I’ve been blogging the last week about various options to run trivia quizzes on my website, ranging from basic plugins to premium plugins or even embedding quizzes from external platforms (either dedicated to trivia like Kahoot or generic forms with a quiz option like MS or Google Forms). In my last post (Considering different trivia managers), I covered a huge list and while some of them were awesome in their own right, I have a very specific goal in mind with five criteria.
I narrowed it down to three free plugins for WordPress and for the head-to-head matchup, I am ONLY considering the basic plugin, not the premium options.
Setting up my criteria
For scoring/results, I’m looking for something other than just a score, all of them do that obviously. However, some of the full list of plugins added extra clicks to see the results, immediate answers per question vs. seeing everything at the end, etc.
For basic styling, I want to know that it is livable without any extra tweaking behind the scenes. I hesitate to reduce it to just saying that the defaults are acceptable, but that is close to what I mean. A slightly different way of understanding it is more like “how close is the basic styling to what I want”, because the closer it is, the less work I have to do to fix it. If it starts off crappy, then I have to do more to get it looking proper.
For advanced styling, I want to know a few things. Can I add images to the quiz opening and to individual questions? Can I change highlight colours, fonts, borders? Even if the basic is acceptable, how much tweaking can I do from within the plugin to get it fully tricked-out if I choose that one for the final option.
For tracking results, I am not sure how much weight I want to give it. I really don’t have a desire to have people log in, and I don’t want the responsibility to track that data. What I really want, I think, is more like a video game console with a high-score tracker and the ability to enter your name when you get a new high-score. That is a rare functionality.
I didn’t track the next two criteria in my initial review of all of the plugins but I feel there should be a basic review of flexibility and usability.
For flexibility, some allow the ability to create banks of questions and generate new quizzes dynamically. Equally, others allow shuffling answer options within a question or even questions within a quiz. For usability, it is probably simplest just to ask if I like using it? Or am I going to be fighting with it to make it do what I want? Cuz if I don’t like it, I am going to be constantly thinking there must be some sort of better solution out there. Instead, I want to nail it early and start putting up questions.
I’m scaling everything on a 5-point scale with no ties possible, each criteria has to have a clear separation and ranking between the three. I’ll give myself a bit of flex in terms of the points within 1-5.
|HD QUIZ||QUIZ AND SURVEY MASTER||QUIZ MAKER|
|Scoring / Results||2|
(okay layout at the end, not much “community”)
(forced results during, no community at end, slow scoring after each question)
(good layout, results at the end and/or during, sound if I want it or not, and comparisons of other people’s results)
(good layout of individual questions, highly readable, paginated)
(option to style text of each question or answer option is powerful but too manual, not enough theming)
(strong formatting layout at beginning for intro, pagination, good colour options)
(good overall options, highly readable)
(doesn’t work right with theme)
(none with quiz, separate page)
(average, separate page but not useful without logins)
|Flexibility in questions||0|
(none, no randomness, banks, single use)
(random answer order)
(reuse questions, banks, randomize answer order)
(single quiz, easy to configure)
(banks of questions to combine into quizzes)
|Bonus points for other options||0||2|
(results tracking internally)
|Ratings from beta testers||0||2||5|
When I started the quiz comparison based on the earlier overall weed, I thought the scores would be close. I was wondering if I would have to start weighting elements to give more stratification of results; obviously I didn’t. Not only was my own experience clearly in favour of Quiz Maker over the other two, and even Quiz and Survey Maker over HD Quiz, my beta testers for the resulting quizzes online were ALSO clearly of the same view. They thought Quiz Maker had a much superior look and feel while playing, QSM was adequate but lacking, and HD Quiz was too basic.
Quiz Maker beat the other two by a country mile. I’d prefer the quizzes weren’t done as separate questions and having to “add” Qs to banks or to a specific quiz, but that weakness may turn out to be a strength in the long-term. Let’s play trivia…