Local Decorator Using My Website Design, What To Do??

Decorating By cakeschmake Updated 27 Nov 2010 , 5:35am by alleykat1

cakeschmake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 6:35am
post #1 of 46

I was browsing Craigslist to see who was advertising their cakes on there, I always seem to find someone who is no doubt unlicensed and selling cheap cakes. Anyway, I find one of course and visit her freewebs website and see she is using the exact same layout design as I am icon_cry.gif

I pay for my website through webs.com and have had this design for nearly two years, I hate to change it because I don't care for any of the other templates they offer and I feel it best matches my shop and biz cards. I like it, it took a long time to build, and I'm attached to it..

Her cakes are no where near the level of mine, and I do not consider her competition at all, even though she is in the next city with my other competition. But I don't like the association of her poorly decorated cakes, bad spelling, and grammar issues all on a website that looks like mine. I won't post her site here for everyone to see, but I am not exaggerating at all.. it is bad.

Would it be rude of me to ask her to change her site so that it does not have the same design as mine?

45 replies
madgeowens Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 6:55am
post #2 of 46

You can ask her but its no certainty she will do it. If your cakes are way better why worry about it?

cakeschmake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 7:09am
post #3 of 46

my website is www.sweetartbybecky.com

If you can imagine the blue background, along with the stripes and the brown scalloped header on her website are identical to mine.

To me it just looks bad for them to be so similar.

Edited to add:

I think I would be just as upset if she did nice work. It's not just the quality of her cakes that bothers me, it is that she has copied my website layout. I want my website to be as recognizable to customers as a logo would be.

madgeowens Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 7:32am
post #4 of 46

Personally. if I am searching for cakes, then its the cakes I am looking at and not the website design. I have seen this header before but can't remember where ....like I say, I would be interested in the cakes............now if your cake pics start showing up on her site, then I would really be hopping mad!

biscocoFJ Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 7:33am
post #5 of 46

just wondering if you paid web.com for this design? doesnt this design/concept now belong to you?

cakeschmake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 7:45am
post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscocoFJ

just wondering if you paid web.com for this design? doesnt this design/concept now belong to you?




I pay for a domain name without "freewebs" attached to it and there are other benefits to being a paid member, but the design templates are up for grabs for anyone who uses the site for their web hosting. It takes less than a minute to change that template.

I know she has a right to use whatever she likes, but since we are in the same area I don't want our sites to look alike. I'm not the most well know decorator here, but chances are if she's done any researching at all she has seen my website anyway, I come up in the google searches for our area.

And I would have called her up quickly if I noticed some stolen photos icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:08am
post #7 of 46

Maybe she doesn't know. We have two florists in the same city using the exact same template and exact layout. You would think that one of them would change. It looks like one that FTD must offer. Almost all of the florists have the SAME layout and exact same flowers... a canned web site, but they must have been able to pick the art and these two are exact. That being said, it doesn't do either of you any good to be associated. It will be confusing to the public. If she won't change, you really should. I am sure you don't want to change, so hopefully it is an oversight on her part and she will fix it for you.

biscocoFJ Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:24am
post #8 of 46

I agree, she may not know. Just send her a message. If i was new and wanted new customers I wouldnt want my website to look the same as someone else in the same area, so you might just do her a favour. No harm in trying, and no use changing it now without asking first, they might just agree. icon_smile.gif But if they dont, its sad that you might have to change yours, 2 years alot of clients have now recognised your website, colors, concept and look, but ask first...

biscocoFJ Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:25am
post #9 of 46

and you dont want customers mistakenly ordering her poor quality cakes from yours quality cakes

cakeschmake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:36am
post #10 of 46

I think I'll go ahead and send her a polite email. I just don't want to come across as petty or rude, its her business how she does her website. I have no legal right to it, but I am obviously more established than she is. I can only hope she understands... we'll see.

scp1127 Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:52am
post #11 of 46

Good luck... let us know how it turns out.

myslady Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 10:19am
post #12 of 46

You're right in thinking customers may get your businesses confused. Brand identity is important for all businesses. That being said, it would be nice if she changed it for you, however, being that it's a free template you can't claim sole use of it.

I was at handcock fabric once looking at their book of business cards for a seamstresses. One big thing I noticed is that many of them had the same business cards because they vistaprint. It looked a little odd to see the same card design across a few pages, but that's the risk you take when you use free items.

CakeDiva101 Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 11:33am
post #13 of 46

I can see how that would upset me as well. I'm not sure about this but I think if you are using a template from somewhere that is not your trade marked. Anybody can have the same. Your domain is the use of your name as the web site. She can't use your name . The same thing happened to me with my business cards. I used a templete, I paid for the cards and I have seen a few people with the same card and a matching website. I'm now custom designing my new card and website. She could have gotten the same templete at the same place you did or someplace else. I hate to say this but she doesn't have to change if she doesn't want to. If you want something to be yours and have a leg to stand on in case someone copies you, you need to trade mark your stuff. You may want to look into that for details. I hope all works out for you.

BTW , Im sure she is not the only one using the same design but the fact that she is substandard and in the same area would really upset me as well.

Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving


Brittany

thumbs_up.gif

karensjustdessert Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 12:24pm
post #14 of 46

If she is not using pictures of yours, and is using a template for her site design, I don't think a polite email will go over well. With the hundreds of thousands of businesses in this country, there are many who will have similar graphics for their sites, or business cards, or signs, or even stationery.

