You know, it’s interesting enough when your site gets ripped off, but when the very people ripping it off make extra efforts to bring it to your attention then you have to wonder if the ripoff artists are a few cigars short of a Cuban dictator. Below, you see the graphic for Ion Micro’s website, evidently under construction (**Update – We have removed the link to IonMicro’s site since it now appears to be a porn site). Then there is a screenshot of MWI’s blog, WeLoveBlue.com. Anything look similar to you?
The ripoff had been brought to my attention as early as February 24th of this year but I buried exposure of it in a comment trail on a post about another website ripoff, thus most people who read this blog weren’t informed of it and perhaps never would have been.
But today one Brian Millgrath posted a comment on another ripoff-related post on this website saying “Looks like you have too much time on your hands… Who cares at this point?” Well, I thought that was an interesting comment that bore looking into, so I checked out the URL of Brian’s email address, and what do you know, it redirects to a ripoff of our blog, the same one I had seen before, but now I felt it was worthy of being made front-page material.
So, here are my tips for rip-off web designers:
1. If you’re going to rip off people’s websites, change them enough that it’s hard to tell. Especially don’t copy the exact stylesheet, HTML code, and images and leave them all exactly the same, only switching out the logo and main photo on the homepage. But if you’re too lazy, at least follow these tips:
2. Get rid of any analytics tracking code you may have inadvertently copied over. Otherwise whenever someone hits your website it will show up in the victim’s analytics and they’ll be able to find you out pretty easily.
3. Don’t post comments on the blog of the person whose website you have ripped off.
4. And especially don’t post comments that draw attention to themselves. For example, if you are a ripoff artist, don’t defend other ripoff artists or seek to divert attention from them. This only draws attention to yourself.