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Vacation Mode For Ecommerce Site - Away Message Help?

5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 7:56 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)


I'll be going away on vacation for a week, and I will like to be able to setup the best option on my website while I'm away. I'm basically a one man ecommerce owner; so there is no one else who I can trust or who knows how to manage all the functions of my website.

I installed some new vacation/maintenance mode features to my website, but I'm not sure which is the best to use and what type of message I should write. I'll explain each option I have below.

Option 1: Basically shows a red alert message on the header of all my website pages and disables the checkout pages. When a customer clicks on the checkout button it redirects them to a page where it repeats the message I have listed in my header. However, customers can still browse all products and add them to their shopping cart or wishlist for a later purchase.

Current Header and Disable Checkout Page Message:
Down for Maintenance:
We will be down for maintenance until April 5th, 2010. Please email using the Contact Us if you have any questions.

You can still browse all of our products, and add them to your shopping cart. However, we currently have our checkout process disabled during this time.

Option 2: Shows a vacation/website message on my contact us and all my checkout pages right next to the "Submit/Continue" buttons so the customer sees the message.

Current Contact Us and Checkout Pages Message:
Orders Delayed Until 04/05/2010 Due To Maintenance:
Orders will be delayed until April 5th, 2010 due to maintenance updates; please email us if you have any questions.

Option 3: Completely shuts down the website and puts the website into maintenance mode which doesn't allow customers to view any products or navigate through the site. If a visitor/customer clicks on a link it just redirects them to the down for maintenance page.

This is my least favorite option because I don't want search engines to index my "down for maintenance" page while I'm away; I'm leaning towards either option 1 or 2.

I don't know if I should use the "down for maintenance" message route, or if I should have a different message showing for either option 1 or 2?

Does anyone have any ideas of other away messages that would be better to use? Technical issues message? Just be honest and say it's a vacation message? Etc...?

Thank you,




WebmasterWorld Senior Member demaestro us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 8:08 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

If it were me I would opt for a notification on the checkout page that says.

Orders dated from March 01st thru March 08th will have their shipping delayed until March 09th... sorry for any inconvenience.

I wouldn't put myself in a place where my customers may go elsewhere for their shopping needs because of a hyper messages or disabled buttons.

Also if you have terms of service listed somewhere that detail your "ships in XX hours" add in that "under rare circumstances delivery may be delayed up to 1 week. In this circumstance users will be notified at time of checkout."

my 2 cent


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 8:17 pm on Jan 28, 2010 (gmt 0)


Ok great...thank you.

Yes, those are great suggestions that I will take into account!




5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 9:25 pm on Jan 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Anybody else have any other suggestions on what to write for an away message?




WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 12:58 am on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yeah, I think a version of 2 is best. I wouldn't put people off straight away. That's the honest thing to do, but probably a little too honest. One week is not that big a deal. I think if you basically give them the choice at some point, that's good enough. But I might go with the "maintenance" excuse though, because "vacation" makes you sound like what you basically are... One guy. There's nothing wrong with that, but some people have a weird perception about things like that.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 9:45 am on Jan 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

I find that it is best to allow checkout,but have a terms and conditions box which explains that orders won't be processed until 5th April and to only proceed if this is ok for them - they have to tick that they have read this information to proceed with the order.We also have a note at the top of the shopping cart to display this notification and offer a small discount for orders taken during this period as an incentive.
We also give the customer the option of sending a preliminary order and you can request payment when you re-open and are ready to process their order - this will catch a few customers that would possibly not have continued with the order after reading about the delay.
This has worked good for us.


5+ Year Member

Msg#: 4069986 posted 7:17 pm on Feb 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

Inform customers you are moving warehouse, and shipments will be delayed whilst you are completing this process. Tell them that you are moving to provide a better service in future.

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