If you know a bit of Excel you can now provide live calculators and smart forms in your WordPress blog. Just convert the spreadsheet to web format and include it in your own blog using a largely unknown technology item called an ‘iframe’.
January 7, 2013 — SpreadsheetConverter is an add-on to Microsoft Excel that lets you convert spreadsheets to live web pages. The new version 6.7 recently became available at SpreadsheetConverter.com.
Many bloggers have hordes of loyal followers. One way to provide additional value to returning readers is to provide topic-related calculators and forms that can be used in real-life situations, e.g. to calculate the correct volume or weight.
“Let’s say you run a gardening site, and you’re writing an article about different grass seeds. In a sidebar, you want to help readers buy just enough seeds for their area. So you make a small seed calculator in Excel and just put it up there on the blog. People will love you for it”, says Anna Winter, sales manager for SpreadsheetConverter.
Typical calculations that may suit bloggers often have to do with size or quantity. How much paint do I need, how much will it weigh, is there room for it in my car? In home electronics, capacity is often an issue. What effect do I need on my power supply? Some blogs are all about money – is this a good deal for me, and how much will I gain? A professional blogger usually has skills and rules of thumb that readers may wish to consult.
WordPress is currently the world’s most popular web content management system. It is already used by around one fifth of all websites in the world, and aims for half the market. For newcomers, it may come as a surprise that WordPress isn’t that easy to master.
“Many bloggers don’t want to spend time learning how to create and upload a web calculator. That’s why they prefer this plug-in solution where they can use their skills in Excel to create immediate value on the web”, says Winter.
Instead of uploading the live calculator to the WordPress site, bloggers use Dropbox. Directly after the conversion to web format, the calculator is made available using Dropbox as a web server. To show the calculator in a WordPress blog, a small HTML tag called an iframe is automatically created by the spreadsheet converter. All the user needs to do is to copy this iframe to WordPress to make the calculator appear in the blog. The iframe can be inserted more than once, and if a new version is uploaded to Dropbox it will be used in all places where the old version was previously used in the blog.
Media contact: Anna Winter, firstname.lastname@example.org