Buying a website business online can be slightly intimidating. In fact, buying anything online can be intimidating if you have never done it before. Whether you are buying a turnkey website or a teddy bear for your granddaughter, you never see the seller face-to-face and must rely on consumer review websites to determine if a purchase is a good idea.
The first quick signs of a good retailer is if they have a way to reach them via their website, they have a good selection of different niche websites, and the domain name of the turnkey website seller is older than a year or two (this indicates that their business practices are honest and what is promised is delivered, thus keeping them in business longer than a few months). Click here to read more about how you can find an honest turnkey website seller.
The first step to purchasing a website business is probably the most natural part of the purchasing process. This step involves the buyer (you) authorising a transaction through an online payment gateway or sending money the old-fashioned way, through a money order. (Take note that money orders are the safest and most reliable way to send money off-line. Cashier checks, especially checks drawn on banks you are unfamiliar with, are not full-proof secure and sometimes may be fraudulent.) But with that disclaimer aside, I prefer to use online payment gateways (PayPal is my preferred method, Google Checkout a close second) to send money when purchasing turnkey website businesses.
The payment process will be a bit different depending on if you use Google Checkout, PayPal, or another online payment gateway. However, there are some common elements to all online check-out procedures: You will need to enter your information (name, credit card number, etc.) or you can sign-in if you already have an account with the payment processor (PayPal, Google Checkout, etc.) After you submit your information, you will usually go to a payment confirmation screen. Once you confirm your purchase, you will receive a confirmation message to the email address you entered in during the check-out process (or the email address you have associated with your existing account that you logged in with). The seller will also receive an email notifying them that a payment has been received, the amount, and the item number or product name.
Using payment systems like PayPal, Google Checkout, or Moneybookers is merely an easy, quick, and secure way to transfer money online. Like Visa and other large credit card companies, these online money transfer systems are built with a high level of security and send your information through securely encrypted channels to ensure your privacy. If you use a service like PayPal or Google Checkout, you can be assured that your money and information will be safe.
The second step takes place once you hear back from the turnkey website seller. Do not consider a sales confirmation from PayPal or another payment gateway company to be an actual response from the company. Companies usually respond within 24 business hours; some respond within just several hours, and some may take longer depending on time difference and sales volume. If you feel the time to get a response has been too long, don’t hesitate to contact the company via email or on their website contact form.
When you do hear from the company, the email will most likely contain information for these four important next steps:
- How to update your affiliate program link information
- How the domain transfer process will work
- How to login to your cPanel
- What type of hosting is offered
(If you purchase your website from a reputable turnkey website retailer like ABC Design Studio, you should receive domain name and hosting for free or at a discounted rate. Click here to browse ABC Design Studio’s turnkey website businesses.)
You should carefully read this email and the instructions so you fully understand what is required of you so you can take ownership of your business. Don’t wait too long and don’t hesitate to ask questions if you need to. However, keep in mind that a turnkey website broker, no matter how reputable, cannot be held responsible for your lack of action!
Many of the things that you will need to do are a sign up for affiliate accounts (like Google AdSense, Commission Junction, or ClickBank) This process can take some time depending on how many affiliate programs your new turnkey website uses. If you are not computer-savvy, and your website links to multiple affiliate programs that are confusing for you, expect to spend 1-2 hours to complete your affiliate program accounts and to send an email back to the seller with your affiliate account information. Some companies have you submit your information via a form, which is more secure than an email. However, both options work just fine.
The seller company will probably also give you instructions on how to set-up an account at a domain retailer like GoDaddy or HostGator. This is because, after your website is set-up and updated, you will need to take ownership of the domain name. The easiest way to do this is to transfer ownership from the seller to you through a common domain seller website service such as GoDaddy.
The third step to this process happens after you receive an email from the turnkey website company letting you know the affiliate program link integration is complete, your hosting account is set-up, and your domain name has been transferred to you. If the company you bought from uses GoDaddy – the biggest online retailer for domain names and digital domain related products – then you will have to log-in to your GoDaddy account to accept the transfer.
After you accept the domain name transfer, your website has been successfully turned over to you. You can verify your ownership by visiting http://www.whois.net and typing in your website domain name. Do allow for a little bit of time for the WhoIs database to update its records. WhoIs may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to reflect changes in website ownership.
After you have received ownership of the domain by following the steps outlined by the turnkey website seller or the domain company (GoDaddy, HostGator, etc.) – and you have verified ownership with WhoIs – you are now the official owner and operator of a website business!
Of course, your work is not done. This is just the beginning of your journey in using a turnkey website business to make money online. The next steps are marketing, promotion, and learning how to bring targeted traffic to your site, which I will cover in future articles.
When it comes to the turnkey website purchasing experience, every company is different. However, there are certain common themes in the purchasing process. If at any time you are unsure of what you must be doing or do not know how to finalise your website’s ownership transfer to you, never hesitate to contact the company you purchase from.
The more information you have and the better you understand how the website buying process works, the more comfortable and confident you will feel with the decision you have made – to become an Internet entrepreneur and work for yourself.