EP483 – This Is Your Website on AI

May 10, 2024

On this episode, the WPwatercooler panel, consisting of Jason Tucker, Sé Reed, and Jason Cosper, delves into the impact of AI on website creation and the broader WordPress ecosystem. They discuss the practical uses of AI for automating tedious tasks, such as generating filler content and structuring web pages, while acknowledging the potential downsides, including the commoditization of web development and the proliferation of generic, low-quality websites. The conversation also touches on the evolving role of SEO in an AI-driven landscape, the importance of bespoke, human-crafted websites, and the broader implications for web professionals. Throughout the episode, the panel debates whether AI can enhance creativity or simply lead to more homogeneous web experiences.


00:00 Introduction and Hosts
00:39 Podcast Availability and Discord
01:12 Segue into AI Discussion
01:42 ChatGPT and Website Integration
02:49 AI in Content Creation
04:09 AI vs. Lorem Ipsum Generators
06:27 AI’s Impact on Page Builders
09:05 Onboarding with AI
11:23 Automation in Web Development
13:30 The Role of Freelancers in an AI World
14:41 Quality of AI-generated Websites
16:18 AI’s Limitations in Customization
18:10 AI and Web Design Homogeneity
21:55 Unique Human Touch in Web Design
24:26 AI and the Future of Website Development
27:22 Value of Bespoke Websites
29:25 Fast Food vs. Gourmet Web Design
33:15 Google and SEO in an AI Era
37:35 The Role of AI Assistants
41:19 Small Business Websites and AI
44:13 The Changing Nature of Websites
50:02 The Future of SEO
54:26 Conclusion and Outro


Episode Transcription

[00:00:00] Jason Tucker: This is episode number 483 of WPwatercooler. This is your website on ai. I’m Jason Tucker. You can find me over@jasontucker.blog and all the places that I do things on the social media internet. Speaking

[00:00:25] Se Reed: I’m Sé Reed I am at Sé Reed Media on some of the things.

[00:00:32] Jason Cosper: And y’all know who it is, it’s your boy, Jason Cosper, back at it again on the world’s most influential WordPress podcast.

[00:00:39] Jason Tucker: of that podcast, you can find us wherever it is at. Great podcast can be found, and you can come hang out with us on our discord at WP Water Cooler Slack.

[00:00:49] Se Reed: I just want to point out that we can also be found where not good podcasts can be found,

[00:00:54] Jason Cosper: Oh yeah.

[00:00:55] Se Reed: or we can also be found where really bad videos exist. We’re just there, we’re just

[00:01:02] Jason Tucker: Yeah.

[00:01:03] Se Reed: Ooh, segue! I already did

[00:01:06] Jason Tucker: We haven’t started yet. You’re segwaying?

[00:01:08] Se Reed: I’m segwaying. No, I’m segwaying into it. I’m segwaying

[00:01:11] Jason Tucker: Oh, okay.

[00:01:12] Se Reed: We’re everywhere, just like AI.

[00:01:15] Se Reed: Dun! That was good, right? Are we mall cops? I don’t know what that was. Segway.

[00:01:25] Se Reed: the Oh, it was a segway.

[00:01:29] Jason Tucker: Spell it like I would spell it. Look,

[00:01:36] Se Reed: Don’t forget to watch the the video, people, because the visual gags were here for

[00:01:42] Jason Tucker: I really. I really wanted to take the time this morning and set up a laptop and install the new ChatGPT app for the Mac and have ChatGPT show up in the chat here so we could all talk to it and ask it questions about how AI and websites and all that stuff was going to work. And

[00:02:03] Se Reed: You want to ask the AI about

[00:02:04] Jason Tucker: any of it.

[00:02:05] Jason Tucker: It would have been fun for five seconds and it would have spent, I would have had to spend two hours to set it all up. But it would have been fun for five seconds.

[00:02:14] Se Reed: Let me tell you something about AI. AI is not going to tell you anything you don’t know. I’m

[00:02:20] Jason Tucker: But you could sit there and totally have Scarlett Johansson talk to you on, we could have had Scarlett Johansson on the show.

[00:02:28] Jason Tucker: Come on.

[00:02:30] Se Reed: I have so many feelings about AI. We’ve talked about it on here.

[00:02:36] Jason Tucker: I’m planning seeds here, Cosper, just so you know,

[00:02:39] Se Reed: It’s like baiting me. Are you baiting

[00:02:41] Jason Tucker: there’s a crop dusting that’s occurring.

[00:02:44] Se Reed: All right. Should we introduce our topic more properly or should we just jump right in? What do you think?

[00:02:49] Jason Tucker: Yeah, I think, yeah, I, yeah, please. Like I haven’t, just to be perfectly honest, I haven’t touched any of this AI stuff as it relates to building a website, like at all. I’ve

[00:03:01] Se Reed: You use AI all the time.

[00:03:03] Jason Tucker: As content, but I’ve never built a website using it.

[00:03:07] Se Reed: There’s different ways to do that,

[00:03:10] Jason Tucker: Yeah. And that’s what I’m interested in. Is that part of it? Not like how to take words that I didn’t write and put them in there. I can do that already for client work. Yeah, that’s, Laura Mipson Generators have been doing that for us for many years.

[00:03:23] Jason Tucker: this is true.

[00:03:25] Se Reed: You know what I just realized? Does AI, is AI going to kill the lorem ipsum generator? Because you don’t need it anymore. You can just say, hey, chat GPT, give me four paragraphs of marketing text talking about, and not,

[00:03:40] Jason Tucker: And then the client goes, perfect. Go with it.

[00:03:44] Se Reed: client does go perfect go.

[00:03:45] Se Reed: They actually, what they end up saying, and this is so funny. I know, because this is, I use AI for filler content all the time. I’m like, you’re not going to give me content? Fine. I’m going to put some AI in it. And I do. And because I generally feed it with like actual relevant information it’s basic marketing content on pages is, it’s wayfinding.

