Similar Site Design

Hi all, I have a quick question, I have seen a site that I like the design of very much indeed. I pretty much want to copy everything about it, the colours, layout, etc.

Now is it legal to do this? I WON’T be using any of their code, images, scripts, content, absolutely nothing. I will create everything from scratch. It will simply look very similar.

Any advice on this one would be appreciated :slight_smile:

No its not an illegal thing to do so.


Just make it your own in such a way that the people with the original site don’t feel like they’re been ripped off when they see yours.

There is no copyright act on designing of templates. Templates is just a design formate and all the effects is also universal. There is no bounding of you design if you copy from others, because this is not going to be an art material. You are free to copy format design except the visual design which might have copyright. But copying layout template is not a illegal thing.


Another thing to think about is whether the site you are copying (sorry, “using as inspiration”) is in the same field as yours. If you’re targeting the same audience, you could be setting yourself up for a world of trouble if they believe that your actions in copying the design are having a negative impact on their business. On the other hand, if you’re in an unrelated sector, it’s unlikely that you having a very similar design would affect them so you would probably be OK.

Hey guys, thanks for the pointer. It’s good to know I wouldn’t be committing any offences. A client rather likes the design of an already existing site and wants me to pretty much base the entire site on it - putting me in a tricky position. Though I’ll be sure to simply ‘base’ it on it and rather not to copy it absolutely. Cheers guys/gals :slight_smile:

coxdabd, no site is perfect, so I would take this as an opportunity to give the client what he wants, while IMPROVING on it. Take time to study that site’s flaws and things that could be done better, and ask the client specifically what they don’t like about it. By giving your client an improved version of the site they love, they’ll be even happier, and you’ll be able to further differentiate the site.

As a web designer, I have to say I find it a bit lame when one site deliberately copies another site’s design. There are in fact blogs and sites out there which keep track of copycats and put them side-by-side for people to compare.

While there are no explicit copyright laws on web design, the principles are the same. The way a website looks and feels has been designed that way to communicate a company’s brand/image, and thus it’s an extension of that brand/image. To copy it is a very, very gray area and generally frowned upon by web designers who work hard to be creative and make their sites unique.

Som websites are so good that you just want to copy everything. Even when you decide to change somethings you’re still tempted not to.