Botpress is an open-source conversational AI platform that allows you to create chatbots on multiple channels. The question is: Should you use Botpress to build your chatbots?
Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
What is Botpress?
Botpress is an open-source conversational AI platform. This means you can use Botpress to build chatbots and have access to all the code of the platform itself.
This is especially useful for developers who want to build their own code on top of Botpress.
Before going into this review, it is essential to say that with Botpress you can code anything you want into their platform. But in this review, I will only cover features that are already built into the platform itself. For example, email validation is not a feature built in the platform, but by following this thread, you can easily code this into your chatbot (if you are a developer).
With most chatbot builders, you can log into their website and you can start building.
With Botpress this is not the case. First, you need to download their software and launch it on your computer:
By the way, if you want to put the chatbot on your website or another channel, you need to deploy it on your server first.
Then, if you downloaded the software, you can use it on your own computer:
In their dashboard, you can set all kinds of settings, such as which modules you want to use and the number of chatbots you already created.
Once you are going to build your chatbot, Botpress uses a Visual Flow Builder:
As you can see from this screenshot, Botpress is easy-to-use, but still has a developer-like interface. Because of this, it is harder to understand the interface in the beginning and it requires you to look up some documentation and tutorials to fully understand it.
Also, what I really like about Botpress is that they have a Content feature in their software. With the Content feature, you can have a complete overview of all the content you’ve set up in your chatbot:
A benefit of this feature is that you can hire a copywriter and they can edit the text in the Content feature, without having to see the chatbot flows (which reduces the chance of breaking chatbot flows).
Moreover, you can also test the chatbot inside the Botpress interface:
Overall, the interface of Botpress is pretty easy to use. But it takes some time before you understand how to set up your chatbot, because of the developer-like interface. Also, if you want to put a chatbot on a channel, you first need to put Botpress on your server, which requires you to be a developer (or hire one).
- Visual Flow BuilderCreate chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
- Test chatbotIs it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
- Interface easy to use?Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
- Easy to setup a chatbot?Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?
Botpress provides the right elements to create your own chatbot.
Needless to say, they also lack some elements, such as Video, Attachments and Persistent Menu.
But still enough chatbot elements to create a good chatbot!
- DelaysUse delays between messages in your chatbot
- ImagesCan you send images via your chatbot?
- VideoCan you send video via your chatbot?
- AudioCan you send audio via your chatbot?
- AttachmentsCan you send attachments via your chatbot?
- Gallery (Horizontal list)Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
- Vertical listShow a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
- EmojisCan you use emojis inside your chatbot?
- Persistent MenuCan you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
- Quick RepliesCan you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
- ButtonsCan you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
- Free text inputCan chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
- Location sharingCan users share their location inside the chatbot?
- Email validationWhen a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
- Phone number validationWhen a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
- Date validationWhen a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?
With Botpress you cannot see an overview of the users who talked to your chatbot, which is a drawback.
But, it is possible to ask questions and store the answer of the question in a custom field and use the value of that custom field in the rest of your chatbot flows.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to assign tags to users. But this is not a huge drawback, because you can still use custom fields to function as tags.
Moreover, it is not possible to create user segments in Botpress.
- Custom fieldsStore information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
- TagsAdd tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
- User segmentsCan you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?
With Botpress you can send broadcasts to all of your users or a part of them (by using filters).
Also, you can use conditions, so you can create more personalized conversations with your users.
Furthermore, you can also create chatbots in multiple languages. You can set up chatbots in 12 different languages, according to the Botpress website. However, I do not know whether it is easy to set this up, because this is a feature of their Enterprise plan.
- BroadcastsSend a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
- SequencesSend messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
- ConditionsMake checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
- Multiple languagesIs it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
- Easy to translateCan you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?
AI & NLP
Botpress has really advanced built-in AI & NLP.
In Botpress, you can understand the intent of the user based on training phrases you provide.
Also, you can use entities to understand important information provided by the user:
Furthermore, Botpress also has a built-in Small talk feature:
And ultimately, you can also test the NLP of your chatbot using their NLU Testing module:
- KeywordsTrigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
- IntentsTrigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
- EntitiesCapture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
- Dialogflow integrationDoes the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?
With Botpress you can create a chatbot and put it on multiple channels:
- Your website
- Facebook Messenger
- Microsoft Teams
- Sunshine Conversations from Zendesk (was Smooch before)
As said before, to put your chatbot on any of these channels, you first need to put the Botpress software on your own server.
- WebsiteCan you publish your chatbot on your website?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
- Can you publish your chatbot on Instagram?
- Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
- TelegramCan you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
- SMSCan you publish your chatbot on SMS?
