To the outsider, it would seem like the process of selling a domain would be the same as selling a website, but there are more things to take into consideration when selling a website than a domain. For one, the value of a domain can be determined without accessing proprietary information that a website hides behind a password. Domain value is calculated differently from one online calculator to the next and a professional appraisal will incorporate additional factors not considered by any algorithm. But, those factors plus a bunch of other ones come into play for calculating a website’s worth.

Domain Value Factors

Whether we’re talking about an online tool or a human, a variety of external factors lend to determing a domain’s worth. They include but are not limited to:

  1. Age
  2. Back Links
  3. Alexa ranking
  4. Domain length
  5. Value of keywords
  6. Number of words in domain
  7. Correct spelling
  8. Presence or lack of hyphens and numerals
  9. Domain extension
  10. Traffic

These factors can be determined by an online tool, but the professional pools them with his/her own formulation which could include industry news or trends, memorability of domain name, ease of branding, etc.

Website Value Factors

If you’ve ever plugged your own website into website value calculators, you’ve probably noticed that some of the data is way off. Websites have other (additional) valuable factors domains do not:

  1. Actual monthly income
  2. Type of website (ecommerce more valuable than information only website)
  3. Newsletter subscription list
  4. Pageviews
  5. Page Rank

Calculators won’t show your actual website income. They will display a value that is based on your traffic, the keyword value, and the potential for ad revenue. If you are monetizing your website in other ways, these won’t be taken into consideration, i.e. ebook sales, sales through your newsletter, memberships, actual product sales, etc. That’s why your records showing the income of your website over the past year will be very helpful in ensuring you can sell your website for its real value.

Different types of websites will sell for more money. On average, the monthly income is multiplied by 24 to 36 months.

Realistically, if you want to get the most accurate portrayal of either, having a professional do an evaluations is far more reliable. You wouldn’t want to underprice your domain or website due to faulty data and you’re much more likely to get your asking price for either when it is backed up by documentation. A professional domain appraisal can be done in as little as 2 days. A website evaluation will go quickly if you have all of your records in order to provide the evaluator.

Theresa Happe works with a site offering tools to make selling a domain easy include listing services, domain appraisals, and broker assistance.