Domain Appraisal: How to Value a Domain Name

A domain name value represents how much money your domain name is worth. We’ll show you how to calculate the value to decide whether a purchase is beneficial.

Valuation of Domain Names

When it comes to owning a domain name, you first need to check if it’s available. If the answer is yes, then you’re good to go and can register your domain name with ease. If the name is taken, you need to buy it – that’s where domain value comes into play.

In this article, we’ll show you how domain value works and what to think about when you buy a domain name.

What Is a Domain Name Value?

A domain value is the $ value of a taken domain name and the potential benefit from the traffic you might get to the domain name.

Prices can vary vastly – you can get a domain name for free or pay millions of dollars, depending on the name itself and the reseller. However, the average is around $10–20 a year for an available domain and $2,500-10,000 for a taken one.

Have you heard about domain flipping?

The difference in pricing is appealing to many. Registering domain names only to sell them later for a profit is called domain flipping, and it’s a viable business model. However, flipping, like any such investment, is speculative in nature and can backfire. If you go down this route, make sure you invest only the amount you’re okay with not getting back.

Best Domain Appraisal Tools

If you want to buy a domain name, you can find its value on one of the auction platforms, such as GoDaddy. However, if the goal is to sell your domain, there are plenty of appraisal tools you can use to best determine your domain value and see what the realistic price for that domain is.

It’s also a handy tool to make sure you’re not getting ripped off.

Some of the popular appraisal tools include the following:

How to Calculate Domain Value

When you’re looking to acquire a domain name, you will want to know if it’s worth the listed value.

One way to do this is to check out marketplaces and see what people spend on similar domains. Next, compare domains based on a variety of factors we’ll discuss below.

You can also use domain appraisal tools to get a quote. The results you get will vary depending on the complexity of the algorithm behind the tool.

MORE: How much should a domain name cost?

6 Domain Valuation Factors to Consider

There are several components to domain name value that you need to consider when you evaluate its worth. The six top factors to focus on are:

  1. Extension,
  2. Brandability,
  3. Domain name history,
  4. Name length,
  5. Universality,
  6. Traffic.

1. Domain Name Extension

Generally speaking, the more common a domain type is, the more valuable it is. However, domain name trends change, and some types can be costlier.

For example, the .com extension is by far the most popular extension, also called top-level domain (TLD). But, extensions like .io and .ai have overtaken it in sales value.

According to, the following are the median prices of domain name sales per popular TLD:

As always, there are exceptions to the rule. In some countries, country code TLDs are more common (for instance, .de in Germany) and can be more valuable to a buyer that’s focusing on a particular geographic area.

Some TLDs are also suggestive of the industry. If you’re looking for a domain name for a streaming service or a television station, the .tv TLD may prove more valuable than .com.

2. Brandability

A domain name’s brandability can bring a lot of value to the name, especially if the buyer is a company looking to set up a business website. Descriptive, unique, and memorable words can become a brand more easily than, say,

With brandability also comes the factor of spelling. If the name is misspelled, or people may misunderstand it, the brandability value will plummet.

3. Domain Name History

A domain name history is a list of past and present owners and facts on when it became active for the first time. The history also includes what type of content was present on the website.

Check out the table below to see how you can check out a domain name’s history and what to focus on:

Domain Name ElementExplanation
AgeAn older domain name with an active website is more valuable than one that’s been registered for the first time only recently.
Previous salesIf the website has been sold before, check out what it went for and determine your value accordingly. The asking price will most likely be greater than what they bought it for.
Past usageIf the previous owner had a questionable website that had become popular for negative reasons, the value would go down as fewer people would want to become associated with the name’s past usage.

MORE: How to transfer a domain name

4. Name Length

The name length doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have a character limit. Instead, it’s about how memorable the domain name is. When you see one you’re interested in, read it out loud and try to gauge whether people would memorize it and spell it without any difficulty.

5. Universality

Another important factor is the universality of the name. Think about how many people (or companies) can use the name. If the domain name is, the usage is pretty limited to a specific industry – an ice cream parlor won’t be interested. The fewer people interested, the less money you’ll make.

6. Traffic

Domain name traffic represents the number of people that visit your website. You can monetize traffic through sales, ads, branding, and other forms, which brings value to a domain name.

When somebody buys a domain name, they don’t get just the name – they also receive all the traffic that comes with it. If Google suddenly decided to sell its domain, you wouldn’t only pay for the brand but also for the billions of people who visit it monthly.

Domain Name Valuation Factors Checklist

Buying a Domain Name: Is It Worth It?

As a business, you should calculate whether the expense of (someone else’s) domain name value is worth it. In other words, if you decide to spend thousands of dollars, will your business benefit enough to get a return on your investment? Starting a business already comes with many expenses, and you can avoid this one by choosing a different business name.

Start by checking whether the current owner has some legal issues (e.g., trademark infringement) with the name or if the website has a history of unethical practices, such as spamming. The name itself won’t mean much if the website is already flagged.

If all is clear on that front, it’s time to do some cost-benefit analysis. Try to answer the following questions:

  • How much do you want to spend on website building and maintenance?
  • How many visitors do you envision having?
  • Will you generate direct sales, or do you plan to earn through advertising?
  • Will your customers recognize your brand if you have a different domain name?
  • Is the same name available but with a different extension?

For instance, if you have a local business, and you can’t see more than a few hundred people visiting your website, it’s not wise to spend $10,000+ on a domain name.

MORE: How to register a domain name

What Increases the Value of Your Domain Name

Once you buy your domain name, there are several factors that increase the value of the domain name, including: 

  1. Building a website: Having a website instead of an empty domain name can help you boost your value. If you work on SEO optimization, you can increase the name’s recognition and its Google rank. Consider getting some backlinks to improve your chances.
  2. Using social media: Create profiles with the same name on all major social media platforms. Make sure to link to your website and add info about it. This will expand your reach, and you can increase the value by offering the accounts together with the domain.
  3. Registering domain variations: If someone sees a great domain name going for premium money, they can undercut you by registering the same name with a different extension. If you own similar variations, you can sell them as a bundle or drive up the demand for the original domain name.

Key Takeaways

A quality domain name can go anywhere from $2,000 onward. If you get a creative idea and are fast enough to register the name before anyone else, you can earn a lot of money. In 2015, Gannett Co. bought for a staggering $872.3 million.

If you can’t come up with a perfect domain name by yourself, you can use our AI-powered domain name generator for free and get 1,000+ name ideas in an instant.

If your goal is not to flip domain names but to get one for your business, when choosing a domain name, you should consider whether it’s worth it to buy a taken domain name or go for a different one. Remember, your domain and business names don’t have to be the same. Using a similar but different name can help you branch out later on.

MORE: Who owns a domain name?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Domain appraisal is the process of getting a domain name value. Appraisal tools use algorithms to assess the value of a domain name using various factors, such as brandability, name length, extension, and interest in similar names.

A valuable domain name is short and easy to spell, pronounce, and memorize. It also needs to come with a common extension that people often use for their websites. You should also consider how easy it will be for the new owner to turn it into a brand.

Without a domain, you don’t have an online presence that’s necessary for any business to succeed. If the domain name you want is registered and up for sale, you can buy it. Whether the purchase is worth it or not depends on how much you project to benefit from online sales.

Yes, there are many marketplaces where you can auction your domain name and wait for offers to come your way. Some of the most popular marketplaces include Flippa, Sedo, and GoDaddy.

When you register a domain, the registration period can go from a year to 10 years. Once it’s over, you need to pay to renew the registration, or the domain name will expire. When that happens, other users are able to register it without your consent.


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