From virtual assistants to self-driving cars, it’s clear that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming our world. Recently, AI has also entered the realm of website building. AI website builders promise professional and beautiful sites with minimal effort, using just a few prompts and a click. But how well do they actually work? Can you truly generate a website with AI in minutes? ⏱️
In this article, I’ll explore AI website builders and test one of the most popular options – Durable.co. I’ll show you how to go through the process of building a site with Durable.co to see if we get a high-quality result. 🥇
We’re excited and hopeful, but somewhat skeptical if AI can create a publishable website quickly. Let’s find out if AI website generators have what it takes! 🦾
Popular platforms to generate a website with AI
Here are some notable platforms that allow you to generate a website with AI:
- Durable.co: Durable’s website builder uses AI to create a website in just 30 seconds. It’s solid for a regular website, but as you’ll see during my test, I realized it doesn’t have ecommerce tools.
- Wix: Wix offers an AI-powered website builder called Wix ADI that personalizes sites based on user preferences. You also have the option to build a site from templates.
- 10Web AI Website Builder: 10Web AI Website Builder offers various design options and claims to create a website in only ten minutes. It has ecommerce functionality, too. It’s powered by the popular Elementor page builder plugin for WordPress.
- Jimdo: Jimdo’s website builder offers a fast and easy way to create a professional ecommerce site or blog using AI.
- Appypie: Appypie’s website builder uses AI to create apps and websites, providing users with customization options and the ability to launch their product in minutes.
For our testing below, we went with Durable, since it seemed the most promising from our initial research. 🧪🧪🧪
Is it possible to generate a website with AI using Durable.co?
Alright folks, let’s dive into this. Does Durable deliver on its snazzy 30-second website promise? Buckle up and let’s see if it lives up to the hype!
Step 1: Signing up for a Durable account 💻
I kicked off my journey by navigating to the Durable.co website. The interface is simple, making it easy for anyone to get started. Just click “Generate your website” to begin the process.
Step 2: Filling in the prompts ⌛
AI chatbots and builders need prompts or answers to produce desired results. Durable is no exception.
It presents a few initial questions for you to answer prior to building your website.
👉 The questions include:
- What type of business are you building? I said “Online Store,” since I’d like to see how well it handles ecommerce functionality.
- Where is your business located? Durable automatically detected my location.
- What is the name of your business? I went with “Pete’s Pasta Sauce,” an attempt to see if the designs provided by Durable are in any way related to a specific industry or product.
That was it! Only these three questions are needed to generate a website with AI. After you answer them, Durable shows you a button to “Generate Website.”
Note: I appreciate AI tools that suggest ideas for overcoming the challenge of starting with a blank page. Durable provides AI-generated suggestions for different prompts, including business names.
However, I was disappointed because the suggestions didn’t match the specific type of online store I wanted to create. Instead, they offered generic names related to “digital” or “online” shops.
Step 3: Examining the initial design results 🎨
My initial impression of the AI-generated website wasn’t great. It didn’t capture the desired mood of a pasta sauce shop. Instead, I encountered black colors, an unrelated hero image, and an overly basic structure. I mean, shouldn’t an AI tool detect the word “pasta” and at least sprinkle some red in there?
I also received several areas related to service-based industries. The structure for these sections looked excellent, but again, it would have been nice to start with at least some sort of relevant media and written content.
Elsewhere, the written content seemed to align quite well with the prompts, although it required editing and more details. Nonetheless, this gave me a glimpse of how AI can generate content that makes sense, even if just from a few prompts.
The “About Us” section looked good. The “Meet The Team” section provided the right structure but lacked relevant information. Even though AI can’t guess your names, it would be nice to see something creative. For example, a picture of a chef or titles that relate to a food company.
During my review, I also noticed that all Durable websites are responsive and work on mobile tablets and phones.
At this point, I have a basic website lacking the appropriate colors and media elements. However, the written content is decent, serving as a good starting point. The site’s formatting and structure are solid.
Now, we need fast and user-friendly customization tools to tackle the initial design issues.
Step 4: Customizing the design 🖌️
With the first draft of my design complete, I clicked the “Customize” button.
Here, you need to sign up for a free trial. Afterward, you must choose one of the paid plans, starting at $12 per month.
👉 So, how can we fix up this website? I liked how you can add a section right from the editor, and they offer pre-built sections for things like:
- And many more
I added a menu that populated with relevant media (mostly), pricing, and descriptions.
I also edited the theme with ease, changing the color palette to something more appropriate.
I liked the free stock images from Shutterstock and Unsplash. They helped me replace the irrelevant banner photo.
