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website maintenance

Top Tips To Help You Close Down Your Website While Doing Maintenance Services

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We all have to close our sites for some time and that is due to many reasons, whether it may be for the religious practices, performing the maintenance of the website, or you just want to take a leave. The common thing that most of us care about is whether the search presence of your website will get affected or not. Well, there are three options that you can opt to check the presence of your website and ensure that it is not affected.

The world is totally digitized nowadays and even the businesses that run online are bound to take a break randomly. Shutting your website temporarily is just like putting a sign of ‘back in a few minutes’ in any store. Most of us may think that it will affect the SEO but as mentioned above there are three options available to make sure it doesn’t happen. They are:

  • Block cart functionality
  • Always showing interstitial or pop-up
  • Switching the whole website off

Here in this article, we will tell you about all these recommendations in details and all the tools that are available in various marketplaces that you can use when you are closing your site temporarily.

Block Cart Functionality

If you have been running an online store and want to stop the purchases made by the customers for some time, the simplest option that you can look for is disabling your shopping cart. Sometimes, if you have a WooCommerce store then you will not find any simple way to disable the functionality of the cart. However, there are many platforms that provide certain functions to disable the cart functionality.

As explained by Mueller, the pages of the shopping cart are generally blocked in the search engine crawlers with the help of robot.txt files. It can also be blocked by indexing with the help of a robots meta tag. This function will initially not let the search engines to store or see the product pages. So, no more worrying about all the negative impacts on the website while you disable your shopping cart! You can display messages that explain to the customers why are they not able to make any purchases for the time being. You can also opt for switching your cart page to the landing page that informs the customers about the temporary shutdown of the website.

Showing Interstitial or Pop-Up

If you are planning to shut down your website for a long period of time then it will be better if you display some kinds of messages that tell the visitors that the website will be unavailable for service. Also, pop-ups and informational pages can be used to display such messages. In such cases, Mueller has explained that it will be better if your website yields a 503 HTTP result code which means that the site is down temporarily and will be returning after few days or a certain period.

The 503 result code helps to know that the Google will not store the temporary content that has been displayed for the users. It is just like displaying a pop-up on the homepage that will explain all the viewers about why the website is offline along with a funny GIF. Now, this type of content will be stored as your site’s content for the time being and the customers will know.

There are several platforms that explain how to yield a 503 result for your website. If you display a pop-up on your website then it will be quite easier and quicker way to inform all your customers and you don’t even have to change the content of your existing page.

There are many pop-ups tools that are easy and powerful. They are very easy to use, edit and create attractive pop-ups within a few minutes. Also, it will be much better for you if you use the full-screen pop-up options. This is because if you are taking the offline options then this will allow you to hide your homepage easily.

Switch The Website Off Totally

The last option that we bring to you is to turn the server off totally. You might think why? Well, we will like to say that this is the best option for you if you are planning to move your server physically to another location.

For such kind of options, Mueller explains that one should set up a temporary server in order to serve the 503 HTTP result code for different URLs that are on your site. However, make sure that you are setting up pop-ups or informational pages for those temporary pages. Next, you have to switch your DNS in order to point to the temporary server.

If you have no idea regarding how to switch the DNS then you can check below and learn how to do it.

  • First of all, you have to set the DNS TTL to a very low time e.g. 5-10 minutes. You need to make sure that you do it in advance so that there is no problem later.
  • Next, you have to change the DNS to the IP address of the temporary server.
  • Once the requests have gone to the temporary server you can take the main server offline. So, your server is offline now.
  • When you are done with everything and ready, you can bring your main server back to online mode again
  • Now you can switch back the DNS to the IP address of the main server.
  • Make sure you don’t forget to change the DNS TTL back to normal.

Conclusion

Whenever you want some time off from your online business, it doesn’t really have to be extra headaches when you close down your site or make the pages go offline for a certain period of time. All you have to is to follow the above-mentioned steps. This will help you to step away from your website and be carefree as your search engine results will not be affected negatively.

However, one more last thing that Mueller explains that the physical stores that go offline should not forget to update the opening hours in the Google My Business account settings. If you want to know more then you can contact any web application development company and you can avail their web application maintenance services.


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