A change request is a submission of instructions to alter your website content or website functions according to your needs. Changes are normally effected within a week of the submission, but each company has its own procedures.
Some may require you to submit online, through an extranet system; others may need you to fax a signed form containing the company chop; still more would rather you send an official email.
Individual firms also have a set schedule for change requests. These schedules may range from a few days to a week, depending on the corporation's policy and practices, and when you submit your order. The company may also have a weekly or daily deadline for changes. If you miss that deadline, your submission may be queued to the next batch. This system is like paying a cheques in to a bank: if you pay one into the bank before 4pm, it's cleared during that day's cheque clearing period; if you submit one after 4pm, it's considered part of the following day's cheque clearing period.
To make the most of any procedure, regardless of company, there are few things you should adhere to and practice:
- Prior to submitting, gather all your changes
- If necessary, capture the screen(s) for your changes, or print out those pages/articles that require changes
Clearly label each screenshot or printed page
- Mark where each change should take place
- State each change in detail
- Submit the completed change request
- Follow up at the end of the change request period
But, depending upon the type of changes required, a cost may or may not be incurred. This needs to be expected because the desired changes may have an adverse ripple affect on the entire website. And if your website is hosted on the same server as other websites, your changes may affect those others, too. If this is the case, your vendor should advise you and discuss acceptable and effective solutions with you.
On the other hand, the exception to the procedure is the urgent request:
The Oxford English Dictionary, Sixth Edition, defines "urgent" as "requiring immediate action or attention". However, what constitutes "urgent" differs depending on the company and the industry.
For example, if the industry is fast and the company can make final updates only at the last minute, then labelling each change as "urgent" becomes meaningless. If the industry moves at a slower pace, "urgent" would be perceived differently.
Generally, minor changes, like typos, data corrections that do not have a huge audience impact, and similar, can be submitted through normal channels. However, if an uploaded article has incorrect information that affects its audience, like time-sensitive fund data, the changes must be effected immediately. Such a change would bypass the system. You would normally contact your vendor and discuss what needs to be done.
So, prioritise your change requests, submit them in plenty of time with clear instructions, then sit back and watch the system work for you.