Transferring Assets from Website Seller to Website Buyer

August 25, 2013  |   How to Buy & Sell Websites   |     |   Comments Off on Transferring Assets from Website Seller to Website Buyer

The last thing a website buyer wants after transferring funds into escrow is for something to go wrong during the transfer of website assets over to her account.

Website downtime is not good for visitors to the website. It gives the website a reputation for poor customer service. Downtime also often hurts the search engine ranking of the website and thus reduces the value of the website asset that the buyer just acquired.

Website files are stored on a server at a website hosting company. The buyer has a number of options to ensure a smooth transfer of website files to her account.

1. The simplest option, of course, would be for the buyer to take over the seller’s hosting account which already holds all the files in the right structure. In this way, the buyer simply changes the seller’s account information such as contact and payment information. This is ideal when the seller has only one website in the hosting account.

However, in cases where the seller has multiple websites hosted on the same account, this option may not be feasible. Also, some hosting companies do not allow such a change of ownership.

2. Website Hosting companies are in the business of seeking new clients in order to host new websites. As such, most hosting companies are more than happy to have the buyer set up a new account with them and the hosting company handles the transfer of website files from the seller’s account to the buyer’s new account within their system. This is a highly recommended option if available.

3. If the buyer must move the files to a different hosting company, then it is best to spend a few dollars and have this done by a professional. It is worth the money to avoid the downtime and any harm that could be done to the website files and search engine ranking. The destined hosting account must also have the appropriate features and space to comfortably handle the new website files transferred to it.

Planning early is paramount here. As a website buyer, ask questions early on about the seller’s hosting situation in order to come up with a plan for transferring the files smoothly. You want your new website business to run without disruption while it is being transferred over to your account.


Kris Tabetando provides mergers & acquisitions (M&A) advisory and brokerage services to Internet companies. He also partners with investors to acquire & manage Internet businesses.

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