There are plenty of websites online that allow you to convert one currency into another, but some are naturally more recognizable than others. One of the first sites that come to mind in this respect is www.xe.com.
This is deemed to be the ‘world’s favorite site’ according to the site itself, and it is certainly one of the most heavily used when it comes to converting currencies. It has been around for quite some time which puts it ahead of many of its rivals, but there are several other reasons why this website is a joy to use and we’re about to discover what they all are.
Starting with the home page
Xe.com is very welcoming and gets straight to the point by including a basic currency converter on the home page itself. There isn’t much information about the site and what it does on this page, but in reality it doesn’t need much of an introduction as it is really one of those websites which instantly burrows into your mind and stays there as the one to use whenever you need to convert an amount from one currency to another.
This site is just about the longest running one of its kind in the world, and that stands as much as an introduction as anything else. The feeling you get as soon as you land on the site is one of efficiency, reliability and trustworthiness. Millions of people use this site because it is as good as the reviews say it is, and it has plenty of comprehensive features to prove it.
The Quick Currency Converter on the home page uses three boxes to make things quick and easy. You simply enter the amount you need converted in the first box, and then select the currencies you want the amount converted from and to from the drop down boxes supplied on the screen.
There are twenty one currencies listed in these boxes, which are obviously the ones that are most frequently searched for. This is just one example of how user friendly this website is. There is really no need to go into the proper currency converter if all the information you need is on that first screen.
The home page of Xe.com is also notable for the fact that it has an up to date chart featuring the top three currencies – the US dollar, the UK pound and the Euro – and how they are currently performing against eleven of the world’s strongest currencies, including the Japanese Yen and the Australian dollar.
This is an ideal page to have on your computer screen if you are interested in Forex (foreign exchange) information and trading, since it is automatically updated every single minute. These figures represent the mid-market rates and the table makes it very easy to see at a glance just how well – or badly – a particular currency is doing.
As far as home pages go this one is about as basic as it gets, but it does give you exactly what you are looking for. If you need a currency converter it is right there on the home page, with an easy link to the more in depth one elsewhere on the website.
And if you need more information of any kind on the subject of currency, you can soon find it with the help of the menu bar at the top of the screen.
The Universal Currency Converter
If you cannot see the currency you want to use on the home page, then it’s a simple matter of clicking on the line in the box which says ‘more currencies available’ to be taken into the next screen. This introduces you to the universal currency converter, which includes a further eighty five currencies on top of the ones immediately available on the home page.
All of the currencies listed are written in full along with the three letter abbreviated form they are recognized by in the currency code list. You will also find that the site gives you a very accurate conversion figure, since it is updated every minute to show the mid-market rates which apply at whatever time it is that you make your conversion.
You will also see a link just above the currency converter box itself however, and that leads you to the full currency converter for this website. The fact that there are essentially three different options when it comes to this service is testament to the comprehensive service this website offers.
For most conversions you will no doubt find that the home page basic version is enough, and even if it isn’t the standard version will cover most needs. The only reason you should need the full version is if you want to find the conversion for a less popular and less well used currency which exists somewhere in the world.
The Full Universal Currency Converter
Every currency in existence has been loaded into this version of the currency converter. Close to two hundred currencies are available to choose from, and the conversion takes place in a simple four step process.
First of all you enter your amount, and then the currency that amount is in. You then select from the dozens of world currencies available before completing step four by clicking on the ‘Go!’ button.
The screen you will get back is the same as you will see for every conversion you do on this site, and it tells you a lot more besides the actual conversion itself. It reveals what the current exchange rate is between the currencies (in both directions), and also tells you the exact time and date you performed the conversion. This might come in handy in certain circumstances if you need to keep records of transactions made at certain times.
Other useful tools on this site
There is also a page which gives you further information about the ISO codes which each and every currency is known by. This explains more about the idea behind the codes (brought in by the International Organization for Standardization) as well as giving examples of how they work. This is then followed by a comprehensive list of all the codes for all the currencies in existence.
This particular list is actually provided in two useful forms – firstly they are listed in alphabetical order according to the location in the world that uses the currency, and secondly they are also listed in alphabetical order for the codes themselves. This makes light work of finding a code for a specific currency should you need it, and it is just this kind of touch that makes all the difference when you are looking for a currency site that offers far more than just a simple converter.
There is also a useful list of currency symbols, which as with the currency codes can be reached by scrolling to the bottom of the Universal Currency Converter page and clicking on the appropriate link. All the more familiar signs and symbols are there of course, but if you need to know which currency uses a particular sign that you have come across then you will certainly find it here.
But perhaps one of the most useful tools you can make use of is the Personal Currency Assistant. This is a simple but very effective tool that makes life much easier when you are scrolling between windows or websites and you need a currency converter readily available at all times to make sure you can do the required calculations whenever you need to.
