Guide to Buying Websites in 2023

how to buy a website

You can buy and sell a lot of things online today, and websites themselves are no exception, as a lot of people make money buying and selling online businesses of all scales. But how do you buy a website? And from where exactly? In this article, you will find everything you need to know about the subject, to make safe and profitable online purchases…

So, without further ado, here’s our detailed guide to buying websites in 2023

Why Buy a Website in the First Place?

As we have previously mentioned in more than one article, building a website from scratch is easier than ever these days- with the right tools, even the least inexperienced people can build a decent website for a reasonable price. Be that as it may, if you are looking to make money from your website, just building it will not be enough. You will have to invest a lot of time -and probably money too- before you start making any kind of money -let alone profit- from your website. (not to mention there is no guarantee that your website will be successful.)

So, instead of building a website and working on it, you may choose to do what a lot of people do- just find a successful website that is already bringing in money, purchase it, and start operating. You can think of it as an investment method. You can grow the website and sell it later to make a profit from buying & selling, or just keep it as a thriving business- and add others later! In addition to that, buying another website in your niche might be a great way of supporting your main website as well- with quality links, etc.

How to Decide on Which Website to Buy?

Deciding on which website to buy can be a challenging task. Here are some steps you can take to make an informed decision:

  • Define Your Goals and Objectives: Define your goals and objectives for the website you want to buy. Determine what type of website you need and what you want to achieve with it.
  • Research Potential Websites: Research potential websites that meet your goals and objectives. Look for websites that have a good reputation, high traffic, and a solid revenue stream.
  • Evaluate the Website’s Performance: Evaluate the website’s performance metrics, such as traffic, website revenue, engagement, and conversion rates. Use analytics tools to gain insight into the website’s performance and potential.
  • Assess the Website’s Design and Content: Assess the website’s design and content to determine if it meets your standards and requirements. Look for websites that have high-quality design, engaging content, and a user-friendly interface.
  • Check the Website’s SEO: Check the website’s SEO to determine if it has good visibility in search engine results. Look for websites that have a strong backlink profile, well-optimized content, and good rankings for relevant keywords.
  • Verify the Website’s Ownership and Legitimacy: Verify the website’s ownership and legitimacy to ensure that it is a legitimate business, website is safe and not a scam. Check for any red flags or warning signs, such as fake reviews or negative feedback from previous buyers.
  • Negotiate the Purchase Price and Terms: Negotiate the purchase price and terms with the seller. Get a professional appraisal of the website’s value and use this as a basis for your negotiations.

To get more information on different types of websites, you can check out our detailed article on 10 popular website types.

Where to Safely Purchase Websites?

No one wants to get scammed out of their money buying anything, and you obviously don’t want that to happen to you either. Online transactions can always be risky, so we strongly advise you to use trusted platforms when buying -or selling- websites, instead of trading directly with third persons.

This brings us to website marketplaces. Marketplaces are basically websites that bring together buyers and sellers that want to sell and/or purchase websites. They are run by experts, they offer secure services, they work with verified buyers and sellers, and of course, they offer support when you need it. And some of them provide helpful services that will make your job easier- such as website migration, brokerage, and legal services.

To learn more about this, please make sure to read our article about website marketplaces.

How to Buy a Website? – The Process of Purchasing a Website

Now you know where to purchase a website safely, it is time to talk about the actual process, which is fairly simple. Although there are different marketplaces and the process may differ slightly depending on which one you pick, more or less the general steps are the following:

  1. First of you need to create a user account in the marketplace
  2. After creating a user and getting through the necessary verifications, you can browse through the marketplace’s list and see what websites/online businesses are on sale currently. Some marketplaces do not share the URLs of the websites on sale before you unlock the listings. If that is the case, you have the option to unlock the listing to get more information, or directly buy the business by a bank wire. If you choose to unlock the listing first, you will get more information about the website -including its URL, reports, etc.- and you will also be able to communicate with its owner for your questions.
  3. You have the option to make offers to buy websites, and these offers can be lower than the listing price. Sellers can then accept these offers or come up with a counteroffer.
  4. In addition to the fixed price, some marketplaces also offer an auction format -such as Flippawhere an auction is held for the selling of a website for a limited amount of time, and during this time buyers simply bid on the website and the highest bidder wins. It is a commonly used method by sellers to reach a high price in a limited time.

Top Tips for Buying a Website

Here are a few golden tips that you should remember when buying a website:

Review the history of the site

How long the website has been running? What is its reputation? What are the competitors? Has it ever been banned for spam? These are some of the questions you should be asking yourself before making a final decision.

Make sure you do your due diligence

Due diligence is basically making sure the website you are getting is authentic, and you are making a secure & profitable purchase, with as little risk as possible. It is a way of double-checking the seller’s claims and looking for red flags that go against your investment criteria. You can do your due diligence yourself -as they are a lot of helpful website due diligence guides online- or, some marketplaces may do this for you with additional fees and detailed reports.

Choose a niche that you know about

You obviously want a profitable website, but choosing a niche that you know nothing about just because it seems like a good deal is usually not a good idea- especially if you are a beginner in buying & selling websites. Choosing a website from a niche you are more comfortable with will surely make things easier for you.

Examine the stats very carefully

When you are considering purchasing a website, you will be presented with a number of stats by the site owner, such as traffic, page views, bounce rate, etc. Make sure to double-check and see if these reflect the truth. You can basically ask them to add you to their Google Analytics as a view-only account to check for yourself.

Check its SEO details

It is important to know whether the website you are planning to buy is getting along with Google or not. You need to make sure SEO side looks good, and to that you can do a basic analysis of the site using some SEO tools, check its domain authority, check out where it gets its links from, etc. You may also want to check out where it ranks on important keywords.

Know how the website is monetized

There are a lot of different methods of monetizing a website, and understanding how a website is making its profit is very important before making the final decision- especially if you are buying this site as a part of a business, as opposed to a hobby. Check out if it is monetized by a method you are familiar with or not.

Know the total revenue & expenses

Revenue and expenses reports are among the most important things you should consider when buying an online business. Where does the revenue come from? How stable is the profit? What are the risks? Is the revenue diversified? What are the regular expenses? These are some of the questions you should be definitely asking before making a final decision.

Ask for short-term support from the first owner

It will be desirable if the seller can provide you with support for a certain period, just to make sure everything goes smoothly after the transition. Of course, they might not be offering this type of service, but if you can negotiate it, it will most definitely make things a lot easier for you.

F.A.Q – Purchasing a Website

Here are the commonly asked questions about purchasing a website:

Q: Who handles the migration after I purchase a website?

A: That depends. While some marketplaces offer migration services, -such as Empire Flippers- some don’t. So, depending on the marketplace you got your website from, you might need to handle the migration process.

Q: Can I return a website once I bought it if I change my mind?

A: This depends on the marketplace. Some marketplaces offer the option of return of the assets for a refund, provided the buyer and seller have reached a mutual agreement. Make sure to check the return & refund policy of the marketplace you are going to use.

Q: I cannot see the URLs of some websites that are on sale on marketplaces. Why?

A: Some marketplaces hide the URLs of the websites they list on sale for security purposes, as some people may want to copy the profitable websites, replicate their content, etc.  By unlocking the listing, you can get access to a website’s URL, as well as its detailed traffic reports. Having said that, some major marketplaces do not hide the URLs at all and list the websites directly.


Buying a website can be a really profitable investment, providing you make the right purchase. Now that you know what things to take into consideration before buying a website, you can find an online business that suits your needs and budget, and step into the market! Just remember to always make safe transactions using trusted platforms!