[00:04:09] Se Reed: You know what I mean? It’s not, I actually got into this discussion in our discord. About page builders in general, which is something that we’re talking about today, but about the structured content or in Divi’s case, not anymore with Divi 5 because they’re going into Blockland.

[00:04:27] Se Reed: But the existing Divi is shortcodes or just shortcodes or content that like exists with visual bakery or whatever the heck it’s called now. Liquid, I don’t know what it’s called. What is that thing called now? It’s it was like WP bakery and now it’s visual something. I don’t know what it is.

[00:04:47] Se Reed: Anyway whatever page builder it is generally The pages that you build, landing pages of different types, everyone’s always you can’t move it. And I’m like, pages are not content that you keep, right? Pages tend to be the content that is directing you to different posts or is archiving a collection of posts or archiving some product or saying here are some of the things we do.

[00:05:22] Se Reed: There might be some custom post types in there for services or. Whatever. But a lot of the time, the basic content in pages is very much more temporal than the content that is in posts or in custom post types. So for my usage I like all the faces that you’re making Cosper. This is fun. But for my for my needs, it doesn’t really matter that the page builder is what the structure is.

[00:05:51] Se Reed: Because if I redo the site or if we redo the branding, or if we redo the content. That’s going to change anyway. So the posts we want to keep for longevity purposes, SEO bank that’s in there, but the history, but the page content is going to change. It’s going to get deleted and updated. The page might even get deleted if a program goes away or a product goes away or something, so

[00:06:17] Jason Cosper: Sure.

[00:06:18] Se Reed: that’s my, I just wanted to get that out of the way, since we’re talking with page builders, talking page builders today. That’s everyone’s complaint about it. So I just want to just get that out of the way up front. They have a purpose for building that temporary, content, whatever that is.

[00:06:37] Jason Cosper: Yeah. I think the interesting thing is when you start to introduce AI into this whole like, page builder space it’s really when, and it seems like anybody who is making a page builder at this point has some sort of or that has a sort of design system. You have. Elementor, who has a little bit of a, an AI like layout builder.

[00:07:10] Jason Cosper: You have I think wordpress. com announced. I can’t remember the name of whatever their thing is

[00:07:19] Se Reed: Beyond, or big something

[00:07:23] Se Reed: Big Sky.

[00:07:24] Jason Cosper: big sky. There it is. Yeah. Not obscure enough for me to not

[00:07:29] Se Reed: It does go along with the sort of astronomy. Theme, that is part of the Automattic’s internal naming, they have team names that are very cosmic. So Big Sky is interesting in that context because it’s

[00:07:47] Se Reed: Of the,

[00:07:48] Jason Tucker: And Jetpack ties it all together.

[00:07:50] Se Reed: I don’t know, it’s just somewhat related, it’s up

[00:07:52] Jason Cosper: Sky Company or country isn’t Montana Big Sky Country. That’s what I took

[00:07:58] Se Reed: Yes, and then there’s also what is it, Blue Sky isn’t that a, that’s a thing?

[00:08:05] Jason Tucker: That’s the thing too.

[00:08:06] Se Reed: That’s one of those, that Twitter guy, who is not the Twitter guy anymore, made the Blue Sky what looks like the Twitter guy.

[00:08:12] Jason Cosper: We’re getting far afield. So

[00:08:15] Se Reed: wait, actually they’re not, because, oh my god, everything is a clone of everything anyway, and if we’re all just a copy of a copy, including the apps that we’re using I don’t even know what is real anymore anyway? Does it matter if it’s AI or if it’s a layout template? What are really the difference here, right?

[00:08:34] Se Reed: That we’re talking about? So I’ve been,

[00:08:38] Se Reed: you in your flow.

[00:08:39] Jason Cosper: yeah I’ve been thinking about this a little bit and like we have these even Astra or the company behind Astra, Brainstormforce, they have ZipWP, which is another like AI Like site builder that can help get people started. And I think that seems to be like where people are going,

[00:09:05] Se Reed: Onboarding, you mean,

[00:09:07] Jason Cosper: yeah, on, and the onboarding experience in WordPress has been lacking.


[00:09:13] Se Reed: So sorely, but I would like to point out that we are not doing any sort of onboarding process within WordPress, the project, or any sort of AI that is strictly within com and it makes one wonder if perhaps an onboarding process for WordPress is not really something that is desired.

[00:09:37] Se Reed: Insofar as if there is one for com, then people can onboard, and


[00:09:42] Se Reed: Not one for org, then people cannot. And it’s just that simple.

[00:09:48] Jason Cosper: I will argue that we’ve managed to hook 40 something percent of the web. I don’t know if

[00:09:57] Se Reed: would stop talking about this. Ugh, it makes me nauseous.

[00:10:00] Jason Cosper: but without any onboarding,

[00:10:04] Se Reed: We have been doing the onboarding. This is the thing. And like I know, so there’s definitely a role of human, a job here that is definitely going to be severely impacted by this. And that is the person who is like piecing stuff into a template that that’s what they were already doing.

[00:10:25] Se Reed: So the, I have some content, so say there’s someone hire, hire somebody, like a freelance or whatever. And they’re like, I have, here’s my content in a collection. In the hypothetical, because we know no client ever comes with the content. But if the developer, quote unquote developer, or the site builder, or whatever, is just loading up a page builder, adding in some templates some some base layouts, putting the content that they’re given in there, What is the difference?

[00:10:59] Se Reed: That is, it cuts out the, whether the person, the freelancer is doing it or the actual user ends up doing it will make a difference in the ecosystem. But in terms of getting the stuff into the site, into a basic layout template, like that’s just making that a lot faster and easier. And that’s the same thing that onboarding would be doing with templates.

