If you have an interest in the financial side of life but you don’t like the chore of searching through several sites to get all the news and advice you are after, then you need a website which covers all the bases. One of the ones you might want to try is www.cnbc.com – one of the most wide ranging sites online today that doesn’t shy away from covering anything and everything their audience wants to hear about.
What’s more the global view of the site takes into account much more than what is going on within the country that the site is based in, so wherever you may be and whatever country or region you have an interest in, you are sure to find the kind of financial news you want on this site.
Some websites convince you of their quality and depth simply from a glance at the home page, and this is certainly one of those sites. To get a better look at how it is structured, carry on reading.
Starting with the home page
As soon as you arrive on the home page you will see that this is a full color and very high quality website. There is much here to explore even before you go beyond this single page, but it is laid out exceptionally well and it is remarkably easy to find your way around, despite the amount of information that is presented to you right from the word go.
The rich blue menu bar at the top of the page, featuring the familiar CNBC logo on the left hand side, reveals the main sections of the site as a whole in white writing so they are easy to pick out. There are also lighter blue headers for every section of the home page, starting a trend which continues throughout the website as a whole.
In the middle of the home page are the current news headlines, all focused on financial matters. A simple click of the headline takes you into the whole story. You may also notice that the global focus of the website starts here - there is an option at the top of the page which allows you to switch between the major headlines affecting the US, Asia and Europe quickly and easily.
This feature is also mirrored in the Market Overview section, which is situated on the left hand side of the news headlines; this shows you at a glance how the various stock markets are doing around the world. Business news is also represented by the constantly updating news wires on the right hand side of the page.
Next up is the highlights section, which points you towards a number of financially related items which cover a wide range of topics. Below this there is another comprehensive selection of news headlines and you will notice that these have been made even easier to navigate because they are deliberately broken down into sections, enabling you to go straight to your financial area of interest. This website certainly does cover a lot of ground.
The currencies section features the dollar’s performance against three major currencies, providing a teaser to gain your interest – plus a link to the main section on currency as a whole. This is a theme that is repeated throughout the main page: you see a small taster of each section along with a link you can click to go into more information about it. The concept clearly works well.
The section on blogs is also worth a look (and we will cover it in more detail below) but there are plenty of blogs listed here along with a brief description of what each one is about. Every single one has the overriding theme of money running through it in one sense or another.
At the bottom of the home page there is a link to the site map, which will possibly qualify as the largest site map you have ever seen, and is clearly quite necessary for a site this big. All in all this is an outstanding home page which definitely bodes well for the site as a whole.
What sections are there to explore?
Since there is a strong likelihood of you using this site to get financial information, let’s start with the news section of www.cnbc.com. You will notice that much of the design and placement of certain items from the home page is repeated here, but you can also enter many other pages in this section that will give you a better idea of what is going on in the world.
A good example is the latest news section, which brings the best news wires direct to your desk all the time. You will be able to see at a glance just how current this news is, since there is a statement next to each clickable headline which tells you just how recently it was posted on the site. The top stories will have statements like ‘2 mins ago’, so you can see how up to date the website is with bringing you the most pertinent financial stories that are currently breaking.
Also in the news section is a special reports page which lists a number of more in depth reports which could prove interesting. These all take a financial angle but the subject matter is just about as wide ranging as it could possibly be. This is further evidence of the fact that everyone will be able to take something away from this site, since it deals with just about every financial issue, story and dilemma that you could think of. This theme is repeated throughout the length and breadth of the site.
Moving on to the section of the website dedicated to markets, you will see a global market overview section, which lets you click on each world region to get more in depth information.
One very interesting page which demonstrates the depth to which the website goes on a topic is the page on currencies. There are a number of performance tables here that indicate how a particular currency pairing is currently performing. All the major currencies are represented, including the Euro, the Yen, the British pound and the US dollar among others. There is also a link at the bottom of each small chart which gives you the option of seeing more charts on the subject of those two particular currencies.
This same page also gives you a glimpse into currency futures, plus there are some neat links which take you into other pages worth looking at. A great example of this is to look at the cross currency table in one of the boxes on the right hand side of the page; this brings up a neat chart which gives you all the figures you will need on this topic. The currencies are easy to identify as the currency codes and flags for each country are represented in the table.
The investing section of the site also has a personal finance section which you may find of interest. This has links to some of the current news stories on this subject, along with a mention of the relevant blog for this section. You will also find that all the relevant sections of personal finance are broken down for you, enabling you to go directly to the one you need. There is also plenty more to read and digest in the investing pages; it is quite possible to spend several hours studying this part of the site alone!
Also worth checking out is the video section. There are lots of options here to watch videos built around current news events in the financial sector, and the page also constantly refreshes to add any new videos as and when they appear.
It’s clear to see that there is a lot of content on this website, and unlike some websites the news stories aren’t too brief either. All the relevant facts and figures are included and while you will no doubt develop your favorite sections – and favor those which are the most useful to you – there are plenty more ready and waiting to be discovered as you spend more time on the site in the future.
How user friendly is the website?
This is a large site that successfully manages to make itself easy to navigate and get the most out of. Undoubtedly the design features do help, but the uniformity which occurs from page to page also makes it easy to identify where everything should be without even thinking too much about it.
The site map is always close at hand should you need it, although it is easy to find your way around. The search facility at the top of the page allows you to search the whole site or simply the news section, which makes it easier to find the news stories that aren’t at the top of the league.
Furthermore there is a good help section which is split into various different parts, and this concentrates on providing help for the most common questions received by the site. If all else fails simply click on the feedback link at the bottom of the page to go into the email help form, which should bring you the answers you need.
What is the single best feature?
While almost every part of this website could qualify for this spot, in our opinion it has to go to the blogs section. It is both robust and complex and includes plenty of differently focused blogs to catch your attention, no matter what your own financial focus might be.
For example, those who want to know more about the financial markets will probably find much to talk about in Patti Domms’ Market Insider blog. Meanwhile if you are interested in what is happening in the retail market then you should hotfoot it to Margaret Brennan’s Retail Detail blog. There are lots more to choose from as well.
You can also subscribe to each of these blogs via the RSS feed that goes along with them, making them easy to keep up with and very user friendly. While many sites of a financial nature have a blog or two associated with them, it is quite rare that you will come across this many all in one go. It is this fact, coupled with the professionalism clearly displayed in every single one of these that has made this section one to watch for the future.
A website that comes from as big a company as CNBC needs to be reliable and comprehensive to get a good reaction from the visitors who arrive on it. And www.cnbc.com has certainly managed to do that.
It would be hard to think of a financial topic that isn’t dealt with somewhere or somehow on this site, and what’s more no topic is simply glossed over or included in brief. Everything is in depth and a lot of work clearly goes into keeping the site fresh, up to date and relevant for the times we live in today.
The full color nature of the site is also easy on the eye and very appealing when you first arrive. It all looks professional and in cases where the site recommends an external site for your interest, you know it can be trusted.
No matter what your interest in the financial sector is, you will find news here that is pertinent to those interests. This is perhaps one of the strongest features of the site; the fact that it brings you a wide ranging selection of headlines – far more than many other sites bring you.
In short, www.cnbc.com is an all round financial news website which brings you far more than just that. It brings you an eye on the world of finance that doesn’t flinch away from giving you the truth and relating how it will affect your own life. It is a well established site and a good one to know about.