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I have a website with around 5,000 organic traffic per month. My hosting company asked me to move to VPS because my site is using too many resources.

I can't go VPS now because of financial problems. So I thought of closing my website for a few months.

After a few month I will move to VPS and publish the site again. I need to get back the current organic traffic, at least 75%+ of it.

Is it even possible? If it is possible, what should I do?

  • Have you considered hosting it as a static page in Amazon S3? – user31515 Jun 14 '17 at 9:26
  • What is the nature of your site/content? In a comment you wrote that you offer online tools that use a lot of resources. Are these tools "indexable" by search engines, or do they only index the tool’s front page? What other content do you have besides the tools? – unor Jun 14 '17 at 13:31
  • @unor Yes, More than 90% traffic for those online tools. There is no page like tool’s front page because each tool has just one page. I have around 5 tools and 1 tool get many traffic. Unfortunately it is the tool which used many resources. – Damith Ruwan Jun 15 '17 at 3:51
  • @DamithRuwan: Okay. So why not leave everything as it is, but disable this specific tool and show a message that it’s currently inactive and allow visitors to subscribe to a newsletter or something so that they get informed when it’s available again? – unor Jun 15 '17 at 11:48
  • @unor I thought that also. But I have a problem. User average time on that page is 3min +. If I just disabled the tool, visiting time will around 10-20 seconds or even low than it. I thought it also really bad sign for Google and my organic traffic will be low and I won't able to recover it even when I enable it. – Damith Ruwan Jun 15 '17 at 11:56
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Firstly, resources are very cheap these days so, I guess you can find way around.

It is not recommended to make your website offline for that long as it will impact on ranking, you may be able to recover but the impact will be there.

Affiliate: If you got high traffic, depending on the industry you may be able to find some affiliate to finance your hosting.

Additional Note: There are so many cheap hosting companies and some may run bit slow and might not be that reliable but you may consider as an option instead of making it offline.

Recently Webmasters blog made some announcement about making website offline temporarily: https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2017/02/closing-down-for-day.html

  • "Firstly, resources are very cheap these days". This is not true for some counties like Sri lanka because exchange rate rising like .......( Even I have no example to tell it). I am working as a software engineer and If I go with dedicated server it higher than my monthly salary also. :-D Actually the thing is not high traffic. Around 5000 visitors per month is very low. But I have build some online tools. That tools use lots of resources and I think, to monetize traffic is low. But I will try to affiliate with some companies as you suggest. – Damith Ruwan Jun 14 '17 at 4:58
  • Resources being cheap was a general statement. Example: A small NAS can be configured as a server but i guess it will just be an overhead for a small project. 5K traffic per month is like a normal website but agree if you got something which might process for longer then it may take additional resources. You may like to read the additional note as i amended the answer. – TopQnA Jun 14 '17 at 5:11
  • Spend the time to find a new host. Hosting is so cheap and always has been. I was a web host for a long time and if I understand your traffic correctly, that should not be a problem... that is unless the host makes it a problem. There is a professional host out there for you with a price you can afford. – closetnoc Jun 14 '17 at 5:36
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Unfortunately, you can't take down your website, or hide it from search engines, and not take a hit in the SERPs. If the search engines have you in the index, they'll come to your site to crawl it again, and once they don't find anything there, or are turned away, those rankings will likely plummet. Here's what you can do:

  1. Put your website in Maintenance Mode. That means displaying a Maintenance Mode message/splash page. Make sure that your header response is 503 - Service Unavailable. It tells the spiders that this is a temporary condition. Be sure to also include a Retry-After directive, which will tell the spiders to come back after a certain date. (If you go this route, it's still best to take down Maintenance Mode as soon as possible; leave it on for too long, and the search engines will treat your 503 as a 404.)

  2. Put up a Coming Soon page. Same concept as Maintenance Mode, but the server response should be 200. Yes, you'll lose rankings, but at least you'll keep your site indexed. This is the worse of the two solutions, but better than nothing. (If you're running on WordPress, the WP Maintenance Mode plugin provides both modes.)

  3. Work with your web host to see how you can make your site compliant. You may have to temporarily remove some of your resources, like downloads and videos.

  4. Find a web hosting company that can accommodate your website at your price point.

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