[00:11:23] Se Reed: But now you can onboard with AI and it’s A friendly person talking to you or whatever asking you questions and prompts about your business or what you want to build. I, the thing is, it’s I keep using it in this way is not necessarily like generative AI,


[00:11:45] Se Reed: Like just like automating a template process that already existed.

[00:11:51] Se Reed: So to me, this sort of like a AI ification of this process is just like automation. It’s just like putting together some forms that you fill out and it triggers some stuff and it gives

[00:12:04] Jason Tucker: But is this like taking your notes, like for your notes from your meeting, from your onboarding meetings with your client and you’re just pasting those into the chatbot and saying, okay set up the scaffolding for me. And it goes like about page, this page, that page this other page. And it just starts pouring all that crap in there.

[00:12:23] Jason Tucker: And you’re like, Oh, by the way, there’s this I don’t know, Dropbox or wherever it is you store your files. Go grab all those and throw them in there. And it’s Oh, we found a person, a picture of this person. Let’s put them in there. Mean, that sounds great because that work is tedious to me, for me. Like that part of the work is the hard part for like difficult to do because it’s boring and it’s hard. And you’re just like, Oh my God, I have All these pages to create, and I have all this content to plug in, and usually I try to automate it with an Airtable or spreadsheets.

[00:12:54] Se Reed: I don’t have to sit there and do that work. So for me, that’s just making it easier. But there’s definitely a category of person there that it is taking the job away from, for sure, or contracting the amount of time that’s billable for that work. Because. It is going to move a lot faster and they could, I guess the danger is that the person who might have to pay for that beforehand could now do it on their own. So in a sense contracting that out also.

[00:13:30] Jason Cosper: So the way that I see these AI page builders is effectively, this is say you need a site and to you, you both know that I’m a fan of metaphors say you need a site. And you need it built. You go to one of these AI page builders and it’s like asking a Lego master builder to build you a site with the AI The AI is asking like a Lego, however, the master builder comes back and builds it all with Duplo.

[00:14:13] Jason Cosper: It goes, Hey, I’ve got these pieces for you. I’ve got something that looks like the thing you want. And now you’re going to have to. Do a little manipulation to this. Now, anything that I have thrown through one of these, like in testing and seeing trying to understand the threat that site builders are up against with these things.

[00:14:41] Jason Cosper: Is Hey can you build me this site? And all it does and all, most of these tools seem to be doing is taking predefined patterns that it knows that you need like matching them to your color scheme, if it asks you like, Hey what’s your palette or anything like that?

[00:15:03] Jason Cosper: And then.

[00:15:05] Se Reed: Thanks.

[00:15:07] Jason Cosper: Try to like bullshit and pad that out. Sometimes the content that it fills in, unless you’re actually like giving it a full run of content that you need on the site it, it might sound okay, but like sometimes it doesn’t pass the sniff test, like you’re going to have to go in and reedit it.

[00:15:29] Jason Cosper: So basically. Asking a master builder to do something and having them build something out of Legos out of the fine grain components you need versus asking an AI to do it and having the AI basically build you something out of if not Duplo, it’s oh, you need a pirate ship while I’ve got.

[00:15:55] Jason Cosper: A piece of Lego that looks like the back half of a pirate ship. So I can build that out for you. And putting that all together where a master builder is like going in and okay, I’m adjusting this little piece here. They just added negative margins to Gutenberg. So there’s like these cool effects that you can.

[00:16:17] Jason Tucker: no,

[00:16:25] Se Reed: what year is it?

[00:16:27] Jason Cosper: No, I agree. It’s.

[00:16:30] Se Reed: you also can’t do side margins.

[00:16:33] Jason Cosper: I,

[00:16:36] Se Reed: allowed. Just nope. Just no margins for you.

[00:16:40] Jason Cosper: I have been building

[00:16:42] Se Reed: into your custom CSS classes because we don’t believe in side

[00:16:47] Jason Tucker: we just tell the AI, you’re like, Hey, I have this class and I need to

[00:16:50] Se Reed: Alright, okay, but seriously, back to AI. You’ve said so many things that I’ve been like literally taking notes, okay? Here’s the deal though. This is exactly what I’m saying, what the initial setup thing is just like a setup script and agencies have had these setup scripts, all freelancers have these setup my friend Brianna like talks on at WordCamps about here’s your thing, What does she call it?

[00:17:14] Se Reed: I can’t remember what she calls it. She has a really cool word for it that sounds super techy that I should totally know. But like you just you basically hit a button and it’s here’s all the basic plugins and layouts and things that you need. Divi’s had the Divi Cloud for a really long time where you could save your layout so you could use in between stuff.

[00:17:34] Se Reed: You can save and move around your modules. So all of these getting to that point, that has existed. There has, there have been so many shortcuts for that process. And, honestly, even just the onboarding process that WordPress. com had in 2018, which, when I was teaching specifically about the WordPress.

[00:18:05] Se Reed: com, I was teaching that onboarding for people and it was a thing what is your industry? What are your colors? What are your keywords? Are you modern or whatever? And then it would spin up a website. I don’t really I don’t see the value. There’s obviously value in time, right?

[00:18:29] Se Reed: So this, what this enables people to do is to get to that point faster. And that of course enables people to spin up like dummy websites or spam websites, which we’ve seen a problem with. Like you can spin this stuff up so fast.

[00:18:46] Jason Cosper: emphasis on the dummy, right?

[00:18:48] Se Reed: Yeah. But and I suppose they could be different because you tweak some things in the prompt as opposed to if you were spinning stuff up with a script, it would be more the same, but you can make the script.

