‘down for maintenance’ page
design a nice ‘down for maintenance’ page for the different sites? There is a built-in capability of the capistrano deployment that allows you to take the site down and display that page (cap disable_web and then cap enable_web), so you can do the deployment. If we had a nice simple page, that fit their design, I think that would be a step that we should take before doing an actual deployment.
If the designed page included a space for a short description of the reason and when it is expected to be back up then the capistrano tasks can automatically insert that into the page (export REASON=“fix some bugs”; export UNTIL=“three weeks from now”; cap disable_web)