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This website is closed for the holidays

     
9:16 am on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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In previous years I have always kept my site open for business at all times. But now after three years online I really think I would like to have at least one week off over the holidays.

So my intention is to shut everything down for a week in late January. I will stop all adwords, overture and ebay ads. I will take all "buy" buttons off the site and put an autorespond to all emails.

I know it will mean a week without income but my holiday plans this year mean that net access (and even electricity) will be unavailable for that week.

So I was just wondering has anyone else done this? Will it have long term consequences or will a week not matter?

I guess my main concern is that if Google or MSN or Yahoo crawl my homepage that week will it have a flow-on effect in the serps in following weeks and months?

2:19 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For a holiday week I don't think it will matter. G does require working and responsive websites to inquiries. But since you will inform visitors it won't be a problem.
2:45 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Leave the buy button on.

Don't lose sales - some people are prepared to wait AS LONG AS THEY ARE INFORMED - make sure you inform them clearly - preferably redirect the buy button to a closed page, allowing the customer to continue with their order if they want to.

6:10 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Why do you have to be around in order for your website to function, and how will not being there be a problem?

Why not just leave everything as is, and have an auto-responder for all email inquiries?

12:47 am on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I agree with PCInk - most people don't mind waiting if you tell them ahead of time.
11:34 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I closed for 3 weeks last year (Mid Dec to first week of Jan) and everything was fine. I put up notices saying we were closed for the Holidays and then after the holidays that we were closed for Inventory. Sales were slow, but still made a few. Only a couple people people that complained out of a couple hundred customers. Good to let them know before they place their order, that's all.

suowe

7:54 am on Nov 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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i don't think you are right ,many people use to shoping holiday.
7:09 pm on Dec 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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A clear notice of dates and what your policy is should be the best way. I'd be concerned that a customer comes to you, doesn't see anything for sale or options, thinks you are closed and never comes back. It's too easy to make the website look like you are totally out of business. Better to be open and state everything. Include the year with the date, so people don't wonder what year you closed for the holidays. I've stumbled on sites and later found out it's been shut down for a much longer time.
9:27 pm on Dec 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

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My company just sends out a message to our customers saying that the support centre will be closed for a couple of weeks.

When I am away only minor changes can be made to the site (no-one else knows how to do it.)

Thanks.

2:24 am on Dec 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the input everyone, I've decided to keep everything going and just state on every page that all orders taken that week will be shipped on January 28. I've always shipped all orders instantly but for this one week only there will be a delay. I think I will turn off all the ads though - it might be an interesting experiment to see how the site fares with just "natural" search engine and link clicks.
 

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