Nothing is more appealing than the promise of using artificial intelligence (AI) to quickly create a website – but too often, so-called ‘smart builders’ can come up short.
AI builders start by asking you about your niche, design preferences, and site goals. Some intelligent builders even crawl the web for information about you or your business and use it to further customize your design. That may sound impressive – but does it really translate to a good template?
You may get a cookie-cutter design that doesn’t capture what’s unique about your brand and won’t create a great online impression.
To find out if AI technology is really up to the task of website creation, I tested prominent smart builders by having each design a website. Then I evaluated the results and selected the six that measured up.
Keep reading to find one that’s the right fit for your project.
Short on Time? These Are the Best AI Website Builders for 2023
Wix ADI – Advanced AI builder gives you a personalized site, while smart marketing tools grow your business
Zyro – Affordable builder with AI tools that write content and optimize sites for search engines
What We Look For in the Best AI Website Builders for 2023
Your website is your calling card. That’s why I focused on these features when testing intelligent web design platforms.
Personalized design. A good AI builder should design a full-featured website that says “you.”
Content assistance. Smart design is about speed and convenience. A high-quality AI-built site should include suggested text or image content, or at least give you tools that will help with content creation.
Easy editing. AI should help you, not limit you. I only listed builders that still let you take matters into your own hands if you need to, and specifically tested for ease of use in the manual editing process too.
Core features. You should be able to easily add any features to your website that the AI builder left out – like contact forms, social media integration, restaurant menus, scheduling, memberships.
SEO tools. The best AI website builders have intelligent tools that analyze your site’s performance, provide reports, and offer recommendations on how to improve.
Free SSL. Every builder on this list includes a free SSL certificate, so visitors won’t be greeted with a “not secure” warning from their internet browser when they land on your site. This also helps your site’s ranking in search results.
Wix offers cutting-edge design tools and a lot of flexibility, making it my top pick. Once you answer a few questions about your niche, required features, and design preferences, Wix ADI will design a fully-featured website in a matter of minutes. You canuse Wix’s free plan to see the results for yourself.
You can also use Wix’s intelligent Logo Maker to design a free logo and, for a minimal fee, a simple branded website to match. When it’s time to customize, the drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to tweak the layout, fonts, colors, and images, until things look right.
And if truly necessary, you can always start over by picking from Wix’s library of 800+ templates. Wix’s huge template selection is an excellent fallback in case AI building doesn’t give the results you want – which is a risk with any smart builder.
Intelligent SEO Wiz. This handy tool creates a custom SEO plan, with step-by-step recommendations for improving your site’s visibility in search engine rankings.
AI Business name generator. Launching a new business? Get help picking a name that captures the essence of your brand. Enter three keywords to describe your niche, product, and vibe and Wix will take it from there.
Mobile editing. You can edit your ADI site on your phone and in multiple languages, including English, Turkish, Polish, Italian, Czech, and Korean.
Title generator. Stumped on coming up with a catchy headline or blog title? Enter a couple of keywords, and Wix’s AI-powered title generator will do the rest.
Zyro claims its AI tools can do everything for you – so I put them to the test. After I answered a few questions, Zyro’s AI builder came up with three website layouts, which were simple, but stylish. You can always click on the Generate Again button to get new options. (I did this five times and each time the builder responded.)
For any further customization, Zyro has a user-friendly, grid-based editor. It’s a bit basic, but you can still change the essential characteristics of your site. Zyro’s biggest drawback is that it lacks an app store.
However, given its affordable plans, Zyro can be pretty cost-effective for small businesses. (You can try Zyro risk-free thanks to its 30-day money-back guarantee.) It’s especially cost-effective if you want help with site content: I found the built-in AI Writer and Blog Title Generator to be helpful.
Branding tools. You can launch a new business or rebrand an existing one with several of Zyro’s free AI tools. There are tools for naming your business, for developing a slogan, for generating a favicon, and more.
Smart photo editing. When you upload a photo, Zyro automatically resizes it and adjusts the resolution, ensuring all your images are high-quality.
AI Heatmap. This tool analyzes your website and highlights where users are most likely to look and click, so you can increase conversions.
Logo maker. Zyro’s logo maker helps you design a professional logo for free. You can customize icons, colors, fonts, and more to reflect your brand.
Even for an AI builder, Jimdo Dolphin automates a lot, so there’s very little you need to do yourself. Like all smart builders, Jimdo Dolphin starts the design process with a questionnaire. But once your responses are in, Jimdo Dolphin generates two draft sites, with suggested content already filled in (like text, images, etc).
Jimdo doesn’t give you a choice of layouts – the builder picks. There are also limits to how much you can customize design elements. Moreover, the free plan doesn’t give you access to SEO or analytics tools, and if you want a paid plan, you have to pay for a full year up front.
However, you can get a full refund if you cancel within 14 days, or try the free plan first, so there’s not much risk to it. And ultimately, I was pleasantly surprised with my AI-built site. It accurately reflected my stated website goals and was attractive and professional.
Free logo builder. Select an icon, font, and colors and Jimdo will create a free professional logo design. You can download high-quality file formats to use on your business cards, letterhead, or flyers.
