it down to the top ten. […]

[LimeSurvey is best for self-hosted surveys]

If you want a highly customizable survey builder or need to gather confidential data, LimeSurvey offers one of the most popular solutions.

It's an open source survey project that lets you build detailed surveys and host them on your own servers. Open source software, like LimeSurvey, combines the benefits of scalability and low costs, allowing everyone on your team to have access to the tool.

LimeSurvey offers just about any feature you could want […]. [If] you want a survey builder that's 100% free and deeply customizable, and you have the technical know-how, LimeSurvey offers more robust functionality than you can find even in paid survey tools. And, thanks to the open source community, it also supports more foreign languages (more than 85!) than you'll find in other survey tools.

~ The 10 Best Online Survey Apps in 2020 2)

The people at Zapier claim that their tool is used and trusted by companies large and small, and connects your apps and automates workflows as is stated on the homepage. I have no relation with Zapier, but was pleased to read their accurate review on LimeSurvey as best for self-hosted surveys.

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Originally published in June 2016, updated in March 2019 and again in July 2020 with each app's latest features and pricing and with great new survey apps.
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  • Last modified: 2020/09/15 12:03