Creating functional document for a website


I have an idea that I'd like to implement and on doing some research I realized that another website does exactly the same thing.

I would like to clone the site and since I am pressed for time, I was wondering if I could outsource the task of creating a document that clearly details how a website behaves. My plan is to incorporate additional functionality before handing the document over to the development team.

Are there any providers who can create the functional spec for a rather complex web bases system? Is it a good idea to outsource this task?

Development Outsourcing Website Documentation

asked Aug 22 '11 at 13:23
232 points
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  • you have been asking a total of 9 questions without accepting any of them. This might convince others not to answer to your questions anymore. – Yas4891 13 years ago
  • Thanks fir pointing this out. I have accepted answers to most if my questions – User2306 13 years ago

4 Answers


If I understand correctly, you want to outsource writing a functional spec that copies a competitors website? Really this just sounds bad all round.

It is bad etiquette and probably illegal to copy your competitors work like this. It is also very poor to not even write the specification for your business yourself, outsourcing this is like saying "I have a basic plan to do something, now someone else please go do it for me". This is not a recipe for success.

I know I come across harsh here, but I don't think you are cut out to run a business just yet. I think there are some values and understanding that are missing to be successful.

answered Sep 21 '11 at 22:11
Joel Friedlaender
5,007 points


I think only you can really make the call if it is a good idea. If you are that confident that the other site you've found is the basis that you are looking for (before your changes) then maybe it doesn't matter too much.

However, if you do this, who is going to be the person in your start-up who knows the product/service functionality back to back? If it were me, I'd want to be that person. That's because if it's MY idea (whether based on something else or not) only I know exactly how I want things to work (at least initially anyway).

Put the time in writing the requirements yourself- you might even find yourself improving the product or service even more as you think through what you want it to do. This improvement isn't something you can get from a contractor very easily as they won't have the same passion for the concept as you do.

answered Aug 22 '11 at 14:14
470 points


In my opinion this ain't a good idea. You are the only person on the world who exactly knows how that website should look and work.
You are the one who knows where to put the focus and you know (or can make up a mind about) the most minute of details. All things that could (and would) go wrong when outsourcing this essential task to someone else.

You should clearly write the functional specification yourself, then you can outsource the implementation work.

answered Aug 22 '11 at 14:05
186 points
  • Since I plan on cloning an existing site, the functionality is not really a secret. I would use the spec as a starting point to add features that would be exclusive to my site. The idea is to have something as a starting point that I can refine, remove or add features. – User2306 13 years ago


If you want to clone an existing site, then surely that site is your functional spec?

I have to say, cloning an existing site is an underwhelming business model.

answered Sep 21 '11 at 18:19
Steve Jones
3,239 points

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Development Outsourcing Website Documentation