What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Well, in the case of artificial intelligence and WordPress - they synergise.
Today the influence of WordPress on the World Wide Web can’t be underestimated. After all, around one-third of the entire internet is WordPress. Given its prevalence, it was only a matter of time before the ever-developing spectre of AI would wrap itself around the world’s favourite website builder.
Artificial intelligence has been growing exponentially smarter year-on-year and is forecast to develop into an industry worth $90 billion by 2025.
Big business: AI revenues are forecast to skyrocket over the coming years. Image: Priceonomics
It’s important to note that AI’s relationship with WordPress is nothing new, and users will have been using intuitive programs focussing on spelling and grammar as they construct their posts for years.
In recent times, however, the progress that AI’s making can be plain to see. In August 2019, US-based voice AI organisation speak2web debuted a WordPress plugin that enables users to search and shop by voice on website, mobile applications and smart speakers.
Let’s take a look at some of the revolutionary ways in which AI is influencing how we build websites on WordPress:
A rough diagram covering how Akismet handles any spam entering your domains. Image: WPBeginner
When it comes to running websites via WordPress, there are plenty of opportunities for site owners to engage with their readers - not least through the dedicated comments sections that typically come alongside published content.
However, many less-genuine users try to take advantage of the comments sections of pages in a bid to spam their way into increasing their own blog or website’s search value.
Fortunately, AI is on hand to automatically alleviate this burden. Through plugins like Akismet, spammy posts are automatically vetted to ensure that only organic responses see the light of day below any uploaded content.
The plugin also utilises machine learning as a means of detecting spam commented uploaded by human users, and continually learns from its mistakes by recognising emerging patterns across the millions of websites that it already serves.
Organic search is big business and can make all the difference between having content shared by thousands of visitors, or leaving the author preaching to what feels like an empty room.
WordLift is an AI-driven service that not only offers SEO-based tips to help improve your content but actively analyses your posts to provide data-driven facts, figures and media in order to match and build contextual relationships among your articles to help bolster your on-page optimisation as well as the internal linking within your site.
Another smart tool covered by Hacker Noon is the Play plugin for WordPress. Play utilises the very best in AI voices to automatically convert your textual content into audio - helping to keep visitors on your site for longer and repurposing your articles for new audiences.
Vizion is a particularly powerful tool for AI-driven WordPress themes. Image: Theme Forest
WordPress themes that are built with AI are capable of providing significant amounts of data analysis for traffic and visitor habits as well as supporting the use of chatbots within your pages. Vizion is a strong developer of smart layouts within WordPress, and can automatically draw on big data for marketing insights into user websites.
AI can also encourage visitors to stay on your pages for longer thanks to tools like Bibblio and Recomendo that automatically suggest related content from within your pages. Through scouting out recurring keywords within your content, it’s possible for plugins to create a range of carefully selected further reading pieces that are designed to link directly to your pre-existing posts - all built into your layout.
They may still be a little rough around the edges, but chatbots are a revolutionary force when it comes to modern customer experience models online.
While, at the time of writing, high-quality chatbot plugins for WordPress are a little few and far between, integrable tools like Landbot.io work well with Facebook Messenger functions and can be used for excellent conversational landing pages as well as pop-up chatbots.
The benefits that artificially intelligent chatbots can bring to a WordPress site are huge - especially if you’re looking to make some waves in the world of e-commerce. With these smart little robots operating around the clock to answer your prospective customers’ questions and provide accurate product descriptions on-demand, they could be a driving force in maximising your sales.
If the AI behind your chatbots is strong enough, they can even actively pre-empt your visitors’ motives and offer support unprompted. A brave new world indeed.