Wix’s new tool can create entire websites from prompts

What to expect from website builders in 2023? That’s the question many startups — and incumbents — are trying to answer as the landscape changes, driven by the trend of generative AI. Do codeless drag-and-drop interfaces still make sense in the era of the prompt and media-generating model? And what’s the right level of abstraction that won’t alienate more advanced users?

Wix, a longtime fixture of the web building space, bets that customers today don’t really care to spend time customizing every aspect of their site’s appearance.

The company’s new AI Site Generator tool, announced today, will allow Wix users to make their point and generate a complete website with a homepage, inside pages, and text and images — as well as business-specific sections for events, bookings, and more. Avishai Abrahami, co-founder and CEO of Wix, says the goal is to provide customers “real value” as they build their sites and grow their business.

“The AI ​​Site Generator leverages our domain expertise and nearly a decade of experience with AI to fine-tune the model to produce high-quality content, custom-built designs and layouts,” said Abrahami. “We’ve done a lot of testing and had a lot of in-depth conversations with users to make sure we’re delivering real value. That’s why we chose to do it now.”

Image Credit: Wix

AI Site Generator may be Wix’s most ambitious AI experiment to date, but it’s not the company’s first. The recently launched Wix text generator leverages ChatGPT to provide users with the ability to generate personalized content for specific sections of websites. Meanwhile, its AI template text generator generates all the text for a given site. There’s also an AI domain generator for web domain name brainstorming, which sits alongside Wix’s suite of AI image editing, enhancements, and creation tools.

According to Abrahami, Wix didn’t jump into AI because it’s the darling of Silicon Valley right now. He sees technology as a genuine way to streamline and simplify the process of building back-end business functionality, infrastructure, payment capabilities and more for customer websites.

Wix AI website builder

Image Credit: Wix

According to Abrahami, small businesses in particular struggle to launch and maintain sites, potentially causing them to miss out on revenue opportunities. a 2022 survey by Top Design Firms, a directory to find creative agencies, found that nearly 27% of small businesses still don’t have a website and low traffic, followed by adding “advanced” functionality and costs, are the top challenges they face with their business. website.

AI Site Generator takes a few pointers — any site description — and uses a combination of internal and third-party AI systems to create the envisioned site. Within a chatbot-like interface, the tool asks a series of questions about the nature of the site and business, trying to translate them into custom web templates.

ChatGPT generates the text for the website while Wix AI creates the site design and graphics.

Other platforms, such as SpeedyBrand, recently profiled by Zero2Billions, have achieved this. But Wix claims that AI Site Generator is unique in that it can build e-commerce, scheduling, food ordering, and event ticketing components automatically, depending on customer specifications and needs.

Wix AI website builder

Image Credit: Wix

“With the AI ​​Site Generator, users will be able to create complete websites, where the design matches the content, as opposed to templates where the content matches the design,” said Abrahami. “This results in a unique website that maximizes content-relevant experiences.”

The customer isn’t limited by AI Site Generator’s design, a not-so-subtle admission that AI is not at a point where it can replace a human designer – assuming it ever gets there. Wix’s full suite of editing tools — both manual and AI-based — are available to AI Site Generator users, allowing them to make tweaks and changes to their heart’s desire.

New editing-focused capabilities are also coming with the AI ​​Site Generator, such as an AI page and section builder that will allow customers to add new pages or sections to their site simply by describing their needs. The upcoming object remover will let users extract objects from images and manipulate them, while the new AI assistant tool will suggest site improvements (e.g. add products or change the design) and create personalized strategies based on site analytics and trends.

Wix Assistant

Image Credit: Wix

“The current AI revolution is just starting to unleash the true potential of AI,” said Abrahami. “We believe AI can reduce complexity and create value for our users, and we will continue to be a pioneer.”

But there is reason to be wary of technology.

As James Vincent of The Verge recently wrote part, the generative AI model is changing the web economy — making it cheaper and easier to produce low-quality content. Newsguard, a company that provides tools for checking news sources, has open hundreds of ad-supported sites with generic sounding names display misinformation generated by generative AI.

Cheap AI content is also a risk clog search engines — small businesses of the future almost certainly don’t want them. Models like ChatGPT excel at crafting search engine friendly marketing copy. But this spam can often bury legitimate sites, especially those created by those who don’t have the means or knowledge to optimize their content with the right keywords and schemes.

Even generative AI used with the best of intentions can go awry. Thanks to a phenomenon known as “hallucinations,” AI models can sometimes confidently fabricate facts or spit out comments that are toxic and highly offensive. And generative AI has proven itself plagiarize copyrighted work.

So what steps is Wix taking to combat all of this? Abrahami did not say specifically. But he emphasized that Wix uses a “bundle” of tools to manage spam and abuse.

“Our AI solutions are tried and tested on large scale quality data and we leverage the knowledge gained from usage and build workflows across hundreds of millions of websites,” said Abrahami. “We have many models, including AI, that prevent and detect model abuse because we believe in creating a safe digital space where basic user rights are protected. ChatGPT has a built-in model to prevent inappropriate content creation; we plan to use OpenAI moderation.”

Time will tell how successful that strategy will be.

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