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How to put your store in "Maintenance Mode"


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    I highly recommend having your SEO team review this recommendation!

    Without a proper 503 server response code, you are effectively recommending every site owner to replace good content with duplicate content across their entire site.  Without changing the server response code, the content is being served to spiders as 200, "Everything is ok here!" allowing duplicate content to be crawled and cached as if it is an intentional, permanent change.


    Crucial to this is the implementation of a proper 503 server response code when sites do go down.

    "10.5.4 503 Service Unavailable

    The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The implication is that this is a temporary condition which will be alleviated after some delay. If known, the length of the delay MAY be indicated in a Retry-After header. If no Retry-After is given, the client SHOULD handle the response as it would for a 500 response.

    Note: The existence of the 503 status code does not imply that a 

    server must use it when becoming overloaded. Some servers may wish 

    to simply refuse the connection." 


    "503 Service Unavailable 

    The server is currently unable to handle the request due to a temporary overloading or maintenance of the server. The 503 should be used whenever there is a temporary outage (for example, if the server has to come down for a short period for maintenance). This ensures that the engines know to come back soon because the page/site is only down for a short time." 


    "So, you have to send a 503 status code in combination with a Retry-After header. Basically you’re saying: hang on, we’re doing some maintenance, please come back in X minutes. That sounds a lot better than what a 404 error says: “Not Found”. A 404 literally means that the server can’t find anything to return for the URL that was given." 



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