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WordPress

Carmine Sarno
Carmine Sarno
19,660 Points

Duplicate layout without plagiarizing?

My question is at the intersection of ethics and practicality. I'm creating a Wordpress theme for a friend and he has shown an example of a page he wants to emulate. The page has a custom WP theme, so he can't just purchase something similar out-of-the-box.

Thus, I'm trying to re-create the same kind of layout, but changing the look & feel enough to not have it resemble to original target page. Essentially, trying to duplicate the layout (nothing too unique about it, just works well aesthetically) without blatantly copying someone else's work. I think it's a generic enough div layout, and I'm changing other style elements (fonts, color scheme, etc).

How do you all go about this kind of task? Very subjective question, I know, but how much do you think is OK to copy from the other site's CSS before putting my own around it? Do all WP theme developers re-invent the wheel from scratch for every layout? Or is there an acceptable starting point where you can work from existing stylesheets, so long as you're not overtly copying someone's site.

Thanks!

3 Answers

Zac Gordon
STAFF
Zac Gordon
Treehouse Guest Teacher

Most WordPress Developers who regularly build sites have some sort of template to start with, even if it's a very basic starter theme.

It sounds like you're taking the right approach and I trust that you will be fine, but if it were me, I would look at it as a reference, but not get into copying their actual code.

Andrew Shook
Andrew Shook
31,709 Points

Carmine, If you are copying and pasting any kind of code from the example site, then I feel like that might be unethical and potentially infringing on the sites copy right. My recommendation is to code everything yourself, then change the look a little. People might know it looks like another site, but you should be in the clear.

Carmine Sarno
Carmine Sarno
19,660 Points

Got it. Thanks guys. I'm finding that I have to modify remove so much layout CSS that I might as well just write my own barebones template with a couple borrowed styles anyway.