There are many reasons people want to clone a website.
How easy (or difficult) it is depends on how the website is built.
Cloning a Website
A lot of people find this page because they are looking for how to clone a website.
How you make a copy depends on how the website is built.
- A simple static HTML site could use software like HTTTrack
- A website built with open source code like WordPress can use a plugin to duplicate the site. (You need admin access to the website though)
- A website with PHP files and a database can be cloned to create a copy IF you have access to the web hosting account. *
- A website built with a page builder like GoDaddy, Squarespace, Wix or Shopify can NOT be cloned easily. You can copy the content, but you do not have access to the source code and database. You need to rebuild your website.
PHP/MySQL websites create HTML pages from source code. What you see on a web page is a result of the website code. You can not make a copy without having access to the web hosting account. So if you want to clone a website that has a database if you don’t own/have access to it, you are looking at new website development with same/similar features.
Why Clone a Website?
When you hear the term “clone a website”, this means making a copy of a website, or to duplicate it. There are multiple reasons why someone would want to clone a website.
- To have a backup copy of a website
- To move a website to a new host
- To have a second copy of a website to test and make changes before applying to a live site.
- Your company is expanding services and you want to build a new website, similar to you existing website.
- You like a design, features or functionality of an existing website online, and want to use it as inspiration for a new website.
How to Make a Copy
How to clone a website depends on how it was built. It can be easy to make a copy or a challenge depending on:
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FAQs about Website Cloning
If you own the website you want to copy, yes.
Using a website that someone else owns as inspiration for a new website project is ethical. Taking an exact design and/or content is not. (Don’t ask me to do this, I won’t.)
If you have access to the web hosting account, making a copy of a website is much easier.
If you are using website builder software, cloning a website is going to be more like a rebuild. By this I mean, the code can not be taken and copied (the content and images can though), A new site would have to be built to match what it currently looks like. The same concept applies if you see a website that you like and want to use for inspiration. A web developer can build a new site that has a similar look and functionality, but it would be build from scratch.
Because websites are built with so many different technologies, there is no single answer for this. Some software makes it easy to automatically clone a website. (ie WordPress) Many other types of website require some level of manual work though. So short answer, No, there is no “website clone maker” that you can simply copy a site code, content and all.
There are a lot of factors that determine how easy or difficult it is to clone a site. Cloning a WordPress site where you have access to the admin area, I can do within an hour. Cloning a website from a website builder could take a couple hours up to 20 or more depending on the size of the site. Contact me for a free estimate to clone your site.
A website clone is an actual copy of the website code. This means the source code, database and all content. When you want to build a website with similar functionality to a website you do not own, this is new web design and development. Sure I can design and develop a new website for you.
Absolutely. WordPress can be duplicated easily. There are several really good plugins that can accomplish this.
I can make a duplicate of your WordPress site to store as a backup or install it on another domain or sub directory for you.
Squarespace is a piece of software developed build a website without any programming knowledge. I am a web programmer. I code web application software. ( I would need to be hired as a programmer by Squarespace to do the type of work I do.)
Squarespace provides some tools to be able to duplicate your website. There are a lot of limitations though. You can read about it on their support site.
I talk more about hosted vs non hosted websites and the pros and cons on my blog.