Artificial intelligence has been around for awhile now. But since the launch of Chat GPT (and, most recently, GPT-4), the broader cultural conversation around AI has skyrocketed. And for good reason! With the current state of AI and its intuitive applications, it’s an exciting technological concept that is suddenly very real and immediate in many aspects of our lives.
One immediately relevant application for business owners and individuals? AI website builders. It’s a super intuitive application, but up until now, the execution has been pretty subpar. But now, in 2023, the market is suddenly chockfull of AI website builders (some much better than others).
Here’s a list of the most popular AI website builders compared, critiqued, and reviewed.
Durable AI Website Builder
Bias alert: well, yes — we are Durable. So we’re going to be pretty excited about our own website builder. But, we’ll lay out the specifics of how it works and what’s included here as objectively as possible (and use our builder as a benchmark to compare against others)
A good AI website builder should be judged on how quickly it is to onboard and get started. With Durable, it’s pretty darn fast! Enter your business type. Enter your business name. Click Next. That’s literally everything you need to do to business website in less than one minute with our AI website builder. That’s not an exaggeration, we’ve timed it (sometimes it’s even well under 30 seconds).
You're 30 seconds away from having a brand new website.
So yeah, it’s fast and easy, but it also fills out your website with everything you might need, like high-quality imagery and icons, AI-generated content, a contact form, map of your business location, and more. You don’t need to sign up or log in to try it, but if you decide to join up with Durable, you can endlessly customize your AI-generated website according to your changing business needs.
So, how are the results? Overall, pretty solid—but not perfect. No AI copywriter in existence has yet to create pitch-perfect copy, and sometimes the image choices require some tinkering. But we’re working constantly to improve Durable’s output.
And, even with a few oddities here or there, Durable gives you a fully-formed website design that actually works in seconds—and not the hours (or days) it’d take you to use manual website builders (or the other “AI” website builders on this list).
Bonus Feature: Custom Domain Names
If branding is a big deal for your business (and it should be), a custom domain name for your website should be at the top of your list of priorities. It will make your business easier to find online and puts your name front and center when sharing your contact information. A custom domain name is included with your Durable subscription.
More Bonus Features: Business Tools
Durable’s AI business tools are integrated with your website and each other to create a complete ecosystem that works to guide visitors from potential clients to paying customers. And they’re included with your Durable subscription.
- CRM. Track customer data and manage business contacts.
- Invoicing. Generate and send professional invoices automatically, so you get paid on time.
- AI business name generator. Need help naming your business? We’ve got you covered.
- AI ad writer. Automagically write ads for Google in seconds.
Durable includes everything you need to start your service business. No need to worry about future add-ons or purchasing additional apps from some byzantine marketplace. You can get up and running today, so what are you waiting for?
Wix Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI)
Wix is part of the old guard of website builders. Founded in 2006, it has existed in many different forms. But the latest iteration of Wix’s website builder technology, which incorporates some AI components under the ADI acronym, relies too heavily on their tradition of DIY websites. So much so that you literally have to do it yourself, rather than having the AI generate a website for you.
For one, when onboarding, you have to pick the theme. That might seem like no big deal but it’s a knock against the platform, for us. The big draw of AI builders is that “done for you” benefit. Plus, the onboarding makes it quite unclear what each theme looks like.
With an AI automated website builder, you would expect the tech to take a small amount of information about your business and then transform it into a complete site. With Wix, it’s more like a long questionnaire where you make decisions about layout, colors, and more. It’s not terrible, it’s just not really AI.
And, this is a big knock—it isn’t fast. Even a barebones website took close to ten minutes to build by the time all the questions were answered. Generating multiple options for the purposes of brand development or brainstorming could take hours, instead of just a few minutes (or seconds) like it should with AI.
Additionally, once your site is built, customization options are limited. Critically, you can’t change the layout easily, meaning you need to go back through the setup process to get the AI to offer you more options, which takes even more time.
Again, it’s not terrible. But the “AI” label, here, feels like a bit of a stretch. AI website builders should solve the “clunky manual website builder” problem. And Wix’s “AI website builder” feels too connected to its manual beginnings.