Smart SEO. Jimdo’s smart technology takes the work out of SEO optimization, with AI-generated custom page URLs, meta tags, subpage titles, and descriptions. (This is only available for paid plans though.)
Copyright-free images. Your dashboard includes an Image Gallery with a selection of AI-recommended, professional, royalty-free photos.
Multi-language website. You can allow users to select a preferred language from a drop-down navigation menu, or you can create a homepage that allows site visitors to choose between different languages.
B12 isn’t a traditional website builder offering the benefit of AI design or a standalone AI builder – instead, B12 is a hybrid platform thatcombines AI-powered software with expert designers. (You can choose to just edit an AI-built template by yourself as well.)
First, you answer questions about your business and design preferences. Then Orchestra, the AI builder, creates a personalized draft site. Next, B12’s design team gets your feedback and fine-tunes the AI-made draft, making it fully responsive and SEO-optimized. You can expect your website to be ready to launch in 1-2 weeks.
B12 is a bit pricey, but it’s an investment: B12’s plans give good value for the money. It’s a good option if you have a large (or quickly-growing) business, but are too time-strapped to manage your site. And compared to hiring a serious web designer, B12 is actually on the more affordable side.
Pro tip: If you need human expertise in your website design and B12 looks a bit beyond your budget, you can hire a designer on Fiverr. Fiverr’s web designers have highly competitive rates compared to other web designers, and still perform quite well.
Copy made for conversion. If you add a new section or page to your website, B12’s algorithms will automatically fill it with images and text (which you can easily edit).
Email marketing. It’s easy to keep in touch with your customers and connect with leads using B12’s AI-generated email messages.
Analytics reports. You’ll get emailed reports on performance metrics every month, so you can see how your site is performing, identify areas to improve, and update your goals.
Help with SEO. B12 submits your website and business information to up to 50 relevant directories to build high-quality links to your site and make it more visible in search results.
Bookmark’s artificial intelligent design assistant, AiDA, automates nearly everything. AiDA will ask you to select your niche (from over 700 options), link your social media accounts, provide your business name, and share your site style preferences. AiDA takes it from there and creates a functional, responsive website.
AiDA determines the most suitable design elements, images, and color palette for your site by itself – though it did let me choose between a light and dark layout. AiDA also adds text and animations, and inserts functional content blocks. If you don’t like the first design AiDA creates, you can ask it to start over.
You can use Bookmark’s free plan as long as you want, but long-term you’d probably want to upgrade. The paid plans are competitively priced and have unlimited storage and built-in SEO and marketing tools.
Multi-language tools. Bookmark lets you create a multilingual website and automate translations for up to 5 languages. You can edit each separately for more effective targeting and conversion. Additional fees may apply.
International sales. Bookmark makes it easy to sell globally, thanks to tools that calculate real-time shipping rates, let customers choose from 40 different payment options, and allow you to offer support in 50 languages.
Free images and videos. You can choose from hundreds of free high-quality images and videos. Add them to your site with just a click.
Website optimization. AiDA continuously monitors your website and offers bi-weekly suggestions on how to improve visitor experience and boost engagement. You can also review detailed analytics data about your website traffic in your Bookmark dashboard.
Is a Smart Website Builder the Right Choice for You?
To find the best AI website builder for your project, consider how much control you really want over your site’s design and content. Do you want the builder to just automate a few things, or do you want it to do everything for you? Also, remember that the quality of your site depends in large part on the information you provide the builder.
If you want both smart tools and customization power, Wix is best. Wix ADI can save you a lot of time, but you can still edit your site as much as you want. Plus, Wix has hundreds of apps that can extend your site’s functionality.
If you’re on a tight budget, Zyro has good value for the money. It has frequent discounts, plus a lot of smart business tools that make running your site much easier.
Lastly, if you want to be as hands-off as possible, Jimdo Dolphin’s fully automated building will be a good fit for you.
Here’s a more detailed comparison of how the builders I’ve tested measure up to each other:
Wix ADI’s robust custom site generation
People seeking a mix of AI-building and customization options
Wix is the best all-around AI website builder. Wix ADI asks you for more design details before generating your site, which gives you a more unique design. Plus, if you want to customize things further on your own, Wix’s site editor is very flexible. You can use Wix’s free plan as long as you want to try things out.
Which AI builder is the most cost-effective?
It depends: the most cost-effective builder for an online store may not be the most cost-effective for a blog, for example. At the bare minimum, Wix and GoDaddy offer free plans. But if you need a professional site (with your own domain name), Zyro’s plans are very affordable.
What is the most customizable AI website builder?
Wix takes first place here again. Its drag-and-drop editor lets you freely add and rearrange countless page elements, and you can edit anything you see. However, if you still want customization options, you may need to look outside of AI-powered builders. Our list of the best website builders in 2023 has some good options.
What is the best free AI website builder?
Wix and Jimdo are the two best free AI website builders, but Wix ADI produces a higher-quality custom website than Jimdo, as it gets more information from you first. Manual website edits are simpler with Jimdo, but that’s about it.
Dawn is a freelance writer and editor specializing in developing strategic content for businesses. A lover of philosophy and the arts, she brainstorms with cultural educators to ensure all students have access to enriching learning opportunities.