Although there are lots of websites which have currency converters on them, they differ remarkably when it comes to their content. Some are targeted at people who are heading on vacation and need to know how much their money will convert into in another country; some have an interest in the foreign exchange markets and want to see what the best exchange rate deals are at the moment; and others still are simply out to buy something from another country and wish to see whether the price they are being offered is good enough for their needs.
It is also clear that some are professional in their sources while others are run by an individual who merely has an interest in currency in some way. One of the websites online today that falls into the former category is www.hifx.co.uk, a website that offers services to both business and personal clients and has far more to recommend it than just a currency converter.
While the site is based in the United Kingdom it has a global reach and indeed boasts many business and personal customers all over the world, so it certainly knows its stuff when it comes to the subject of foreign exchange.
Starting with the home page
This is clearly a website that deals with foreign exchange services – that much is clear as soon as you hit the home page. But what is also clear is the fact that this is a highly professional company that has a strong web presence; it appears right at the top of page two on Google at the time of writing, and page one on the Yahoo search engine.
It’s not surprising then to see a site which is very professional in looks and design, with a home page which requires minimal scrolling and uses an intriguing color combination of black with sharp purple accents. It sounds odd but it works extremely well and it certainly does the job of catching your eye for all the right reasons.
The site is split into several sections, but it is plain to see that the main two parts are those devoted to business and personal customers, depending on the needs of the people visiting the website. The currency converter is tucked away in the bottom right hand corner of the screen, and you can also see that this is a company which has interests all over the world, because there is a handy world map in the bottom center of the page indicating the relevant times in the five areas where they have a website (Toronto, San Francisco, London, Sydney and Auckland). As such there are actually five website addresses for this company, of which www.hifx.co.uk is just one. You can access the others from the top right corner when you hover your mouse over the regional selector tool.
There is also a site map provided via a link at the foot of the page, which is very easy to access and use, and is split into the various sections of the site, providing clickable links to each and every area and page. In fact if you are new to the website you may find it easier to start finding your way around by using the site map first. It gives you a good idea of what to expect and if there is something specific you are looking for the site map will sometimes get you there faster.
All in all this is a home page which does its job well and immediately lets you know what kind of website you are on. It is clearly one of the best of its kind, and if you take a look at the home pages of the other regional sites they are almost identical to the one we are reviewing here; the only difference is that certain words and phrases have been changed to be relevant to that particular area. The Marketwatch news provided on the home page will also change to focus on national stories relevant to the location.
Incidentally, whichever country you are viewing the site from, if you want to get a more global view of what is going on with various currencies around the world, make sure you visit each site in turn and check out the latest news stories on each. It is a good way of finding out what the exchange rates are doing in each region and you’ll also have the benefit of knowing exactly where to look on each website as well.
The currency converter
This is featured on the home page, but there is also a direct link to it via the foreign exchange section on the site map. This can also be reached by visiting www.hifx.co.uk/currency/converter.aspx directly. This is a good page to bookmark if you think you are going to need it on a regular basis.
It works in much the same way as the other online currency converters do; you simply select the currency you have now from the first box (which gives you a choice of thirty of the most asked for currencies), enter the amount you want to convert, select the currency you want to convert it to and hit the button. You will see the result in the appropriate box, and it also gives you the exchange rate in the middle, between the two currencies.
This works in the same way as the one on the home page, although the layout is slightly different. It actually works well to have a currency converter on more than one page though, as it is easier to access. For example in the case of the one on the foreign exchange section of the site it will pop up in a new window, allowing you to carry on surfing round the main site without losing that page.
You will also find currency converters neatly inserted into a number of other pages where they are relevant to the subject being dealt with. For example, on the page about FX dealing, if you take a closer look at the part of the page on the right which says ‘More…’ you’ll see the words currency converter written below it. Click on this link and a converter will appear right there for you to use. It’s very neat and a great little feature which really makes the website worth using. Instead of having to click backwards and forwards to separate pages, it’s always there right when you need it.
If you decide to become an affiliate of the site (which you can do by visiting the Affiliate section indicated at the top of the home page and following the directions) you can also get a currency converter to include on your own website, not to mention a lot of other things besides.
Other useful tools on this site
Sometimes you may need to know what is going on in the world of currency each and every day, but going online all the time to surf around and find what you need to know can be tiring and time consuming.
Fortunately www.hifx.co.uk has thought of the answer. All you need to do is visit the Marketwatch section and click on the link which offers you the opportunity to get an update on what is going on every single day. Exchange rates are constantly in flux and this email service will give you the crucial information you need by delivering it to your inbox, saving you the journey to lots of websites all the time.
