Cloud

New Wix ADI uses artificial intelligence to design your small business website

Cloud-based web development platform, Wix, recently unveiled an AI-powered tool that will automatically create a customizable homepage for a business or user.

Image: iStockphoto/karnoff

On Tuesday, Wix introduced Artificial Design Intelligence (ADI), an AI-powered tool that will automatically create a custom website for businesses and users. The tool could potentially save SMBs and individual professionals save time and money building and maintaining their web presence.

Nitzan Achsaf, the head of Wix ADI, said that the AI component is proprietary, and the company has multiple patents on it. It was built over the past two years with help from more than a dozen AI engineers, leveraging 10 years worth of data from 86 million users.

SEE: Interview questions: User experience specialist (Tech Pro Research)

"Wix ADI is the world's first technology platform that combines website design and content creation with artificial intelligence to enable complete websites to be created in a matter of minutes," said Avishai Abrahami, co-founder and CEO of Wix.

According to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), many small businesses don't have a website or social media presence. And, those that do often lack proper features like a call to action or mobile compatibility. Achsaf said that, for example, some businesses may not remember to put a contact form on their site and Wix ADI helps walk them through each section that they need.

To get started, users are asked a series of questions. The first question is what category your business falls into. Then, users are asked if their business has an existing online presence, so the tool can find information automatically and pull it in. Finally, ADI asks about a user's design preferences and what he or she wants the site to look and feel like. Then, after a few minutes, the user is presented with a custom homepage.

"We are basically giving you a first draft of your homepage, automatically," Achsaf said.

But, if you don't like what you see, everything is customizable and can be changed as you see fit. It can also add features like e-commerce capabilities or forums as well. Wix will pull in images and content from around the web and from social media channels to match your business category and location, which can also be changed if the user sees fit.

"In terms of images, we actually own a lot of those images ourselves and you have the right to use them," Achsaf said. "Also, we bring content from different sources, which you can then, later on, choose to change those images and make them totally your own."

However, if something is brought in that infringes on a copyright or license, it is on the user to make sure that they are not violating any copyright with the images that they are using.

No two websites designed using Wix ADI will be the same. According to a press release announcing the tool, ADI will deliver billions of different combinations of themes, layouts, colors, sections, and pages among thousand of business categories.

SEE: Big data's big disappointment: Why AI personalization is pathetic (TechRepublic)

If the idea sounds familiar, it may be reminiscent of a startup called The Grid that made waves in the web design space back in 2014 and 2015. However, The Grid has been criticized as vaporware by many in the design community and, according to The Grid's website, it is sold out of its founding membership and seems to still be in closed beta.

So, Wix ADI could very well be the first publicly available product in the space. When asked how the Wix product will compete, Achsaf said that an AI product is only as good as the data powering it, and he believes the strength of Wix's data and AI will make it stand out.

Wix ADI is being rolled out gradually and will be available to new users in a few months.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. Wix ADI is an AI-powered website builder that will build a website automatically for a business or individual, saving them time and money in the process.
  2. Users answer a series of questions to get the first draft of their website and can then customize or change any section that they want to.
  3. Wix ADI could prove a problem for small, independent web design houses who serve small businesses as their clientele.

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About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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