Websites are businesses. We inform our clients that businesses are worth the current value of future cash flows. Now what they actually sell for is what someone is willing to pay for it but what it’s worth, is the sum total of future cash discounted by inflation, the cost of capital and risk to a figure that can be computed in today’s dollars. We didn’t make this up. This is how its done.

You may be asking yourself, “what about the good will, the brand, the customers, the content, the software?”. Even those assets must at some point in the future turn into cash. Otherwise they wouldn’t be assets. Businesses are started to turn a profit. So the more accurately you can predict that profit and the associated risks, the more accurate your appraisal will become.

This “what is my website worth” calculator is free and here to help you think through some tough issues. Please contact one of our brokers if you would like to schedule a free consultation to learn about your options to sell your site. If you are a buyer and you are trying to analyze your return on a purchase, you should be using the net present value calculator.

We are sure you’ve heard of the “time value of money” concept. We’ll do the math but you have to chose a discount rate and risk adjustment for the calculation to happen. Please click the help icons for detailed explanations on each. If you still aren’t sure, we strongly recommend the use of our default 10% figures.

This is the most straight forward of the fields on the form. Just enter what you want to pay for the site or what you think you can sell it for.

The discount rate has its name because it will ‘discount’ your future cash flow to determine what its worth in todays dollars. There are a few ways to determine the right rate to use. One would be to use your country’s current rate of inflation. If you are borrowing money to fund your business, it's the interest rate you will be paying. We recommend using the minimum return that you would expect on any other investment. In other words, if you think you could earn 10% playing the stock market, just enter 10%. We think the best business decision is to think about it as “what is the cash worth to me?”. When you take that attitude, you’ll probably end up at least at 10%.

As an example, $10,000 earned next year at a 10% discount rate is only $9000 today. $10,000 earned 2 years from now is worth only $8100 today because it’s discounted twice at 10%. That's the entire point of this exercise. What is the asset worth in today's dollars?

For further reading, check out Wikipedia's article on discounted cash flow.

We feel that this is the most important element to focus on. In its most basic sense, the risk factor just adds onto the discount rate. So, if you enter a 20% risk factor and you have the discount rate set at 10%, you have a combined discounted cash flow of 30%.

Most financial analysis formulas don't include a risk factor but we feel it's imperative here. There are inherent risks in operating a website. If you can accurately identify those risks and the percentage chance that everything could go horribly wrong, you'll have a competitive advantage. To put another way, he who most accurately identifies the risk, wins.

One of the most common questions we get asked is "what happens if the site loses all of its Google rankings"? Well, if you can calculate the chance of that happening, you can just factor it in. Different search terms are more competitive than others. If the site you are looking at selling is about insurance, it should have a higher number in the risk factor than one about dalmatian puppies because there are so many more sites going after insurance terms.

How old is the site? How many terms does the site rank for? How many inbound links does the site currently have? These are all questions you have to ask yourself when determining the risk. For us, we see sites that are low risk where we would recommend a 10% risk factor and we see sites that are high risk and we’d want you to put a number as high as 50%. We strongly encourage you to put at least 10% in this field. We’d put 10% on Facebook or Google stock. This is the internet we are talking about.

Simply put, the combined Discount and Risk factors.

Annual Revenue is pretty straight forward but should be carefully considered. Just enter what you anticipate the revenue to be each year that you will own the site.

When we use this tool ourselves, we'll first want to see what the value will look like just entering in the site's current revenue and expenses every year. Then after we've digested the numbers, we'll start playing with them. Before we make a decision on whether to sell or not, we'll often fill out this form and change the revenue and expense numbers dozens of times, if not more.

Annual Expenses follows the same rules as annual revenue. Try it with different numbers. See what the value comes out at by increasing the expenses to improve the site or double down on seo services. Take a look at what would happen if you lowered expenses. Try as many different combinations as you can to help you make the decision and plan accordingly.

Sale Price. As any savvy investor will tell you, never start a business or buy one without an exit strategy. You should know in advance what you think you will eventually liquidate for and when you expect that to happen.

If you are buying the site purely for cash flow and you anticipate the cash flow remaining constant then you might want to enter the same amount you are paying for the site. However, that's rarely how things play out. The truth is whatever number you put there will be discounted by the discount rate and the risk factor mentioned above. So the same dollar figure in the future is not the same amount today. You will need to increase the value to get he same amount back.

Most buyers will adjust the revenue and expenses in future years in order to grow the site and then apply a simple multiple of revenue in this section. That works just fine for the exercise. It’s alright to price a site on a multiple. Just keep in mind that when you are buying a site, we are looking for the net present value of that future sales price.

If you have gotten this far and you have completed the form, and you see a positive number, you are creating wealth and it can be argued that you should do the deal. If you are seeing a negative number, you should not do the deal as you would be destroying wealth.

The NPV is what the deal is worth with all factors considered. The number is the number. If the NPV is $5000 than you are creating $5000 in wealth to do the deal. It is amazing how easy it makes the decision process.

The only reason to not do a deal with a positive NPV is lack of capital. Assuming that it does not cost you a bigger NPV deal, you are just looking for a positive number. If you do find yourself in the lucky position of comparing two positive NPV deals, you should use the internal rate of return to help you make the decision. You really need both numbers to be satisfying and if the NPVs are equal you should go with the deal that has the higher IRR and vice-versa.

