Sometimes, business owners come to me with examples of other websites they have seen and want to duplicate. Or at least they want to copy certain elements from a cool web design they have come across.

Is that a good place to draw inspiration? I have had business owners and other web designers both ask me from time to time whether they should look to replicate cool website designs or not. While I never think it’s a great idea to simply copy something a colleague or competitor has put online (both because it’s unethical and because you want your own website to be unique), to me the bigger question about imitating another website actually has two parts. Let’s take them one at a time…

What Do You Like About A Cool Web Design?

Before you can integrate some aspect of a cool web design into your next site, you have to pick out what it is that is actually appealing to you. Is there a certain layout with columns and images you like? Do you appreciate the color scheme being used? Could it be something as simple as the fonts?

When you really get into these questions, the answers can be surprising. Sometimes, business owners will tell me they love a certain cool website design they’ve seen, but when we get into the details, it turns out what they really want is a new logo, better product photos, or higher resolution head shots for their team.

The closer you can get to figuring out what you like about a specific website, the easier it will be to incorporate those elements into your own pages.

Which Parts of A Cool Web Design Fit Your Business?

Assuming you’ve been able to figure out what you like about the other website, the next step is to determine whether or not it fits the theme and personality you are trying to establish for your business.

To go back to our earlier example, you may discover that certain colors or photo types don’t actually work for your company. However, there might be other elements – like a more modern finish, or certain fonts – that can easily be integrated into your next business web presence.

The trick here is to never “reach” and put something into your website just because you like it, if it won’t help with your branding or bring you closer to your business goals. Sometimes cool website designs are just that; not everything that’s interesting is going to be profitable or effective, especially when you carry it over from one business situation to another.

Business web design is all about finding the best way to inform people about your business over the internet. If you can do that by borrowing an idea or technique from a cool website design you have seen, it’s probably okay to see where inspiration leads you. Just be sure you don’t get yourself into trouble by duplicating someone else’s work or trying to force a bad fit.

If you’d like to talk about specific solutions for your website or internet marketing plan, take this chance to meet with the Biondo Creative team for a free consultation. You can contact us here.