Tips for creating a website with ChatGPT

The whole world is talking about ChatGPT. You can’t visit YouTube or social media without seeing someone talking about what they asked an AI chatbot to do today. So here at InMotion Hosting we put this handy little bot through its paces and the results were interesting.

We asked, “Can you use ChatGPT to build a website?” and we got some answers.

Below you will find some tips to keep in mind if you want to use ChatGPT to build your new website. Remember that this project is brand new and improvements and updates are rolling out all the time. In addition, although the tool is free to try today, it can be switched to a paid model for a certain period of time.

If you don’t have an account to test the AI, you can leave OpenAI website to begin with. From there you will be prompted to start a conversation with the bot.

Limited knowledge of the present tense

As the chat’s homepage says, the AI ​​has “limited knowledge of the world and events beyond 2021.” So it cannot tell you the weather forecast, or make predictions about any present or future events.

For example, the question, “What’s in the new version of WordPress?” does not produce any usable results.

Just ask, but don’t expect perfection

Some of the output you get from ChatGPT is surprisingly good, but much of it needs some tweaking. Remember, this is part of the software, not magic. AI is still new and will continue to improve over the years. For now, take each product with a grain of salt and don’t expect miracles.

If you use a chatbot to generate code for your site, you have no guarantee that the code will work as intended. Rigorous testing is still a requirement.

Try to keep your code modular

ChatGPT output will stop itself if it gets too big. So don’t ask the AI ​​to run the entire app.

For example, if you’re building a WordPress theme, you can ask for sample code for a widget area and it will provide that pretty easily. You can also request a code to create a comment section.

Also, the output of the code will be generic. Function definitions will be assigned arbitrary names based on your input. It’s best to be as specific as possible and modify your code samples to meet your needs.

A real world example

I asked AI to help me write a WordPress plugin that could identify outdated posts that might need updating. This will help the blogger to check if the old post should be updated or changed to reflect the new information.

The plugin would go through the messages in the database, sort them by last modified date, and also count how many days they are. It will then compile all this information into a table displayed in a metabox in the admin area.

The output worked, but not as expected. When I wanted to add some custom CSS, the AI ​​couldn’t figure out exactly where I wanted it. This could be a limitation of the program, or my failure to describe exactly what I wanted.

However, I modified the code output myself to get the desired effect.

Voila, I now have a metabox in the Dashboard showing a table of old posts that I need to go back and update:

A custom WordPress plugin powered by AI.

Think of your results as advice

For now, ChatGPT is a free research tool. It’s not a replacement for a live developer unless you’re willing to do a lot of work.

For now, it’s best to think of the solution you get as a tip how something can be done.

For example, you can request a core code snippet and get an “example” of how the desired result can be achieved.

But if you want something more specific, custom, and unique, you may need to keep iterating new code on your own or hire a developer to bring the project to completion.

Expect delays

ChatGPT is an extremely popular tool that is currently available to the public for free. So it drops quite often throughout the day due to high volume. So while you might get used to this handy code dispensary, you might still need to do a lot of your work yourself.

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