The Website Status represents the current status (main behavior) of the website. This is quite different from the which attempts to help the user with things he still has to do on his website.
The following are the different statuses that a website can enter depending on various signals such as wether the person just sent us spam or whether the owner of the site changed the current status.
This is the standard state. Everything works as expected. You see all the content as permitted.
The Minimal state is very similar to the On-line state except that only the minimum is presented. This means all forms are removed (except for the log-in form and administrative forms since it would otherwise prevent the administrator from going back to the On-line state.)
The Debug state is used by programmers to check the site and try to find problems with the code. It should not be used with production systems (especially not a production system that receives continuous hits since the Debug version is slow.)
Note that this status is an extra flag so all the other statuses can be made debug (i.e. On-line Debug, Minimal Debug, Off-line Debug, Error Debug.)
It can be useful to mark a website as off-line as you want to do some maintenance while hidden.
The Off-line status would mainly be for safe maintenance, although with a system like Cassandra that should not really be necessary (since maintenance should be done from a backend Cassandra node.) There could be times when it would be useful (i.e. website under attack.)
There are a few things to think about for this feature:
1. When the user changes the status (on to off, or off to on), make sure to request the user to confirm that's really what one wants to do
2. To make statuses work properly the entire cache system must know of the current status (i.e. if we do implement a cache in the Apache server, then it would be to test a file, if there, we know that this site is in a status other than On-line and it should not use the cache,) and when we come back on-line from off-line, decide whether the old cache is worth keeping...
3. The Off-Line message must include a 503 error or something similar to make sure that the user doesn't get a 304 when clicking Reload. (although it looked like I was getting that with another site...)
Errors are those errors that we detect as being from robots, hackers, etc. Regular users should still get the usual error pages.