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What HTTP response should you send when an item/category on your ecommerce site has been disabled or deleted? 410 looks correct for deleted products but not sure about something that has been disabled temporarily

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Use 410 is it is deleted permanently. Use 307 if it is only disabled and will be back again. That will tell the search engines to keep trying and not to assume the page is gone forever.

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That makes sense. Visually i wonder what the user would expect to see in this context. A generic "resource deleted/disabled" page maybe? –  seengee Oct 19 '10 at 12:03
    
Create your own page that is served up whenever these http headers are served. That way you can completely customize the message your users see. –  John Conde Oct 19 '10 at 12:11
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I'm curious as to why a product page would be effectively disabled if it is known that the product will be back - why not accept backorders? (Seems like there's a chance you'd lose business if the customer can't see that the product still exists on the site)

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This is very true. Even if you're not accepting back orders, it doesn't hurt to show the page, with an "temporarily out of stock" message. –  DisgruntledGoat Oct 20 '10 at 9:10
    
that is also a possibility within our system. this is just a particular circumstance that some shop owners like to use. it is not for me to tell them this is wrong when they are adamant, i am simply looking for the most elegant way to handle it. –  seengee Oct 20 '10 at 9:16
    
I think the page should exist, its good to see what your clients are searching for.. If the product is discontinued sell a newer item. If its out of stock, get an email and notify. UPSELL, DOWNSELL. Dont use response codes. The html response codes have to do with pages being found, not products in your site! Lower their priorities in your sitemap if you want less search exposure... –  Frank Oct 20 '10 at 11:06
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