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Under Construction Pages

Back in the day I worked for someone who always insisted that I put an “under construction page” on pages that were not completed. These could be found all over the web. I haven’t really come across any in a while, but I was wondering if they are even valid to have on a site anymore? If the page does not exist should it even be linked to in the first place? rxfastfind.com

Imagine how frustrating it would be to a user if they were to become enticed by a link to “Everything you need to know about design”, only to find when they clicked the link it brought them to an under construction page. The user more than likely will go somewhere else to learn the secrets of design. Is it possible to even get that user back or will they remember your site as being the one that was always under construction?

I can see a use for these pages being used as indexes for domains who do not have finished sites yet. However, I don’t think enough information is being given on these pages. Sure it is nice to let me know that you are currently working on the site, but why don’t you also let me signup for a notification list or provide a RSS feed?. That not only would keep me aware of your site, but if you provided a couple of updates in regards to the progress you were making that would get me even more excited about your upcoming site.

When I see “Coming Soon” I leave. Sure I may come back a couple of weeks or months later…accidentally, but wouldn’t you rather have me come back right when the site goes live?

If you do have a site up, but some pages are missing, then by all means do not provide a link to them. It makes the user’s job much easier along with your’s because you won’t be getting any emails telling you how the sports page is missing. Almost like having a door to a bathroom that leads to nothing but a 50 foot hole.

19 Responses to “Under Construction Pages”

  1. Mikkel Malmberg Says:

    I agree…

    But then again, I haven’t seen any “Under construction” signs (animated gif’s, anyone?) in a while. I suppose, IF I did, I’d leave instantly. Like you.

  2. Clint Says:

    Oh, really?

    Come on…you knew someone was gonna say it.

  3. Scrivs Says:

    Good eye Clint, good eye.

  4. KJC Says:

    Just yesterday I went to my local garden center’s site, and noticed that they had done a redesign. It was an improvement over the previous one (despite the many problems with the new one), but I was really irritated that pretty much *every link* pointed to an ‘under construction’ page. Why they didn’t leave the old site (with some actual information) up a little longer is beyond me…

  5. Scott Says:

    By putting up an ‘under construction’ page, don’t you run the risk of having that indexed by a search engine? I am not an expert when it comes to search engines, but can this have a negative effect on your how people find your site via search engines?

    I know that dmoz.org has a written policy requesting people do not submit sites with ‘under construction’ pages:

    “Do not submit sites “under construction.” Wait until a site is complete before submitting it. Sites that are incomplete, contain “Under Construction” notices, or contain broken graphics or links aren’t good candidates for the directory.”

    dmoz.org site suggestion policy

  6. Michael Moncur Says:

    I never use under construction pages. Well, sometimes I use them before a site is public, but never once it launches.

    If a page isn’t done yet, it isn’t mentioned at all. If the site wouldn’t make sense without that page, then the site doesn’t launch until that page is there.

    I sometimes mention that something is “coming soon” or coming on a specific date, without a link, but in the end I usually regret that too. Nothing makes you look worse than the words “Coming in Summer 2003″ on a page in 2005…

  7. Michael Moncur Says:

    P.S. Along with search engines and DMOZ, ad networks (including AdSense, I think) will reject your application if your site is “under construction”, so that’s another reason to avoid creating temporary pages.

  8. Steve Says:

    Sound advice Paul - which I’ve gone ahead and ‘borrowed’….

  9. David Says:

    I used to have under construction all over my site because I did not want anyone to think that what they see is all there will ever be. Now it is almost a sin because it is usually ugly, and always annoying.

  10. googlethis Says:

    Under construction, please stop back soon.

  11. Brian Benzinger Says:

    Man, I remember those days of my life. I would create a new site design every week. The week after that, I would make a “Temporary” page (Under Construction page) and keep that up for a good week until the next design is made. This process went of for a while.

    These days, I am not saying I am any better with this. I get the urge to put a Under Construction page up even when I know it is best not too! And sometimes, I feel that it is fine to do so because my visitors must see something to keep them coming to check for updates. Like that happens, like you said Paul, you see a page like this and just leave. Same here, always have. It is a problem that the web and the users must face everyd…

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  12. Michael McCorry Says:

    The only times I’ve ever used Under Construction notices have been when I needed to pressure clients into providing some extremely overdue content for their website. If a project runs waaay overtime, and the client needs it online before it is completed, I ask for a pro-rata payment for work done thus far. If this isn’t possible, I publish the website, complete with Under Construction placeholders, which normally kicks the client into gear. I try not to do this very often though; only on real problem clients.

  13. Sam Brown Says:

    As Michael said above, I only use them to push a client to get that content to me as the project is already a week late!

    Had a few stern conversations with clients who actually wanted to put “Under Construction” on their front page! When is a site ever not ‘under construction’…

  14. deus62 Says:

    Is this site under construction?

    ;)

  15. conekt Says:

    We sometimes use underconstruction pages for sites that are not live and under development. This usually occurs when we are fleshing out navigation for static content and the client is feeling peticularly pissy so my supervisor starts to trip and starts asking for silly unproductive things like - “under construction” pages.

  16. Matthew Pennell Says:

    If you do have to put an ‘Under Construction’ notice on your homepage, the least you should do is provide an email sign-up form so that visitors can choose to be told when the site is launched.

    They can then go away without that nagging feeling that they have missed out on what might be great content, and you get an instant marketing database.

  17. Dave Says:

    Nice Clint. Personally when using a “under construction” page i always add a title to the href saying the following page is under construction.. Not sure if this is the right approach but works for me so far

  18. Scott Thomas Says:

    This is the worst “Under Co-nstruction” page I have seen in quite some time.

    What the hell is Co-nstruction anyway?

    /Scott

  19. Jordan Says:

    i am working on a website that’s always underconstruction yet i dont tell people it is. the site’s Salt Lake City Real Estate and i’ve been working on it for awhile. do i need to tell people that new things are being developed and it’s under construction or just expect them to return?

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