Preparing your Website for the Holidays

Heading away over the holidays and want to manage any potential eCommerce sales? Needing to know if you should turn your website off to stop orders coming in? Wondering what to do with all those out of stock products on your website?

These are all common questions we are asked each year and you can be 100% certain we've got them covered below.

Should I Take My Website Offline for the Holidays?

Short answer: no. 

Taking your website offline can mean you loose all of the hard work you have done in helping it to rank well in search engine result pages (SERP). When a website is live, it can be indexed and reviewed by search engines. When it is offline, it isn't. Also, when offline a website will not show on any SERPs, meaning you will need to start from the beginning again in your SEO journey.

I'm Going Away & Can't Ship Any Products - What Can I Do?

When you are heading away on holiday or simply don't want to ship any products over a few weeks, firstly keep your website online. Other SEO friendly things you can do include:

  • adding a banner which lets people know that orders won't be shipped until a set date
  • disable your checkout page so orders cannot be made
  • remove the BUY buttons from your website
  • Add text to your T&Cs, FAQs, checkout and cart pages saying that orders won't be shipped until a set date

I Don't Sell a Specific Product Anymore Or Won't for a Long Time

If you no longer sell a product on your website, it is out of stock or it won't be for sale for many months, keep it on your website. Deleting a product or page from your live website is never recommended. That's because:

  • search engines have already indexed and ranked your site 
  • deleting a product creates a 404 error because the page is missing
  • missing indexed pages with 404 errors are bad for SEO

By simply putting your product as out of stock or disabling its buy button, you stop orders being made. It also gives you the opportunity to direct the visitor to another product on your website to purchase instead. 

Remember that the best thing is to keep your website live at all times, disabling your cart or buy buttons to prevent purchases. Happy holidays!

Tags: web hosting  ecommerce  

Posted: Tuesday 10 November 2020