How to add stock quotes to your website
We have been in the financial data business for over a decade now and we know how crazy and complicated dealing with financial data, stock quotes and exchanges can be. You have to deal with acquiring the information, getting the proper entitlements, creating a reliable platform, finding the right API, only to find out it's no longer supported or dealing with an unreliable data source.
So we thought we'd do our part to help you navigate the (sometimes) murky waters of our industry and provide you with an in-depth answer to the question we get the most: how do I add stock quotes to my website?
Define your data needs
Before acquiring data, it is best to define your site's needs. Are you looking to display indices like the Dow Jones, Nasdaq and S&P 500 or do you want to display a custom calculated financial index by industry or location?
Do you have a list of company stocks that you want to display by ticker like MSFT, GOOG or AAPL? Or are you looking for important news from NYSE or other exchanges? Do you want to display currency exchange rates?
What content are you looking for? Most web developers are looking for SEC filings, financial charts, headline business news, stock quotes, company profiles, commodity (oil, gold, silver...) prices, currency exchange rates or foreign exchanges.
It is very important to determine what it is you need before you start looking for the stock market data you need.
There are several possibilities to display stock market information on your website.
Will you be databasing? Getting a data feed and databasing financial information is a great way for you to have total control over the way your solution is deployed. However, financial data is highly regulated and before displaying stock market information, you will need approval from the various exchanges. Displaying indices like the Nasdaq and Dow Jones is subject to entitlement fees and are strictly enforced by these companies. Be sure to buy your stock market XML data feed from a reliable source. Tread carefully and be ready for a long-term project.
Would a templated solution meet your needs? The other solution is templated stock market information like a stock market widgets. The industry standard is that you license a widget from a provider who has worked out distribution deals with the various exchanges and you use their widgets on your site. There are generally two types of stock market widgets: free, ad-supported widgets or licensed widgets. Get in touch with several providers, such as FinancialContent and find the right solution for you.
Customization - get something that matches your site
It's relatively easy to find a "cookie-cutter" stock quote widget. However, finding one that matches the look-and-feel of your site or blog is a whole other issue. Using a free or standard third-party widget will always look off and your site will lose credibility.
We suggest that you find a provider that can set you up with custom widgets. Rather than asking you to pick out of a library and trying to give you a standard, existing widget, find someone who will assess your needs and create a whole new widget that meets your website's specifications.
At this point, there are two routes to go down: white label vs branded. Some smaller providers will offer widgets but these will often be branded with their logo and URL and will likely link back to their site. Try to find a provider that offers you a white, or private-label solution. A white-label solution allows you to maintain your site's look-and-feel and won't use your platform to promote their services.
Reliability and support
When a widget breaks on your site, or if a data feed goes down - you need someone to talk to.
By working with a quality provider of stock quote widgets, reliability issues are very rare. These companies spend a lot of money on their infrastructure and have engineers, tech teams, back-up servers, etc. Not only that, but when you call them about it, you'll get someone on the phone!
If you need your website to work with 100% reliability all the time, then go with a trusted stock market information provider.
Monetization - getting the most our of your site
Some providers offer ad-supported, fully-monetized free stock quote widgets. Generally speaking, in exchange for advertising inventory, the provider will give you a widget for free. It's a win-win solution for you and for the provider. They make money off the ads and might set you up with an ad-revenue split and cut you a check every month.
If you already have advertising partners or if you do not want advertising anywhere on your website (ie: investor relations or wealth management site), find a provider that will sell you a licensed, ad-free solution.
Content drilldown - the hosted finance channel
If you use a free third-party widget, when a viewer clicks on it, they might be directed to the widget creator's website and you are missing out on considerable web-traffic and monetization possibilities.
In order to keep traffic on your website, find a provider that can sell you a finance channel. A finance channel is a solution that allows readers on your website to click on a widget and keep browsing all the financial information they want to see all the while staying on your website.
These hosted finance channels are generally private-label; they are built to match the look-and-feel and branding of your website. With DNS masking, your finance channel uses your site's domain (ie: markets.yourdomain.com) so that you capture all the traffic and SEO benefits. This is very important for monetizing your site and keeping readers on your website. If your site is a business tool for you, then it needs to generate revenue! Don't miss out on the additional traffic and the ad revenues that are tied to it.
Finally, the information you've been looking for: implementation!
Now that you've figured out what you want to display, how you want to display it and how to get the most out of it, you can implement. The best way to show you how to add stock quotes to your website is by showing you the solution we're the most familiar with: our own stock quote widgets.
To add a set of quotes to your pages, find the ticker for each of the companies or indices. If you are having a hard time finding a specific ticker, use our Get Quote widget to look it up.
And you get a widget like this:
All of our widgets are fully customizable and can be used in conjunction with our other services to maximize your site's monetization capabilities.