Web Design

A company in Birmingham wants to build a clone of  the Hallam website — and is willing to pay the princely sum of $220 (that’s rougly £146).

I discovered this advertisement a web development freelancers website called Odesk , and it looks like they are trying to build a website that looks a bit like some of the major SEO companies in the UK, including our site.

Should I be flattered, or annoyed, or both?


A little further digging showed this company is hiring SEO freelancers in the Phillipines who charge US$3 per hour.

I had to laugh when I saw the $220 price tag includes in its requirements a rigorous situation analysis. The Birmingham company wants to know “what systems have they been built in, the usability of the site, conversion points, etc and how you could make my site better”

Upon reflection, this kind of cowboy behaviour serves as a good reminder as to why Hallam has ten years of success: ethical, professional and personalised service for our clients.

And no SEO idiots!

Additional reading:

Protecting Your Copyright on the Web

7 responses to “Cloning Our Website – for $220”

  1. Mike Hunter says:

    Interesting article Susan. We’ve had some blatant copying of our site, in one instance we had a translator pinching most of our homepage content. An e-mail asking them to desist got them to take it down. In the other instance one of our well ranking pages was copied by a translation company in China. Assuming that we would just be ignored I wrote a strongly worded e-mail to their web-master, not only did they remove the content, but they also gave us an unsolicited back-link from a well ranked page. Restored my faith in human nature!

  2. Susan Hallam says:

    This is an interesting one, Mike.

    Like you, I have had sites stealing my content, and had success in getting it removed. I’ve added a link to an article I wrote on how to protect your copyright on the web.

    I’m feeling less confident on how to protect “look and feel.” Plagarism is easy to spot and prove, but design must be more subjective…

  3. Michael Huxley says:

    Your website is covered by copyright (and possibly Designright) and so cannot be copied and used commercially without your permission. The copy need not be exactly the same. If there are common elements, then they are the same. If your copyright covers the UK, then if the site is viewed in the UK, your rights are infringed
    I suggset that you get good professional advice from a specialist intellectural property lawer.

    • Susan Hallam says:

      Can you tell me a bit more about “Designright”, Mike? I’m sure everybody reading this blog would like to know more.

      I guess the real issue is I don’t know which company is ripping off the design. Could I demand to know from the owner of the freelance brokering website?

  4. I doubt the broking website will give you any details, but why not create a fake account with the site & place a bid for the job yourself? Ask them for briefing notes or further information & hopefully they’ll give something away. Alternatively, there may be a link on the broking site to make a complaint about them.

  5. Norman S. says:

    “SEO freelancers in the Phillipines who charge US$3 per hour.” You may think these guys are “SEO idiots” but you might be surprised at the level of expertise and ethical standards some of these online freelancers on oDesk have. Some of us likewise have “ethical, professional and personalised service for our clients.” Next time Susan you might want to think before you post something like this. Your “ten years of success” should have taught you not to disparage others by a generalization such as this.

    • Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

      Hi Norman,

      The real villian in this story was the UK company deliberately ripping off our website. The fact they were using an offshore company, to be honest, is neither here nor there. And I would agree entirely that there are some highly talented overseas professionals delivering quality services. I didn’t mean to imply the offshore company were the idiots; the idiots were at the company just up the road from us.


      Mouse2Design has changed their company name to Discount 4 You Limited….

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