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Artificial intelligence (AI) has majorly impacted not just the tech industries but the entire world. In less than a year since ChatGPT went public and generative AI began to explode, the technology has become extremely widespread.

AI has advanced to the point where it greatly impacts content creation, art and writing — and it has the potential to revolutionize how we use WordPress.

What if you could draft an article outline or get on-brand topic ideas in seconds, get help with CSS or PHP or provide helpful, 24/7 eCommerce assistance when your human support agents are asleep?

AI brings almost limitless potential to the table, and you can use it to enhance your WordPress experience.

But AI also presents some unique challenges for the platform.

Let’s look at the challenges and opportunities AI has brought to WordPress and how users are leveraging the technology.

AI and WordPress

WordPress and AI are so interwoven you simply can’t separate them.

As AI grew more advanced throughout the 2010s and 2020s, plugin developers were right there with it, creating plugins that could learn and adapt. WordPress users have relied on AI for over a decade, from catching spam comments to improving their website’s search engine optimization (SEO).

It’s clear that as generative AI becomes more popular, it will continue to play just as large a role in WordPress’ ecosystem. And WordPress theme and plugin creators, along with the WordPress core team, will keep adopting AI-driven features.

The impact of AI on WordPress

ChatGPT still dominates the AI sector.

AI has a very long history. But since the 2010s, machine learning, neural networks and large language models have grown increasingly sophisticated.

ChatGPT by OpenAI went public in late 2022 — and quickly went viral, making it the fastest-growing consumer app of all time. Since then, AI has made massive advancements, particularly in language and image generation.

Meanwhile, AI has been a significant part of WordPress for over a decade.

You’ve seen it in action if you use popular plugins like Akismet, Jetpack or Yoast. Spam filters’ ability to detect suspicious comments or SEO plugins’ readability analysis are good examples of artificial intelligence.

But as generative AI reaches its peak, it’s possible to use it in surprising new ways. You may have noticed a slew of “AI-powered” WordPress plugins.

For instance, Automattic, WordPress’ parent company, released the Jetpack AI Assistant. And even the WordPress core team is considering user opinions on how best to implement AI into WordPress itself.

How can AI be used to improve WordPress?

AI is only getting bigger by the day, affecting everyone from developers to content creators, from the largest corporations to individual bloggers.

Let’s look at how users are taking advantage of AI in 2024 to make working with WordPress an even better experience.

Content creation

ChatGPT in action.

AI has many advanced uses, such as analyzing high-level business data. But one area that’s seen a rapid rise in public adoption is generative AI — especially natural language processing (NLP) models such as ChatGPT. These tools can generate high-quality text that’s nearly indistinguishable from human speech.

AI generation has a variety of uses for WordPress content creators. For example, you can:

  • Get relevant, on-brand content ideas.
  • Create an article outline or get assistance with drafting.
  • Do faster research by asking questions or summarizing lengthy research articles.
  • Instantly generate compelling titles, summaries, marketing emails, social media captions and hashtags.
  • Use AI-powered proofreading and grammar-checking to improve clarity, style and readability.
  • Generate placeholder images for articles.
  • Create a mood board or quickly test out branding/logo ideas.
  • Fill a test website with placeholder text.

While publishing entire articles written by AI is generally frowned upon, it’s a handy tool that can help you create unique, authentic content.

WordPress development

ChatGPT can produce code snippets.

Web development is one area where generative AI has been widely adopted. WordPress plugin and theme developers have been using AI to assist with programming and even write entire code snippets.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Use AI-generated code to prototype a potential idea quickly.
  • Review and refactor code to fit programming standards, perform faster and be more readable.
  • Get simple explanations and clarifications on confusing concepts or functions.
  • Identify bugs or security vulnerabilities.
  • Assist in translating code between different languages and frameworks.
  • Generate accurate code documentation.

Even non-developers can use AI to help them make small changes to their WordPress website’s functionality without learning how to code.

Personalization and user experience

Personalization is used heavily on Urban Outfitters’ website.
Screenshot

AI is already widely used to personalize the user experiences and it continues to get better. This type of AI analyzes user behavior and can give visitors a smoother, more relevant experience.

The most widespread type of AI-powered personalization is content recommendations, such as related posts or suggested products.

Some take it a step further, introducing individually tailored promotions or changing the entire website or app’s user interface (like the content or location of a call to action) based on a visitor’s behavior.

AI translation and localization is another area that continues to grow. Translation tools that can automatically translate your website have become sophisticated and context-aware.

Support

Bluehost’s website includes an automated chatbot.

AI chatbots have been around for a while, though in past decades, they often didn’t respond coherently and were generally inferior to human support agents.

Today, an AI chatbot can be on par with humans in many ways. While this doesn’t eliminate the need for human employees, these chatbots can perform a variety of tasks. For example, they can:

  • Handle simple queries, taking the workload off your human team.
  • Deal with automated tasks like scheduling and reservations.
  • Provide 24/7 support when agents are off the clock.

This is especially impactful to small businesses that may not be able to hire enough employees to offer round-the-clock support for international users.

There’s also AI moderation, which can free your comments, forums and other public user areas of toxicity and spam.

SEO

Popular SEO plugins like Yoast already use AI.

One area where generative AI has already significantly affected WordPress is SEO. AI has already played a key role there, but it’s only gotten more powerful.

Many major SEO plugins have already implemented AI assistants that use new technology to optimize articles and pages. These include Rank Math, SEOPress and AIOSEO.

With these AI features, you can:

  • Use keyword research to find the most relevant keywords and use them throughout your text.
  • Optimize content for search engines.
  • Auto-generate meta descriptions and titles, social media blurbs and hashtags.
  • Automatically generate alt text for images.
  • Automatically tag and categorize content, such as blog posts or products.

