Website builders are nothing new. Long gone are the days when technical knowledge of coding and internet hosting were requisites for anyone looking to create a site for themselves. For years now, numerous software and services have offered web users drag-and-drop design tools, allowing non-coders to create and fill out attractive, professional-looking websites in relatively short spaces of time.
Artificial intelligence, however, is turbo-charging the process. Now, a number of AI-enabled services can generate whole web pages with just a few button clicks, drawing up layouts from scratch, uploading appropriate images, and even generating headings and marketing copy based on the brief info the software is given.
Durable.co are a company offering one such website builder, advertising themselves as the fastest AI website builder on the net. Today, we’ll be taking a closer look at this AI-equipped competitor in an already crowded field of AI-tools designed to streamline and facilitate the creation of websites for people with little to no web design experience.
Durable is a tech company offering a range of AI-enabled tools designed for small businesses and one-person companies. Today we will primarily be looking at their AI website builder, but they also offer an AI assistant programmed to respond to business related prompts, as well as a blog builder, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and invoicing tools.
Unusually for an up-and-coming tech firm, the company website is not particularly forthcoming about who the Durable management team are made up of, nor who their founders are. Instead, they label themselves as ‘an international team of founders, engineers, and solo business owners’.
Durable’s AI Website Builder is primarily designed for small business owners, sole traders, and people looking to start what’s become popularly known as a ‘side hustle’.
Some of the clients Durable have in mind might include personal trainers, freelance gardeners, tradespeople, home bakers, photographers, or dog walkers.
Their website builder is also advertised as a ‘no coding solution’, meaning it’s particularly suited to those who have no prior knowledge of HTML, CSS, or other foundations of web development. Indeed, you don’t even need to be proficient in visual design in order to use the builder to generate your own landing page in a matter of seconds.
Durable’s Website Builder aims to make the website creation process as quick as possible, and it really is remarkably fast.
As the user, you answer three very basic questions – ‘Where are you located?’, ‘What type of business are you building?’, and ‘What’s the name of your business?’
Once that’s done, you simply click a button and let the software do the rest. Within a matter of seconds, Durable will have generated a complete home page for your named business, decked out with appropriate stock images, testimonials, a location map, a contact form, an outline of services provided, and other elements.
The software picks a color palette partly based on the type of business you are creating a site for. For example, a gardening service is likely to be given a green-tinted design.
Once the page is generated, you then have the option to edit and customize various features. You can rearrange or delete elements as you choose, play with the color scheme, and, of course, edit any text that appears. You can’t, however, alter the HTML or CSS code, and options for customizing the layout in more detailed ways are extremely limited.
If you’re not happy with the content of a section, or with the website as a whole, you can click the various ‘regenerate’ buttons and have the web builder construct a new section or page for you. This can be great for those looking for ideas for marketing copy, or who want to cycle through a few different site versions before settling on one they can edit themselves.
The speed with which Durable’s Website Builder constructs an original site really can’t be argued with and the company seem justified in advertising their tool as one of the fastest available. For those looking to generate a basic but functional web page for their business or service in less than a minute, this is well worth a try.
You don’t even need to pay in order to see the website generated, though to access a permanent domain name as well as a range of other Durable tools a subscription is required.
Various other tools offered by Durable – the AI assistant, website analytics and enhanced security features – all come as part of your monthly subscription. With your own dedicated domain name included, this makes the $12 a month starter subscription competitively priced.
The web builder’s ability to draw from millions of professional stock images, as well as its grasp of attractive color schemes, are also a great draw for those who struggle with basic design elements and who want to make sure that their website is structured in a way that modern internet customers have come to expect.
As one might expect from an AI-tool that generates content this quickly, the output of Durable’s AI Website Builder is extremely basic. Though the copy, headings, and other features generated can act as a great foundation for you to build on, the writing itself is taken from stock descriptions of basic services and, though grammatically perfect, lacks any real flair or originality.
Furthermore, anyone used to being able to adjust the sizes of different elements, insert different features or widgets, or adjust HTML and CSS code will likely be disappointed with the limited editing that this web builder allows. Though it’s advertised as a ‘non coding solution’, its limitations in this regard are quite notable.
In brief, anyone looking to hold any real level of creative control over how their website looks and feels may want to look to other web builders.
Durable also state that their web builder is not designed specifically for e-commerce businesses, though they claim that individuals have used it to design such websites before. The software has been developed to generate static landing pages rather than more complex interactive systems, worth bearing in mind if you want your website to be more than just an advertisement for your services.
The market for AI-enabled web design is fast expanding and Durable are trying to make themselves stand-out in an already crowded field. What’s more, some of the already established web building platforms, such as Wix, are incorporating AI tools into their design kits.
Other AI-enabled web builders include 10Web, Jimdo, Appypie, and Hostinger AI.
Durable offer two tiers of subscription.
Their starter subscription is currently priced at $12 a month. This gives you access to the website builder, your own domain, as well Durable’s other business tools, such as the AI assistant, CRM, and invoicing tools. Your use of certain tools, however, is limited. For example, you can only generate 5 invoices with a starter subscription.
Their business subscription costs $20 a month. It gives you unlimited access to Durable’s full suite of business tools, as well as unlimited web storage, contacts, AI-generated promotions, and a premium custom domain.