What is going on here?
Advisers have got a lot on their plate, more than ever. We feel you. This is an initiative designed to make it easy for Australian financial advisers to get a great website up and running quickly, easily, and cost-effectively.
Yes! We all know it’s easier to adjust something, than to start from scratch. As a result, we have two WordPress templates already built, with images loaded and ready to use, as well as sample text throughout.
These templates have been designed by experienced designers, in conjunction with experts in advice. Whilst every firm will want their own variations (which you can have), there isn’t any need to reinvent the wheel here. We’ve done all of that.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is a full Content Management System (CMS). As a platform, it is intended to make websites easy to design, publish and maintain.
Of the top 10 million sites on the internet, over 33% are built with WordPress (W3Techs, 2019).
Who are Simply Advice Websites
Based in Brisbane and founded in 2019, Simply Advice Websites is run by Patrick Flynn and operates alongside Simply Kaizen consulting. Patrick has experience working as an adviser, managing an advice business, social media training, and at the licensee level. He’s passionate about helping advisers to do more.
Who are The DMA?
Based in Sydney and founded in 2008, The Digital Marketing Agency are Australia’s leading WordPress experts. Having worked in partnership with Patrick since 2013, they have experience working with a number of financial advice firms at both the licensee and practice level.
Will my website look like all the other advice websites?
It depends on how much tailoring you do. Your site will be tailored to your business needs, including updates to:
- Colour scheme (to match your logo and corporate identity)
- Number of Pages (including names and content within)
- Images used
The more you deviate from the base template, the less you will look like other advice sites.
That being said, even if the pages were identical, the only people likely to ever notice would be other advisers, your licensee (who is probably delighted you’ve got the compliance sorted), and BDMs.
The only part mandated to be the same is the footer. The layout and content of the footer is the same across all sites, with the exception of licensee adviser sites.
If you are concerned that you will want to very major changes (above and beyond ordering, layout, colours, etc) to the site, including additional functionality, contact us to discuss. You may be surprised what can be achieved even if you start out with our template options. However, if that’s not enough though, our partners at The DMA have the skills and experience to build you something that meets your unique requirements and will provide a quote.
I’m struggling to decide between ‘Instant Online’ and ‘Simplicity’
The principal difference between these is how the page is laid out.
‘Instant Online’ is ideal for clientele who are white collar workers who are equally likely to visit your site on a desktop or a mobile. It can also suit content heavy pages with lots of menu items to select from.
‘Simplicity’ is a more modern approach. Whilst both templates are fully mobile responsive, ‘Simplicity’ takes mobile-first design approach. This involves reducing the amount of information shown and relying more on vertical scrolling.
What compliance benefits do Simply Advice Websites provide?
There are four key aspects.
Firstly, the site is structured in a way that it makes it difficult to fail to meet compliance requirements. Compliance specific needs are mostly met in the footer, the ‘About <Licensee name>’, and ‘Important Information’ sections. These are set for you, so neither you nor a 3rd party support person can amend these.
Secondly, before a site goes live we undertake a detailed checklist to ensure all compliance requirements are met. Whilst our list may differ to your licensee, this serves as a minimum standard before your site goes live.
Thirdly, we monitor compliance requirements that relate to advice websites generally on an ongoing basis. This will include things like overall disclosures and privacy opt-ins, but will not include requirements that relate to your content on the site. For example, we will be reviewing any changes to the use of General Advice Warnings. We won’t be reviewing whether or not your LRBA SMSF information is true, correct or misleading.
Fourthly, we work directly with your Compliance team. Whilst we keep you in the loop, we get the feedback from the source and save you the heartache of being a middle person. (That might be a lot of heartache with compliance staff. Most are lovely, but umm… a little dry.)
Does that mean you’ll be interfering with our website?
If a compliance-led change needs to be rolled out centrally, we’ll advise you two weeks in advance and seek feedback. We’ll take any feedback seriously and consider it in light of the inspiration for the change. If we’re not convinced that it can be avoided, we’ll make the change at the end of the two week notice period.
Trust us, we won’t be doing that any more than necessary. It costs us time and money, and frankly, we like both.
This may not apply to ‘Licensee Partners’, who we will require approval from before applying.
What is a ‘Licensee Partner’ and how do I know if mine is one?
Licensee Partners have partnered with Simply Advice Websites to help their advisers leverage their scale and capability to provide you with discounted pricing, billing via your brokerage, as well as automatic compliance and branding updates.
You can contact your relationship manager at your licensee and ask them. If the answer is ‘No’, have them contact us. And don’t worry about missing out on discounts after you sign up, we’ll provide a credit for any discounts that are negotiated and confirmed within 45 days of you signing up. Ongoing charges can have discounts applied at any time.
If your licensee is a partner, you do not need to participate in their Licensee Partner program (although we think that would be nuts). However, the discounts provided are only available to participants.
Does having a Licensee Partner mean they will be interfering with my website?
The arrangements between you and your licensee are up to them. They will have access to your website back-end and will have the authority to make changes, similar to most centrally managed software provided through your licensee.
However, as part of our own terms and conditions with Licensee Partners, we require that they update us with any changes to:
- AFSL details (numbers, addresses, etc)
- Financial Services Guide (but not Adviser Profiles, which they may/may not update directly)
- Privacy statement
- General Advice Warning
- Changes to licensee logo
- The ‘About <Licensee name>’ positioning statement
This is so these are managed centrally, so you don’t need to worry about updating your website every time a new FSG comes out or the text about your licensee becomes out of date because they’ve gained some advisers.