Verdict: It’s okay. But why bother using an AI website builder that still mostly relies on manual inputs?
Zyro shows up on lots of lists of AI website builders. But similar to Wix, it doesn’t really build a website for you at all. And just like Wix, you need to make a series of decisions about layout, colors, fonts, etc. until you eventually end up with a website. Except in this case, Zyro gives you a template and sets you off on your own. No questionnaire. No help along the way. Not great if you don’t have website design experience. Like a lot of old school website builders, it relies heavily on manual inputs (and existing web design experience).
Now let’s say you get partway through building your website and decide that this template isn’t going to work for you. If that’s the case, you have to start over from scratch. Yep, that’s the only way to select a new template. Ouch.
This is the full extent of site design options in Zyro.
Zyro does offer some actual AI tools to help you build your site, like a logo maker, AI writer, and AI heatmap. These are pretty cool, but they aren’t integrated into the process so you have to find and use them on a piecemeal, manual basis. In fact, the AI writer opens a new tab and creates content in an entirely separate process from the website builder. Not ideal, but still pretty good!
As for the logo maker, the results are… Okay. Again, it relies on a few manual inputs — a base logo, a colour, and a shape. The result is a sort of undefined, abstract looking blob. That could be interesting, but it will probably be hard to base an entire brand off of something so abstract and ill-defined.
Zyro has some interesting tools, but it fails to feel like a cohesive whole.
Verdict: Zyro has some neat ideas, but it feels like a manual website editor masquerading as AI.
This platform also appears on many AI website builder lists, but the only AI tool we can find is an AI text generator that has to be activated manually in every text box where you might like to use it. Otherwise, SITE123 is a standard, template-based website builder where you have to make all the decisions about your website, which takes time and expertise.
And even then, the customization interface can be pretty tough to use at times, with lots of menus filled with options that don’t seem properly differentiated. But if you’re looking for a reason to choose SITE123 over Zyro, it’s much easier to change your site layout using SITE123—no need to start over completely.
Verdict: Get ready to get hands-on with your website. And, sorry — but an AI copywriter does not an AI website builder make.
Jimdo isn’t bad! The process of creating a website with Jimdo is pretty streamlined, and there are a few spots where you can see a piece of software making some decisions or recommendations.
But while the setup process is reasonably smooth, it does ask a TON of questions. Jimdo wants to know your preferences for everything from color to layout to what stage your business is at. It takes a lot of time and consideration to answer every question. Once you’ve answered them all, Jimdo still asks you to decide between two website designs.
The options are nice, but the burden lands on the user’s shoulders — when using Jimdo to get that new site up and running, suddenly you’re faced with a lot of big decisions. And if you made the wrong decision about which template to use? Uh oh, you’ve got to start the process over again because there’s no way to change it.
Jimdo does use an AI to write text for your website automatically, which we appreciate. However, when we tested it out, we asked it to create a food manufacturing website and it gave us copy for a restaurant.
This was supposed to be about food manufacturing, not a restaurant.
That can happen with AI copywriters, and isn’t totally unexpected. But when you’re hanging the entire “AI” arm of your brand on your AI copywriter, you should be working a bit harder to get it right
Verdict: A promising start, but a bulky onboarding process and clunky AI copywriting take the wind out of Jimdo’s sails.
If you look at some lists of the top AI builders, you’re likely to find Websitebuilder.com, which is another website builder like Zyro or Jimdo that asks the user a whole bunch of questions in order to generate a website.
Or at least, it was.
Websitebuilder.com now appears to be operated by Web.com, a company whose primary service seems to be website development by experts, which involves booking a consultation, signing a contract, and other barriers between you and starting your business. That’s pretty far from the original promise of artificial intelligence website generation.
They do offer a DIY website builder but it doesn’t mention AI tools and you can’t even try it for free to see if there are any included. It’s clear that they just want to sell you development services.
Verdict: If you wanted to do it yourself (or hire someone to do it), you wouldn’t be researching AI website builders.