[00:18:58] Se Reed: Do different things anyway. So I just, it’s not revolutionary what we’re doing with this AI is my point. We’re just like, it’s in an airport and you have the walkway now, and then you also have a people mover, right? Like the walkway’s there. You don’t have to have the people mover, but if you get a people mover, you get there a little faster and you can play on them sometimes and do whatever, but you’re still getting to the same point, Yeah. I don’t think that like the this AI building stuff needs to be full self building, but rather just needs to be like, I need to park the car. You know what I mean? Like a very specific task. So like that one task of saying, Hey, here’s the transcript going back to what I was saying earlier here’s this transcript of the stuff that we had from the customer from the client said that they wanted their colors to be orange, blue, and white.

[00:19:53] Jason Tucker: And here’s the color codes for them. You tell it that, and then it goes and says, okay I’m going to find all the places in WordPress that requires those colors to be in there. And I’m going to go fill in the blanks. That would be great for me. I think that’s cuts out some work for me.

[00:20:08] Se Reed: Yeah, exactly. But what I’m,

[00:20:10] Jason Tucker: parked the car.

[00:20:11] Se Reed: just like busy work, like none of that work is so I guess getting to the point of Your point about master, the idea of the master builder, right? I, my value to my clients has never been that I can spin up a website. It used to be, honestly, because people couldn’t, they couldn’t do it, but it hasn’t been in a long time.

[00:20:32] Se Reed: My value to my clients, particularly with my job, is because I can help them translate what the hell they’re trying to do into a website or into an interface that makes sense or into part of their


[00:20:43] Se Reed: Right? They can’t ask AI that because they could, but like that’s, they don’t know what to ask.

[00:20:53] Se Reed: And that’s all part of this. So I guess. In a way, this is opening the door for more people to get to that point, like I said, of here’s a website, right? You say, I want to, I want this page, I want that page, I want whatever pages, but the funny part is about this is that when you are the person making the website that doesn’t know about websites, and this is not, I think people should make DIY websites for sure, but with my clients, they always were like, oh, I don’t need an about page.

[00:21:23] Se Reed: Or, I don’t need these other pages, or I don’t need this privacy page, or I don’t their understanding of what they need has never necessarily been what their audience wants. And that is that is about, that is also something you could ask AI about, and so in theory, I guess you could tie all of this stuff together where it’s you’re feeding AI your marketing plan, and it’s producing something that’s like really custom to these specific audiences.

[00:21:55] Se Reed: But what I believe this is going toward is the value, something that I’ve always valued anyway. is bespoke websites, essentially. The idea that you’re not just writing some floofy in the business world, right? In the marketing world, the amount of recycled content that exists is mind boggling, right?

[00:22:22] Se Reed: It’s Even in WordPress articles, it’s like someone copied the code from someone who copied the code from someone who got it from a stack overflow from like 2016 or whatever. And it’s

[00:22:31] Jason Tucker: And the guy just wrote it on it, like one handed on his phone

[00:22:34] Se Reed: yeah,

[00:22:35] Jason Tucker: all jacked up anyhow.

[00:22:36] Se Reed: and now it’s been like on the internet for 10 years and it’s the gold standard that Google thinks, even though it’s the wrong answer, like this mirrored content has existed long before AI.

[00:22:49] Se Reed: The real problem with that is AI is getting all that crappy information. It’s going to be like, wow, all the websites have banners and most of the websites have hero images and all these big things. Let’s just keep building websites like that. It is just going to create this housing tract version of websites and not in a GeoCities way, where every house is unique and beautiful, in a Stepford Wives way, where every house is exactly the same, and you might have your door on the right, or you might have your door on the left, but, that you still have the same basic format and every fourth house has the same layout like it’s already like that.

[00:23:39] Jason Cosper: I live in a suburb. I live in a suburb that I think our house was built in 1986 and yeah. I as driving or walking around. In our tract, I’m just like, that’s our way out. That’s our way out. That’s our way out. Like I, I have been inside your house without even ever having to set foot inside your house.

[00:24:03] Jason Cosper: Like

[00:24:05] Se Reed: And the cool thing about that, so you built in 1986 and it’s however many years later, 30 some years later, I’m not doing that math. But

[00:24:15] Jason Cosper: 40.

[00:24:16] Se Reed: yeah, almost 40 years. But those things started out as all cookie cutter, right? Like those pictures of the 50s and 80s, like doot, beautiful little, not beautiful, but like just tiny little monopoly houses all exactly the same.

[00:24:33] Se Reed: And humans have come along and made them different, right? They have done different landscaping or painted them or made an addition or changed out the door or like added shutters or like whatever. They did to create something unique. So even though they have that foundation that is the same, the humans came along and made them something unique to that house. And that is the same value. That’s what makes that interesting now, right? And more than just older tract housing is more interesting than new tract housing. Because it has had time to get humaned, so I think that essentially what we’re talking about here is Getting to that point great, the developer made the tract housing.

[00:25:25] Se Reed: Cool. I like that it’s a housing developer, but I guess it’s the same thing. And now the humans need to come along and make that for whatever that unique thing is. And to me, that is so much better because every little business, every blog is different. It does have the ability to be even somewhat unique and somewhat differentiated from something that’s very similar to it.

[00:25:54] Se Reed: But

[00:25:55] Jason Tucker: have

[00:25:58] Jason Cosper: Yeah.

[00:25:59] Se Reed: ask ai, how can I be different than everybody else? That’s

[00:26:03] Jason Tucker: day.

[00:26:06] Jason Cosper: it’s funny. Zach in the chat said exactly what I was thinking. It’s this Malvina Reynolds song little boxes. If you ever watched weeds, it was the theme song for weeds. Yeah, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky tacky, little boxes on the hillside, and they all look just the same.

[00:26:26] Jason Cosper: You got red ones, green ones, blue ones, and yellow ones, but they all look the same. Malvina

[00:26:32] Se Reed: song, the Ticky Tacky Houses? Or I don’t know.

