Coming up with an original look for your website is hard! We of all people should know. As professional designers, we had to put in a lot of man hours, and worked our imaginations to the limit to come up with a unique and creative site that reflects our studio’s values. Since our Design was nice enough to win the CSS Awards AND a Merit for Commendable Site Award (AWWWARDS), it should come as no surprise that others would be inspired to steal it for their own.
Admittedly, ripping-off someone else’s work can also be labour-intensive, and mistakes are easily made. Therefore, we came up with this helpful guide on common mistakes when ripping off our friggin website, and how to avoid them. If you’re going to plagiarize, at least have the decency to not make it so obvious.
1 – Copy/Pasting our content
No one likes coming up with original content, but when your business model is built on convincing clients of your copywriting skills, maybe stealing other people’s ideas verbatim isn’t a good place to start! Any digital agency should be aware that multiple copies of the same text hurt everyone’s search engine rankings. Now, if you’re in a tight-spot, and need to turn out content ASAP, the VERY LEAST YOU CAN DO; is remove the pictures of our team enjoying a holiday from your site! You can also try removing our company name from the text which you obviously Copy/Pasted without proofreading.
2 – Blatantly copying design elements
A good design studio goes for a bold new site to define itself! Cloning someone else’s brand identity is an even BOLDER move! (is ‘bold’ the right word here?). We worked really hard for the design we came up with, and its functionality is meant to appeal to our clients needs. It doesn’t work everywhere. Put it this way: why would anyone hire a creative company that’s too lazy and unoriginal to come up with a unique style for their own website? But as long as we’re on the subject of plagiarising our design and functionality…
3 – Obvious screw-ups and bugs
Lets look at this issue logically: You’re plagiarising our site because you like the design and performance. These features aren’t there by accident. We put in a great deal of care to achieve that overall look. All of which goes down the drain when you don’t even respect the basic design guidelines when appropriating our work. You would think that with a literal ARMY of Design Ninjas, and Selfie Girls at your disposal you’d be able to appreciate the value in that. The worst thing you can do, however, is follow the Vasta Solutions path to completely ruining the site you ripped-off. What’s the point of ripping off our site, if you’re not even gonna get the desired effect that you stole it for?
4 – Forgetting to remove our name and logo
As mentioned above, we get that someone would really really want to emulate our visual style, but wanting to BE us? Now you’re encroaching on dissociative identity disorder territory. We’re aware that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. However, we shouldn’t have to tell you that forgetting to [Ctrl] + [H] our name out of YOUR site hurts your brand recognition. An eager young developer wishing to join the BDTechnologies team might be put-off by an application form mentioning the Concept Studio team. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that talent! Then again judging by the way BDTechnologies counterfeited our site, right down to the logos contact info and more, it’s clear that they’ve done the best job out of all our copycats.
5 – Leaving in our contact information and directions to our Office
As long as we’re on the subject of replicating our brand identity…(and this should go without saying, but) DON’T KEEP OUR CONTACT INFO ON YOUR PAGE! Sending your prospective clients over to the people who built the site you ripped off is a sure-fire way to lose business.
The same logic applies to providing directions to our office instead of yours! Unless there is a city called Yerevan in India where you’ve replicated our interior design as well, your clients will be quite surprised to follow your map to Concept Studio in Armenia.
The guys over at BDTechologies found a creative work-around, by simply renaming the streets of Yerevan to those of Ludhiana, India. Points for originality, but your clients will still get fooled, since your office is literally NOWHERE!
Now, we won’t venture a guess as to why a creative agency would need to steal sites from other design studios instead of designing in-house. But if that’s your thing, why not consider using a template? Free, fully-responsive HTML5 templates are easy to find. If you absolutely need to uphold your reputation as a serious design agency,…try dishing out a whole $16 for a professional template and avoid the embarrassment of being called out for plagiarism. But hey…if you really loved our design, and need a custom creative website, you can always reach out to us. We’ll be happy to help!