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Avoid Empty Pages ("Under Construction")

Document Type: Standard


Content:

New HHS Web sites, pages, revisions to page sections, or applications should not be "live", available to public access until cleared and ready for use. HHS must not post any pages containing an "under construction" or similar notice. A robots exclusion file should not be relied upon to prevent search engines from indexing files since not all search engines recognize them. An imprecise "Check back soon" notice only adds to user frustration.

Under construction notices are not permitted.

Reason:

Because most users visit a site to complete tasks, it is important not to send them to dead ends. A page without content is frustrating and provides no benefit to users.

Exemptions:

When an existing site must be taken down (for maintenance, etc.) it is not only permissible but desirable to post a notice (in advance, if possible) informing users of the take down and informing them, if possible, of when the site will again be available.