We hope that by this point you understand that the real challenge is in correctly identifying the risk factor, future cash flows (revenue) and future expenses. If you focus your efforts on those items, then you can just change the price paid on the site to modify what the NPV output will be and determine what you should be offering for the site.

Because we can not say it enough, we will break it down for you.

- Net = the absolute dollar figure
- Present = in today's terms
- Value = that the deal is worth to you

We have all heard people talk about a deal's return on investment as a percentage number but ROI is an amateurish term. No corporate executive or MBA would ever consider such a metric. What matters is the NPV and the "internal" rate of return (IRR).

The IRR takes into account the present value of future cash flows. It looks like an RIO number but it is going to be a little smaller because the future has been discounted.

You should be looking for an IRR that is greater than other opportunities and greater than the cost of capital.

If a deal is showing you an IRR of 20% and your discount rate is 10% and you have no other opportunities that are going to eat up all of your cash, it is a great deal.

Similarly, if your IRR is showing as 8% and you can only borrow money at 15% you would get yourself in a heap of trouble by doing the transaction.

Here is where you enter your website's name. You will be able to save this and access it at another time.

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This is the most straight forward of the fields on the form. Just enter what you want to pay for the site or what you think you can sell it for.

Close itThe discount rate has its name because it will ‘discount’ your future cash flow to determine what its worth in todays dollars. There are a few ways to determine the right rate to use. One would be to use your country’s current rate of inflation. If you are borrowing money to fund your business, it's the interest rate you will be paying. We recommend using the minimum return that you would expect on any other investment. In other words, if you think you could earn 10% playing the stock market, just enter 10%. We think the best business decision is to think about it as “what is the cash worth to me?”. When you take that attitude, you’ll probably end up at least at 10%.

As an example, $10,000 earned next year at a 10% discount rate is only $9000 today. $10,000 earned 2 years from now is worth only $8100 today because it’s discounted twice at 10%. That's the entire point of this exercise. What is the asset worth in today's dollars?

For further reading, check out Wikipedia's article on discounted cash flow.

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We feel that this is the most important element to focus on. In its most basic sense, the risk factor just adds onto the discount rate. So, if you enter a 20% risk factor and you have the discount rate set at 10%, you have a combined discounted cash flow of 30%.

Most financial analysis formulas don't include a risk factor but we feel it's imperative here. There are inherent risks in operating a website. If you can accurately identify those risks and the percentage chance that everything could go horribly wrong, you'll have a competitive advantage. To put another way, he who most accurately identifies the risk, wins.

One of the most common questions we get asked is "what happens if the site loses all of its Google rankings"? Well, if you can calculate the chance of that happening, you can just factor it in. Different search terms are more competitive than others. If the site you are looking at selling is about insurance, it should have a higher number in the risk factor than one about dalmatian puppies because there are so many more sites going after insurance terms.

How old is the site? How many terms does the site rank for? How many inbound links does the site currently have? These are all questions you have to ask yourself when determining the risk. For us, we see sites that are low risk where we would recommend a 10% risk factor and we see sites that are high risk and we’d want you to put a number as high as 50%. We strongly encourage you to put at least 10% in this field. We’d put 10% on Facebook or Google stock. This is the internet we are talking about.

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Annual Revenue is pretty straight forward but should be carefully considered. Just enter what you anticipate the revenue to be each year that you will own the site.

When we use this tool ourselves, we'll first want to see what the value will look like just entering in the site's current revenue and expenses every year. Then after we've digested the numbers, we'll start playing with them. Before we make a decision on whether to sell or not, we'll often fill out this form and change the revenue and expense numbers dozens of times, if not more.

Annual Expenses follows the same rules as annual revenue. Try it with different numbers. See what the value comes out at by increasing the expenses to improve the site or double down on seo services. Take a look at what would happen if you lowered expenses. Try as many different combinations as you can to help you make the decision and plan accordingly.

Close it

Sale Price. As any savvy investor will tell you, never start a business or buy one without an exit strategy. You should know in advance what you think you will eventually liquidate for and when you expect that to happen.

If you are buying the site purely for cash flow and you anticipate the cash flow remaining constant then you might want to enter the same amount you are paying for the site. However, that's rarely how things play out. The truth is whatever number you put there will be discounted by the discount rate and the risk factor mentioned above. So the same dollar figure in the future is not the same amount today. You will need to increase the value to get he same amount back.

Most buyers will adjust the revenue and expenses in future years in order to grow the site and then apply a simple multiple of revenue in this section. That works just fine for the exercise. It’s alright to price a site on a multiple. Just keep in mind that when you are buying a site, we are looking for the net present value of that future sales price.

Close itAny Present Value of future cash flow calculator requires what they call a "Terminal Value." If you aren't going to be selling the asset, mathematically the right thing to do is to enter a perpetuity value. If you think you will be selling it, we recommend using the Net Present Value calculator found here on the Latona’s website.

The perpetuity value is the value of cash flow that never ends. Don't worry though. We understand that cash flow far out in the future is really risky. That's why the perpetuity value gets discounted by the discount rate and risk factor.

For example, if someone told you they would give you $1 per year for the rest of your life, what would you pay for that? Well, at a 10% discount rate the math would be $1/.10 or $10. The contract would be worth $10. If you thought there was a 20% chance that you would never get that payment, you would add 20 to the discount rate and divide the cash flow by 30 or $1/.30 which comes to $3.33. That's all $1 per year for life would be worth if the future cash flow were discounted heavily.

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