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The terms you are likely to come across when you buy or sell a website or web business

Any webmaster related term is likely to be of interest to site buyers and sellers... but there are numerous other glossaries for the general webmaster demographic and if the term you want is not below please see our forum glossary thread.

Alexa  |  Amortisation  | Balance Sheet  |  BE  | BIN  |  Bots  |  Breakeven  |  Cash Flow | ccTLD  |  CMS  |  Compete  |  CPA  | CPC  |  CPL  | CPM  |  CTR  |  Database  |  DCF  |  Dedicated Hosting  |  Digital Point  |  DMOZ  |  DNS  | Domain Parking DP  | Drop Catch Dropship  |  EBITDA  |  eCPM  |  EFT  Email Harvesters  |  Entry Page  |  Equity  |  Escrow  |  Exclusivity Agreement  |  Exit Page  |  Fake Page Rank  |  Flipping  |  GA  |  Grandfathered  |  Google Analytics  |  Gross Profit  |  HTTP Status Codes  |  gTLD  |  IAB  |  Incentivized Site |   JV  |  JVP  | MFA  | MMO  |  Multiple  |  Namepros  |  NDA  |  Net Present Value  |  Net Profit  |  Non-Compete  |  No Shop No Solicitation  |  NPV  |  ODP  |  Page Rank  |  Path  | P & L  |  Pay Per Action  |   Pay Per Click  |  Pay Per Lead  |  PPA  |  PPC  |  PPL  | PPV  |  PR  | Profit and Loss Statement  |  PTC  |  Raw Logs  |  Referrer  |  Reg  |  Repeat Visitors  |  Reserve Price  |  Return on Investment  |  Revenue  | ROIRPM  | RSS Signups  |  Scrapers  | SEDOSERPS Server Logs  |  Server Responses  |  Site Flipping  |  Sitepoint  | SLD SP  |  Spam Bots  |  Technorati  |  Turnkey  |  Turnover TLD  |  User Agent  |  UV  |  Uniques  |  Visitor  |  Website Flipping  |  WFH   |  WHOIS


Alexa: is a company that tracks a site's popularity Alexa | Using Alexa with other traffic analytics tools

Amortisation: A procedure that gradually reduces the book value of an asset through periodic charges to income

BIN: Buy It Now or the offer price at which a seller is willing to terminate the auction and sell a site. Not all auctions have a BIN price. Valuing a website to set BIN

Sell Your WebsiteBalance Sheet: A record of the financial situation of a business on a particular day drawn up by listing the assets and the liabilities (create your own balance sheet)

BOTs: Bots, spambots, scrapers, email harvesters are automated programs that visit sites and can be mistaken in the logs for human visitors. How bots affect traffic logs

Cash Flow: Breakdown of changes in cash balance resulting from business activities. In-flows are balanced against out-flows to determine level of solvency. Cash Flow Calculation Tool

ccTLD: Country-code Top Level Domain. Top level domain is described below. ccTLD examples: .us, .uk (More) Where to register ccTLD

Compete: is a ranking site like Alexa

Content Management System: Software that allows collaborative creation of websites/blogs without the need for much technical knowledge

CPM: Cost Per "Mille" - The advertising cost per thousand views/impressions

CTR: Click-Through Rate - The number of clicks divided by the number of views and is used as a way of measuring the effectiveness of online ads

Database: Often used to mean the list of subscribers to the site's newsletters but could also refer to database of forum posts or other material

DCF: Discounted Cash Flow is an asset valuation method of reducing future income to a present value (covered in more detail elsewhere on this site). See NPV | Tool to calculate DCF

Dedicated Hosting: One client to a server (more)

Digital Point: One of the main website-for-sale forums. More here.

DMOZ: A web directory in which a listing is highly valued by some buyers and which powered the descriptions of SERPs listings: DMOZ

DNS: Domain Name Servers. When a site's file are moved to the buyer's server (or hosting company) the buyer typically logs into his domain control and updates the DNS to point visitors to the new location the domain is hosted.

Domain Parking: A service facilitating monetisation of unused domains by showing ads rather than an error page. Parking services typically share revenue with domain owner

DP: See Digital Point

Drop Catch: Typically used to refer to a domain that has expired and then been picked up by a new registrant. Why avoid drop catch domains?

Dropship: A business model where the site owner sells goods but a third party takes care of the fulfillment (packing and delivering)

EBITDA: Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization (Calculate your own EBITDA)

eCPM: Effective Cost Per Milli or cost/earnings per thousand page views

EFT: Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT): An umbrella term describing various methods of electronic transfer of money

Email Harvesters: See Bots

Entry Page: The page at which the Visitor entered a site

Equity: Ownership in a business or the value of one's stake in a business. Usually quoted in stocks, shares or percentages or cash

Escrow: A fee-based service that protects a buyer and seller in a sale transaction. Typically, the buyer remits the funds to the escrow company who hold the funds till the buyer confirms receipt and satisfaction with the goods. The escrow then releases the funds to the seller. More | How to choose an escrow company

Exclusivity Agreement: One that requires the selling company to negotiate exclusively with one party and to commit for a pre-defined period of time to not solicitor any other investors

Exit Page: The page at which the Visitor left the site

Fake Page Rank: See Page Rank

Flipping: See Website Flipping

GA: See Google Analytics

Grandfathered: Some older sites got listed in places like the Yahoo Directory before they started charging an annual fees. Those early entrants have "grandfathered" listings and don't need to pay to retain their place in the directory

