Should I Take My Website Offline for the Holidays?

If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. With no such thing as a free lunch, it seems an easy solution to take your website offline for the time you are away. But we’re saying, no, don’t do it and here’s why:

  • Whenever your website is live, it will be repeatedly indexed by search engines. If you take it offline, it won’t be.
  • If a website is offline, it will not show up in search engine results and you end up losing the SEO benefit of remaining online. When you do go back online, your previous SEO rankings may have dropped off. 

What Can I Do with My Website When I’m Away?

When it’s time to take a holiday, there are a few SEO friendly things you can do to your website. They are:

  • Remove the BUY buttons from your website. This stops people from ordering anything!
  • Disable your checkout page, so manual orders cannot be placed.
  • Let people order from your website, but have prominent text on the checkout and cart pages that orders won’t be shipped until a set date.
  • Change your website header to announce that sales cannot be placed between specific dates.
  • Add a short paragraph to your Terms and Conditions or FAQ page saying that orders cannot be placed until a certain date. Or that orders can be made, but they won’t be shipped until a set date.

I No Longer Sell a Product: Should I Delete It from My Website?

Each page on your website, acts like an advertisement. Ready and waiting 24/7 for search engines to display it in their search results, if it is not there, it won’t be seen.

Even if you have sold out of a certain product and have no intention of stocking it again, keep the page live. Just set it to ‘Out of Stock’ or disable buy button, and ensure no backorders can be made. You can also add a piece suggesting they purchase a different item and share that link on this page too. Keeping the page live still gives you the SEO benefits of being found and sending traffic to your website.

Other options if you really want to take your website offline

  • You can free park your domain (for free, excluding annual domain renewals). Free parked domains have no email service, no web page, and no URL redirection either. With a free parking approach you do continue to have a DNS service. Domain renewals are not discounted when free parking.
  • You can have a URL redirection for $35+gst per year. With this option your web address can forward to a new location such as a facebook page. The URL redirection does not redirect HTTPS traffic, as that would require an SSL cert. In time, search engines will usually ignore your domain and then update their index to the destination page. Domain renewals are discounted at the same rate as if you had a live website.
  • You can continue to have a mailbox and unlimited email forwarding rules, from just $7+gst per month (additional for additional mailboxes) and this option includes a single placeholder web page (not SSL) or redirect service. This option also includes a backup of your web content and order history, so it's easy to resinstate that in the future. Domain renewals are discounted at the same rate as if you had a live website.

Tags: web hosting  seo  

Posted: Tuesday 30 January 2024