Shutting a website down is never easy but recently I went through this process. I downloaded all the files for this site, zipped them, and then deleted them from the server on my web hosting account. I recommend anyone who is going to shut down a website do this since if you have all the files backed up, you can put them up again.
It was kind of sad for me to shutdown the site honestly. Why? As a web developer you essentially feel like a failure that your project, which you invested a lot into, did not work. I sort of blamed others for the fact it didn't work. However it really was my fault and there is not anyone else to blame.
I could have tried to redesign the site and make sure to keep adding new content everyday but deep down I knew the niche wasn't going to work and it was a waste of time. By that I mean it wasn't going to make any money and my original monetization plan was misguided. Even if it the site had made money and had worked I wouldn't have made enough to cover the investment into running and maintain the site.
Checking the stats I could see that it still the site still had traffic from long tail keywords. When I closed it down a few days ago I actually was contacted by someone who liked the site asking what happened. I explained the issue, like most web projects is, resources. I can't invest time into websites that won't produce decent revenue. I wish I could see everything through till a project works but hey life just doesn't work that way.
I decided for now to keep the domain name if I want to revisit this niche in the future. I just renewed the domain but I doubt that I will have the time, energy, or to tackle this niche again. I guess we will see once I'm an internet millionaire. 🙂
If you have gone through the process of shutting a website down, how did you feel about it? Relieved, bad, angry, or did you just accept it was the right thing to do?