Purchasing a website and domain comes with many considerations. From your chosen domain name and choosing between the services provided by the hosting company to answers over buying new or existing domains, digital due diligence is required.
In this guide, I will highlight the factors involved when considering how to buy a website and domain.
How to buy a website and domain
Your website is your online home. When building a cross-channel identity, your online presence benefits from linking back to a structured site with excellent UX and UI. If a click directs the user to a landing page that doesn’t satisfy the query, or if the page looks dated or is hard to navigate, users will exit the search and conversion funnel. But what does this have to do with domain names?
Finding a suitable website and domain adds market credibility to your brand, and is, therefore, part of due diligence related to site purchase considerations. In brief, the perfect domain can help prevent – or fix – potential leaks in the funnel.
How to buy a website and domain in three basic steps:
- Access a domain checker
- Search for your desired domain
- Add your selection to the basket and progress to the payment method section
That’s it. Purchasing a domain is quick and simple.
What’s more important is what to look for when buying a website. In this section, we will cover what to look for when buying a new website (we will look at how to purchase claimed domains in the next section)
My new site purchase due diligence considerations include:
- Avoid trademarked words or phrases
- Is your domain name available on social media?
- Avoid unmemorable or hard to pronounce words
- Avoid numbers and hyphens that may confuse users
- Avoid a domain name that uses any current hype words
- Study your target audience – understand & meet visitor expectations
- Consider registering similar domains (is your brand name easily misspelt?)
- Choose a domain name extension that resonates with your audience (e.g., ‘.com’ is the most popular domain extension, but ‘.store’ is s creative e-commerce solution)
The domain I want is already taken – What can I do?
There are several ways to buy a website and domain that is already taken. For example, you may wish to access website marketplaces and search for listings. Alternatively, you might want to speak to a website broker if you have narrowed down your acquisition wish list.
However, please note that brokers are employed by sellers, so you can expect a hard sell.
For most people, buying a website and domain that is already taken means carrying out due diligence and speaking directly to the owner. Unbiased due diligence can remove you from the sales funnel and position you as an ‘angel investor’ where a site could benefit from the merger or acquisition.
Due diligence on claimed domains is an essential part of purchasing third-party digital assets.
How to buy a profitable website (ensuring you can make money):
Our due diligence for website and domain purchases includes:
- Design (UX & UI)
Visitors expect a UX & UI in fitting with the highest-ranking competition. A poor design means the site requires investment (this should be negotiated in the sale).
- Keyword Ranking
Software such as Google Analytics and SEMrush can analyse landing pages and check keyword profiles to ensure ranking is based on targeted keywords.
- Historic Site Penalties
Owners of sites that have been penalised for black-hat SEO tactics may be eager to offload the domain – due diligence includes checking for any unspent penalties.
- Domain Authority (and other industry metrics)
The site’s DA score (0 – 100) predicts how well a site is likely to perform – or rank – in SERPs. A high DA score is a signal that the site is well-optimised, and should not be overlooked when considering questions such as how to buy a profitable website.
- Social Media Presence
A poor social media presence means touchpoints are overlooked through low-quality content. Investment is needed in high-quality content that is relevant and sharable.
- Understand Demographics
The current TLD, content styles, and choice of channels should all be reflected in your demographics. Understanding demographics can help boost visibility.
How should I host my website after buying a domain?
Purchasing a domain is the first step toward gaining online visibility. Without a host, your domain cannot be accessed. Next, we must consider how to host a website after buying a domain:
- Choose a hosting provider
A domain is a website name. Hosting simply means the server on which your website is stored and accessed. Domain registrars typically offer hosting facilities. However, you can switch to a different host where sign up benefits and features better suit your needs.
- Select a plan
Your ideal hosting plan will offer the disk space and bandwidth you need at cost-effective rates. As your site grows, you may require a more in-depth hosting plan that offers greater configuration controls to accommodate site traffic.
Do you know how to evaluate the hosting requirements of your site? Are you likely to be drawn to lower or higher prices without understanding the difference in service? If you do not know the answers to the main issues, you may not be in a position to host a website after purchasing the domain. Prior digital due diligence is required.
- Is the host server reliable?
If users cannot access your site due to server issues, you may need a new host. Hosting servers that cannot promise an uptime guarantee of above 99% may not offer the best hosting solution for your company.
- Does the host offer relevant database services?
Different websites have different database requirements. For example, WordPress sites (and sites powered by other major CMS solutions) typically work with MySQL. Asking database questions at an early stage prevents disruption down the line.
- Bandwidth scalability & support
Depending on foreseeable site expansion needs, your domain may benefit from bandwidth scalability and 24/7 support from the host.
- Does the host provide SSL certificates?
SSL certificates are essential if you plan to process customer information such as payment details. While some hosts offer free certificates, the service is not assured and due diligence is needed in selecting an accommodating host or sourcing separate certificates.
- Does the host offer an email service?
Some hosts offer a limited email service. If you don’t know how to judge your email requirements and how to ask your host about the services available, we can help.
I can help answer questions over hosting budget, traffic expectations, data storage requirements, and the overall type of site you need. Get in touch today for more information.
Remember, your initial phone consultation is FREE, and you could begin to see the benefits of my digital due diligence before you buy a new or existing domain.