Content Sites typically have the following assets that must be transferred once a sale occurs and funds are secured within escrow.
In most cases, you will set up or have your own hosting provider containing the website. The hosting provider account doesn’t need to be transferred; the items within the provider, like the website and domain, need to be transferred.
If the buyer is taking over the whole hosting account, confirm with the hosting provider that it’s possible to update the billing details within the account and simply share the username and password, ensuring these details are updated afterward so that the seller can not access the account.
Domain names are managed by a registrar. This can be a separate company from the hosting provider but may also be the same. For example, GoDaddy is both a registrar and a hosting company.
The domain name must be transferred from one registrar to another or within the same registrar.
These steps are as follows.
- Confirm with the seller that they have initiated the transfer process from their end.
- The buyer will begin the transfer process with the new registrar, providing the domain name and the authorization code (EPP code) obtained from the seller.
- Approve any transfer requests or emails sent by the new registrar.
- Await Completion, as the transfer process typically takes 5-7 days.
- Update DNS (if applicable): Once complete, update the domain's nameservers to point to your website's hosting provider.
DNS (Domain Name System):
DNS contains a set of rules related to the website, like where the files for the site are hosted and where email should be processed.
The domain registrar’s role is to point out which DNS to use. It’s essential to make sure that DNS servers are updated to the new hosting provider.
Website content typically consists of all text, images, and video that make up the site. The format of this content and how it’s transferred will depend on the CMS or code used to build the site.
WordPress sites that account for the majority of content sites on the internet will be able to be backed up and sent over to the buyer in the form of zipped files and a database that then needs to be restored. WordPress also has several plugins that manage backup and restore.
We recommended talking with your hosting provider and asking them the best way to restore a WordPress site. They will have detailed guides related to their particular environment and, in some cases, will provide a migration service for free where they will help set up the site as part of opening an account.
Ad accounts are connected to content sites to place ads within the site and build a revenue stream. Each Ad account provider will have different processes for transferring these. It will either set up a new ad ID to be updated on the site or transfer the current ad ID between accounts.
During the transfer, it’s essential to consider the payout schedules of the different platforms to understand if the buyer or seller will be getting the upcoming payment.
Here are some of the popular providers:
Note: As these are external providers, it’s important to always confirm the correct transfer process with the provider at the time of transfer.
Transferring an AdSense account directly from one person to another is not possible. Google's Terms of Service strictly prohibit account sharing or transferring ownership.
Premium accounts can be transferred, Non-premium accounts cannot be transferred, and a new owner will need to register for a new account and engage with their support team.
Mediavine accounts are not transferrable, and their processes must be followed in order to avoid any negative impact on the account.
Amazon Affiliate Program will assign IDs to publishers within their accounts. These IDs can’t be transferred, and instead, a buyer must apply for their account at https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/. While submitting the details of the site, let them know you are buying the site and are the new owner.
Other affiliate accounts that could be used by a content site are ShareASale, Impact, GoAffpro, Refersion, and Affiliately, to name a few.
GA Properties are transferred between Google accounts. The process here is that a new owner/administrator will need to be set up within the account. Once the buyer has full access, they can remove the seller from the account.
Each social network will have its process for transferring the account, and there are often 2-factor transfer processes that must be followed. It’s advised to set a time for both the buyer and seller to be online to speed up this process while using time-sensitive codes.
It is often a matter of updating the email address connected to the social media account. If the account email is on the same domain as the asset being sold, then taking over the email address will also provide access to the social media account.
All 2-factor authentication will need to be removed and configured again, for example, SMS or an Authentication account like Google Authenticator.