I was asked recently how someone could “flip” a WordPress website. Flipping a website is a term used to indicate selling a website you have created to someone and delivering to them everything they need. The end result is that someone else now has full control over a website you created. In a traditional old school website this would consist of zipping up all of the HTML files, sending them to the buyer to install on their server, and transferring the domain name. WordPress (being a CMS style website) is a little more complicated. This article will endeavor to walk you through the steps to “flip” your site.
- The first step of course is to find a buyer. There are a number of websites dedicated to connecting website owners with buyers. A couple are: Flippa.com and WebSiteBroker.com
- Once you have a buyer you need to deliver the goods. With a WordPress website, the meat of the site is held in a MySQL database. You will need to create a file that has all of the information from the database. On your WordPress dashboard under Tools there is a link labeled Export. Selecting this will allow you to create this file and download it to your computer.
- The other thing that the buyer will need to setup their copy of the website are all of the files that make up WordPress, the theme and the plugins that present the website. I recommend that they do this by doing a fresh install of WordPress on there host. You would provide a them the theme that you used and a list of plugins that you used. They can either install the same theme and plugins or change them as they see fit if they want to give the website a fresh look. Their choice.
- Once they have this new installation of WordPress ready, they would go to Tools / Import on their dashboard and import the database file that you had previously exported.
- Assuming they used the same theme and plugins their new site should look the same as your old site. Now the faithful followers of your old site need to be able to find it in the new location. When the buyer setup their hosting, they were given a couple of name server addresses. You need to go into your domain registration control panel at whatever registrar you used and change the DNS Nameserver records to point at the buyer’s addresses. There are usually two so that there is a backup if the primary nameserver is don for maintenance.
- Almost done. The last (but very important!) step is to transfer official title to the domain name to the buyer. You need to give your domain registrar all of the contact information for the buyer and inform them that ownership of the domain name is now held by them. Once the domain name transfer is done you will have no access to the site.
- Once you have verified with the buyer that they are fully operation, you can go into your hosting account and delete the files from your old site. No one can see them anymore.
If the theme you were using (like Socrates) is licensed, you will need to transfer that license to the new owner or let them know that they will have to buy a license depending on the terms of the sale. The same thing goes with any premium plugins that you might have been using. If you have an opt-in on the site, you will need to determine if the list is sold with the site. The new buyer should edit the opt-in to point to whatever list management service (i.e. Aweber, MailChimp, etc) they prefer.
If I left anything out or you have any questions on this process, please let me know using the comment feature below.