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Why I Don't Build Websites Using AI

Date: 26 Jul 2023 | Author: Naim Zulkipli
Why I Don't Build Websites Using AI

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have been very rapid ever since ChatGPT. AI applications are not new, but ChatGPT opened the floodgates. Nowadays, even websites can be built easily using AI-based website builders; you can literally type a prompt describing the kind of website that you need and the website builder will automatically generate your website for you in a matter of seconds. These AI-based website builders boast automated design processes and claim to eliminate the need for manual coding, and these make them seem like an attractive option for quickly setting up a website.

For web developers, these AI-based website builders can either become a serious competition or a tool that they can really benefit from. However, as an experienced web developer, I am choosing to not build websites using AI-based website builders at AMZ IT Solutions. There are several very strong reasons for that.

Creativity and Intuition

The main underlying reason is due to my understanding of the unique and complex challenges that website development presents, and the value of human creativity and intuition in addressing these challenges. AI cannot match those values, at least not yet. In fact, after the sudden rapid adoption of AI tools since the start of 2023, works produced by AI have been under a lot of scrutiny. There have been lots of criticism on the quality of what AI produced. Among others, works produced by AI is said to have “no fresh insight, no original commentary, and no new ideas” (Fountain, 2023). Even Google has announced that contents produced by AI used in websites will get penalized by Google as it is against their guidelines. According to Google's Search Advocate, John Mueller: “Currently it's all against the webmaster guidelines. So from our point of view, if we were to run across something like that, if the webspam team were to see it, they would see it as spam.” (Southern, 2022). Hence, even if AI-generated content, like an AI-generated website, can be very convenient and quick to produce, it will not offer much value in the long run.

Value of Customization

AI-based website builders offer convenience and speed, but they often fall short when it comes to customization of the website, which is something very important in branding. While these builders use advanced algorithms to automatically generate a website based on a given prompt, the resulting websites tend to be fairly generic and lack the specificity that many businesses require. Every business has unique needs, and a website is a digital reflection of the business' identity, culture, and offerings. When using website builders, the businesses have to follow the layout and look of the templates available on the website builders, and not the other way around. With a human web developer, the level of customization and personal touch that can be achieved would be unmatched by any AI-based website builder.

High Quality User Experience

Another critical and intricate aspect of website development is creating a seamless and good user experience. This involves considering every minute detail from the user's perspective, such as the positioning of elements, website loading speed, and mobile responsiveness. While AI-based website builders nowadays do factor in those aspects, they can lack the ability to really fine tune and modify the websites as needed along the way. For instance, a human web developer will be able to trim and cut out unnecessary codes in the website to ensure a more seamless browsing experience for the users, and this kind of optimization is usually something website builders cannot offer which may lead to suboptimal user experiences.

SEO Optimization

For businesses, a website's visibility in search engine results is very crucial. This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes in. While some AI-based website builders do claim to include SEO tools, they often only provide basic optimizations that may not be enough to rank the website highly in competitive markets. Developing with a human web developer allows for greater control over SEO elements, from meta tags to schema markups, which can give a website the edge it needs to stand out in the crowded digital world.

Flexibility for Future Changes

Web technologies and online trends are continually evolving, making it essential for websites to adapt and grow over time. At the time of writing this article, we are currently with HTML5 (fifth version of HTML), CSS3 (third version of CSS), and ECMAScript 2023 (ES14 - 14th version of JavaScript standards). Over time, it will be a requirement for websites to keep evolving to comply with the latest standards. With AI-built websites, making substantial changes or updates can be a challenge as website owners do not have direct access to their website codes. On the other hand, a manually developed website offers the flexibility to adapt to emerging trends and implement fine changes without disrupting the entire structure of the website.

All the reasons above being said, it would only be fair to say that AI-based website builders do have its own value. Some people might find the website builders as a suitable solution for their business strategies. Website builders could be suitable for those who are not emphasizing on creativity or customizations in their website. However, as a web developer, I see the immense value that manual development provides in customizations, user experience, SEO optimization, and future flexibility. These factors contribute to building a website that not only looks good and unique but also performs exactly as the business would want it to, proving that there's still no substitute for the human touch in web development.

Category: Website

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