There is also a tool in this same section which lets you see the historical data between two currencies. This is something of a complex tool and it may take a while to get the hang of how to use it, but it does have the potential to give you a lot of information on various factors concerning exchange rates. There is however (as you would probably expect from a website which goes into the depth that this one does) a comprehensive help section which guides you in how to use the charts and get the most out of them.
What other sections are there to explore?
It’s well worth taking a look at the section telling you all about Hifx, because it will give you a greater understanding of how the company works.
The business section has a sub-section on the money markets which makes for particularly good reading if you have a business with excess cash that you want to do something with. It takes you through how the process works and shares a case study with you as well, to give you an idea of how the process actually works. You can also get access to Interbank exchange rates from this page, and you can choose which currency exchange rates you are interested in from the list.
There is a lot to take in when it comes to the personal section of the website as well. Another page which has a currency converter included on it is the page concerning emigration. There is a lot of information on this particular page about trading various different currencies, but it is clear that if there is one thing this website does well, it is the ability to take what could be an extremely complex situation and turn it into something very easy to understand and comprehend.
The foreign exchange section of the site is also very in depth and contains plenty to satisfy both the novice who is somewhat curious about Forex, and those who have some experience of the markets already and are looking for a service which could help them in developing that experience.
There are plenty of advantages to choosing this company when it comes to everything related to Forex, and the website covers the subject well without too many bells and whistles to herald its arrival. It simply tells you exactly what it can do for you, and what it already does for other people too.
User friendly features
The more time you spend on the site, the more you will see that it has been designed to provide different levels of information depending on what you need to begin with.
This can be most easily seen if you take a look at the site map. Each main section gives you an overview before going into it in more depth. So for example the money transfers section tells you about the service provided in short easy to digest chunks – you’ll see a headline followed by a paragraph giving you a little more detail.
The next section gives you the chance to learn more and goes into the relevant subject in more detail. This sometimes includes step by step information and leads you directly into other areas which again are common to most of the major parts of the website. There will be FAQ sections, case studies so you can see how that particular service has worked for someone else, and much more besides. It is a very professional and streamlined approach that works very well – not to mention giving the site a uniform feel that gives you real confidence in what it does.
The Marketwatch feature is also very user friendly as it leads you straight into the various news updates regarding currencies and financial matters. Click on any one of these and you are taken straight into the news story in full. There is also an archive which lets you delve into previous news stories quickly and easily.
The website also makes it very easy to contact them. Contact phone numbers – and the option to contact them through Skype – are on virtually every page, and if you click on the ‘contact us’ option you will also see a wide range of other phone numbers, email and mail addresses and so on, all relating to specific services so that your enquiry is dealt with by the right person from the very start. This is just another piece of confirmation that this company has a strong global presence and is dedicated to serving its clients in every country around the world.
It is clear that some websites are backed by a highly professional company and need to be extremely user friendly and well put together themselves in order for people to view them and trust them on such a high profile subject.
Sometimes the color schemes used by certain websites are rather garish to say the least, but the unlikely scheme of black, purple and blue used here works so well that it helps to assure you of the site’s authenticity and even reliability. It seems hard to think that a simple choice of color could affect a site so much, but it certainly rings true here. Blue is a color of stability and reliability, which is perhaps why it has been chosen in places.
Not all websites concerning currency and all matters relating to it are as well put together as this one is, and the simple fact that they tell you how you can get in touch with them everywhere you look stands as a testament to their reliability.
The fact that they actually have five websites all across the world is also a nice touch. Many companies – even the large ones – rely on a single website only to get their message across and appeal to the whole world with that one site, but in this particular subject area that doesn’t always work that well. After all different areas of the world are likely to be interested in different currencies more than others, while different exchange rates and news stories are naturally going to be of more interest to some people rather than others. It’s not selfish to be more interested in what is going on in your own country or region; it is simply a fact of life.
All of this makes it clear that Hifx is a company that is dedicated to serving each and every person from each and every country as well as they can, and having five separate websites which mirror each other in many ways (and yet are very different in others) is just one way of doing this.
The sites also stand out as being possibly the most useful ones in the world when it comes to currency converters. Most websites only have the one – they might also have a historical currency converter but as far as the standard version goes there is usually one (perhaps two at most) and that is all. These sites aren’t afraid to put them wherever they are needed, which is a great tool and a great approach to have.
In short if you have any interest at all in the Forex markets or anything to do with currency matters – no matter where in the world you live – then you should bookmark this site without delay. Find the one which is most relevant for your home country from the drop down menu on www.hifx.co.uk and pay it a visit today.