Yes, AI is disrupting everything. Right now, you can build a website in minutes using AI. But should you?
But first, allow me to explain how it works:
Up until a short while ago, if you wanted AI to build your website, you had to give it a list of instructions half a mile long – and it would then spit out the code for your website.
Of course, generating the code – and implementing it on your website – wasn’t really something that the average person could do. Not to mention that making any changes took some doing too.
Now you have several websites where you can simply answer a few questions, input some basic information, and have your website generated for you. There is no need to give complex instructions, or to use FTP to upload the coded website to your hosting server.
It is – depending on how fast you type, or whether you have the info about your business typed out before you start – something you can literally do in a matter of minutes.
Of course, the company takes care of the hosting too. It literally couldn’t get any easier.
So yes, You CAN build a website in minutes using AI. Literally. Not to mention you can use it to build anything from an informational website to online shops to online marketplaces (your own mini-Amazon, if you like).
Not to mention it is built using WordPress, so doing edits is not that complicated either.
You can have a look at such an AI website builder at web.com.
(the link will open in a new tab so you can come back here and continue reading if you want to)
But SHOULD you?
Well, there may be a small flaw or two in the concept…
First, there is the fact that everything is generic. Generic text, generic pictures, generic layouts, generic everything. After all, this is a “one size fits all” solution.
So if you want to simply “have a website”, which you don’t expect to generate any leads or sales, then great. Go for it. Some small business owners actually want that.
If you want a website that actually converts a decent percentage of its visitors into leads or sales, then maybe not.
Why do we say that?
Well, that brings us to the second small flaw: Audience.
The people in a small town are different from people living in the city. And in the city, people vary according to income, education and neighborhoods they live in. People also differ somewhat between states, yet these AI website builders serve clients from all countries, never mind different states.
Each of those types of people have different expectations, and they do things differently. Depending on the industry you serve, they may do things very differently.
Which one of those types of people is the one your new AI generated website was built for?
Given the price point, it is unlikely that the AI will do intensive research on your audience and your competitors to determine your selection of information, your tone of voice and your positioning.
(in most cases, the AI used doesn’t belong to the hosting company – it belongs to one of the larger AI corporations like Open AI, which charges for the information requested remotely using the API protocol. The more work the AI/API has to do, the more it costs the website service provider. Doing intensive market research would cost quite a bit. Not to mention it would require some very smart coding on the side of the service provider to tell the AI exactly what to look for.)
At webs.com, pricing starts at $1.95 for the first month (which goes up to $19.99/mo after that). Considering the risk of you canceling before the end of the first month, our guess would be that market- and audience research is not part of the package.
Which type of audience is that website generated for?
Is it for the people of Beatrice, Nebraska, or is it for the people of downtown San Fransisco? Is it for people living in the Bronx, or for people living in Manhattan?
Here’s the problem:
If your website doesn’t resonate with the audience you are targeting, your website’s conversion rate (from visitor to lead/client/customer) is not going to be as good as it can be.
If your website doesn’t resonate with its visitors, chances are that a percentage of them will be unwilling to trust you.
So if you are considering building an AI generated website, consider this:
What is the typical lifetime value of each client or customer you acquire?
(including that they buy from you over the expected period for which the average person stays with you, and the value of those referred by the average client or customer)
Now ask yourself this:
How many clients or customers are you willing to risk losing to save on the cost of building a website?