It’s easy to see a successful web service and think, “I could do that too – Hey website developer, build me a website just like this one!” Here are a couple of pitfalls you need to consider before putting significant time and monetary investment into building a me-too service or “clone” site.
Real Top Website Cost
Most successful web services (examples being Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Trulia, Craigslist, etc) evolve quickly from their humble beginnings to outpace the market. What may have started off as a garage venture between friends must soon scale all the technical challenges necessary to keep the service online and generate income.
When you look at a social networking website or a robust platform for industry, even if you ignore the brand equity and the value of all the site’s users, you are still often looking at a product that took tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars to construct. The idea of making big easy money off a low end and cheap “facebook clone” is laughable, unless you are the salesman of the century. (Spoiler alert, that title belongs to Ron Popeil!)
Web Hosting Considerations
To run a fabulously profitable and highly trafficked service, you are going to need serious server power. Do not even entertain the thought of cheap web hosting, and probably not shared hosting either. You will want your website developers to craft the most lightweight and fast solution that they can, to minimize waste and keep things running quickly. As your website becomes ever more popular, your hosting needs will increase.
You will want to choose top tier providers for your hosting and digital product needs (security considerations, payment providers, etc) to keep things running smoothly. Downtime and slowtime will be lost dollars.
Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism
A responsible professional will turn down requests to outright copy, pixel-for-pixel or word-for-word, an existing website. It is an unethical request and frequently illegal depending on locality. Persons asking for a directly-ripped copy of a project that is not open source and appropriately licensed are not taken seriously in this business. You either want something unique (and in some way, the best), or you are creating a “me too” product.
Marketing and Sales
Lastly, the real magic to entering a market with a similar product is that you must have an excellent marketing and sales plan in place. A little SEO is not going to make you a millionaire overnight. Thousands of talented web professionals can attest that even the best solution with a fantastic codebase, without good traffic, can fail silently.
Consider your business budget carefully and make sure that the technical marvel of your product is not going to take too many more resources than the push you will use to bring it to market. Your custom website developer can offer you a plan to reach your eventual goals with a series of steps (also called builds or versions) so that you can scale your offering as your website gains traction.
Happy website building!
Sprise Media builds custom websites in Scottsdale for ROI minded clients.