Table of contents:
- 1 Trading platforms are available in different variants
The trading platform is the basic prerequisite for speculative investors to be able to trade foreign exchange via the Forex broker. Nevertheless, many traders do not pay enough attention to this platform – among other things when comparing brokers. In fact, the trading platform is an important element when it comes to finding the best broker and thus having the greatest chance to trade successfully in the long run. In the following guide, we discuss what a good trading platform should do and what details you should pay attention to when comparing brokers when you compare the different trading platforms.
Trading platforms are available in different variants
The comparison of trading platforms is also important because almost every broker provides a different trading platform. This applies in particular to the trading platform developed by the provider himself, but there is also cross-broker trading software that is offered by several Forex brokers.
In the overview, the following variants of the trading platforms exist:
- Platform specially developed by the broker
- cross-broker trading software, for example MetaTrader
- browser-based trading platform
- Trading platform to be installed
- mobile trading platform
On the one hand, the trading platforms can be distinguished according to whether they are cross-broker variants or trading platforms developed by the provider. By far the best known cross-broker platform is the MetaTrader, which is now provided by some brokers in the MT4 or MT5 variant. Quite a few Forex brokers also provide their customers with several trading platforms to choose from, for example the MetaTrader and, as an alternative, a specially developed platform. You can find a list of all brokers who offer their clients the MetaTrader in our MetaTrader Broker Comparison.
The other distinction that can be made between the trading platforms is the way in which the trading platform can be accessed. In this section there are usually three variants, namely the browser-based trading platform, the trading platform with software to be installed and a mobile variant. Each of these three versions has its advantages. For example, the browser-based trading platform is particularly suitable for traders who often trade from different terminals. This could be, for example, the desktop PC at home, the laptop for on the road or even the smartphone, which can be used to trade on business trips or from a holiday resort. Although the desktop trading platform is usually equipped with more functions, it can only be used from a device on which the software has been installed beforehand. This variant is particularly suitable for traders, 90 percent of whom trade from the same PC or laptop anyway.
What are the standard features of the trading platform today?
Trading platforms have developed considerably in recent years and there is definitely a lot of progress to be seen. These are not only related to the design of each trading platform, but the functions and tools have also improved and expanded significantly and more and more services are offered through the trading platform.
Especially in these services is the difference between the different Forex brokers.
Nevertheless, there are some functions and areas of application that any trading platform can provide today, regardless of the provider, namely
- Trading platform enables access to trading
- available in several languages
- complete account management possible
- Display of current prices
- Chart System
- historical account management
- Order mask
These services and features are now found in every trading software that allows you to trade currency pairs. Definitely more interesting are therefore the differences between the more than 20 different trading platforms that can be found in the market.
What are the differences between the trading platforms of the brokers?
The standard of the trading platforms currently available on the market is already very high, so the differences have become smaller in recent years. Nevertheless, professional traders in particular value as many additional services as possible, so that a comparison can definitely be worthwhile. Some significant differences can already be found in one very important point of comparison, namely the design of the trading platform.
The majority of platforms today are characterized by their simple and therefore clear design, which is often dominated by black and gold colors. The investor should not be distracted by colourful or relatively many and therefore confusing elements, but should be able to concentrate on the most important functions. On the other hand, the design is also a relatively subjective point of comparison, because what one trader likes, the other speculator does not like at all. For this reason, you should simply take a look at the design of the various trading platforms, which is possible with almost every broker at the latest after opening a demo account.
User-friendliness is a second important point of comparison, which can also separate the numerous trading platforms from each other. In our opinion, user-friendliness is even the most important point of comparison that you should pay attention to when comparing the different trading platforms. In order to test whether you get along well with the respective trading platform, you should take the opportunity to open the demo account offered by the broker. In this way, you can try out over a period of between 14 days and several weeks or without a time limit whether you are actually well supported by the trading platform in practice and whether there is an easy menu navigation. It is important that you can see all the important functions at a glance and, for example, that you can access the order mask from the chart as quickly as possible in order to place a trading order. Therefore, a trading platform equipped with the additional function One-Click-Trading is ideal in this area. This means that you can open the order mask and generate an order directly from the chart with just one click.
Tools, additional functions and message systems as further differences
In addition to the design and user-friendliness, the various trading platforms naturally also differ in terms of their functionality, the information system and additional tools. The information system for most trading platforms now includes the display of real-time prices, as described in the section Standard Services. For example, traders can always display current quotes and prices for the main currency pairs or in the area of CFD trading. Real-time quotes are usually displayed both in numbers and within a chart.
In addition, the information system of most CFD brokers and trading platforms not only contains the real-time quotes, but also includes the following facts and figures:
- Current financial news
- Trading signals
- Special news about currency trading
- Schedule: important market dates
- Other news
All this information can sometimes be a good help in deciding which currency to trade and when to buy or sell the currency pair. You should therefore not underestimate the information systems of the respective trading platform as a point of comparison.
In addition to the information system, additional functions and tools are also a point of comparison that professional traders in particular look for. One interesting tool has already been mentioned, namely one-click trading. In addition, more and more traders find it important that not only one form of chart is displayed, but that within the charting system, it is possible to choose between different display variants. For example, charts can be displayed in line form, bar form or as candlesticks. Chart diagrams are of great importance for professional traders, because within the chart, trading signals can be fixed, which are the basis for most trading orders.
In addition, some Forex brokers offer their clients additional add-ons for their trading platform. GKFX, for example, offers customers who make a deposit of 2000 EUR or more the so-called MT4 Booster for free. This contains numerous add-ons for MetaTrader 4, which should help customers to get an even better trading experience. How good the tools actually are you can read in our test of all trading platforms of GKFX.
Tip: Test the trading platform in detail via the demo account
Now that you know what a good trading platform should be able to do and what to look out for when comparing trading platforms, you may be left with the question of how to test and compare trading platforms in practice. The answer is relatively simple and is: Open and use a demo account! The demo account is ideal as a test account to familiarize yourself with the trading platform and learn about the functions, try out tools and simply determine whether you are comfortable with this trading platform or whether you need to choose another trading platform after all. The demo account involves absolutely no risk, even if you place (virtual) trading orders. You do not trade with your own money via the test account, but only with virtual capital. This means that you can place orders, try out functions and see what effect which actions would have in practice. So take advantage of the opportunity to open such a demo account with several brokers and identify the differences between the trading platforms.