At Midascode we have been amazed by the number of website offers we receive each month.
However, we have noticed more and more that a trend is occurring where people are selling sites on hosted domains.
e.g let’s say the owner is called Jim: jim.wordpress.com or jim.blogspot.com or jim.freewebhost.com etc…
The problem here is obvious… you don’t really own the site, and you certainly don’t own the domain. The only thing you really could potentially own is the content, but even then I am sure that in many cases you won’t even own that legally.
As you can see, this makes it a VERY risky business proposition. It is like buying a car that has no engine, no wheels, no suspension etc.. in fact, it is not even a car, it is just a set of keys. You are essentially selling the keys, but not the actual car.
One person contacted us recently with a site that was on a free host, and had zero traffic. What were we supposed to be buying in this instance? There was nothing of any value, certainly nothing that the seller actually owned, and personally, I feel ownership is an important factor if you are selling something 😉
Don’t get me wrong, there are some BIG sites that are hosted on free hosts and are worth a LOT of money, one that springs to mind is the hugely powerful Seth Godin blog, or the Google Webmaster blog at Blogger.
But generally, the types of sites that are hosted on free hosts share one resemblance… they are not worth paying the $7 for a real domain for. Hence why the owner put it on a free host in the first place.
Also, even if you do find a gem. How do you value it? Who is to say that the free host won’t accidentally delete your account? Or ban you? Or shut down? There are so many liabilities involved.
Have you heard of Squidoo.com? Everyone and their dog decided to create squidoo mini sites… but then some people started spamming, and Google penalised the entire domain. That means that people have worked hard creating genuinely useful sites, and the actions of others destroyed their traffic. Would you be comfortable buying such a delicate business?
As a general rule, I would value a site on a free host as 10% of the normal price, and I feel that is generous. Also, 10% of the price is what I would use if it was on an authority like WordPress.com or Blogspot.com if it was on something like crappyfreewebhost123.com then I wouldn’t go anywhere near it.
So if you are looking to create a site, if it isn’t worth paying $7 for a domain, then it probably isn’t worth doing.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this… would you buy a blogspot blog? Do you own a site on a free host?