10Web is actually an interesting and valuable service for some people. The 10Web AI builder is designed to quickly and seamlessly recreate a website design in WordPress, without having to understand web development or how to use WordPress. Lots of people use WordPress but may have a website built on a different platform, so it makes sense for 10Web to exist to help those users.
However, this is not what most new entrepreneurs are looking for. Rapidly launching a business is best left to a true AI website builder like Durable, which generates a site from scratch in 30 seconds, no WordPress required.
Verdict: It’s an AI website transfer system, not an AI website builder.
The process of using GetResponse starts out great. You don’t need to sign up to try it. Amazing!
First, it asks you which type of business you are starting. We tried “food truck” but that wasn’t an option. That’s right, you’re stuck with whatever options they have on their list, which means a true AI is not processing your response and giving you real, intelligent, relevant output. That’s a rough first step.
Then, like many of the other AI website builders on this list, you answer several questions and choose options from a few menus. It’s not fast and it puts the burden on the user, rather than the AI. Not so good.
Then you are presented with three website designs. Choose one and…you have to sign up to see it. And when you do, you will discover that GetResponse doesn’t use an AI writer to generate text for your new website.
Which means you have hours (days?) of work ahead of you. With so much time and investment required, it’s a bit tough to see what GetResponse’s “AI” actually provides for the user.
Verdict: Great start but it’s all downhill from there.
If you love answering questions, Bookmark could be right for you!
Yes, this is starting to sound a bit like a broken record now, but Bookmark is just one in a series of AI website builders that asks the user a lot of questions up front to guide the AI as it generates a website. Bookmark asks for your opinion about everything from what kinds of pages you want to which color scheme you would prefer. Then you have to watch an AI cursor slowly click around the screen while it sets up your website. Between that and the questions, producing an initial site with Bookmark takes several minutes and you have to sign up before you can even start the process.
When you do finally get the opportunity to see your new website, the results are a bit underwhelming. The design is uninspired, some of your answers during the setup phase seem to have no effect on the final product, and the copy is so generic it’s hard to tell if a boring AI wrote it or if it’s just placeholder text. Also it seems to think that the title of our main page should be “Shipping,” which is a little strange.
Want to customize your site to fix these issues? You can, but the interface is confusing, with many options buried under layers of menus. If you’re new to web design, this could be a big headache.
Verdict: It works fine, but endless questions and so-so results keep BookMark from earning top marks.
Of all the platforms on this list, Leia is the closest to get it right (well, besides Durable). You just have to enter a few small bits of info and less than a minute later, you’ve got a complete website built by an artificial intelligence. Easy, right? Totally, except…
The AI seems to be going a little rogue over at Leia. The designs and templates are somewhat dated looking, but they are functional and appropriate for the business type—in this case our test business was a bakery. But upon closer inspection, the AI writer is definitely not working with a full command of the English language:
Our bakery services center around our customers' most basic issues and openings for a desireable solution: technique, quality, expertise, delivery, efficiency, and sharpness. We bring profound, useful aptitude, and are known for our all encompassing point of view: we catch an incentive crosswise over limits and between the existing solutions of any of our customers. We have demonstrated a multiplier impact from streamlining the aggregate of the parts, not simply the individual pieces.
You can describe a bakery in a lot of different ways, but “sharpness” and “multiplier impact” do not immediately come to mind.
Reviewing the site further and it becomes obvious that Leia hasn’t created a comprehensive website for your business, it has generated a fancy template that is going to require hours of work to get ready for publication. And that’s just not very intelligent, artificial or otherwise.
Verdict: Sorry Leia— but “streamlining the aggregate” isn’t good enough.
So, what's the verdict?
AI has come a very, very long way in the past 6 months. But AI website builders? With the exception of Durable, not so much. If you've read the above (or done your own Googling), you'll know that there are a ton of website builders claiming to leverage AI to get more people online 100x faster. But to date, the results have been pretty mixed.
So, again — there's some bias here. But in our view, there's only one way to go with AI website builders in 2023. We've generated close a million websites as of March 2023, and we're just getting started. So if you *truly* want to use AI to get your business online, Durable has you covered.