[00:26:36] Jason Cosper: Reynolds is who wrote it. I think Pete Seeger originally

[00:26:40] Se Reed: Oh yeah, like that time.

[00:26:42] Jason Cosper: it’s her song.

[00:26:43] Se Reed: Oh, cool. Yeah. That’s exactly it, right? And even songs, so if you listen to. I don’t know, The Beatles, from, speaking of the 60s you listen to some of those songs, a lot of that sounds the same, and if you listen to some of the pop songs a lot of that sounds the same we’ve already been cookie cutter everyone’s that’s, we’ve already got the, what is it copyright infringement where everyone’s making clones of everything, you type something into Amazon, and there’s ten of the same thing, with the weird name Is that AI?

[00:27:22] Se Reed: I guess it could be AI at this point, spitting up Amazon things with bursting out listings, and then it’s like AI reviews, and it’s just to me, this just makes that so much less valuable, and there’s so much of it, so if there’s just all of this I’ve always felt that way about page layouts as well, pre built, non customized page layouts that you just slap a page together.

[00:27:48] Se Reed: You can see, oh, this was built with the GoDaddy builder, or this was built with This is the default 2024 pattern, or this is Frost, even, right now, with block rooms. You’re like, cool, I recognize that theme, we’re There is it’s, they, people have been saying it for the past 10 years that they can tell when a site is a WordPress site,

[00:28:12] Se Reed: Exactly.

[00:28:13] Jason Cosper: it looks

[00:28:14] Se Reed: tell when it’s a Squarespace site or Shopify site you can tell.

[00:28:18] Jason Cosper: There’s an easy way to tell if it’s a Squarespace site, if you’re on it, just hit the escape key and it will try to take you to the login page if it’s a Squarespace site, even if you’re not. Yeah. If you’re trying to figure out what’s under the hood there, like I always,

[00:28:35] Se Reed: little hack,

[00:28:36] Jason Tucker: just shop it around and you hit escape and you’re like, aha,

[00:28:39] Se Reed: I’m gonna hit escape on it. You know what we should be doing is that up, down, eight, six, whatever that is, like you should really do that on every site, right? Just, yeah, that one.

[00:28:49] Jason Cosper: Up, up down, left left, bA start.

[00:28:51] Se Reed: That one, exactly. To do it on every site, just to see. Okay, here’s the cool thing though.

[00:28:58] Se Reed: What we could use AI to do is create these bases that allow us to, for, is why I’m excited, because I am going to be able to spin up the baseline so much faster, which means I can then spend the time on making something better, like customizations, or functionality, or using AI to build out other parts that create something that’s more unique, it’s not like you have to stop with the AI builder built this and it built the pages, which, by the way, there are plugins for that will automatically generate plug pages for you also. You just write out the names. It’s here are all your pages. You’re like, cool, thanks.


[00:29:37] Jason Tucker: Like the

[00:29:38] Se Reed: I’m not sure what the difference is.

[00:29:39] Jason Cosper: are you concerned by using this, that you’re like contributing to the gray goo the pink slurry of the web you’re

[00:29:52] Se Reed: I already do that? Because I use Divi and I’m like No, but you look at this point and here we are like AI has been like trained on all of this human output of books, of websites, of all of this media, and they’ve run out of things to train it on. So what have they started training AI on, but the output of AI and it’s, I

[00:30:25] Se Reed: that, it’s, it is literally, I’m going to, I’ve mentioned this on before. It is not the snake eating its tail at this point. That’s not what this is. That is a different thing. What this is, and I’m going to say it, even though it’s totally horrible, that AI eating AI, that’s the human centipede.

[00:30:44] Se Reed: That’s what that is.

[00:30:45] Jason Cosper: Yeah, I was going to say, it’s not the snake eating its own tail. It’s the snake. It’s the snake taking a shit and eating its own shit before it gets to its tail.

[00:30:56] Se Reed: It’s really different because that’s just going to get we all know what happens when you make a copy of a copy of a copy besides the file getting into like underscore copy, final, whatever.

[00:31:08] Jason Cosper: Yeah. I used to photocopy and make zines and all of this other stuff. And once you end up photocopy, photocopy, yeah, it like there comes a point where you can’t read it anymore. Because the signal has degraded so much. All you have is noise.

[00:31:32] Se Reed: yeah this is more Jarvis than it is build me a thing, but rather Hey, I’m noticing that you’re, we’re getting into like the paperclip type thing and clip Yvonne windows, but like the idea of Hey, I’m noticing that you’re going to be building this website that is going to do this You need an event calendar.

[00:31:52] Jason Tucker: Hey, here’s a zip file to install event calendar pro or whatever. Or, Hey, you’re going to be selling something, install this or something like that. Is it more along the lines of the assistant is actually assisting rather than you asking the assistant to do something like, is it more

[00:32:11] Se Reed: mean, here’s the deal, either way, I think of the assistants asking to help let me tell you these things, or. You, a user would do more of a generic thing. What do I need to do X, whatever, in both cases. And we’ve talked about this before on the show, when you start building with something that you’re not like sure what you could be building it might be amazing what you end up with, but a lot of times it is just goo.

[00:32:36] Se Reed: You end up with goo at the end of that process, which you end up with when people try to build their own websites. A lot of the time anyway, just because it’s just because of perspective, right? For small business owners, they’re not looking at it unless they’re a lot of small business owners are able to look at it in this way, but some are not able to get out of their own head and their own perspective to start viewing things as their audience or from a UI perspective or understanding how accessibility might help their site, right?

[00:33:07] Se Reed: They don’t have that. Yeah,

[00:33:12] Se Reed: I suppose AI could tell them that also, but they, it’s still not going to make them care about that or think that is important. And so they will have their site, right? They’ll make their thing and it’ll probably make a lot of people happy because they’ll feel like they’re building something.

