houstonarchitecture.com houstonarchitecture.com

Price: $27,000
Net Profits /month : $1,158

Domain Age: 14 years

Site with 50,535 uniques/mo making $1,188/mo

Check on flippa.

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Comments: ____________________________________________

alch wrote :


I have a whole bunch of questions, if you don't mind:

1- To indicate whether we can reasonably expect traffic to increase/decrease in the future, could you provide yearly traffic statistics for the last few years?
2- What went wrong in the previous two auctions for this site (7 years ago)?
3- What will you do if the highest Flippa bid is lower than the offer from the company you mentioned (but higher than the reserve price)? Or is the reserve price higher than their offer?
4- Are all Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. accounts included?
5- Do you update the Facebook page yourself, or is this community-driven?
6- You mention that the forum hardly requires any of your time. How much work does the city architecture directory (the 'main site') take, and what does that work encompass? Do you update the database yourself or is this an automated or "crowd-sourced" process?
7- Should the new owner have a background in architecture? I know nothing of architecture (or Houston); would you expect this to cause problems?
8- Why are you selling it, and why now? Why the Houston site and not the others (Prague, Atlanta etc)?

I hope you don't mind the barrage of questions. I'm quite interested in this site, but I'd like to get a better handle on it before bidding.
Thanks in advance!

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 07:02:45 AEST
pratul11 wrote :

Please PM me your reserve price. Thanks

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 14:25:33 AEST
ArtefaqsCorporation wrote :

Hi @alch. Thank you for your interest in this auction. Here are the answers to your questions:

1 - Traffic statistics in pageviews and unique visitors are as follows:
2010: 1,978,269 / 227,652
2011: 2,127,545 / 423,079
2012: 2,127,868 / 445,488
2013: 3,288,777 / 516,902
2014: 4,234,234 / 536,322
2015: 3,478,171 / 472,985
The reason 2015 is a little low is because I installed a software upgrade and forgot to put the Google Analytics javascript back on part of the site for a couple of months.

2 - I'm not sure why Flippa shows that this site was listed twice. I only listed it once, back in 2010, and listed another site back in 2009. I ended the 2010 sale early because someone approached me through Flippa with a very good offer, but after a few weeks of back-and-forth, he turned out to be a scammer from one of the former Soviet bloc countries. I reported the incident to Flippa, but never got a response. The incident turned me off to web auctions, which is why I haven't been back to Flippa until now.

3 - The reserve price is the same as the offer from the other company. I'm not trying to get rich here, just complete their (currently) incomplete transaction. Based on everything we've been through with the financials and due diligence, it's a fair number.

4 - Facebook, Twitter and Flickr accounts are included.

5 - I've never updated the Facebook page. I think the moderators do it. When I set up the Facebook page I made them administrators, and stories just show up. I don't even know which moderator is doing it. Perhaps that's an indication that I've been a little too "hands off" with this property.

6 - The database portion (traffic and revenue-wise, a very small portion of the web site) is updated by me. Or it should be, but I don't do it as often as it should be done. I actually feel bad about not keeping up on that the way I should. The information comes from people talking in the forum. When a new building goes up, they're all over it, so there's no shortage of information available. So I guess you could say it's semi-crowdsourced. The crowd on the forum gathers the information, and I plug it in.

7 - I don't think you need to know anything about architecture. I didn't when I started it. My background is in journalism. And I don't live in Houston, I live a couple of thousand miles away.

8 - I didn't intend to sell the site. The previously mentioned company approached me out of the blue asking to buy it, and in the process of going through the negotiations they made me realize that there is real value there that I didn't appreciate before. And since they're, in their words, "in no hurry" to complete the transaction, I thought I'd give someone a shot at it who might actually have a little more initiative.

If the site doesn't sell, I'm OK with that, too. I'll probably fix up the database portion a little (it's kinda ugly), and try to take a slightly more active role in the forum. I think if I give it even a small amount of my attention, it will be worth the effort (in terms of increased revenue).

As for the other sites, the negotiations with the other company actually included another one of my sites - ChicagoArchitecture.org. The idea was to sell the two as a bundle. But we haven't come to an agreement on what ChicagoArchitecture.org is worth, so I didn't list it. If you're interested in that site, or any of the others please let me know. The other sites are all fairly small potatoes and not worth more than a thousand bucks or so, with the exception of ChicagoArchitecture.info, Towrs.com, and LondonArchitecture.co.uk. Off the top of my head, they're probably in the $2k-5k range, but I'd have to actually do some research in order to put together a real number. ChicagoArchitecture.info is probably closer to $12k.

Thanks for your questions, and if you have any more, feel free to ask. It's nice to have some thoughtful queries from an interested person instead of the usual barrage of grunting "what reserve?" messages. Hopefully you'll see the value of the web site and we can work something out.

