Template-based website builder Wix has announced that, soon, it’ll let you create entire websites by typing a description into a box and answering a few follow-up questions. Everything, from the design to text and images, will then be automatically generated for you, and from the looks of things, it’ll be pretty fast.
In the past, companies like Wix and WordPress.com have let you create websites using templates you can tweak to your liking. But Wix says its new AI Site Generator feature goes beyond templates, using AI and algorithms to create a “unique” website.
At the moment, the company uses a mix of ChatGPT and its own tools to accomplish all of this. ChatGPT will handle text creation, with the company’s own AI models doing the rest. If Wix’s new AI site generator works well enough, it could make website building more approachable than it’s ever been.
A video showcases the new feature, starting with “Wix AI” asking what the website will be for. The user writes they want a fitness site and gives some details about what they offer. The chatbot then asks if it should take into account any other details and, in the last step, shows some sample pictures of fitness trainers and asks the user to pick the one that “best represents your desired outcome in terms of style and feel.” The user chooses one and then clicks “Generate Site.”
After that, a bunch of whooshing graphics show that it’s generating the site, and within seemingly seconds, it’s done. (The video looks a tad sped up at this point, but it’s hard to say for sure.) To edit, the user opens a prompt window to ask questions about alternative layouts and styles, for instance, and then chooses from the provided options.
The resulting website is impressive. It’s perhaps a little generic, but it’s far more professional-looking than anything I’ve ever managed to create using WordPress or Squarespace, and it’s in another world entirely from what you could’ve made with Wix 10 years ago. It has fancy overlaying scrolling animations and graphics, image cutouts, and more — all the stuff you’ve come to expect from the fancy, bloated websites of today.
What isn’t clear, and what I’m hoping the company can elaborate on soon, is how much direct control you’ll get over things. It looks as though you can enter custom text and upload your own images, but nothing in the video leads me to believe you can make a site that doesn’t look, well, like it was made with templates. Also, while the copy Wix’s AI creates looks good on this hypothetical website, we already know chatbots have trouble with the truth, so it’s hard to know how tedious it’ll be to make sure the details are right on your own site.
My final curiosity is this: with AI companies increasingly targeted in copyright infringement lawsuits, who’s responsible if someone sues you over a Wix AI-created part of your site? It seems like content made by Wix’s “Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)” will be the company’s burden to bear, with one page stating that “Wix ADI-generated content, as content provided by Wix is subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights, under local and international law.” But there’s no mention of ChatGPT. Does Wix consider ChatGPT-generated text to fall under the same copyright?
All in all, it looks like a pretty incredible tool that will make it way easier to make a website than the often clunky, cluttered interfaces that most website builders seem to offer these days. Will Wix’s new AI site generator be used to further fill the web with junk? Oh, probably. But it also has the potential, with friendly enough pricing, to help small businesses and entrepreneurs put a more professional foot forward than they could have otherwise.