- SlackCan you publish your chatbot on Slack?
- SkypeCan you publish your chatbot on Skype?
- Can you publish your chatbot on email?
Botpress has a built-in live chat, which is the most important integration of any chatbot software:
Moreover, you can create your own webhooks to integrate with other software applications.
- LivechatDirect integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
- ZapierDirect integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
- Make (formerly Integromat)Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
- Google SheetsDirect integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
- WebhooksCan you call a webhook inside your chatbot flow to send data to other applications?
Botpress is a bit lacking on the subject of marketing.
It is only possible to create a native widget on your website, meaning that you can show a widget in your own website’s branding.
- Facebook website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
- Native website widgetEmbed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
- Landing pagesCan you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
- Facebook AdsStart a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
- One-Time NotificationSend one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
- Facebook comments auto-replyAutomatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
- Button creatorAdd a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
- Custom URLs for your chatbotGenerate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to your chatbot
Botpress is an open-source platform that is basically free. They provide two plans: Open-Source and Enterprise:
Botpress Open-Source is the free plan and comes with a visual flow builder, live chat, analytics, multiple channels and community support.
The Enterprise plan is paid and comes with additional features: workspaces for collaboration, multilingual chatbots, high availability and 24/7 technical support. However, I do not know the price of the Enterprise plan, because you need to contact sales before it, and it is probably a custom price per client.
- Free trialDoes the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
- Free planDoes the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
- Price per monthWhat is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
- Monthly pricing available?Is it possible to pay monthly?
- Money back guaranteeIs there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?
I must say that I couldn’t have the possibility to test the analytics of Botpress, because I didn’t actually deploy a chatbot using their software.
That being said, I found some information of analytics on their website.
Botpress provides basic analytics, such as the engagement of users, the number of conversations, number of messages sent and the number of users:
I must say that these analytics are a bit minimal. But with Botpress you can also create your own custom analytics dashboards, but you need to code this yourself.
- DashboardDashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
- User inputGet the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
- Sent messagesThe number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
- Open rateThe percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
- Click rateThe percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
- Conversion rateThe percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
- Fall back rateThe percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
- Custom dashboards/reportsCan you create your own dashboard or reports?
Unfortunately, Botpress doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.
- PaymentsCollect payments inside your chatbot
- ShopifyDirect integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
- WooCommerceDirect integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
- Buy directly within the chatbotAbility for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
- Cart abandonmentTrigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot
Templates & Cloning
Botpress does provide 4 templates to get you started with building your own chatbot.
Unfortunately, you cannot create these templates yourself and share these with others.
On the other hand, you can duplicate your chatbot flows and chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them.
- TemplatesHow many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?4
- Make templateCan you make templates yourself?
- Share templateCan you share self-created templates with others?
- Duplicate chatbot flowsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
- Duplicate chatbot elementsIs it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?
Botpress doesn’t provide any optimization in their platform, such as A/B testing.
- A/B TestingCan you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?
Botpress provides extensive documentation on how you can use their platform.
Also, they have some Youtube videos that can help you to get started with their platform.
For support, they rely partly on their community (consisting of 1132 users) and advanced technical support if you have the Enterprise plan.
- TutorialsDoes the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
- DocumentationDoes the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
- Customer supportDoes the chatbot platform provide customer support?
So, would I recommend to use Botpress to build your chatbots?
Yes, I would.
But there are some sidenotes with this recommendation.
Botpress is not a plug-and-play option, meaning that you can just set up a chatbot in a matter of minutes. First, you need to download their software. Then, deploy it on your own server and also make sure your server is secure (with HTTPS). And only then you can start building your chatbot.
If you are a developer and familiar with servers, this wouldn’t be a huge problem. But if you cannot code and have no experience with servers, this could become a problem. So if you’re just starting out with chatbots, I wouldn’t recommend starting with Botpress.
On the other side, Botpress is extremely useful for companies who want to create chatbots on multiple channels and want to maintain everything in-house. With most other chatbot builders, you are reliant on their servers and uptime, but with Botpress you can put the chatbot on your own server and control everything.
Thanks for writing about Botpress. I just want to mention that we do support Whatsapp and Telegram. I also want to add that we are a dev tool, so while some integrations or functionalities seem to be missing, someone can still create all of them. For example, templates and cloning can be done by using a git workflow. Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy chatbot building!
Thanks Marc! I will also add WhatsApp and Telegram to the channels 🙂
Thanks for this article. Please find here the list of all Botpress features and specifications for future reference: https://botpress.com/docs/features
JF Martin – Head of Product @ Botpress
Thank you for sharing!