It’s completely understandable to wonder why web companies want support policies - And we do admit, many times, they are completely unnecessary. If you have a website and do a few changes a month, just pay by the hour. If you have to pay a support policy for something simple like that, you’re with the wrong company. Plain and simple.
It is not rocket science to change minor things like text or images on your website!
Now, for larger web applications/portals, it’s completely understandable to HAVE a support policy. Let’s illustrate some simplified differences in JUST the administration:
(Example, 10 page website with contact form, images, and content)
(Example, 10 page portal website with database and 50 daily users)
|File Management||Super simple - Just a normal file structure like what you have on your computer.||More complex - Requires SVN Repository - Backups, backups, backups!
|Making Updates||Open up the file, make the change, push and make file live. Simple.||Pull the file, open, make the change, CHECK on staging server, make sure database changes are made, commit, push and make live, double check database are synced.|
|Adding New Features||Since most simple websites don’t have a database or complex code, it’s very easy to go in and make the addition.||Requires planning to integrate into system, database work possible (both staging and live servers), requires testing to make sure integration works and doesn’t adversely affect system, finally requires documentation for client in most cases.|
|Avg time of administration per change
||~5 minutes - Open the application, pull the files, done.
||Minimum 1-2 hours|
In general, if you have a complicated web application/portal, it's generally best to have a support policy - But for a basic website that rarely needs updating, save the money and simply hire the company when you need them!