This is the last part of our 4-part series by Dr. Marcel Minke on how to optimize LimeSurvey surveys for smartphones and tablets. Part 3 can be found here.
Using a netbook for performing surveys offline
Though mobile data connections are available at nearly every place in the western world, tablets can often only connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. This is a problem if you want to survey people out on the streets without being able to connect to the Limesurvey server to store the survey results.
An alternative approach is to use a small netbook (eventually with an optimized template for small screens) which is capable of running a webserver locally. You can create your base survey on any Limesurvey system and export the survey to one or several netbooks.
Assuming you know a little about server configuration, you can download the XAMPP package which contains a webserver + PHP environment and the MySQL database. Once all this is set up and the webserver runs fine, you can download Limesurvey, place it in a folder e. g. called “Limesurvey” at the „htdocs“ subfolder of the XAMPP installation folder and call this URL at your browser: http://localhost/limesurvey/
This will start the Limesurvey installation and database setup. After the installation, you have your own Limesurvey system running locally on a netbook. You can now import the base survey and start surveying people using the netbook(s).
Results can be merged later using Limesurveys VV export/import feature.
For the not so techy users www.limesurvey-consulting.com offers a 1click installer for a fee of $99/79€ which sets up XAMPP + Limesurvey on your Windows machine with just one click. Just contact Dr. Marcel Minke at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in this solution or a customized Limesurvey template.
More information about Limesurvey Templates is available at the Limesurvey manual. Feel free to ask questions at the Limesurvey forums or live chat and if you like this free software, please consider a donation.