Too Cool for Internet Explorer

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

UNDER CONSTRUCTION - to be, or not to be

This weekend I re-started the “TrainerOnRails” Project.

So, it is time to put the first page on that domain which was empty for almost a year.

My first attempt was to Google about “under construction pages”, and doing that, I start to question myself.

Would that be the coolest thing to do first?

Here are some of against opinions about that.

This icon says more about me than it does about my web page

Don’t use under construction pages

Design Mistakes: The Under Construction Page

Under Construction pages on websites - do they matter to SEO?

Making The Most of Being Under Construction

A nostalgic one:

The Top 3 Retro Under Construction Pages

This one disagrees from everyone else, saying an upfront “under construction page” can improve your SEO activity.

Getting Your SEO Started Early With A Development Home Page

The one that looks more pragmatically at this subject is this:

Under Construction page is such a waste of time or is it? What make a good one?

One good idea here:

Cool and Free Launch Page with Ajax Newsletter

Well, I have made my choice: a beta version page will be. No under construction, obvious and redundant, animated gifs at all.

But why in the hell do I need a beta version page?

In fact for some practical reasons:

First of all, if I do nothing, people will see that strange list of files when they access my domain name, if I need to do something, why not to put a page out there?

Secondly, I need to get ready with RRS feeds, donation badges, hit counters, etc. and to get that I need a working page now!

Another problem (in my case), is that TrainerOnRails’ domain, sleeps for almost a year, and there are a few broken links elsewhere that I want to redirect.

How can I do that if I don’t have any “beta version page” to redirect them?

This situation drives me to another research: customized error pages…

In this case, people were getting a 404 error page when they try the old TrainerOnRails link, so, I need to put something there to redirect them.

It is not a regular 404 error customized page, but sounds like one.

To test the whole thing, you can start from the former link, and see what happens:

I’m not a designer, I try to do it quite simple: no CSS, just hard coded HTML and a few images.

I like the final result. It is triple checked by W3C Validation Service, Validome and WDG HTML Validator.

Since it might help someone else to avoid one or two working days on something that simple, I have turned it into an open source project “my_domain_beta_page” and released it on Github.

You are welcome to fork it, customize it and make it better, trying to keep it simple at the same time.

After all: it is just a general beta version page to keep your domain alive up front just before “your real page” get ready.

Next step? What about a Release Candidate page?

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