Buying an Existing Website for Your Online Business

Buying an existing website — to expand your online business – can be smart thing to do. In the real world, businesses buy other businesses all the time. Taking over an existing website can be somewhat tricky, because there are many things you need to think about.

As said before, taking over an existing website (with website we mean with all the content, not just the domain name) can be a smart thing to do. So what are the pros and cons of buying an existing website?

Pros:

  • The website is already ‘up and running.’
  • Almost all have an existing client base.
  • The content is most likely already known by the search engines.
  • If it doesn’t work out as expected, it can be sold on.
  • Faster success than starting a similar website from scratch.

Cons:

  • You must pay (sometimes a large amount) for the website
  • Additional costs i.e. lawyers, website transfer, etc
  • Need time for thorough research on which opportunities there are available

As said in the cons, you need to do thorough research before you make an offer. We have split buying process in three stages:

Stage 1: Determine which websites are interesting to takeover.
Amount of unique visitors (try to reach an agreement with the webmaster of the website to get access to Google analytics statistics.)

  • Take a look at Alexa statistics of the website.
  • Number of page-views.
  • Age of the domain (age helps with ranking)
  • Name of the domain (company.com is not good,
  • Number of pages (search different search engines)
  • Number of incoming links.
  • Which content management system they use.
  • Ranking (Isn’t the site blacklisted for instance?)
  • What changes can be made to the site to make it better (and how much time it will cost.)
  • What are people saying about the site? (Is it positive?)

Stage 2: Owner is willing to sell and things a contract should contain.
The takeover contract should at least contain the following things: (Note: always get legal help or advice. A lawyer isn’t cheap, but a lawyer can prevent you for a lot of trouble.)

  • Domain must be transfer to your name.
  • Hosting contract must be transferred to you name.
  • Copyright, etc, must be transferred to you.
  • Amount you will pay of course.
  • Try to get at least a few weeks of support from the former owner.

Stage 3: After the takeover.

  • Renew all passwords (OS and Databases.)
  • Check for backdoors.

Help us to complete the list
We know that we must forgetting things, so help us to complete the list and leave a comment. All the help is welcome!

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