So you’ll have heard you can get a website built – for free – using an AI web builder. It’s an automated tool that’ll use existing websites as inspiration to create a new site for your business, in minutes.
Sounds like a great deal, right?
Well, it’s not a bad place to start if you’re not quite ready to hire a WordPress website developer yet, but you might encounter a few issues. AI web builders tend to run up against some common problems, and while there are ways around them, you first need to have a clear picture of what you’re trying to achieve with your website.
Deciding what you need in an AI website builder for your business
When you’re deciding how to build your new website, the first step is to think about the kind of website you want. Will AI really do the job? Or should you find a WordPress web designer instead?
Simple websites for straightforward businesses
If you’re a service-based business, you might only need a simple informative site with an invitation for people to contact you.
But other types of business will have more complex needs, and might need websites to be more customizable.
E-commerce and online-based service businesses
Lots of businesses operate largely – or entirely – online. And they’ll come with different website needs.
If you’re selling products, for example, you’ll need an e-commerce site. If you’ve got an online course, you’ll need access to client portals. If your business is heavily image or video-based, you’ll need extra storage for client portfolios.
Maybe you’ll need customer support features, like an AI bot, or live chat? And if your business is on a growth trajectory, make sure there’s scope for your website to keep pace, too.
SEO for your website
You’ll also need to consider things like SEO – how will you make sure your new site is well-optimized to get you good rankings?
Don’t forget that – since Google now favours mobile first – you’ll also need the AI builder to adapt your site for mobile.
Understanding the costs
Another important aspect when deciding how to create your website is the budget. We’ve mentioned that many AI web builders are free, but remember you’ll still need to pay for hosting and maintenance.
Make sure you do the research to understand how much a site will cost you over its life – it might still be worth getting an AI website builder to create it for you, but you might consider it as a stop-gap till you’re ready for support from a pro.
Should you build your website yourself?
Lastly, think about the way you’d like to build the site. Are you hoping to do it all yourself, even without previous web-building experience?
If you’re a web-building-newbie, some AI website builders offer drag-and-drop functionality. They’ll let you move blocks around to create the content you need. Nice. But the customization available and the functionality you can offer your visitors might be limited.
Maybe you’ve got a little more technical knowledge? In which case, you could use hands-on WordPress web builders with drag-and-drop features – these offer much more scope for additional features and customisation than AI builders.
Your needs and web-building experience will influence your decisions on how to create your website. And, of course, you might decide it’s all too much to manage yourself – especially once you add in general maintenance and having to fix technical problems. If that happens, get in touch with a specialist WordPress web dev for a helping hand.
What are the most common problems with AI website builders?
AI website builders can be impressive. And they’re quick, too. But there are a few common problems that users of DIY website builders encounter, for example:
- limited customization
- limited functionality and accessibility issues
- SEO limitations
- Lack of human contact
Let’s take a more detailed look at the impact these problems might have, and how you might try to fix them.
Limited customization in AI web builders
Some website builders – especially those designed for AI website-building beginners, like Wix ADI – only offer limited customisation of the site they build for you. This can mean your site – or your business – could have difficulty standing out from the competition. Especially when compared with the bespoke service you’d get from working with a WordPress web developer.
If you’re not ready to hire a web designer yet, the way to get around this problem is to choose an AI website builder that gives you more customisation options, like Hostinger. AI tools like this invite you to describe your brand to help create a site that reflects your values and attributes.
Another really effective solution is to add plenty of your own content to your site. When you use your own images and update your site regularly with unique, engaging blog posts, you show how your brand is better than the rest.
AI website builders can do a great job of simple websites where you want your audience to book a call or contact you. But when it comes to something more complex, like creating an e-comm site or a membership portal, some AI website builders will struggle to do it in a reliable, user-friendly way.
If your AI web builder limits the functions you can have on your site, you’re also limiting the business you can do. And the way potential customers can engage with you. When choosing an AI builder, do your research carefully – make sure you choose a provider that can handle the functionality you need.
Alternatively, use a free AI website builder as a source of inspiration for layout and ideas to help you brief a human website developer.
Along with limited customization and functionality, AI website builders could make your website inaccessible to some people. For instance, can it be easily used with a screen reader? Are the colours distinct and contrasting?
To make sure your website is user-friendly for ALL your visitors, use tools like free contrast checkers. Remember to add alt text to all images. And ask a website developer or accessibility specialist to review your design before you publish.
Not every AI website builder is set up to deliver great SEO. As web building gets faster and easier, you’ll need to work even harder to rank for search terms that matter. Research the AI builders that’ll do SEO the best, but bear in mind that they might not fit with your functionality needs, or your ideals for how to build your site.
No human contact
Don’t get us wrong – AI website builders can be amazing at what they do. But what they lack is the personal touch. They’ve got no understanding of what they’re doing. And they don’t care about your business or your customers. And that could mean a website that falls flat!
Why common problems with AI website builders could hold you back
AI website builders can deliver fab-looking websites. But they can’t do everything.
They’re great for providing inspiration and a basic template. And many are simple to use, even if you’re a complete beginner. But they can’t always offer enough flexibility on design and functionality for your business.
This leads to a generic website that you can’t change to suit your business. And that’ll leave you stuck and frustrated. You could end up with a website that doesn’t fit the needs of your customers – now or in the future. So always look ahead to where you want your business to go, and make sure AI can build a site that will deliver.
How to fix common AI website builder problems
Still keen to take the plunge with an AI website builder? That’s great. Make sure you’re going in with your eyes open and some handy solutions in your pocket for when you run up against those common problems. Follow our five handy tips to keep your web build on track:
- Be clear on what you need from a website before you sign up to an AI website builder – that way, you won’t end up with a website that doesn’t fulfil your needs.
- Be realistic – make sure you know in advance what AI can and can’t do, otherwise, you’ll end up disappointed and frustrated.
- Check out the functionality that potential AI website builders will offer. For example, if you know you’ll need e-commerce, will the web builder integrate with Shopify or WooCommerce? Will you have a mailing list? In which case, look for Mailchimp compatibility. There are lots of possible integrations out there, like SEMrush for SEO, Share This buttons, Google Analytics, Salesforce and Hubspot. Check which AI website builders they’ll work with before you make your final decision.
- Need more complex features? Work with developers to add extra functionality to your website or help integrate other existing tools. You can also ask for advice or assistance from human designers before getting started.
- Think of an AI web builder as a temporary tool – it’s a great place to get started. But as your business grows, you’ll want to invest in a professional WordPress web developer.
How to overcome AI website builder problems
If you decide to go down the AI website builder route for your business, you could save yourself loads of time compared with doing it for yourself. And it might be cheaper than hiring a WordPress web developer. But always remember that AI isn’t perfect, and whatever AI web builder you use will come with its own set of limitations.
Consider getting an expert web developer to look at your plans before you go ahead – they’ll have the expertise to flag up any potential issues, saving you wasted time later on. Contact Potion Web Studio for an expert pair of eyes.