Website experiment –

I wanted to challenge myself, and just actually see if you could write an entire website (with a MongoDB backend) just by copying and pasting code from various web resources.

I struggled a little with finding correct variable names and sometimes had to google words to get them, but managed to build an entire site with no coding whatsoever!

The github repository can be found at and you are free to fork it for whatever nefarious means that you may have. The only rule is that if you contribute code to it, you are not allowed to code anything. You need to copy and paste stuff in ONLY!

I started out by registering a new domain on Afrihost ( and chose their “Bronze Home” package, which does not include a database or anything else. It cost me a grand total of R9.00 (which is less than $1 USD) and I was up and running.

I then used a Twitter Bootstrap generator to drag and drop out a simple layout for the site (mostly using LayoutIt interface builder) plus some other examples from around the web.

For the database, I signed up for a free account at MongoLab and chose the Rackspace DFW as my datacentre of choice. I then grabbed my Mongolab REST API key at<yourusername> and set up a user to authenticate with.

Once all of that was done, I then started using a variety of discussion forums, Google, and Stack Overflow, as well as blogs, and mailing lists to get the code that I needed.

99% of the code is pure copypasta, I simply changed some variable names and pasted them in too.

What I found from this exercise is that it is very simple to create a web app in this manner. If I had not been so puritanical about the copy and paste scenario, I could have done this in about 20 minutes. In all, it took around 2 hours.

This simply shows that with a little knowledge and time, you too can do something cool without writing code. It also demonstrates the power of the open web. If so many people had not contributed their knowledge freely and openly, this project would have been impossible!

Think about that a while…

The website, in all its glory, can be found at

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  • GeoffChisnall

    Seriously dude…this is awesome! Well done! 😀

    • Paul Scott

      Thanks Geoff! Appreciate it!

  • Matt Visser

    Very cool project!

  • Wil

    Congratulations. I agree with you. With the right knowledge one can build something fast and Open is always the way to go. Why be stingy? I am still gathering knowledge and fervently so because I believe we are on the verge of a BIG growth period in web development. A 3rd wave kind a thing but who is counting?

  • alexdown

    cool stuff. congratulations!

  • the_brains