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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...?
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