How to sell a website ?

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your site, it’s tempting to simply jump on Flippa and list it on the spot. “Why wait?” you might think. “There’s no time like the present!”

But the truth is that if you’re going to get the best price for your property, a little legwork will go a long way.

There’s nothing worse than listing your site for sale, only to have prospective buyers respond that it seems buggy, or that key functionality’s on the fritz. It’s embarrassing, too, to find you’re unable to respond to buyers’ requests for proof of your claims about the site because you haven’t got the data together.

And of course, you’ll want to be around to answer questions as they’re asked. Listing a site for sale isn’t a set-and-forget proposition. If you’re going to sell for the ideal price, you’ll need to be transparent about the information you provide, and answer questions swiftly. In this chapter, we’ll look at each of these considerations in turn. We’ll see how they can affect your site’s selling price—and ease the burden of selling a website.

Consider the competition
Flippa1 is the biggest online marketplace for buying and selling websites. While that means a lot of prospective buyers will see your listing, it also means you face a lot of competition in selling your site.

Good preparation can form part of your competitive advantage on Flippa. It will help you quickly provide accurate information about your site, and back it up in a way that builds your credibility with buyers. Ultimately, good preparation can help you sell your site faster, for a better price, to a buyer you’re happy with.

Make sure your site is working
The first step in sale preparation is to make sure your site is working. It sounds elementary, doesn’t it? After all, we expect that if our sites weren’t working, we’d know all about it. But don’t check this item off your to-do list just yet, or you might miss some important considerations.

You may think that your users would alert you if there were any problems on the site, but don’t take a lack of reported bugs as an indication that everything’s working as it should. A potential buyer is likely to give your site a very thorough going over. They’ll be on the lookout for issues that they can use to negotiate a lower sale price, or that might help them narrow down their list of potential purchases. So be sure to get in first and clear up any problems like these:

security warnings
First of all, make sure that your site’s security certificates are up to date. If they’re not, potential buyers may see warnings that tell them the certificate is invalid—never a good look. This doesn’t just alarm prospective buyers: it can lead them to question your credibility from the get-go. In any case, it makes you look less than professional, which can turn serious buyers off very quickly.

buggy functionality
From contact forms to discount codes, make sure all the site’s functionality is working as expected. No one wants to buy a site that they know has functionality issues. If they do, they’re going to want to pay far less for it than if everything was working as it should. If you’d prefer not to spend time on known issues, it’s a good idea to mention that in your listing, but be aware that it will probably affect the final price of your site.

broken links and images
Broken links, 404 errors, and missing images make you look careless and your site look neglected. From a buyer’s perspective, that doesn’t bode well for your site’s ability to engage its audience—few web users will hang around on a site that displays broken images and dead links. Make sure all these elements are working, and you’ll be in a better position to command a good price for your site.

flaky stats and ancillary functionality
If you’ve pasted code into your pages to facilitate user tracking—perhaps for statistical or affiliate commission purposes—take the time to make sure the code is correct on each page, and that the data is being collected and stored successfully. Similarly, ensure plugins, widgets, and third-party apps and code are all functioning as they should.

loading speed issues
Make sure your site loads as quickly as possible. As we all know, loading speed issues can take time to diagnose and correct. If your site’s slow to load, you can expect buyers to offer less for it than if it were lightning fast.

erroneous redirects
Do the different versions of your domain name (,, and, for example) display the pages you intend them to? Your Flippa listing will reflect domain redirects, even in the stats it automatically gathers. So if your listing for redirects to, the latter is the domain potential buyers will see. Make sure your domain’s working and any redirects are as you intend them to be; again, this will affect your credibility and the ultimate sale price you can expect for your site.

Collate records for revenue, costs, and claims
Once you’ve cleared up any technical issues on your site, the next step is to make sure you can back up all the claims you make in your Flippa listing. Your listing gives you the opportunity to disclose a range of information about your site, from your site’s establishment date, to traffic levels and revenues earned. Flippa also automatically collates and displays publicly available information about your site, including its PageRank2 and Alexa rank,3 plus BuiltWith,4 SEMRush,5 Copy-

Scape,6 and backlink data. The astute buyer will ask to see evidence of these claims, so before you list your site for sale, take the time to collate the information that supports each one:

Financial claims
Compile historical data on the real costs of running your site, and the revenues it’s generated over time. Buyers will also want to see evidence of the revenue sources and costs themselves. At the very least, take screenshots of this information so that you can provide it to buyers as required. And be prepared to offer a screenshare session (using a service like TeamViewer7 or Skype8) to verify your stats live if required.

Traffic data
A screenshot of your basic traffic graph won’t be enough for many buyers. Pull together historical data that shows traffic growth over time, and reveals how different traffic sources have contributed to that growth. You might even annotate your data to show where certain promotions or other events impacted your traffic levels.
flippa logo2

Analytics, stat!
If you’re not using Google Analytics9 yet, install it as soon as possible. Some buyers will only consider sites that provide Verified Google Analytics (which we’ll discuss later), and even if you’ve left it a bit late to start collecting stats, it’s better to have a little data than none at all.

Site longevity
The age of a site is important to buyers. Showing them evidence of the date you registered or bought the domain, and perhaps pointing them to versions of your site saved in the Wayback Machine,10 is a good starting point for proving your site’s longevity. This goes for financials, too; include as many months or years of financial data as you can, even if some of the data are estimates. Sites with more detailed history tend to sell for better prices.

Make time to sell
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it’s a good idea to make time in your schedule—including weekends—to manage the sale itself. When you list your site on Flippa, it’ll be seen by thousands of prospective buyers, all of whom can send you queries using Private Messages, or through the comments section of your listing.

You’ll be surprised by the variety and depth of questions buyers come up with as they research your website. Some of these questions might require you to do some research, seek advice from others, or even make adjustments to the site itself (if, for example, a would-be buyer points out a bug you missed when you combed the site for errors).

For these reasons, it’s a good idea to set time aside each day of your sale or auction to check for contacts from prospective buyers, and respond to them. Block out this time in your diary, but remember that if the questions are detailed, you might need even more time in order to answer buyers effectively. If you have specific time

commitments (like a job), or you don’t like working late, make clear in the listing the hours you’ll be available to answer questions. Bear in mind that Flippa has an international userbase, so you can expect to receive questions at any hour of the day or night.

Make time … on the go
If you have a smartphone, it’s a good idea to log in to your Flippa account from your phone so that you can answer questions and monitor bidding on the go. The time you spend managing your sale or auction—responding to questions, communicating with bidders, and generally engaging with the people who read your listing—will pay off. The more comfortable buyers are with you, the more likely they are to want to work with you. The less friendly, approachable, or responsive you are, the harder it will be for you to attract the right buyer at the right price.

Pulling it all together
Properly preparing to list your site on Flippa is a great idea. Yes, it will take a little time to confirm the correct functioning of your site and pull together all the information you need to make your Flippa listing complete. But as we’ve seen in this chapter, it will give you a big advantage over the competition. It puts you in a better position to back up the claims you make in your Flippa listing. It’ll save you time when it comes to answering questions from potential buyers. And it helps you to present your site as top quality, and yourself as a professional. All this adds up to a better price for your site, and who doesn’t want that? In the next chapter, we’ll use the information you’ve collated as we build your Flippa listing, and launch your sale or auction to the world.

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