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!
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 Builder
- Test chatbot
- Interface easy to use?
- Easy to setup a chatbot?
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!
- Gallery (Horizontal list)
- Vertical list
- Persistent Menu
- Quick Replies
- Free text input
- Location sharing
- Email validation
- Phone number validation
- Date validation
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 fields
- User segments
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.
- Multiple languages
- Easy to translate
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:
And ultimately, you can also test the NLP of your chatbot using their NLU Testing module:
- Dialogflow integration
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.
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.
- Google Sheets
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 widget
- Native website widget
- Landing pages
- Facebook Ads
- Facebook comments auto-reply
- Button creator
- Custom URLs for 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 trial
- Free plan
- Price per month
- Monthly pricing available?
- Money back guarantee
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.
- User input
- User retention
- Sent messages
- Open rate
- Click rate
- Conversion rate
- Fall back rate
- Volunteer users
- Custom dashboards/reports
Unfortunately, Botpress doesn’t provide any direct eCommerce integrations.
- Buy directly within the chatbot
- Cart abandonment
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.
- Make template
- Share template
- Duplicate chatbot flows
- Duplicate chatbot elements
Botpress doesn’t provide any optimization in their platform, such as A/B testing.
- A/B Testing
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.
- 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.