Want to do some research on a website? There are many facets and things you can look at. If, after doing thorough research, and you do decide to buy a site, try to buy from a reputable marketplace where the funds are held in escrow before being transferred to ensure you get what you think you’re purchasing.
Internet Archive / Wayback Machine
If you want to see what a site used to look like or contain, you can look at the Internet Archive/Wayback Machine. It’s a site that takes screenshots of sites and posts them in a calendar format. This way, you can look and see what a site used to look like.
If you’re considering buying a site from a reseller, this can be a good option to check out.
While most domain owners pay for privacy on their accounts so that you don’t get a direct name and address of the owner, whois can still be interesting. You can find out when and where the domain was registered.
Do a search for the domain in Google. Look at the cached pages. Those are the ones when you hover over a result, you see a little down arrow. Click on that to see what has been cached.
Keyword Research Tools
Use a paid or free Keyword research tool and look at the domain.
Check Theme and Plugins
You can go to a WordPress Theme and Plugin checker to see if it identifies any plugins you should be wary of. Run the check and then look up the plugins to see what they do.
If you’re looking to purchase a site, the seller should be able to share stats. Look to see if Google Analytics happens to have a drop in traffic or any alerts/penalty notifications.
Also, check to see if the bounce rate and time on site are what you expect.
It can also be good to look at other things, such as where traffic is coming from, what pages they are hitting, etc. Try to discern if there are paid or blackhat traffic tips getting the traffic now or if it truly is organic.
Perform a PageSpeed test on the site.
Check for Plagiarism
Perform a Search using Copyscape or Grammarly to see if the content is original or not.
Review Social Accounts and Commentary
Check to see if there are social accounts the go along with the site. If so, make sure you would get them if you purchase. Also, go look at the interactions and commentary. Does it look natural or is it spammy?
Figure out the Monetization
Find out if the site is monetized and how. Ads, affiliate links, or products/services? Get information in writing and try to find out upfront about the metrics of the site.