[00:33:28] Se Reed: But I feel like this just makes paying attention to detail and doing something. Not just like to spin out content, which the web has been a nightmare of a place. For the past, however many years, because it’s just a bunch of dribble. It is a bunch of copy over copy like even Google’s little summaries at the top are siphoned from somewhere.

[00:33:56] Se Reed: Now they’re generated from somewhere. It’s really not that different, right? That is just cutting out, making it easier for us to eat the goo.

[00:34:07] Jason Cosper: What did,

[00:34:09] Se Reed: And making it easier for us to eat the goo. That’s all that’s happening.

[00:34:13] Jason Cosper: The thing I was thinking is, as you were talking about this, is that really it is like a small business owner, yeah, sure. Like they just want a site, they don’t care they can if they can put a few prompts, if they can answer What are your business hours? When are you open?

[00:34:38] Jason Cosper: right?

[00:34:38] Jason Cosper: If they can answer that handful of things and get a site, great. Now they don’t have to worry about a site anymore. But the problem They shouldn’t be paying someone 2, 000, 5, 000 and getting grifted by a bad web developer, web king, whatever, to build their site that sucks anyway. Like that that strata of folk, they should just build it. It’s right. They will be better off, honestly.

[00:35:04] Jason Cosper: you should, however it’s the equivalent of the the harried person who’s just I don’t have the time to do this. I’m just going to swoop in and get something like that. I can pull out of the freezer and throw into the oven for an hour, half an hour or whatever, or I’m going to get some fast food or whatever.

[00:35:29] Jason Cosper: And it is almost lunchtime. You making me dinner?

[00:35:37] Jason Cosper: it’s. It’s one of those things where but you look at what fast food, what convenience meals and stuff like that has done to like the overall health of this country. It’s ended up not being that great of a thing.

[00:35:55] Se Reed: I think that’s a great analogy. It’s exactly the same thing. Like it’s, you can cook your own meal or someone can cook a meal that is more elaborate, fresh with different ingredients. They can make the same exact thing, right? They can make a burger that’s the same as like McDonald’s burger, but they made it from like meat that’s ground from the pasture up there.

[00:36:17] Jason Tucker: for me,

[00:36:18] Se Reed: Yeah just different meat. Whatever. That’s okay. But whatever it is it’s the same thing, but it’s a completely different experience. There’s a completely different value. And there’s a time and a place for a McDonald’s hamburger, not in my life, but for some people. And there is a time and a place, much more in my life for hamburgers that are made with open range meat or whatever.

[00:36:41] Se Reed: But It’s the mom saying we got hamburgers at home. You don’t need McDonald’s. We got hamburgers at home.

[00:36:49] Se Reed: No, I’m, even if you’re going out to have someone make it for you, right? It just makes that value. I think AI just makes humans more valuable, right? That’s what I think. I think it, it makes the goo, the copy, uncreative that part of the internet. It just automates that. It makes it really easy.

[00:37:15] Se Reed: To be a shyster, like that like all these different, like that guy who did that amusement park and made the, like that amusement park on the weekend and made all these beautiful AI images of this like experienced wonderland. And then it was like, a gym with some Bounce houses and that’s it.

[00:37:35] Se Reed: That AI, that experience could have been made really awesome by a human being, right?

[00:37:43] Se Reed: But AI couldn’t do that. AI could only make the packaging. AI could only give you the beginning. It can’t actually give you the thing.

[00:37:53] Jason Cosper: It’s funny now. Oh, it pulls into focus. This thing that we were talking about before the show started. I’ve been reading this book. It’s the oral history of Hollywood. And I came to a quote from Roger Corman and Roger Corman said I believe that you can make any movie for any budget. He said, I believe you can make Dr.

[00:38:17] Jason Cosper: Zhivago, for those of you who aren’t familiar, Dr. Zhivago is this huge, epic production, millions of dollars,

[00:38:25] Se Reed: for the time, which was insane.

[00:38:27] Jason Cosper: Yeah, beautiful story and everything else made by this just master craftsman who made these like two, three plus hour long epics when that wasn’t even a thing. He said, I believe that you could make Dr.

[00:38:44] Jason Cosper: Zhivago for 50, 000 in six days. It’ll look different than the Dr. Zhivago that’s out there now, but you can do it.

[00:38:53] Se Reed: Exactly. That’s amazing. It is exactly that. You can do that, and it’s going to make it so much easier to make the shitty Dr. Zhivago. Great. We’ll make a million Dr. Zhivagos, and then that will make the really great whatever one that gets made that’s like the epic with a lot of different stuff we’ll make that, that much better.

[00:39:13] Se Reed: And that might use AI too, but it’s still going to have to like, Combine AIs and have some humans. I feel like the human element only going to become more valuable and maybe not more valued by everyone, even when we’re kids, right? If every We kind of swing between, if everybody has something, it’s basic, right?

[00:39:39] Se Reed: You want to have the unique, different thing, right? But then, if everybody has something because it’s cool, you want to have that, the same thing. So we have this weird thing within ourselves as humans to be like, Oh, I want to both be different and the same at the same time. So AI is great for that.

[00:39:59] Se Reed: It can help us be the same. And then we can also be unique and different. But I’m hopeful that this creates value for humans. Who are doing interesting things. I think it could be really interesting what we see in websites that aren’t, it has already been so cookie cutter. So layout the same patterns are so boring.

[00:40:26] Se Reed: Like they’re like, here’s some media, here’s some text and you’ve seen creativity with blocks, right? We’ve got the Gutenberg museum and all of that, but maybe this will start to bring in that element of creativity into a website, even if just to distinguish it from all of the plethora of content out there.

[00:40:53] Se Reed: The website itself becomes an experience of something to like, Oh, you should check out this website because it’s really cool. So websites not just as brochures or SEO funnels, But websites as something communicating something themselves with the website, the information on the website the design of the website that I think then you want to go see it.