While these features have been present for a long time, modern AI has made them more effective and impactful.

Security and data analysis

Finally, AI has affected website security and data analysis, if not entirely shaped them.

Security has long used AI to analyze web traffic to identify suspicious behavior and hijacking attempts. These AI can detect new malware based on common patterns by learning from malware samples.

Generative models can also test the robustness of security systems by simulating real threats.

Better security makes it harder for hackers to hijack your WordPress site. On top of that, suspicious traffic or requests will be blocked before they slip through.

Data analysis has also used generative AI to anticipate future trends and make data-driven decisions.

These models can detect anomalies and outliers, generate visualizations, create synthetic datasets for testing and clean anomalous data.

The challenges of using AI

While the surge of AI has brought exciting opportunities, it has also introduced many challenges. These range from ethical issues to problems with the AI models themselves.

Let’s take a look at a few of these challenges.

Ethical and legal considerations

You can generate AI images based on that of famous artists using Craiyon.
Screenshot

While generative AI is a groundbreaking tool, there are some ethical issues.

AI models like ChatGPT are trained on a massive dataset of information, which inevitably includes copyrighted material. When it generates text, code or images, there’s a chance the output could be directly or partially plagiarized.

That means you could be illegally using copyrighted material on your website.

Some people have expressed concern over these models existing at all, especially with AI-generated graphics. Artists have sued AI generation tools for using their artwork to train models without the original artists’ compensation or consent.

It’s not always clear who owns AI-generated content or if AI outputs can be protected by copyright. With generative AI being so new, very few legal cases have appeared. In one, a judge in the U.S. ruled that AI-generated art isn’t copyrightable.

Public perception

Public opinion on AI varies widely, and generative AI, in particular, has been met with some concern.
Image Source

The ease of access to models like ChatGPT, which can generate content — including entire articles — with minimal prompting, has led to a slew of low-quality content online. NewsGuard, a watchdog for news credibility, has identified over 450 AI-generated news websites.

These websites can contain incorrect, misleading or nonsensical information, wasting your time, spreading misinformation, and even overshadowing genuine websites.

Irresponsibly using AI content writing, especially without disclosing that you’re doing so or intentionally misleading people about its authenticity, can anger people.

In one study, while AI was received very well in medical and scientific fields, respondents weren’t as enthusiastic about AI-generated content, especially writing. 45% said using AI to write news articles is “not an advance,” making it by far the most negatively received category.

Using AI to assist in small tasks is entirely acceptable. On the other hand, publishing unmodified AI-generated copywriting or code, especially in misleading ways, is rarely received well.

Misleading and incorrect information

One big problem with AI is that the code and information it generates can be incorrect or biased. That’s why it’s essential to verify anything AI creates.

AI is also known for making up information, referred to as “hallucinations.” For example, asking for a list of books may cause the model to come up with non-existent titles or incorrectly attribute authors.

So, it’s vital to fact-check AI-generated content to avoid misleading or confusing users.

In addition, developers using AI assistants are more likely to generate insecure code. Using AI-generated programming without knowing what you’re doing could lead to buggy code filled with security vulnerabilities.

AI can save time and assist in your creative process, but overusing it as a shortcut could lead to problems.

Other issues with AI

The surge of AI has presented many other issues, including:

  • AI-driven personalization can present concerns over user data privacy and collection. Training AI on private data can be a legal and ethical concern. Plus, staying in compliance with laws like the GDPR can take time and effort.
  • Adapting AI for non-technical users and employees has a significant learning curve.
  • Implementing AI onto your website can be challenging, though WordPress plugins can help (more on that below).
  • Implementing AI can be expensive, and running it on your servers could majorly impact performance.
  • Using AI for customer support in lieu of humans can raise ethical questions.

While AI can be difficult to implement on a large scale, many WordPress users already use it to assist in day-to-day tasks.

AI tools for WordPress

  • Bluehost WonderSuite: Here at Bluehost, we recently released our AI-powered onboarding suite and website builder, so you can run your WordPress website in minutes.
  • CodeWP: A code generator that uses AI technology, optimized for WordPress and WooCommerce developers.
  • WordLift: This SEO plugin helps optimize and enrich your content to build user engagement.
  • AI Engine: An extensive AI assistant that serves as a chatbot, content generator and SEO tool, all in one.
  • Tidio: This live chat plugin also uses AI chatbots to add automation to your website.
  • Voicer: This AI-powered plugin converts text to speech and is compatible with many major plugins, including page builders.
Bluehost WonderSuite offers what you need to get started with WordPress.

WordPress developers have been quick to hop on the AI trend. Several groundbreaking plugins — both free and pro versions — have emerged, and many large plugins were updated to include AI assistants.

Final thoughts: The future of WordPress and AI

Since AI revolutionized the internet, WordPress has always kept up. It’s incredible what some plugins managed to do when advanced AI was still in its infancy.

And as AI continues to evolve, WordPress will surely grow with it.

Generative AI has raised several legality and ethics questions, so it’s essential to use it responsibly.

But if you use them correctly, AI tools can be a great help. They can enhance your WordPress experience, from generating article ideas to explaining programming concepts in a user-friendly way, all while meeting the needs of your website visitors. Many AI assistant plugins have already cropped up, and it’s exciting to see how far WordPress developers will go.

Interested in trying out a WordPress AI tool for yourself? Try WonderSuite by Bluehost. We’ll help you pick a hosting plan and set up your website more quickly and intuitively than ever before.

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Education
    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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