Agency Rules on “Changes”
Why are development agencies so strict on changes?
Imagine building your dream house from scratch.
You’ll set up your goals and budget, and then approach an architect and a builder to discuss your plans. Because of the complexity of the project, you’ll need a team of professionals to help you through the lengthy process. Upon discussing your vision and budget, your architect will conduct analyses and research before developing the sketches. A construction permit only comes after the plan has been reviewed, finalized, and approved by all parties.
Building a highly functional eCommerce store follows the same kind of process.
Developing a Creative Comp
Short for comprehensive layout, a creative comp works like an architectural drawing. It establishes the visual elements and development structure for the website. In other words, it’s the blueprint of a full functional and visual eCommerce store. A creative comp done right ensures every step goes according to the plan without wasting extra time and resources.
Can you imagine adding an extra bedroom to the floor plan midway through the construction? Not only will it require a structural change in the architectural plan, it will also stall the entire construction process.
Therefore, it’s crucial to communicate your vision and plans for your eCommerce store as a client. It’s best to come up with a list of your needs and concerns and make sure to tackle each item before signing off on a creative comp.
Visual and Functional Changes
If you have a change of heart about the layout or a functional feature after the creative has been signed off, it can cost the web development team anywhere between 1-100 hours of extra work, depending on the changes.
Perhaps you’d just like to add a button somewhere or insert a small element in the footer. However, any changes after the creative comp has been approved can interfere with the established elements, possibly resulting in a much longer timeline for redevelopment and a awkward situation between the client and agency.
A custom website can cost thousands of dollars because the cost per hour for top web development is extremely expensive and a change request midway through the development process would only drive up the costs even more.
Again, you as a client have the power to minimize costs and reduce time if you communicate your needs upfront and understand the creative mockups are your blueprint to build your eCommerce store. The best thing to do is to thoroughly evaluate the creative comp before giving your formal approval.
Quality Control / User Acceptance Testing
Quality Control (QC) is the last phase of the web development process. A professional development agency would have a QC team responsible for functional and visual examination after the eCommerce store is developed.
The team will perform a User Acceptance Testing (UAT) to ensure all the elements are working properly across mobile, tablet and desktop devices. If there were any development changes after the site has already been developed, the QC team will also need to run a comprehensive test again after all changes have been complete to account for any regression that may happen.
A website can only go live if it’s in perfect shape.
So… Why are Web Development Agencies Strict on Changes?
Similar to building a house, developing a eCommerce store requires collective efforts. It’s a creative and practical collaboration among the clients, the designers, and the developers.
Having the initial blueprint doesn’t mean changes are impossible; however, its main goal is to reduce detours in the development process. Time is also a valuable commodity that constitutes a major cost factor in developing a custom eCommerce store. It’s important to hire a capable team, but it’s just as important to set your expectations and communicate them effectively as a client.
After all, you’re part of the team.