We are just weeks away from an exciting new development release at SaberWP. In April of 2023 we are set to release an all new and completely free version of Sapphire, a free WordPress quiz plugin. This is a newly formed quiz plugin for WordPress that has no dependencies.
If you are looking to add a WordPress quiz plugin to your site, Sapphire might be the answer you’re looking for. It’s a stand-alone plugin that will work on any WordPress site and it has quiz and question bank support out of the box. It will always be full-featured and free, and it’s released under a freemium model. The pro version of Sapphire will add an important feature that many sites will want if they are doing commercial elearning programs which is the storage and reporting of user statistics.
One of the features we don’t see in most WordPress quiz plugins is user stats storage. This is arguably the most important, and most obvious feature that a WordPress quiz plugin should have. And yet the technical challenge involved in storing large numbers of user stats prevent most quiz plugins from offering this highly sought after feature. If an elearning site is planning to charge students to use the exam prep or quiz system for learning, then usually the students expect to be able to see their previous attempts, their quiz scores, and all the other important data that is stored each time they attempt a quiz.
As a developer the first time I had a chance to work with a quiz system, it was the free WordPress quiz plugin named WP Pro Quiz (link to a discussion about alternative to the WP Pro Quiz plugin, since removed from the WP official directory). What I learned about the plugin over time, was that it was one of the most interesting and strange stories in the WordPress ecosystem. You see for nearly 8-years WP Pro Quiz was the #1 reated WordPress quiz plugin. It gained that ranking almost immediately after releasing a version numbered less than v1, I believe it was something like v0.8.3.
A beta version of the plugin, became #1 in one of the moderately competitive categories of WordPress plugins, the WordPress quiz plugin category. And it stayed on top for over 8-years with around 20-25 thousand sites using it. These are fairly small numbers perhaps compared to WooCommerce or some other site type, but still this was a plugin that was driving forward elearning for a lot of WordPress sites. Guess how times the plugin was updated during those 8-years when it was rated #1 in the WordPress quiz plugin category? That number is zero, nada, nil. Not a single release of WP Pro Quiz was made for over 8-years. The plugin still retained that number 1 ranking. Sites commonly adapted the plugin, using it as a foundation for their elearning site and then hacking away at it to add missing features.
It is a testament though to the quality of the WP Pro Quiz foundation. It had a notably solid PHP structure. The scripting was terrible and quickly became outdated using an odd mix of jQuery custom plugins and some strange script. However, that solid PHP core made it functional and solid and also adaptable. As a result of this, WP Pro Quiz became an oddball, legendary plugin that just lasted and lasted without every being updated. One of the reasons for it’s success was that it stores user records. It has a 2 custom table storage system that stores every single answer the students makes during quiz attempts, a vital features for commercial elearning sites.
No, the Sapphire WordPress quiz plugin will always be “just a quiz plugin” and never cross over into full scale LMS territory. Now Sapphire might be useful for developer who want to build a custom LMS solution, and they want one of the most challenging parts of that system delivered in a turn-key plugin. They would then add on all the course and lesson management parts to create a more complete learning system. SaberWP does offer an LMS system, which is provided through a completely separate WordPress plugin called Saber LMS.