If I could say one thing – to borrow a line from The Checkout television show – I would say:
Don’t have blank pages on your website
When I say blank pages I mean pages with a heading and maybe a line ‘check back in soon’.
Why would you do this you wonder? Or who would do this?
I’m not sure why this happens when websites are created but it just points out the lack of planning into launching a website. So what if you have a line saying to come back soon or something along those lines. Users won’t do that. It will just annoy them. It’s not showing them how fabulous your website will be, it’s just the opposite.
If you are launching or updating a website get your content in place. Either launch without content that can be added later, chase it up from content suppliers, or wait until you have it.
Now, there are websites that are having a major facelift and have a message on the homepage to this effect and I’m not a fan of that either. If you’re doing a major facelift and reshuffle of content, do it somewhere else and replace old with new in one hit.
The only time I would consider having an ‘under construction’ type message is if you’re building a brand new website. But at least give some sort of teaser and/or contact information, or a means of being notified when the content is available.