A Website’s Assets: Worth the Higher Cost?

By | March 16, 2012

It’s no secret that the more a website has under its control, the higher it will generally cost. This is the case for businesses and properties all across the world: the more value an entity controls, the more valuable the entity is. But is this a universal principle or simply an adage that is right some of the time?

Here at WebsiteBroker.com, we like to watch out for both website buyers and website sellers. But in this article, we’d like to focus on the website buyer’s point of view: is a site worth more because of certain assets, and if this is the case, why? Let’s break down the question into greater detail to give you a full context for what’s exactly going on here.

Defining the “Asset”

A website’s asset is not going to be the same as an asset that an individual owns. An individual might own a rental property in Florida as an asset; a website might have a unique content management system built right in. Defining the asset first and foremost will be key to understanding the true value of that asset.

It’s important that you beware of letting the website sellers always define the assets. They might tell you that they have a great content management system, for example, that makes posting to the site a cinch. But what they might not tell you is that the thing really never works the way it’s supposed to, or there’s an error in it that forbids you from having true flexibility with the site.

Whatever the asset, be clear not only of its value, but of its quality – and whether or not you’ll even have use for it. It’s not worth it to buy a site with a CMS, for example, if you’re bent on providing one of your own.

Tossing Assets Aside

Sometimes, you’ll realize that a website’s sole “asset” is the domain name it’s listed on. Whatever the owner has to say about their shopping cart, their blog readership, you’ll have to trust one person in this interaction: yourself. So be willing to toss assets aside and outright tell the website owner if they’re not worth much to you. Oftentimes, the website owner will be smart enough to realize you’re right and can lower the price accordingly.

Of course, that doesn’t always mean you want to toss aside a website’s selling points willy-nilly. Be willing to explore them, to ask the owner about them, and, if possible, to check them out yourself.

Ponying Up for Better Assets

A website might have a lot going for it, but its true value will be in whether or not you are interested in a site’s assets. Does a website already come with a fully-functional shopping cart? Is a content management system already installed, or will you have to do that yourself? These little “assets” can go a long way in making a site more valuable, so ask yourself what you’re willing to pay for and change your bid accordingly.