So your considering buying a business or have bought a business that includes a website ~ Great! However, as the old saying goes “Caution Buyer Beware”
For many, buying a business is a totally new, exciting and sometimes a daunting adventure. In many cases, one of the attractions of the business purchase is the fact that it includes a fully functioning website.
Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more new clients who have bought a business that includes a website, only to find out a little later down the track that they don’t have full control or access to many things they need.
Due diligence is required and if you are looking to buy a business that includes a website then here are a few critical steps you should check. The below list is not exhaustive, but a good start for some simple due diligence checks.
Personally, I would recommend that you have a web design specialist cast their eyes over the website before you buy. If the website is a major part of the business purchase, then this is an absolute must, so they can delve into more detail and ensure your are totally covered and will have full access to the website.
So here are the very basics you need to check:
1. Website Log-in Details
Make sure you obtain full login details to the backend of the website, so you or a web design company can access and make changes to the website in the future. This information should contain a login username and password.
2. Domain Name
It’s important before you make your purchase you check the Whois database and make sure the current owner’s who is selling the business that includes the website, in fact, matches up.
You will need to be in full control of your Domain Name. The registrant details and other contacts associated with the Domain name will also need to be updated and the ownership transferred. The domain transfer is free of cost in most of the cases, however, there is a cost associated with the change in ownership.
Not having this information correct and up to date, as well as totally in your control can be very painful later on. One, of the many important reasons for this, is you want to be notified ahead of time when the Domain name is close to expiry, so you can renew it in a timely fashion. If you don’t someone else could buy your Domain name!
You should also obtain the details of who is currently hosting the website, when the hosting expires, the hosting specifications and all the relevant settings associated with setting up any emails associated or connected to the Domain Name.
If content is a major factor of the website, make sure the content is unique on the web and not simply copied off of another website by using www.copyscape.com.
5. Google Analytics & Search Console Log-ins
Again, you should request login details to obtain access to Google analytics and the Google Search Console accounts to see the relevant information and history yourself.
Of course, if all of the above is still a little ‘jiberish and daunting’ to you the feel free to contact Clark Marketing & Design and we would be happy to do some basic checks and provide the relevant advice!