503 Service Unavailable For Old Product Id

We created a new store using 4.4.2 by manually importing products from the database of an old 2.x based store. All went extremely well because we kept the product_ids identical. The advantage is that old search engine links are still valid.

However we have run into an issue when we delete a product. Rather than getting a 404 error we get the dreaded 503 Service Unavailable screen. Any ideas on how we can cause a redirect instead of the 503 error?

For example, an old product URL was:


This product_id has been deleted from the store. I would at least like it to redirect to the main page of the new site. Normally, we would write an htaccess rule. However, there are hundreds of old links to products that are still in the store and they work perfectly. So, I only want to redirect if it is a 503 error.

What do the comments in the page say as to the error that is generating it? I.e. use your browser inspector to look at the Service Unavailable page (right click - select inspect). You will probably see a PHP style error message or exception with possible stack trace.

You can also check server error logs to find error message