[00:41:24] Se Reed: It

[00:41:25] Jason Cosper: See the problem that I have with using AI to, to build sites to heap more things onto AI

[00:41:36] Se Reed: pile.

[00:41:37] Jason Cosper: Is that it devalues the work that actual craftsmen are doing.

[00:41:44] Se Reed: See, I don’t think it does. I just agree. I think it makes it more valuable.

[00:41:47] Jason Cosper: I but the standard person will go, Hey, I can get a site out of this AI site builder for nothing or next to nothing. Why the

[00:42:00] Se Reed: already do that, though. They already have that conversation. They just end up coming AI is going to do a better job helping them than, you Yeah.

[00:42:10] Jason Cosper: prevalent that AI becomes, the more prevalent it’s going to be where it’s this is a thing that devalues the work that that.

[00:42:22] Jason Cosper: We try to do in building sites. I’m not as bullish on it as some folks are. I don’t think that oh, this is going to be a good thing. It’s good. I don’t necessarily think that we’re going to end up seeing more people graduate from the kind of like mid ass site that this AI page builder is going to make for us and go, Oh, I want something better.

[00:42:54] Jason Cosper: I’m going to have to pay somebody for that. They’re still not going to want

[00:42:57] Se Reed: have more, we’re going to have more of that mid site, right? I hate it.

[00:43:05] Se Reed: Great, but we, you don’t want to be in that anyway. You don’t I don’t want to make sites that are just I want to make sites that are useful and are tools and people go to for like I, I build out public art maps and things that are bespoke to an area or to a people or something like that, that are, the website itself is not just a marketing tool, right?

[00:43:31] Se Reed: It’s not just churning out post content that is. Intended to sell something to somebody. And I don’t care how many of those sites there are in my mind, I ignore them all anyway because they don’t, there’s what value is there? That has no value to me. I don’t want to read someone’s copy of a copy for their business input.

[00:43:53] Jason Cosper: Yeah. I don’t need to go look at a brochure site. That is, it’s you go to a hotel, you go to a hotel, especially if it’s like one that you’re. In an area you don’t normally live in. And so many of them have those like stands with all the brochures of here’s the activities you can go do in the area.

[00:44:15] Jason Cosper: I never look at any of those you’re waiting for like your cab or an uber or something, then you like stare at them blankly,

[00:44:22] Jason Cosper: yes, sure, sure. Maybe, but in

[00:44:26] Se Reed: goes on the internet for that stuff anymore. Like we haven’t if our, a bunch of more crappy websites get built. That does not really, to me, it doesn’t, it’s just bleh, like more like water drops in the ocean, it doesn’t matter, because it’s just a big morass of nonsense anyway.

[00:44:44] Se Reed: And a lot of people don’t even bother with websites, because there’s no way to Google’s not even going to show us websites anymore. So it’s you, it makes the website itself need to be a destination, which is, to me, more interesting than just like passing along information or social regurgitation all over the place, right?

[00:45:08] Se Reed: You want to go to the website. That is for the experience, for the information that would make the website more valuable. So whether you create that with AI or if it’s all automated or whatever, if the website is that experience, then that’s pretty cool. I do not think that you can get there with AI.

[00:45:29] Se Reed: I guess AI

[00:45:30] Jason Cosper: I don’t either.

[00:45:32] Se Reed: cool, weird, random websites that like show you a goat or something, but like a human would still have to think of that. So I feel like AI is going to enable, AI is site builders, AI is For the web, websites specifically, is going to enable a lot more spam, a lot more mirrored gunk, which we already deal with, and we already is stupid, and that people are just going to go do more of that. Then it’s going to enable people to get online quicker, so maybe The local tie joint down the street will have a slightly better website than they have instead of the one from 1999 or whatever that like just links to GrubHub. And then we’ll have sites that get made by people and are trying to communicate something and are works of art.

[00:46:19] Se Reed: And then you want to, like I said, you want to go to that website and the rest of this stuff, like Google’s stopping its job of connecting people to the internet. Google is not want, doesn’t wanna do that anymore. You know what I mean? It just wants to eat it up and then serve it to you. Do go!

[00:46:41] Se Reed: SEO is having a whole crisis like the, what a website is. is changing, and has been changing, because you can make layouts, because you can make automated content, because you can, we already had problems with the site spin ups, that would spin up a hundred sites about something we already had review bots Yeah I have a restaurant in my town that their domain name has changed so many times because of the fact that every time they sign up for some new service, the service says, here’s the domain name for it, and here’s how you’re going to pay for all the people to order online and whatever.

[00:47:22] Jason Tucker: But I would love it if that company could just Literally take their menu, pull out their phone and take a picture of the menu. And then it sends it to an AI that builds out a fricking table that shows

[00:47:36] Se Reed: that’s on your menu and

[00:47:37] Jason Tucker: all this stuff’s going to cost. Yeah. And then

[00:47:40] Jason Cosper: yeah, it says they’re ours and

[00:47:44] Jason Tucker: They don’t even need an about page at that point.

[00:47:46] Jason Tucker: I just need them to give me the fricking amount of how much it’s going to cost for me to buy the thing. And then the phone number for me to call them and actually pay them in dollar bills, what it is that they are selling.

[00:47:58] Jason Cosper: I, I I hate Yelp. However like the there, it’s people who are aggrieved over the stupidest most, most minuscule things.

[00:48:14] Se Reed: and shills.

[00:48:15] Jason Cosper: And yeah,

[00:48:16] Se Reed: people who are grieved and shills like, and like a handful of people, humans being like, here are my true feelings on this one area, whatever.

[00:48:25] Jason Cosper: nobody writes a really honest review. You want an honest Yelp review, go look at the three star Yelp review. However cause then they’ve actually put some weight into like why they’re giving this thing a three star. How, okay. But here’s my point. The only thing I use Yelp for and I have it installed on my phone.

