Meta? Thoughts on 'making common sites"?

I am curious on the thoughts of others here.

What is the opinion for requests looking for help that want to make a “clone” of a common site, i.e. google.

I personally debate whether these requests are in good faith or to create a scam site. Obviously i wouldn’t help with a “PayPal” or similar type request, but a generic Google site is just 1 small button added in the upper corner (Store) from being exploited. Am I over thinking this?

I suppose it depends on what ‘clone’ means: cloning exactly what the site does (but it looks different), cloning the visual design or both? Ultimately, a clone should have some differences on the original concept and not infringe on IP. Was the original Facebook a clone of previous attempts of social networking sites? Is this forum a clone of other forums? Maybe they were and are.

I suppose anyone with the appropriate knowledge could create a search engine with very similar features to Google, with an added feature, such as connecting to IoT devices.

With regard to PayPal, creating a site that is identical to PayPal would cause problems for end-users differentiating between the two, and would probably be illegal. However, creating an online payment system that does pretty much the same thing as PayPal, but looks different in some ways would probably be okay. Besides, banks are clones of each other (they do the same thing but look different) and try to have different USPs.

Also, consider all of those sites that when you look at them, you think, ‘Hmm, looks like Bootstrap’ or ’ Another Wordpress template’. And then there are those website builder websites that harvest clone after clone after clone on an hourly basis.

1 Like

I’m questioning the visual aspect when I say “clone”. Not the actually function of the site. For malicious reasons is my concern.

I’ve seen it here a few times and just now starting to question it. “I want to make a page that looks like Googles homepage”

Which should be innocent, but can easily be exploited. Making a site that looks like Google homepage can be innocent and a fun project to mimic a popular (easy) site or be a Trojan horse for unsuspecting people. i.e. sarchgoog.le (not a real site).

I understand what you mean now. I responded to that post after the OP replied to you today.
It’s not easy to determine what a person’s intentions are with knowledge given to them. I don’t have experience about what the OP was trying to do, but it seemed there was a genuine need to know how to step from the design stage to the coding stage of a project. I could be wrong, but if the intention was to perfectly copy Google Search page, why not just take a high-res screen shot and use that?

If you are concerned about any post, perhaps it is better to flag it to the moderators so they can deal with it according to their procedures.

1 Like

Clone the overall look and feel if you choose, but at least change something up, the name at the very least. When Picasso said “great artists steal”, he didn’t mean wholesale.

1 Like

The Odin Project, an other open source project about teaching to code (in an other stack tho) has creating a clone of google homepage as a task to learn to use html and css

I think that there is nothing wrong in doing it as a learning exercise, to create a static page, the issue come with where this page is hosted, and if it also has functionalities similar to the original page

1 Like