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Planned downtime is often contrasted with unplanned downtime, where machine problems or other technical difficulties shut down or restrict operations. The ability to plan downtime is valuable, since users can be informed beforehand and can plan activities around an outage, rather than be caught in the middle of a change in operations.
Experts point out that there are protocols for planned downtime that can help provide more clarity and information to both human users of technology and, in some cases, indirect user technologies such as Web crawlers. Coding Web pages in a way that shows temporary planned downtime is one example of a best practice around this kind of necessary change in status.