I agree with above solution. We are facing to this problem for many years and can not find good solution for it, but we find this way suddenly and I want to speak more about this solution to clearly describe the procedure for others here .
Discontinue products are always a trouble for online stores. From the viewpoint of CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization), high number of out of stock products is not good, exactly if the customer land directly on out of stock page. This confuses the visitors and has bad effect on customer’s experience. In other hand, from the viewpoint of SEO, each product’s URL provides a link for crawl to reach your website and high number of URL is helpful, so keeping out of stock pages could be useful. Also if you disable the product, it gets error 404 (Not Found) on google, it is bad for your SEO. There is a Discontinued option for each product on Magento and this let you to redirect the product, but as you know redirect the URL slow your site and high number of redirection is not suggested. What is the Solution? I have found a simple solution on our website. Follow as below:
- Don’t set its “Status” as “Disabled”. Product should be “Enabled” to
keep its URL and prevent “Error 404”
- Set the “Visibility” of product as “Catalogue”. This help you to
hide your discontinue product from customer search. But still this
product is visible in your category.
- To hide this product from your website, don’t set any “Categories”
for your product. By this way, no visitor sees your discontinued
product on your website and your product hides from site search too.
- For visitors who may directly land on your discontinued product from
search engine, you can set a banner or write a sentence like this
“This product is discontinued, Please continue your online shopping
by Click Here” and guide your visitors to similar product or proper
As a sample, you can search “Mug” keyword in our website and see SKU: SSF500 is not shown on our website search and it is not exist in our Mug category too, but its URL is available and if anybody land on its page, we guide him to similar product.