Basically the tool appears in a pop up window, enabling you to more easily navigate between websites while still using the converter. It also makes life much easier when you have paperwork to do which requires a currency converter to fill in certain figures. If you feel that you would use this tool quite frequently then you can save it to your bookmarks to access more easily at a later date.
What other sections are there to explore?
Perhaps the most interesting section of the website can be reached via the Tools option on the website’s navigation bar at the top of the screen. This gives you access to rate tables while allowing you to select whichever base currency you wish.
While you can look up the current tables relating to a specific currency, this feature is particularly useful if you need to know the figures that applied on a certain date at some point in the past. You can select a date going back as far as 1995, and if the information for the date you require is unavailable you will receive the next nearest date possible from their results.
Business people who travel between countries on a regular basis will also appreciate the Travel Expenses Calculator, which is an extremely useful tool which some people may miss if they don’t take a close look at the other features of this website.
The basic idea is that you fill in all your details and then list the items you paid for, when you paid for them and what currency each transaction was in. Once all the details are in the required places it’s a simple matter of hitting the calculate button to find out what it all boils down to in your own currency. You can then print a copy of that web page to use when making out your proper expense report (if not submit the page itself).
And if you are thinking that the conversions won’t take into account the foreign exchange charges that would have applied at the time you paid for your goods or services, the website has that covered as well. At the bottom of the expenses calculator page there is a link to another calculator which shows you the charges that would have been applied to credit card transactions on a particular date, making it easy to work out your business expenses and ensuring you don’t get left out of pocket.
There are also paid features which certain people and businesses would find useful, and it is these which really pay for all the free to use features that the majority of people visit the site to take advantage of.
The XE Datafeed is one such paid service, and if you run a business which relies on knowing the most up to date conversions available, then this might be worth paying for. Full information on how it works and what you can expect to receive can be found under the Licensing tab at the top of any page of the website.
If you have any interest in trading currencies then you’ll want to visit the trading section of the website as well. This contains useful articles and information that makes it easier to understand the whole concept of Forex trading, and essentially provides an excellent pre-start up guide for anyone who is thinking of trading in Forex to become familiar with.
Everything from techniques to terms is included, and there is also a link to the most recent news in this particular area. And of course if you do decide to dip your toe into the foreign exchange markets you will no doubt find the website’s currency converter tool extremely useful to have around, so make sure you bookmark it for later use.
You will also discover the Forex service offered by Xe.com when you explore this section, and while there are plenty of other services around this one is indicative of the way the rest of the company is run. Quite simply, it is very comprehensive and offers plenty of information in a straightforward and easy to understand manner. No matter whether you have some experience of Forex trading or you are a complete newcomer, www.xe.com puts everything you need to know together in one place so you will find it much easier to get ahead.
User friendly features
Xe.com also makes it easy to keep using them if you like what you see on your first or subsequent visit. Apart from the personal assistant feature you can also take advantage of the currency converter if you have a website of your own. This is a free service (providing valuable publicity for the site itself of course) but there is also a paid version that gives you a lot more control over what you do.
There is also some good and useful information on how to design desktop shortcuts to the pages you use the most on the website – the best one being the currency converter itself of course. This website certainly doesn’t talk down to you, but it does make sure that you are aware of all the ways that it can be of use, and as such it goes through the motions in every case to be as helpful as possible. This is something that permeates through every page and feature of this website.
There is also a comprehensive FAQ section on the website that not only answers the most common questions people come up with, it also leads you to the most appropriate page on the website to help you further in each case.
It’s true that the world of currency and exchange rates can be somewhat confusing if you aren’t used to it, but www.xe.com makes it as easy as possible to understand what is going on. The FAQ section contains examples in some cases which make the situation easier to comprehend, and it is this user friendly focus which spreads to every area of the site which has made it such a hit with many different kinds of people.
The website www.xe.com is the best in the world for a very good reason. It is easy to use and navigate, and includes plenty of additional resources and information that some other websites may deem to be unnecessary.
In short, it goes the extra mile in providing all the services that a currency conversion site needs. It is obvious that the site owners have thought long and hard about the types of people who would use a site such as theirs, and provided all the different kinds of tools and resources that each person is likely to use.
That in itself is a good start but it is also clear that everything has been arranged in an easy to find manner. Even if you are completely new to using this kind of website you will find it easy to navigate around with no problems at all. A site map has been provided to make life easier but in truth there is very little chance that you will need it.
Once you have spent half an hour or so browsing around this site you will know why www.xe.com comes up at the very top of the search engine results when you search for ‘currency converter’ or any similar phrase. It is simply a case of the cream rising to the top, and this site is at the top for several very good reasons.