Google Analytics: A traffic stats program from Google. It's free to post the GA code on a site and this code serves as an alternate to the usual server stats. It's often more trusted by sellers than stats from other free providers

Gross Profit: Profits after deducting cost of goods sold but before deduction of admin costs and expenses. Profit calculation spreadsheet

HTTP Status Codes: See Server Responses

gTLD: Generic TLDs or TLDs - .com., .org, .biz, .net and .info. Where to register gTLD

IAB: Interactive Advertising Bureau, A non-profit business organization that develops advertising standards for online ads

Incentivized Site: See PTC

JV: Joint Venture

JVP: Joint Venture Partner

MMO: Abbreviation for Make Money Online

MFA: Made For Adsense is a derisory term for sites with little to no useful content usually stuffed with Adsense ads that visitors click in frustration at not finding what they wanted

Multiple: Generally used to mean multiple of monthly earnings (net profit). Sale prices of sites are often measured as a multiple of earnings/profit. Tools & spreadsheets to calculate earnings and profit

Name Pros: One of the main website-for-sale forums. More here.

NDA: Non-Disclosure Agreement (free sample NDA)

Net Present Value: The present value of current + future income streams less the initial investment. Spreadsheet to calculate NPV

Net Profit: Profit after deduction of costs and expenses More (Net Profit Calculator)

Non Compete: An agreement signed by the seller agreeing to not to work for any competitor companies or otherwise compete within a certain time period

No shop, No solicitation: See Exclusivity Agreement

NPV: See Net Present Value


Page Rank: Google's numerical value (1-10) given to pages  based on the quantity and quality of incoming links they've got vs the outgoing links on the page. It is easily faked and the PR displayed on the toolbar is not always accurate.

Path: A path is the route a Visitor has taken through the site while clicking from page to page.

P&L: See Profit and Loss Statement

Pay/Cost Per Action (PPA/CPA): A monetising method where the site owner gets paid each time one of his visitors completes a pre-defined action at the advertiser's site e.g. filling a form

Pay/Cost Per Click (PPC/CPC): An advertising model where the retailer pays per visitor who clicks through to his website. (make money with PPC)

Pay/Cost Per Lead (PPL/CPL): A business model where the site owner gets paid per lead he generates for an advertiser or merchant

Pay/Cost Per View (PPV/CPV): An advertising model that pays for each video that is viewed through a website

Paid To Click (PTC): An online business model where Visitors are paid to complete certain actions such as viewing pages, completing surveys or clicking ads

Profit and Loss Statement: A statement for a particular period of time showing a business's gross income, cost of goods, operating costs and, finally, net profit or loss

Raw Logs: See Server Logs

Referrer: Someone who sends traffic, usually the site or page that sent the Visitor

Reg: Short for domain registration.

Repeat (or Returning) Visitors: Visitors who've already visited the site within (usually) the last 30 days.

Reserve Price: The price below which the seller won't sell his site. The reserve price is often undisclosed by the seller

Revenue: Usually used to indicate turnover/ total sales. Calculate revenue metrics with our free spreadsheets

ROI: Return on Investment - the profit or loss on an investment (usually expressed as a percentage)

RPM: Revenue Per Milli or revenue per thousand page views

RSS Signups: people who've signed up to a blog's feed (quoted as an asset when blogs are sold)

Scrapers: See Bots

SEDO: A domain registrar, well known marketplace for domain sales and a domain parking service SEDO

SERPS: Search Engine Result Pages. More on SERPs

Server logs: Text files stored on the hosting company's server recording all the "raw" information that the stats packages draw on to compile their charts. More on server logs

Server Responses: or HTTP status codes are specific numbers the server replies with when a page is requested. For example, if the page doesn't exist the response is a 404 and if the page is moved the response is a 301. More on server responses

Site Flipping: See Website Flipping

Sitepoint: One of the main website-for-sale forums. More places to sell websites here.

SLD: Second Level Domain. In, UK is the "top level" and the "co" is the 2nd level. Other UK SLDs are me, org, ltd, plc etc.

SP: See Sitepoint

Spambots: See Bots

Technorati: A ranking site, like Alexa. Technorati ranks are sometimes quoted in sales listings

Turnkey: A site shell without a developed business: You can "Turn the key and start trading immediately". They often contain no more than a domain, a design and sometimes a script or two.

Turnover: Turnover can have multiple meanings but in the context of the sale of a business or website it's the total dollar amount of sales for a given period (less the refunds). It's sometimes also - rightly or wrongly - referred to as "Revenue". See Understanding Profit

TLD: Top level domain such as .com, .org, .net (More). Most three letter TLDs are known as gTLDs or generic TLDs. Where to register TLD

User agent: Device used to access a website. It could be a browser like Firefox and Internet Explorer, a mobile (cell) phone or an automated device like a bot. More on user agents

Uniques/ UV: Unique Visitors is a traffic measurement of the Visitors to the site. Visitors returning within a specified time (usually a month) are excluded from the count as they are Returning Visitors. Analysing visitor traffic

Visitor: A visitor is a human (excluding bots and automated programs like spiders) who visits a resource / site.

Website Flipping: The buying of websites with the intention of selling them quickly on to make a profit.

WFH: Abbreviation for Work From Home or Work From Home Business.

WHOIS: A utility that returns information on a domain name or IP address including information like who owns it.   More on running WHOIS searches

Other Webmaster glossaries:

Webmaster glossary | Another one | Our own light-hearted take