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Will ChatGPT and Other AI Tools Replace Web Designers?

With the meteoric rise of ChatGPT and AI tools, can you do away with hiring a web agency and just build a website yourself from a few prompts?

This is a legitimate question, because tools already exist that use a ChatGPT to create website elements from simple prompts. But it’s not the case that you just ask it to build you a website and it sets up the domain and hosting and all that, you still need to build the foundations for it and action the output.

So can website owners go ahead and build their own websites now without paying the usual prices, and are web designers going to go out of business soon? Let’s take a look.

There are several AI tools available that can help you build a website. Some of the best AI website builders today here today in 2023 are:

  • Wix ADI is a high-quality AI website builder hosted on Wix, an all-inclusive platform that offers end-to-end website services.
  • Jimdo is a free AI website builder with affordable upgrades.
  • Unbounce is an AI landing page builder.
  • CodeWP is an AI tool for complex WordPress sites.
  • Framer is an example of where AI website builders are going.

These tools use artificial intelligence to streamline everything from designing a site and organizing your content into the appropriate pages to actually getting it online.

Whilst it’s now possible to create a website (or at least a single web page) from scratch in just a few minutes, is this really the right way to approach web design, and do AI tools have a place in website development at all?

Spoiler alert: the answer is a sort-of yes, but right now AI should not replace a web development expert, they should just augment the process and cut down research and development time.


The Traditional Approach

If you want to build a website, you really should follow the traditional structure that us mere humans have been using for many years now.

Discovery

If you hire a web development agency, they will first take time to understand your business and what you sell. They should work out how to present your services as an offer, and then build a content journey to support that.

Design

They should ask you about your preferences for visual design, as this is subjective and most people have a preconceived idea of what their website should look like, even if they cannot see it in their mind’s eye.

Content

They will help you put together the bare bones of your content, then flesh this out with copywriting, images and graphics.

Features

Building a requirements list of features and applications is a really important part of website development because you need to build the website architecture around the features.

Development

Once all the content, design and features are planned out, the work is done to put it all together into a tangible website that works and flows well.

Testing and Launch

Once the website is complete and everything has been tested, the domain gets switched on and services like analytics and search console are connected.

So, can AI do all this too?

As you can see, even in this heavily summarised version of a website development project, there’s no way a few prompts into an AI engine could produce all this work and put all these pieces together.

Sure, if you are a window cleaner and you just want a page that states what you do and shows your contact details and a contact form, then AI could probably produce that with a few simple prompts.

But if you are a service based business, or ecommerce store with a diverse range of products and services, and some very specific use cases or customer benefits, then you really need to do the work to understand this before building a website.


How can AI assist in web design?

Planning

Clearly, AI is great for research and planning. It shortens the research process, but do not always just accept the first answer it give you. Remember the days where you clicked on 20 results in Google and cross-referenced information, this still need to happen somewhat.

Design Ideas

Coming up with a compelling design and layout for your content and brand is usually a difficult process. It’s really hard to be completely unique, usually what you need to do is model your ideas around existing ideas and customise it to make yourself stand out.

AI can be a good way to research a lot of different ideas quickly, especially if you are not that inventive yourself. But in my opinion, if you want a really good outcome you should put your faith in someone that actually has a good eye for design, generic ideas from ChatGPT may just look, well, generic.

Copy

If you know the bare bones of your copy and want it written well, then using AI is a viable option. Just be aware that ChatGPT has a particular way of writing, and a lot of people will recognise AI writing when they see it.

Hopefully you can tell from my style of writing that I am actually sitting here typing this out for you, from my knowledge and own research, this is not generic answers. But I do use ChatGPT in places where I want to give a precise answer to something without spending ages looking it up, but even then I check that what it has given me is accurate.

Images

I’m sure you have already seen the images coming out of ChatGPT connected image generators, and whilst they are impressive, I am yet to see many real world applications of this outside of a bit of fun.

We’ve seen people creating Instagram accounts of AI women, gaining millions of followers and fooling the world that they are real, but can you get AI to create usable images for your products and services? I would like to see the examples, I’m sure it’s possible for some things, but is it not just really clever stock imagery?

Web Page Design

Whilst you could get AI to build you an entire page, at the moment I would not recommend it. What it is definitely good for is writing sections of code. Even proficient code developers need a reminder of syntax and parameter structure from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with asking ChatGPT to give you a section of code to develop a responsive banner, or javascript function.

Debugging

ChatGPT can also be used to fix broken elements and fill in gaps in your code. But this can become a rabbit hole and it is much better to rely upon a human that can think laterally to fix issues.


Wrapping Up

So to the original question, will ChatGPT and other AI tools replace web designers – the answer right now is no, but they do present a lot of opportunity to speed up and simplify the web development process.

If you need anything other than a simple one page website, then you should approach someone that knows what they are doing. Large companies spend tens of thousands on their web development projects because it requires a whole team of people to implement all the components, and ChatGPT just can’t replace that right now.


Thanks for reading, follow me, please share this, and subscribe below to give me some kudos.

Chris Bradshaw

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About the author

I created Ecom Uprising because I spent more than a decade searching the internet to find the answers I needed to grow the businesses I was working for, and I wished there had been one easy to use resource with reliable information. So here it is.

Thanks for reading, Chris

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