What is the AHFA Website Solution?
This is an initiative designed to make it easy for AHFA 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 predesigned, with images loaded and ready to use, as well as sample text throughout.
These templates have been designed by experienced designers, in conjunction with those that understand the needs of AHFA advisers. 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.
You just need to fill out the form, and you’ve already got the hard part finished.
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 23% are built with WordPress (W3Techs, 2013).
Who are The DMA?
Based in Sydney and founded in 2008, The Digital Marketing Agency are Australia’s leading WordPress experts who 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 AHFA 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 AHFA sites.
That being said, even if the pages were identical, the only people likely to ever notice would be Aon staff, other AHFA advice firms 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.
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, please contact the team at The DMA and detail your concerns. The DMA will be able to work through these with you. If your individual needs are outside of the scope of the standard package, The DMA will provide a quote for the additional costs involved.
I’m struggling to decide between ‘Instant Online’ and ‘Marketing Machine’
Beyond some minor layout items, the principal difference between these is how the blog feeds through to the front page. For Marketing Machine sites, this is automatic. If you do not wish this to take place, it does require some additional design work in the Marketing Machine theme and that would be at an additional cost to you. Alternatively, you may choose to use the ‘Instant Online’ theme as your starting point.
Will AHFA be interfering with my website?
No, with two exceptions:
Firstly, as part of the ongoing service, we will be updating general items. These include:
- AFSL details (numbers, addresses, etc)
- Financial Services and Credit Guide (but not Adviser Profiles)
- The Aon privacy statement
- The Aon positioning statement
We will be managing these all centrally, so you don’t need to worry about updating your website every time a new FSCG comes out.
Secondly, AHFA does reserve the right to enforce any compliance with regulatory and marketing requirements. In the event that you fail to act upon notices to update your website, AHFA will provide a formal notice period of two weeks. If the website is not compliant by the end of that period, the changes will be made on your behalf, with the cost of those changes being passed on to you.
Please note: That is a real pain in the neck for us. We won’t be doing that unless you just cannot seem to keep your site compliant by yourself.
I love AHFA completely, but what happens if I go crazy and want to leave?
That’s OK, it’s good that you’re asking. That’s just being prudent.
At the point of departure, all references to Aon, Aon licensing details, Aon branded content and images sourced by AHFA must be removed from your site. A minimum of one month’s notice is required to facilitate this process. AHFA will continue to charge ongoing maintenance and service fees until this is completed.
Apart from that, 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 AHFA WordPress theme (less the images and references noted above), outside of the AHFA hosted environment. The cost will vary depending on the complexity of your website. Please contact The DMA 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 walk away. If so, we will turn off your website upon the date of termination with AHFA.
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 Aon Compliance team to review the content. Marketing approval will not be required, as the AHFA Website Solution is marketing pre-approved.
Following your feedback, the final site will be prepared for you.
How long will it take to complete?
The draft website will take approximately one week to complete from when The DMA has received all of your materials (including content, staff profiles, business logo, imagery you wish to use etc). The AHFA Compliance team have a standard turnaround of 10 business days.
Once all your 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, some other recommended providers include:
Whilst you can use any provider, it is recommended a that you use an Australian based company.
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.
For those looking to completely terminate their existing relationship with an IT provider, you can transfer domain registration to Chill IT or any number of other providers.
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.
If you wish for it to change, Chill IT work in concert with The DMA to provide a streamlined email migration service. You can find details and pricing for their email package here.
I currently use a generic email (gmail, bigpond, etc) account. What should I do?
Not only does it look unprofessional, but if the provider is an overseas one you may be in breach of Australian privacy legislation.
Chill IT work in concert with The DMA to provide a streamlined email migration service. You can find details and pricing for their email package here.
How do I pay for the service?
Once you submit your request a fee of $1,800 + GST is deducted from your next brokerage payment.
If you wish to pay AHFA directly by cheque or direct deposit, please email email@example.com immediately after submitting your website request.
What ongoing costs are there?
Once your site becomes live, you will also have a payment of $12.50 + GST per fortnight deducted from your brokerage.
- Wesbite hosting
- Ongoing maintenance (such as applying WordPress updates)
- Security management
- Offsite back ups
- Maintenance of universal AHFA changes (eg: FSCG version changes, AFSL detail changes, etc)
- Google Analytics reporting and benchmarking across AHFA
Due to operational requirements, all ongoing payments must be deducted from your brokerage.
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 AHFA into building the infrastructure that makes this easy, leveraging the scale the AHFA brings 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.
Not to mention, a unique benefit of the AHFA Website Solution is that you receive:
- Automatic application of any AHFA-wide updates; and
- In the unlikely event of a major issue, you’ll have the scale and leverage of the group behind you.
If you are a financial advice professional, we recommend you get a professional to run the face of your business.