Similar to Simply Advice Websites’ own changes, we require that Licensees provide you with a minimum of two weeks notice before implementing any changes to your site.
What happens if leave my licensee and they are a Licensee Partner?
At the point of departure, all references to your old licensee, old licensee details, licensee branded content, and images sourced by your licensee must be removed from your site. A minimum of 30 days notice is required to facilitate this process.
If you are moving to a new licensee partner within Simply Advice Websites, this service starts at $110, and typically ranges up to $440 depending on the arrangements in place with each. Please contact us for a quote.
If you are moving to an unpartnered licensee/own license, this service will be at a cost of $440 + GST.
If you do not engage us prior to departing your licensee, your website will be turned off upon notification from your licensee. If this happens, we will make every reasonable effort to contact you prior to deactivating your site.
What happens if I don’t want to work with Simply Advice Websites anymore?
Your website will be built on the WordPress platform, the largest Content Management System on the internet. As a result, you have a number of options available to you:
- You can engage The DMA directly and continue using the WordPress theme (less the images and references noted above), outside of the Simply Advice Websites environment. The cost will vary depending on the complexity of your website. Please contact us to obtain a quote for the transition process and ongoing service.
- You can easily transfer your pages and posts (but not your layout) through an XML export. This can then be inserted into any other WordPress based site, by any experienced WordPress professional.
- You can just let us know and we’ll turn it off.
If that’s something you’re considering, please give us a call. We’d love to work through any problems you may be having.
What happens with my website analytics?
You will have your own Google Analytics account to review your website statistics. Please note if you do not already have a Google Account, you will need to create one and provide the login details to The DMA so they can connect Google Analytics to your website. You can read more about Google Analytics here.
If I fill out the form, what happens next?
One of the Sydney based representatives from The DMA will contact you to discuss your further design needs. This might include what you like, what you don’t, special requirements, etc.
The DMA will then prepare a draft version of the site for your review and feedback. As soon as it is available, an automatic notification will also go to the nominated compliance contact to review the content.
Following your feedback, the final site will be prepared for you.
How long will it take to complete?
The draft website will take approximately two weeks to complete from when The DMA has received all of your materials (including content, staff profiles, business logo, imagery you wish to use etc).
Once all your feedback (including compliance feedback) has been provided to The DMA, it will take approximately one week to finalise.
Once the site is complete, what happens then?
You will be provided a login to use.
You can use this to update your contact details, administer staff changes, update content, make blog posts, add/remove pages and much more. You can access tutorial walkthroughs from within your website dashboard to show you how to make changes.
If you require design changes in the future, you contact The DMA to obtain a quote.
I don’t have a registered domain, is that a problem?
The DMA can register a domain, provide DNS hosting and link the domain to your new website at a cost of $99 plus GST.
If you wish to use a different provider, you are more than welcome to. You will need to have registered a domain and obtain DNS hosting for the website to go live. The DMA will provide the information required for you to link the registered domain with the new hosted website.
If you wish to use a provider other than The DMA, we recommend Net Registry as a leading Australian provider. Some other options include:
I already have a registered domain, what happens then?
If you do not have an existing site, you will need to acquire DNS hosting for that domain as well.
Once your new site ready to launch, The DMA will provide you with DNS hosting details which you will need to apply to your registration in order to make the site live.
For those who have existing sites, the DNS hosting settings can take up to 48 hours before it is pointing the entire internet to the new destination of your domain. With the exception of that delay, you will not experience any downtime.
Do I need to pay for an SSL certificate to make my site secure?
Nope, we do that for you as part of your ongoing service.
My email addresses currently use the same domain as my existing website, will they be affected?
There is no requirement for your email hosting to change as part of this process.
I currently use a generic email (@gmail, @bigpond, etc) account. What should I do?
Not only does it look unprofessional, it’s easy to fake, and if the provider is an overseas one you may be in breach of Australian privacy legislation. Your local IT support will be able to assist with this. Otherwise, we recommend Chill IT (ask for Michela) for all round on/off site technical support.
How do I pay for the service?
If you are not licensed through a Licensee Partner, at the point of submission you will be required to pay $2,200 by credit card.
If you are licensed through a Licensee Partner, you will be charged directly from your brokerage payments. Some Licensee Partners may offer tailored payment terms.
What ongoing costs are there?
Once your site becomes live, you will also have a payment of $30 + GST per month charged by credit card.
- Wesbite hosting
- Ongoing maintenance (such as applying WordPress updates)
- Security management
- Offsite back ups
- Maintenance of universal compliance changes
Wow! That’s so cheap! What’s the catch?
There isn’t one.
There aren’t any shortcuts taken here. This service is a result of using the right partner in The DMA, the investment made by into building the infrastructure that makes this easy, and generally working smarter not harder to avoid recreating the wheel each time.
The result is a unique service at a great price!
Thanks, but my nephew said he can do the same thing for $200.
Engaging an experienced and established team of professionals has merits above and beyond the initial website going live. Just like insurance or superannuation, getting it done right the first time can save a lot of heartaches later on.
With the right set up, and proper maintenance, your business can count on a quality solution going forward. You can expect it to keep up with new Google indexations and stay up to date with new security threats.
If your website has a problem, you need someone with the skills, experience, and availability to get it fixed fast.
If you are a financial advice professional, you need a professional to run the face of your business.