If you don't own the site design, there is not much you can do but shrug your shoulders and move on.

ShaunPepe Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 2:31pm
post #15 of 46

I too have seen this exact design on a few cake websites. There is actually one in my town using this template. I think you can go ahead and ask the other cake decorator, but honestly if I had spent hours chosing a design and puting up my website for my business and then another business asked me to change it, I would say no. Especially if it was from a decorator that produced nicer cakes than mine. Sorry for the honestly, but i think you are going to have to face the fact that because you used a free template (I know you paid for the name) that there are going to be others out there with the same website as you.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 2:48pm
post #16 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaunacey

I too have seen this exact design on a few cake websites. There is actually one in my town using this template. I think you can go ahead and ask the other cake decorator, but honestly if I had spent hours chosing a design and puting up my website for my business and then another business asked me to change it, I would say no. Especially if it was from a decorator that produced nicer cakes than mine. Sorry for the honestly, but i think you are going to have to face the fact that because you used a free template (I know you paid for the name) that there are going to be others out there with the same website as you.




That's just making me laugh out loud. icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 2:52pm
post #17 of 46

And for what it's worth--I would not ask the other decorator to change. I would suck it up or change mine.

TandTHarrell Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:07pm
post #18 of 46

I think it petty of you to ask her to change her website.

cakegrandma Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:19pm
post #19 of 46

Unless you have a web developer that can make your site distinctly your own then the other caker has the right to use that template. Like others said, it is free and anyone can use that design. I think that you are being petty and should just let it go. You may make an enemy that could bad mouth you for asking her to change the site background.

gatorcake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:23pm
post #20 of 46

I do not see a reason you have to send even a polite letter. You cannot prove she knew of your website or copied it. You have no reason to ask her to change her site. What are you going to say? I was using this standard template first please change yours. Do you not see the problem?

It is a standard template open to anyone to use, whether you used it first or not is irrelevant. Anyone can use the template, you have no claim on it simply because you used it first. As unfortunate as it is that someone else is using the same template, if you do not want to be associated with this other site, it is up to you to change your design.

ShaunPepe Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 3:43pm
post #21 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

What are you going to say? I was using this standard template first please change yours.




thumbs_up.gif I love this!

Kaylani Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 4:07pm
post #22 of 46

I used Vistaprint at first just to get started becuase it was free. It was the blue with a 3 layer tier cake.

There are a gazillion cake people using that template. It drove me nuts. We went to a demo at our local cake store & 4 people had the same logo on hats or t-shirts. It was crazy.

We pretty quickly decided it was a mistake to brand our company using a logo & site that could be someone elses.

The best decision we ever made was to have a logo desgned for us. We now brand ourselves proudly & no one looks like us. No confusion, no free advertising for other competitors.

We opened our shop recently & a FB customer came in and said "I knew it was you right away when I saw the sign because I see it all the time on my FB".

icon_biggrin.gif

cakeschmake Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 8:37pm
post #23 of 46

I know full well that I don't have any right to ask her to change her website and honestly I really dont care if I'm being petty. I was angry to see her bad cakes on a site that looked like mine! I am not trying to be mean to anyone, we all didn't start out decorating the best cakes ever, including me. But I didn't put up a website and start selling until my skills were up to par.

I'm over it now. I am going to suck it up and change my site.

Thanks for all of your replies! icon_smile.gif

cownsj Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 9:10pm
post #24 of 46

I can think of 3 reasons she chose the same design as yours.

1. She just happens to like it

2. She didn't know someone else in the area uses it

3. She wants her site to looks like someone whose cakes she is most impressed by. And that is certainly a compliment.

jillmakescakes Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 9:42pm
post #25 of 46

Please note that this is not directed at the OP, but everyone in general icon_biggrin.gif

This is a prime reason to build your brand from the get-go. Your brand is not your website, or even your company name. It is the overall package of your business. Are you sophisticated, whimsical, funky, edgy, romantic ,etc. Once you have this, then you can build your business cards, website etc to fit this "feel"

This does take more time and effort, but it is well worth it.

omoruyi Posted 25 Nov 2010 , 10:15pm
post #26 of 46

ohh i love this

tracycakes Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 1:00am
post #27 of 46

Freewebs - free templates. it's the same reason I don't use Vistaprint. I designed my site to be unique and I designed my business cards. Personally, if someone "politely requested" that I change my template because they are also using it, I would "politely" ignore it.

-K8memphis Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 1:05am
post #28 of 46

You can still design your own on Vistaprint.

cakeschmake Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 1:19am
post #29 of 46

I started out using freewebs and later changed to a paid version hosted by them. It is inexpensive which is what drew me in in the first place, and you get what you pay for. It would be nice if they offered different templates to paying members, but oh well icon_rolleyes.gif

Most of the changes are all done now anyway. I like what I've chosen, it allowed me to add my own cake photo to the header which is something I've wanted to do for a while.

Starting a business is not cheap, I chose to cut corners and I have to deal with that.

cakeschmake Posted 26 Nov 2010 , 2:32am
post #30 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracycakes

Personally, if someone "politely requested" that I change my template because they are also using it, I would "politely" ignore it.




Actually, if the tables were turned I would change my site. Call me crazy, but if I was new and inadvertantly copied the website of an established business so close to me I would fix it as a professional courtesy. I am a total pushover though icon_biggrin.gif

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