OpenAI recently announced ChatGPT Plugins, a way for developers to add new capabilities to ChatGPT. At Twin Sun, we are excited about the possibilities this opens up for our clients. Some of the early plugins for ChatGPT have unlocked ways to make dinner reservations, order groceries, and browse the web. The possibilities don’t end there, though. A ChatGPT Plugin development company can bring your product experience to ChatGPT as well!

Any API (backend web service or endpoints supporting your mobile or web app) can quickly become a ChatGPT Plugin. ChatGPT Plugin development largely consists of documenting your REST API interactions, with ChatGPT itself doing the heavy lifting of natural language processing and text generation.

This means your preferred web app development company is a great candidate for building your ChatGPT Plugin. However, if you wish to make a more informed decision, this article outlines considerations for preparing to build a ChatGPT plugin and how to choose the best ChatGPT Plugin development company for your app or service.

What is a ChatGPT Plugin?

ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that can be used to interact with web services. In an earlier blog post, I discussed using ChatGPT to generate app ideas and showcased some of its capabilities through conversational examples. You can use ChatGPT to assist you with brainstorming, troubleshoot technical problems in various fields, and generate documents. ChatGPT Plugins extend those capabilities by allowing you to integrate your own web services into ChatGPT.

Who Can Build a ChatGPT Plugin?

OpenAI is just beginning to open up access to their ChatGPT Plugin development program. (Twin Sun has access to the program, by the way!) In fact, many ChatGPT users do not yet have access to even use released ChatGPT Plugins. In the near future, though, access will become more broadly available. This means that any developer that knows a bit about web apps or API development can build a ChatGPT Plugin.

What is Needed to Build a ChatGPT Plugin?

There are a few things you need to build a ChatGPT Plugin. First, you need an API you wish to integrate with ChatGPT. This can be an existing API or a new one you are building.

Second, you need a place to host a manifest file that describes your API. ChatGPT will use this manifest file to power your plugin.

Finally, you need access to the ChatGPT Plugin development program. As of this writing, the program is in alpha and only available to a select few.

Considerations for Choosing the Best ChatGPT Plugin Development Company

As ChatGPT Plugins are new, there are not many companies that have experience building them. However, there are a few things you can look for to help you choose the best ChatGPT Plugin development company for your needs.

1. Choose a ChatGPT Plugin Development Company with a Proven Track Record

The first thing you should look for in a ChatGPT Plugin development company is a proven track record. While they may not have built a ChatGPT Plugin before, they should have experience building web apps and APIs. This means they should have a portfolio of apps and APIs they have built for other clients.

2. Choose Someone That Understands Your Product

What is the goal of making your product’s API available through ChatGPT? What are the use cases you are hoping to enable? What are the features you want to support? These are all questions you should ask yourself before you start looking for a ChatGPT Plugin development company. And, importantly, they should be questions that your development partner asks of you.

The best ChatGPT Plugin development partner is one who understands what you are hoping to accomplish with your plugin. They should be able to help you design your plugin so that it meets those goals.

A ChatGPT Plugin should not simply expose all API endpoints you have: the definitions count against token limits (think “maximum message length”) in ChatGPT, which can have an adverse effect on the user experience. The right developer will understand this and help you focus on exposing the most impactful API endpoints for meeting your goals.

3. Choose a ChatGPT Plugin Development Company That Understands APIs

ChatGPT Plugins are simply a way to expose your web app’s APIs through ChatGPT. Therefore, your ChatGPT Plugin developer needs to understand how to build and manage APIs. If your API requires user sign-in, as most do, you will also need a developer who is familiar with OAuth 2.0 authentication. OAuth 2.0 is the only currently supported authentication method for ChatGPT Plugins.

Token limits with ChatGPT may also require you to build custom API endpoints that are optimized for ChatGPT. The more information you document about your API, the more room your Plugin takes up within ChatGPT’s per-message token limits. Token usage is important to understand, as token usage impacts the user experience. If your ChatGPT Plugin takes up too much room in a user’s message, the user will have less room to provide context to ChatGPT.

Consider each message to ChatGPT to be like a piece of paper. You can only write so much on one page. Your Plugin’s manifest file takes up room on that page. The more room your manifest file takes up, the less room the user has to write their own message.

A developer who has experience interacting with GPT-3, GPT-4, or ChatGPT will understand these limitations and work to condense your manifest file as much as possible. Fewer API endpoints exposed to ChatGPT, combined endpoints designed specifically for ChatGPT, and more concise documentation will all help improve users’ experiences with your ChatGPT Plugin.

4. Choose a ChatGPT Plugin Development Company with a Proven Process

The right ChatGPT Plugin development company will have some understanding of what things make a development effort succeed. They should have a documented process that outlines how they work with clients and what you should expect from them. While most agencies strive to be flexible and adaptable, the best development agencies are often opinionated and can discuss trade-offs to different development methodologies with you based on their experiences.

How to Choose the Best ChatGPT Plugin Development Company

1. Define Your Goals and Requirements

As mentioned earlier, understanding your goal for your ChatGPT plugin is an important first step. The goal frames all future decisions for your plugin, including who should help you build it. Describe your goals and requirements to each candidate company, and confirm their understanding of your goals. You only want to move forward with a company that listens to your needs and understands your goals.

2. Research and Shortlist Potential Companies

Use online directories, Google, and your personal network to find potential companies. Again, as ChatGPT Plugin development is a new field, you may not find many companies that have experience building them. However, you can find web app development companies or companies that specialize in API development and integration.

3. Interview Potential Companies

Once you have a shortlist of potential companies, schedule interviews with them. During the interview, ask them about their experience building similar types of integrations. Ask them about their process for working with clients. Write down your thoughts from each interview, as you will want to refer back to your notes when making a final decision.

4. Check Their References

A company with a proven track record will have references you can contact. The company should be happy to connect you with a few clients who are willing to talk about their experience working with the company. Reach out to those references and ask them about their experience working with the company. While they may not have experiences specific to ChatGPT Plugins, they should be able to describe what it was like to collaborate on a technical project with the team.

5. Assess Their Communication and Collaboration Skills

As part of your assessment of the company, you should assess their communication and collaboration skills. Does the company do what they say they will do? Are they clear about assigning action items and providing a timeline of what to expect? The way they communicate during the interview process is a good indicator of how they will communicate with you during the project.

6. Compare Their Proposals

Finally, ask each team for a proposal for your ChatGPT Plugin development effort. Their proposals should outline your goals and requirements, the anticipated timeline, team makeup, and cost for the engagement. Compare the proposals and make your decision based on your notes from the interviews and your assessment of the company’s communication and collaboration skills.

7. Make Your Decision

Once you have all the information in front of you, you can make a decision. Which team feels like the best fit for you? Who seems most excited and invested in your project? Which proposal do you believe provides the most value for the cost?

Contact a ChatGPT Plugin Development Company

ChatGPT Plugins are a new way to integrate your web app’s capabilities into ChatGPT. If you are interested in building a ChatGPT Plugin, you should choose a ChatGPT Plugin development company that has experience building APIs and web apps. Consider adding Twin Sun to your shortlist of potential ChatGPT Plugin development companies. We’d love to have a conversation with you about your project and how we can help you build a ChatGPT Plugin that meets your goals.