Before a couple of years, people did not know what is a chatbot and how does it work. But nowadays chatbots are trending. Development in artificial intelligence has given us plenty of options to better understand the functions of a chatbot and its benefits.
In this post, I am going to walk you through the options available to make a chatbot.
First thing first, before jumping on to the process of developing a bot, just a quick brief on how chatbots can be helpful for your business and why you should think of implementing one for your business.
Provides services 24/7
Can be used to generate leads.
Broadcasting through a bot can be beneficial for marketing.
These are the common advantages of using a bot, yet it all depends on how you implement in business.
People have a number of questions about chatbots, but the most common question by which people suffer is “How to make a chatbot”. This is a huge question people get confused for.
While going through the questions asked in quora related to chatbots, the most common was the confusion between whether one should code the chatbot by themselves or with the help of a developer or they should use a DIY chatbot development platform.
After reading this post, you will be able to figure it out on what you should go for.
Coding a chatbot
While making a decision of having a bot for a business, generally people think of coding a bot from scratch.
This is the basic option available. Well, if you have knowledge of programming languages then you must go for it. But if you are not a programmer then this might be a bad idea.
Program a chatbot by yourself
Programming own chatbot is the best choice for people who are programmers and have sufficient experience in coding. But all are not developers, for instance, a small or medium sized business owner would probably don't have programming knowledge and cannot build a bot by his own.
Even if you have the knowledge of programming language, it is not necessary that you will be able to get all the modules working in one shot, There will be plenty of bugs and limitations. It might not involve all the features you need.
If you decide to code a bot, then you must also consider the amount of time it requires. After the development, it also needs to be tested thoroughly before it is implemented and this requires an ample amount of time and effort.
Hire a Developer
The second alternative to this can be “hiring a developer” to build a bot for you. You must go for this option if you do not have knowledge of coding.
Some key pointers to consider
Give your exact requirements to the developer before finalizing the deal. A developer needs to be clear about the bot features, its complexity, time duration etc.
Ask the developer about the complexity of the project and the amount of time it would take.
After the development, give the time for testing the bot thoroughly so that to make sure it works properly after it is implemented.
You can search for a good developer from freelancing websites. Here the question might arise that which programming language you should select to build a bot so that you are clear on what programming language your developer needs to have a grip on.
Programming languages used to build a bot
Majority of platforms like facebook, slack, telegram, kik etc. where you are thinking of integrating your bot supports most popular languages. The first choice of language while creating a chatbot should be python. There are several advantages of choosing Python over other languages as listed below.
Python is one of the most versatile languages.
Easier than all others.
Therefore it is the most widely used programming language in the field of artificial intelligence.
The other best choice of language to create bot is PHP. It is faster than other scripting languages and there are many libraries available to work with APIs. If you are looking for a messenger bot, then it hardly takes 10 minutes to build bot with the help of PHP. Read more for the steps here.
Java is also one of the best languages to create AI chatbot. This high-level language provides you the ease to code algorithms. Hence it is best for your AI projects. As it runs on Java Virtual Machine, the application created in it runs on any platform. Its versatility is its biggest plus point and therefore it is a good choice for building bots in java.
Ruby is dynamic and object oriented programming language. It has a very simple syntax that allows beginners to easily create bot in ruby but as it is not an open source like python, it makes it little expensive to use. Initially, it is available for free but at some point, you need to buy a license to continue with the use.
If you are hiring a highly qualified developer then this would not take much time to get your bot ready using these programming languages.
Integrations with other platforms
If you want to deploy your bot only on a single platform then you do not have to worry about its compatibility with other platforms otherwise, if you want your bot to be flexible enough to be deployed on all the possible platforms then the bot has to be well developed to be compatible with all, as integration with other platforms is not easy to get successful in one shot.
Pros of coding a chatbot from scratch
It can be customized as per the requirements.
Flexibility can be achieved by designing and developing.
AI flexibility can be achieved easily.
Cons of coding a chatbot from scratch
Limitations in integrating the same stack of code with all the platforms.
Complexity increases as you add more features to your bot.
Building a bot with the help of Chatbot Platform
Using a chatbot development platform is probably a good idea if you don’t have programming skills or you want to save time by making the process faster.
Chatbot platforms allows you to add your chatbot data and AI to the bot without any single line of code.
There are plenty of platforms available with different features and functionalities providing multiple integrations. These platforms also provide you with the option to add the AI and train the bot for those AI queries.
You can create a workflow based chatbots with the help of chatbot platforms. For instance, floatbot lets you create a chatbot flow with the help of different items to be inserted with just a click. These bots work based upon the flow created inside the dashboard.
Before starting with any of the platforms, you need to be clear about the bot functionalities. Now according to the bot functionalities, add all the items required for the flow of the bot.
To make the bot more advanced that could understand user queries, add AI to the bot. Floatbot lets you add AI user queries and its corresponding response very easily. This helps bot understand user queries and respond accordingly.
Here is the easy chatbot tutorial on how you can create a chatbot with few clicks and implement on any platforms by placing a script.
Creating a bot on chatbot platform is time saving compared to the first option.
Here is the comparison between coding a bot versus using DIY chatbot platform.
Till now this might have definitely helped you in deciding from where to start with your decision of making a chatbot.
Before thinking of creating a bot, finalize the bot features and functionalities. You have two options to make a chatbot: coding a bot from scratch or using a chatbot platform. Depending upon your bot requirements, considering the time and complexity choose the best option for you.