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Individual Domain for the Questionnaire

URL to the Questionnaire is usually https://Domain-Name/Projekt-Verzeichnis/, where the domain name is given by the server on which SoSci Survey is running. So www.soscisurvey.de, s2survey.net or another name if you run SoSci Survey as a company or university on your own server.

Sometimes it makes sense to run the questionnaire over another domain, something about the existing domain of a company or over a domain that was set up especially for the survey. There are several solutions for this (besides Setting up your own survey server).

Forwarding

In the most simple case, you can set up a redirect to the questionnaire URL on an existing domain. This can be done via the server configuration (on an Apache web server e.g. using .htaccess), by a script (e.g. means PHP on a web server that supports PHP) or means JavaScript within a normal HTML page.

The Internet address www.example.com/survey would then redirect to https://www.soscisurvey.de/example-survey/, for example.

Advantages

  • Really simple to implement
  • No changes required on the survey server

Disadvantages

  • When forwarding, the Internet address in the browser address bar changes.
  • If parameters are required to call up the questionnaire (e.g. a personalized link as part of a serial mail), setting up the forwarding is a little more involved.

Frame Forwarding

The “normal” forwarding is simillar to the frame forwarding. The questionnaire is integrated within an HTML page (on the existing domain) by means of a frame (SelfHTML: Frames).

Unlike “normal” forwarding, the subscriber cannot see in the address line that the content originates from another domain. However, frame forwarding only works if the existing domain is accessed via an encrypted connection (HTTPS) just like the questionnaire.

Advantages

  • Really simple to implement
  • No changes required on the survey server
  • Forwarding not visible for the participant

Disadvantages

  • If parameters are required to call up the questionnaire (e.g. a personalized link as part of a serial mail), setting up the forwarding is a little more involved.
  • The existing domain must be accessed via HTTPS (SSL encrypted) if the questionnaire is also accessed via HTTPS.
  • There is a tiny bit of JavaScript required to make the questionnaire frame scroll up correctly between the different questionnaire pages.

The HTML code for embedding a questionnaire including JavaScript for scrolling could look like this:

<iframe src="https://www.soscisurvey.de/EXAMPLE/" style="height: 1600px; width: 100%;" scrolling="auto" frameborder="0" onload="window.parent.parent.scrollTo(0,0)"></iframe>

Activating a Domain

For longer running survey studies (e.g. a medical survey lasting several years) it is advisable to register a separate domain. This domain can then be “switched” to a specific directory (survey project) on the survey server.

The connection requires two steps:

  1. The DNS record of the new domain must point to the survey server, either by A-record (IP address) or CNAME (domain name of the survey server).
  2. In the web server configuration of the survey server the new domain must be entered. The entry for the domain must be configured to deliver the content from the specific project directory.

To make everything work correctly, two more adjustments are required:

  1. An SSL certificate for the new domain must be purchased and installed on the survey server, or the survey server must be configured to obtain certificates on its own via Let's Encrypt.
  2. In the Survey projectProject settings → “Special” tab, the “No access to parent directory” checkbox must be set. This is necessary so that the layout can be integrated correctly and JavaScript scripts can be loaded correctly.

Advantages

  • The domain directly calls the questionnaire.
  • The questionnaire can be found (if desired) in search engines under the new domain.

Disadvantages

  • Registration and configuration of your own domain.
  • Adjustments to the configuration on the survey server required.
  • Purchase an SSL certificate or set up Let's Encrypt.
en/custom-domains.txt · Last modified: 30.05.2021 12:04 by sophia.schauer
 
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