[00:48:46] Jason Cosper: I. Fuckin hate this app. Sorry much swearing today. You have a lot of feelings about ai.

[00:48:52] Jason Cosper: I do have a lot of feelings.

[00:48:54] Jason Tucker: Gotta love AI.

[00:48:56] Jason Cosper: app. I hate this app. However it tells me the hours and more often than not somebody, one of those Yelp users who’s

[00:49:07] Se Reed: Took a picture of the menu.

[00:49:08] Jason Cosper: It took a picture of the menu so I can see the menu. I don’t

[00:49:13] Se Reed: I’m saying. This is if we can use AI to get out of this little hack, which is what we all have done that. I bet everyone listening to this show or hearing that has gone to Yelp to get the picture of the menu. Everyone has done this.

[00:49:29] Se Reed: And if we can help those small websites, those businesses can afford a developer who’s, again, people love to charge. They’re like, oh, I’ll build you your whole thing for 2, 000. Includes five pages. What? They’re not getting someone who cares about their site for what they can afford to pay that they get so they’re just going to use the whatever one.

[00:49:53] Se Reed: And if they can now spin something up and for 16. 95 a month on a website or whatever, have basic content, And the AI just tells them what to do. I’m, I think that’s great. Like that will enable them to provide that information to the internet, especially considering, I don’t know if we talked about this, but Google turned off, has now canceled all of the business sites that were created.

[00:50:21] Se Reed: All of the websites that were created through Google My Business. So this whole campaign for like multiple years where they’re saying, Oh, go to your, get your business listing on Google and then click, build a website, we’ll build a website for you. And then over the past, I think it was like six months ago or something, they were like, and those websites are going away.

[00:50:40] Se Reed: Good luck. Bye bye. Have fun.

[00:50:42] Jason Tucker: Google Reader.

[00:50:44] Jason Cosper: Google is actively making Google worse because giving you search results for the thing that you’re looking for does not keep you on Google long enough. So they’re giving you purposely worse answers. There’s emails from Google employees that have come out within the past like few weeks here where lot going on with Google right now.

[00:51:08] Jason Cosper: they have talked about.

[00:51:10] Jason Cosper: Hey giving people the answer that they’re looking for. It’s no good. This is why Yeah.

[00:51:20] Se Reed: needs itself.

[00:51:21] Jason Cosper: Yes.

[00:51:23] Se Reed: They’re like, our whole goal is to provide you the answers you need on the web. Oh wait, it doesn’t make us enough money to give you the answers we need on the web.


[00:51:31] Se Reed: Only.

[00:51:33] Jason Cosper: so what did Google announce? What did Google announce at IO, their developer conference? Now your search result page is going to be these AI summaries that keep you on Google. They’re not even directing you to one. Web sites anymore. They’re giving you answers that keep you on Google. This is the same problem that people had with AMP because you were giving AMP pages.

[00:51:58] Jason Cosper: Guess what? Those AMP pages being served from Google. They want to keep you on Google as much as possible.

[00:52:07] Se Reed: well.

[00:52:08] Jason Cosper: want. To build this site where it became like, we want to help you find the information that you need. Now, all Google wants you to do is stay on Google.

[00:52:18] Se Reed: Get ads. Feed information with money ads. Okay, but the thing is about the SEO world and SEO is a big part of websites. I don’t know if anyone knows that

[00:52:28] Jason Tucker: I haven’t gotten a single email in any of my my, my websites that tell me that SEO is an important thing.

[00:52:36] Se Reed: SEO is a big deal and it’s going through a major it has been a big deal and it’s going through a major existential crisis right now. And they’re like, what’s SEO? I’m like, look, if there’s no search engine getting you to a website, then there is no search engine optimization. So it literally is just poof.

[00:52:54] Se Reed: And what does it become about? Oh, that’s right. Telling people about your website so they will go to your website. If you don’t know Google Ads, you probably have heard about Google Ads before, right? And, it is just so incredible that the community of community use it so much. And you can go to any website, and you’ll just see that right there.

[00:53:21] Se Reed: You can use these techniques and you will help people find you. And now they’re literally taking that all away. And it isn’t about gaming. There’s no system to game anymore, right? Like that Google’s just like taking its balls and going home and it’s playing its own game and you don’t get to play anymore and it’s going to take all your content and your ball.

[00:53:42] Se Reed: And everything else, and then serve it up and play its own game that you don’t get to be a part of. To me, that just means the entire purpose of websites has changed. And I already built websites in this purpose, so I’m happy about it. Because I think the crappy website era of What should we call it?

[00:54:03] Se Reed: The late 2010s, early 2020s, has sucked. It’s all dumb. It’s all the content is repeated because everyone got good at regurgitating everything. The information on the web used to be useful and interesting, and you would find stuff that was like, Huh, I didn’t know that. And it’s just not like that anymore.

[00:54:26] Se Reed: It’s hard to find the good stuff. within Moogoo. And so I think building bespoke cool websites for a reason other than selling people stuff, like that’s going to be a cool thing. So

[00:54:44] Jason Tucker: I think we’re just going to rename our podcast great WordPress podcast near me, and then people will be able to find us.

[00:54:54] Jason Cosper: you next time.

[00:54:55] Jason Tucker: That’s it for today, folks. Thank you very much for hanging out with us. We really appreciate it. If you enjoyed this content ask your chat bot to leave a comment in our comments.

[00:55:04] Jason Tucker: We’d really appreciate it. The best chat bot comment will be displayed on our show next, next week. How about that? Talk to y’all later. You have a good one. See ya. Make our outro. I have

[00:55:23] Jason Tucker: to this content here. We would appreciate that. We stream it on all the different places, even places that we don’t want it to sometimes. Yeah we stream it everywhere. So enjoy our content. Talk to y’all later. Have a good one.

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