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 02:58:45 AEST
Roo wrote :

Hi, your listing looks interesting...can I ask what platform is the site on? Is it wordpress? How easy/difficult is it to make basic changes in the backend? Thanks :-)

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:42:02 AEST
ArtefaqsCorporation wrote :

@Roo The forum portion of the web site runs on Invision. The rest is a custom-made CMS. Both run on PHP/MySQL.

Wed, 29 Jun 2016 13:22:26 AEST
collardz wrote :

Neat site. I'm also live in Houston.

Are there any complications with the code base being seperated from any of the other cities?

The site currently links back to many other cities. Are you open to the "sister site" concept into the future even though it will be under different ownership

The user activity on the site is interesting. Little workers out there. Does any of it tie back to an orginization or non-profit group?

Seams pretty orginized. What is it that keeps the group motivated. Any cost in money or time to keep that up?

You advertise on another company/site "Stock photography from around the world." are you giving us all content and rights with the sale? How do you invision that spit?

Does custom CMS mean a code base owned by you? Will we get that code as well? How will upgrades be handled in the future?

What is the forumn software company? Will they be around and support upgrades for the forseable future? Will your pricing transfer?

Do you think someone could reasonable manage the site from a business prospective but outsource the backend changes to a freelancer? I have technical training and knowledge but many years away from hands on.

Appreciate it.

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 21:59:41 AEST
ArtefaqsCorporation wrote :

@collardz Thanks for the questions. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you. I made the mistake of deciding to upgrade my hard drive at the same time i was going on the road, and it's taken a while for me to get all the puzzle pieces back together.

- I don't see any problems disentangling the Houston database portion from the other cities. The hardest part is deciding which image files I need to send your way. I wrote the software so that it checks to see what URL is being accessed, and then serves the content to match.

- I'm OK with keeping the sister site links active, even after a change in ownership. The goal is a happy, amicable transfer. I'm interested in seeing the site continue to thrive and grow. Unfortunately, 99% of the people on Flippa are only looking for a web site they can buy and ignore in order to make a quick buck with zero effort. That's not what I want for a web site I spend 14 years with. I'm looking for a good home for the site, not some loser who's going to run it into the ground.

- I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "tie back," but there is no other organization with an interest in the web site.

- The group is what keeps the group motivated. Being first to market, and being the largest in the market, also helps. It has grown on its own to become the de facto place to discuss urban life and development in southeast Texas. No money spent on promotion, if that's what you're asking.

- Unfortunately, the links from the photographs to the image licensing will have to be severed because of an agreement that is happening with some of the other sites. A perpetual license will be granted to the purchaser to use the existing image files for display in conjunction with the web site. However, there can be no resale or other revenue gained from the images. It is for that reason that I did not include image revenue in the totals above.

- The CMS is written in PHP, so you will necessarily have access to the code in order to run the web site. No further upgrades are anticipated as the long-term plan is to take the remaining web sites in a different direction on a new CMS.

- The forum company is Invision, which has been around since 2002, and is one of the oldest forum offerings still in active development. I don't think they're going anywhere, as a lot of very large companies rely on it. You can check out the software at https://invisionpower.com. I see no reason why the pricing would change. I don't get any special pricing from Invision.

- I really don't think you'd even need a freelancer. The amount of maintenance required is very minimal, and what there is is confined to the forum, which has pretty user-friendly software. If you're not technically inclined, you might want someone to handle upgrades for you, but I think Invision will actually do that for a fee. Alternatively, you can outsource the hosting of the forum entirely to Invision and they'll handle everything, but I think the fee for that is pretty steep. Maybe a couple of hundred dollars a month.

I hope that answers everything for you. Let me know if you need any more information.

Sun, 10 Jul 2016 04:19:28 AEST
davidkingmiami wrote :

The seller deleted this comment.

*We have backup for this removed comment :

davidkingmiami wrote :

Don;t be fooled I lived in Houston- ask ANYONE if they have ever heard or used this site. I know the answer already. 20k? I can sell you oceanfront property in pheonix for that

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 06:22:11 AEST
davidkingmiami wrote :

The seller deleted this comment.

*We have backup for this removed comment :

davidkingmiami wrote :

@davidkingmiami exactly

Thu, 14 Jul 2016 06:22:29 AEST
steelersfever wrote :

Please pm me i want to buy this site now.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 11:38:28 AEST
collardz wrote :

@steelersfever I am buying the site sir

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:21:11 AEST
davidkingmiami wrote :

really, what's your relationship to the seller. Please disclose.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:34:32 AEST
collardz wrote :

@davidkingmiami , None. I do not have a relationship with the seller.

My comment was not to you, it was simply made as a pun to the other party above.

Also I have seen your comments posted here and to other places and promptly disregarded them. If you want to be taken seriously may I suggest that you handle business in a professional manner and not disparage others.

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:59:06 AEST

How much site worth ? __________________________________

houstonarchitecture.com worth $16,931

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