///Value adding with a mortgage loan calculator widget

Value adding with a mortgage loan calculator widget

I recently came across the Mortgage Loan Calculator Widget, a simple widget that provides mortgage repayment calculations. With the credit crunch in recent times, keeping tabs on your mortgage is a highly topical issue, so why not let your users do some quick calculations directly from your website? With a WordPress plugin for blogs, and a quick JavaScript snippet for everything else, it’s a great addition to any website with a general audience.

The widget fits in to sidebars and other smaller areas of the page; it’s very self contained, so it should fit nicely into your page without breaking out of the box. Copying and pasting the JavaScript into your page will produce a neat little light gray box with some basic loan data inputs:

From here your visitors can easily experiment with different data, or do the same for a mortgage. Clicking “calculate” produces a clean thickbox-style gray box above the current page – you won’t lose any visitors with this widget. A neat dynamically-generated Flash chart helps users see what the output means and watch the progression of their loan configuration over time.

In terms of usability, this is one of those widgets that just works. I’ve had no trouble getting it to work or understanding how to use it, and the design is entirely idiot-proof. This is truly a drop-in-place widget – if it suits your site’s audience, you can simply find a good space on the page and add it in. Your users won’t need any instructions on how to use it, and they’ll appreciate the no-nonsense approach for the results page:

Under the hood, it’s a mini web application in itself, and uses jQuery and a Flash charting system to produce a simple, cross-browser interface. The script does talk back to the mlcalc.com server for some calculations and the chart, but otherwise it is largely client-side, and won’t burden your server with additional requests either.

The mortgage loan calculator widget is simple and effective. It does its job beautifully, and fills a highly approach niche for any current website aiming to be “with the times”. Whether you have a general news portal or a financial planning help site, this widget can just fit in; it will find a permanent home in your users’ favourites and keep them coming back for more.

2008-05-21T15:06:25+00:00 May 21st, 2008|Content and Blogging|0 Comments

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