Webflow is well-known for its set of code-free tools that enable designers to make highly flexible websites. It’s possible that in the near future, consumers won’t even require such tools to produce a functional website.
The business hopes to release a series of AI-powered features this summer that will allow customers to begin with a pre-existing Webflow-provided template and swiftly customize it using spoken cues.
An individual putting on a website for a venture capital firm, for instance, may start with a template made for an event business and direct the AI to reorganize it to feature partner bios rather than event samples.
Inventor/CEO/co-founder “It will go through every page of that starting point and shift the content and the images to be more relevant to that prompt,” explains Vladimir Magdalin.
The site’s visitors can then use the tools at their disposal to make personalized modifications to the site’s appearance. With the help of a brand new AI interface, they will be able to rapidly find the information they need inside the Webflow documentation. Separately, a new AI-powered “copilot” interface for Webflow will immediately implement modifications in response to textual user requests.
Instructions like “make this look like Geocities” have been successfully used in testing to give sample sites a nostalgic ’90s design. Magdalin, however, claims that more typical applications would involve requesting that the AI be used to design a new portion of the website (such as customer testimonials) in keeping with the present design. In order to reach a wider audience, the technology can be used to translate content into different languages at the user’s request.
Magdalin predicts that in the near future, users will be able to have Webflow’s AI write a complete blog post from a set of bullet points. The ability to do so has been well-documented with the help of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, but with AI integrated into Webflow’s content editing system, users will have one less thing to learn and remember. Some search engine optimization elements, such as the titles and descriptions consumed by Google and Bing crawlers, and accessibility features, such as the alt text used by screen readers to describe images, will be automatically generated by future AI capabilities.
Despite having funded over $330 million to date, including a $120 million Series C round that was disclosed last year, the company has not yet finalized price and availability information for the expected AI capabilities, which are constructed using a combination of OpenAI’s GPT and some internally customized AI models. Magdalin explains that many of these capabilities are now under limited alpha testing and will likely move to larger beta testing in the near future, with the manner in which they are made available and the price point depending on factors like usage and the pricing of external APIs.
Realizing the Power of AI
AI has become more integrated into creative tools in recent months. Interfaces like ChatGPT and Microsoft’s Bing chat mode brought modern generative AI to the public eye for the first time. However, its potential in drafting longer-form content was quickly realized by a wide range of users, from business people creating presentations to fitness enthusiasts crafting workouts. This year alone has seen the introduction of AI-powered creative tools like Adobe’s Firefly and the announcement of Microsoft’s ambitions to incorporate AI helpers into its Office tools like Word and PowerPoint.
Magdalin claims that Webflow’s primary objective is not to displace the present crop of web designers. While the AI tools are meant to speed up their work, there may be some aspects of the design process that are simpler to create when done manually with existing design tools (rather than by providing commands to the AI). He also believes that having an AI assistant will make it simpler for novices to learn how to utilize design software.
He argues it paves the way for individuals to pick up these tools much more quickly. “I believe it will attract many more people to the area.”