It’s easy to see a successful web service and think, “I could do that too – Hey website developer, build me a clone site, just like this one!” Here are a couple of pitfalls you need to consider before putting significant time and money into building another lame-o Me Too service.
The Cost of a Real Top Website (Which a Clone Site Imitates)
Most successful web services (examples being Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Trulia, Craigslist, etc) evolve quickly once they get traction. What may have started off as a garage venture must scale very fast with the technical challenges, keeping the service online and generating income.
When you look at a social networking website or a robust platform for industry, you are looking at a something that took quite a lot to produce.
Mid five and six figures is the right ballpark to be thinking of. Sometimes seven. We’re talking about vast empires here! At their peak, they employ teams of developers working constantly to deploy new features and fix any bugs that come up. Are you ready to start and run that scale of business? If yes, well then Hello There. And if not, let’s figure out something that is right for you.
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. I think we all know that title belongs to Ron Popeil. And I know he is the king of sales because here we are decades after all of his infomercials, and I have a friggin RONCO food dehydrator in my own kitchen. And of course it works great! (I understand the rotisserie oven is also quite popular, but I digress.)
Web Hosting Considerations and the “Me Too!” Site
To run a fabulously profitable and highly trafficked service, you are going to need serious server power (stay away from cheap web hosting). The costs for this can really add up, thousands a month is not unheard of. Heck, one of the reasons hosted video is so popular is that the file just eat up a certain amount of bandwidth and disk space. Want to be top tier? The site has got to stay fast.
You will want your web developer 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.
If you thought a cheap clone site on entry level web hosting was the ticket to millions, boy have I got news for you.
Copyright Violation and Plagiarism
A responsible professional says No to requests to copy another site, be it pixel for pixel or word for word (aka create a clone site). It is an unethical and often illegal thing to be doing anyway.
If you ask for a directly-ripped copy of something, prepare to get a cold shoulder. That’s stealing plain and simple! Why not aim a little higher and do something unique? Create something that is the best in only the way you could imagine.
Marketing and Sales Are the Magic, Not the Clone Site
The real magic to entering a market with a similar product is that you must have an excellent marketing and sales plan ready to roll. A little SEO and a prayer is not enough. All web professionals will tell you that without marketing and sales, even the best websites will fail silently.
Are you a marketing ninja? Well then whaddya need a clone for? You could choose anything!
What to do then?
Let’s face it, you need a business plan with a marketing plan inside it and a kickass attitude. That will be your own special sauce. Start there, and decide what you will sell, and to whom. Maybe in the end you WILL have some similarities to another service that is currently taking the world by storm. That’s great!
With your plan in hand you need a professional custom website builder. You need your service to be stable, secure, and fast. Don’t take chances on shaky hires. Do it right!
Lauren Grey builds custom business websites in Scottsdale for ROI minded clients. She loves to find inspiration in all sorts of places — including other websites — but an outright clone? No way, Jose. That’s lame. Why don’t we do something new and something you?
If this straight talk is landing on you and giving you pause, why don’t you reach out and grab a free consultation for your project. We’ll make magic in your style.
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