👉 As for customizing written content, each section provides a “Regenerate” button, which lets the user use the AI tool to adjust:
- The entire section
When clicking any of the content modules, you’re shown unique settings, with “Content” and “Style” tabs.
Step 5: Adding pages with AI and preset templates 📄
In this step, I added additional pages to my website, since the original AI generation only produced a one-page site.
⚠️ Note: You’ll notice I haven’t incorporated any ecommerce features yet. That’s because Durable doesn’t have any! They wrote a blog post on integrating with Stripe , but that’s a half-baked workaround. It appears you must go with Wix or Jimdo to generate a website with AI that supports ecommerce functionality.
Moving on, I’d like to add a new page to my website. Durable offers a well-placed “AI Assistant” to add elements like website pages.
You can also just click the “Create Page” button.
Luckily, Durable makes it simple for the user, with premade templates for commonly used pages.
👉 The content of those pages, however, was highly questionable (a picture of a grocery store parking lot for the “About” page?), but at least it provided a complete menu structure for pages I added:
To my surprise, the content written on many of those pages was quite relevant. It was generic, but at least inspired the user to expand upon it.
Step 6: Adding content with AI 👾
I wanted to fill these pages with relevant content and produce blog posts effortlessly. For regular website pages, content editors have an option to “Regenerate” existing content. This lets you generate a website with AI-created content.
Now the real test. Can Durable make me a full blog post with just one prompt? I tried the AI Assistant to find out.
Turns out, Durable does write full blog posts, but they’re short and lack specifics. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. A more detailed post would be nearly impossible, but this was a solid foundation.
My blog post about “The Best Pasta Sauces and Their Origins” had a list of ten delicious sauces, along with only five relevant photos (check out the crepe photo under “Marinara Sauce”).
As with most of my experiences generating blog posts with AI, Durable made the post at first appear like a real person wrote it. Yet, when you look closer, you notice extreme generalizations.
For example, asking for a simple recipe post about spaghetti and meatballs lacked measurements for ingredients, and the order wasn’t quite right.
Step 7: Configuring SEO settings 📈
Durable.co offers a user-friendly SEO settings section. Here, I edited the meta description, title, and SEO image. Plus, you can use the “Regenerate” button for AI content.
With all that, let’s look at what Durable did well, and where it stumbled.
Can Durable generate a website with AI? Pros and cons
To finish things out, let’s talk about what Durable does well…and poorly.
Where Durable succeeded 👍
- Incredibly fast site generation: One of Durable.co’s biggest wins is the AI’s speedy website building. Just provide a few details, and voila! Your website is ready in minutes.
- Decent site structure: The AI maintains a logical and user-friendly site structure, ensuring an easy-to-navigate layout.
- Quick and powerful customization: Another impressive feature is the swift and effective customization of post-AI generation. It offers great control to meet your specific needs.
- Minimal prompts: Durable.co’s process is straightforward, with their AI efficiently completing the job using minimal inputs. This makes the whole process hassle-free.
- AI suggestions for prompts: The AI’s business name generator offers creative suggestions when you’re feeling stuck.
Where Durable struggled 👎
- Poor choices for site colors and branding: Despite the AI’s attempt to select suitable colors and branding elements for my website, I found them mismatched with my industry’s standards and aesthetic preferences. This left me manually adjusting these elements to better suit my business.
- Media that didn’t reflect the business: Durable also lacked suitable media generation. The AI’s suggested images weren’t remotely close to what a Pasta Sauce store needed.
- No real ecommerce solution: There’s no ecommerce platform at all, just a way to embed a Stripe button.
- No AI logo generator: I was disappointed that Durable doesn’t offer an AI logo generator. Other platforms have this.
- Questionable accuracy/specifics for blog and webpage content: The foundation was strong, with proper formatting and general knowledge of the topic. However, the content faltered when it came to specifics or requiring experience to discuss a subject.
Are AI website builders ready for showtime? 🍿
After testing Durable.co’s AI website builder, we ask: can you truly generate a website with AI? The answer is…kind of. While there are limitations, like complex design elements and custom web development, these builders offer an easy and efficient way to create a basic website.
And if Durable lacks a feature, you can always make a website with AI platforms like Jimdo (for logo creation) or with Wix (for ecommerce functionality).
AI site generators are primarily for laying the foundation. You may need to adjust colors, content, and media afterward. Furthermore, the websites generated may not be the most unique, as they likely use a limited number of templates.
In conclusion, AI website builders like Durable offer a quick and easy way to create a website without technical skills. While there are limitations, they are a viable option for those needing a basic website quickly. 🚀🚀🚀
Have you tried to generate a website with AI? Share your experience below!