What is Website Cloning and a Website Clone?


This article was originally published on NCrypted.

Understanding What is Website Cloning

Website cloning refers to getting inspired from a successful website idea and copying‘ that concept to create a new ‘website clone’ that not only has majority of the same features that the reference site had, but adds new unique features of its own. Website clone scripts of popular websites allow aspirant entrepreneurs to create and start their website venture without the need to develop it from scratch.

Is Website Cloning Legal?

Yes, website cloning, just like any other cloning for a different industry, is absolutely legal, as long as you are not breaching any IPs, copyright, patents or trade marks of exiting businesses. As long as the referenced base clone script has a disclaimer that says that it is completely designed and developed by it’s legal owners or vendors and that no part is copied from any website, you are safeguarded if you intend on using that clone script or technology.

Use of the words ‘web cloning’, ‘clone’ and ‘website cloning’ by definition may be misdirecting. We are not talking about an automated process of  copy-paste of features and functionality of another website; We are also not talking about ‘copying’ another site’s complete design and set of features ‘as is’. NCrypted neither endorses nor encourages any  such practice. Website cloning or mobile app cloning is how the industry refers to the service of creating a website similar to  another site. We do not believe in selling clone scripts for cheap just for the sack of multiplying revenues.  With a website clone script, the idea is of course to develop your website fast and with minimal expense,  but that should not mean that you will not evaluate quality. In fact, successful websites are the ones that  although either are inspired and/or copy another website but add up new features for its target niche that  would make their website unique in such a way that others would want to clone!

Website Cloning Market

Website clone script developers and Website clone development companies such as NCrypted Websites offer their services to clients as a means of lower-cost yet high-quality website development. There are several web development companies providing website clone services to clients but one needs to be careful as not all of them provide quality services and have a competent website clone product.

Web Cloning – Creating your website using a quality clone script

When you want to develop a website, you are prepared to spend a part of your life with that website. Right from the beginning phase of website business planning & competition analysis to its database architecture, from design to its development, testing, deployment and beyond – you want to make sure everything is perfect. Now, in case your website idea is similar to one of an existing popular website, you can use one such clone script which has features similar to the popular reference site which has ‘inspired’ you in order to build your base quickly. However, if you are planning long-term, using a ‘me too‘ clone script with the same design and features that dozens of other websites are using will not be meaningful. You can use the clone script to kick start your business, quickly and at a fraction of cost compared with a complete custom development, but that’s not it. You will want to get a new design UI for your website, you will also want to remove or alter some features and add new features which would make your business model unique and different from others. You will also want to add additional features for your target niche. This is where you will have to be cautious in selecting your website clone development company. Here, you may want to read another article on our blog which compares NCrypted’s website clone development approach with other cheap ready made 3rd party scripts.

Advantages of using a Website Clone Script

  • A quality and scalable website clone script allows you to quickly launch your website thus saving you development time.
  • A clone script costs much less compared to a web development from scratch.
  • Quality website clone scripts are more than just a ‘copy’ of the reference site; they are more like a replica of attributes with added new features, different functionality and UI/UX, which adds significant value to the niche requirements of users and making the scripts more beneficial and useful.
  • Eliminates the need for you to do business planning, market research and strategy implementation for UID (User Interface Design)
  • A cost-effective way to ‘beta test’ your strategy in order to enter into a particular online market with your website
  • Website Clones are mostly scripts developed after getting inspired from an already popular website, thus ensuring you that there is a ‘demand’ for such a website already!

Disadvantages of Clone Scripts

  • The same website clone script is being used by dozens of other websites, so if you don’t customize its design UI and layout, you don’t have any competitive advantage
  • Using a cheap 3rd party clone script that is not modular, scalable and robust can be dangerous for your future expansion
  • Merging two different clone scripts developed by different website clone developers is relatively not possible; so if you are planning to get multiple business verticals integrated in your website or portal, prefer working with a web development company which provides majority of such website clone services of popular website
  • It is also important to note that the different clone scripts that you want to integrate in your website share the same framework or structure; otherwise again, even if the scripts are from the same developer, they won’t be much usable
  • You have to make sure your content is original and the clone script that you are using is legitimate, original and does not have any copyright or IP conflict with other websites or companies – I know this is a hard one. How do you know whether the vendor from who you bought the clone script is legitimate or not? There are numerous way to check that, but the best of all would be to prefer to work with a web development company which has been around for more than just a couple of years, has many website clone scripts and products rather than just one, and has a plethora of a clientele using their web development services.

Let’s have a look at two of the most popular social media giants today that got ‘inspired’ by a common website HotOrNot which is relatively unknown today.

Facebook – A Social Network Clone Hybrid of HotOrNot and Classmates?

Consumers didn’t want to see another facebook when facebook either inspired or ‘borrowed’ the social networking idea from HorOrNot.com (Hor or Not), Friendster, Classmates.com and others. Facebook didn’t pioneer social networking but rather ‘cloned’ features of other successful social networking sites live and popular back then and added its own unique features to create a brand. HotOrNot.com was a significant influence on people who went on to create social media websites Facebook and YouTube. Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook got his start by creating a HotorNot clone FaceMash where he posted photos from Harvard’s Facebook for the university’s community to rate. The name Facebook is also ‘borrowed’ from a student’s community program with similar name in Harvard.

If you’re planning to start your own social networking website similar to Facebook – our Facebook Clone is an ideal solution for you to get started with your own social networking business.

YouTube – A Clone of HotOrNot?

Similarly, HotOrNot is also a huge inspiration behind the creation of social media giant YouTube which is now owned by Google, Inc. In the December 2006 issue of Time magazine, the founders of YouTube stated that they originally set out to make a HotOrNot Clone for videos before developing their more inclusive website. YouTube, apparently in late 2005, before being acquired by Google, started a campaign where they asked hot models of Hollywood and around Los Angeles to shoot and upload their videos for others to rate. HotOrNot was known for the same stuff, but for photos. YouTube since has grown to become one of the largest and most trafficked social media website. No wonder there are many youtube clone websites that got emerged post 2006.

vKontakte – A Clone of Facebook

I have written about a popular Russian social networking website vKontake earlier on our blog citing its striking similarities with Facebook in terms of design UI and features. Another article on the NCrypted blog tells the story of some of the most successful website clones on the web.

NCrypted & The Art of Website Cloning

NCrypted has redefined the way web cloning industry operates. We are the pioneers in engineering the website cloning concept and bringing it out for aspiring startups and entrepreneurs willing to start quick. We are constantly exploring across the internet and have designed and developed over 1,500 websites, website clones, clone scripts, advanced php scripts, website and mobile applications for over 500 clients. Daily hundreds of thousands of end-users use our products and services on client websites. Our clientele is spread across 75+ countries. We have business experts with exposure to the different market niches such as online accommodation booking, vacation rentals, On Demand, Fin-tech, eCommerce, online marketplaces, travel and hospitality, career & jobs, matchmaking etc. Our products team is always scouting for website clones to be developed in such emerging verticals. Our product portfolio includes website clone scripts and solutions for over 20 industries to help you get started now.

pixelstats trackingpixel

Kunal Pandya

Kunal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and startup evangelist. He has helped build and scale up several businesses and products from the ground up. Apart from NCrypted, he serves as an advisory and is on the board of several of our client companies that we partner with.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *