Do you need a holiday from your online WooCommerce store? Let’s talk about how to easily “turn your store off” so you can take that well deserved break away, get your products ready for launch or simply catch up on some things.
As an online business there may be times you need to take a break. If you continue to take orders, it’s great for cashflow but means you come home to a heap of orders to catch up on – causing your stress levels to rise again! But what do you do?
Options for Turning off your WooCommerce Store (i.e. putting the site in WooCommerce Vacation Mode)
As with anything on your website, you have some easy and no so easy options. Let’s look at some options I’ve come up with for turning your store off, and briefly discuss some disadvantages:
- Take your site down
- Why is this bad? So many reasons – SEO, general business….let’s not go into it. If you can avoid this option, please do.
- Take the product pages down
- Again, not so good.
- Turn off WooCommerce
- Another bad one…harms SEO, annoys people and so on…
- Hide the shop pages
- Another simple one, but one that could annoy people looking for things, or for those who have ordered before.
- Add some code so that the “add to cart” button on the product pages says something else and doesn’t work
- Bad as it will be annoying to customers and they may not return, PLUS you have to touch code. Eeeek.
- Allow a customer to click through to checkout but you can’t place an order
- Same as above.
- Add a sitewide notice you cannot order
- Good – but then it doesn’t actually stop anyone from placing an order…so we haven’t solved the problem!
- Install a “catalogue” plugin where everything remains as is, but the shop functionality is removed (and can be switched back on easily).
If it was me, I’d go with number 7 – the Catalogue plugin. It won’t harm your SEO, it means site visitors can still see your offer and it’s pretty easy for you to set up. You have a couple of options, this one from WooCommerce themselves for $49 USD, this free plugin (note, this hasn’t been updated for sometime, so is not your best option) or these ones from the popular YITH (free and premium).
Select the plugin you want to use, run a backup on your website and then install the selected plugin (if you’re not sure how to install a plugin, check this video out). Follow the instructions provided and you should be good to go.
Also, don’t forget to inform your customers about what’s happening – add a note into any contact forms/pages and place a notice on your social media – maybe even a pinned post on FaceBook!
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