I ’ ve written about getting a Google Domain and using Blogger – but have never looked at using Google Sites for a web site specifically. My experience with Google Sites began back when I first started my world wide web design business years and years ago. I never used Google Sites for my own projects until I came across it when a node of mine was using it and needed a few tasks done. But since then, better contest has popped up from : And many other web site builders. And Google has upgraded the “ classical Google locate ” intersection I originally used. They ’ ve streamlined it to make it purportedly the “ casual way to create beautiful sites. ” You can check out some examples of Google Sites here. so for a personal project of mine, I decided to try it out again and see who the product would in truth be a dear fit for – and not fair compare it to early host web site builders. I besides wanted to compare Google Sites to other web site solutions like hosting your own web site or using a hosted eCommerce platform.
- 1 Google Sites Review
- 2 Google Sites Plan
- 3 What is Google Sites?
- 4 Pros of Google Sites
- 5 Cons of Google Sites
- 6 Google Sites Alternatives
- 7 Conclusion
- 8 FAQs
Google Sites Review
6.0 Out of 10
|Best For||Collaboration with others|
|Strengths||Free & easy to publish|
|Weaknesses||Limited design options|
Google Sites Plan
|Free Domain Name||–|
What is Google Sites?
Google is ill-famed for rolling out overlapping & competing with their own products – merely to kill or update them after a copulate of years. And Google Sites is no different. When discussing Google ’ s web site builder product, there are actually up to 4 products in play .
Ok – Blogger is an old-school but hush surprisingly good blogging platform. You can create a web site with it. You can do designs, templates, and everything else. It ’ sulfur detached. But – you are stuck with the reverse-chronological display of posts. I won ’ t very be covering this here. I wrote a Blogger reappraisal here .
2. Google My Business Website
This is Google ’ s web site intersection for small, local businesses. You can ’ thymine use it unless you have a Google My Business account. The product is less of a “ web site builder ” than a super-detailed local anesthetic clientele list. I won ’ triiodothyronine in truth be covering this here. You can read a good faq of this intersection here and find it with your business profile .
3. Classic Google Sites
This is the “ authoritative site ” intersection that I started with years and years ago. It even lives at sites.google.com – and it ’ s decidedly old school. You can find links to it throughout Google Sites. The ironic morsel about Classic Google Sites is that it actually has more technical options than Google Sites…even if it is less user-friendly. Most of the pros/negatives of classic Sites are the lapp as Google Sites. But I would not consider it for a long-run project since Google will likely kill it any day now if their history is anything to go by .
4. Google Web Designer
This product is not related at all – despite its diagnose . Google Web Designer is a background app to create designs for the Web ( aka banner ads ) .
5. New Google Sites (free)
very well – this is is the “ new Google site ” product that we ’ re going to talk about. This is Google ’ s chief locate builder software. It is available for anyone with a Google Account. It not alone lives on Google Drive – but it is marketed with Sheets, Docs, Drawings and more. You ’ ll be able to find your Google web site with your latest Google Sheet and Google Doc saves .
6. New Google Sites (Google Workspace)
oklahoma – this software is the same as the free Google Sites, except that it is built for occupation subscribers to the Google Workspace ( the honest-to-god Google Apps for Business ). It is precisely the same as the free Google Sites, but has different explanation permissions and generally receives product updates – like custom domain mapping – oklahoman than the release adaptation. Let ’ s look at the pro & negatives .
Pros of Google Sites
Google Sites has a lot going for it. I know an eCommerce store owner who started and ran her memory for 2 years before she began to look for a fresh solution ( though it took a batch of hacking around with PayPal scripts ). here are the major pros .
Google Sites Pricing
Google Sites is free with unlimited consumption, traffic, and websites. This is possibly the most compel share of Google Sites. It ’ south separate of Google ’ s persistent push to keep you signed into your Google account for a much as potential. If you are signed into your personal Google account, you can go to sites.google.com right nowadays and get started. There are no risks, no upsells, no passing dates or limits. It ’ mho barely free due to Google ’ s crazy advanced business exemplary. And if you are a paying G Suite for Business user, Sites is bundled with your subscription along with all the backups, administrative controls, and guarantees that come with your account. There is no gamble and no catch and no “ trying ” – you can go get started nowadays. * Pushing down your total web site costs is a compelling sales pitch. *of path – there is your meter and learning swerve investment – which we ’ ll discus in the negatives section .
Google Sites is fully integrated with Google ’ s products. With the new Google Sites, it flush has all the like Material Design conventions of Google ’ s other products. Your Google Sites web site is saved directly in your Google Drive. You can access it anywhere with any device. You can download it along with your early data from Google Takeout . There are no extra passwords or account apparatus – it ’ s seamless and fully integrated .
Simplicity & Security
Google Sites is simple and straightforward to use . The learn curve is measured in minutes. There ’ second no real number “ onboarding ” or department of education because everything that is available with the product is “ right there. ” You can build a multi-page beautiful, functional modern web site promptly and merely . additionally, Google handles your security system issues…since it is one and the lapp as your electronic mail report .
Speed & Sharing
Like security, Google handles your rush considerations. The resulting HTML / CSS product is list on fast servers and is available global. Since it is amply integrated with your Google Account – it is simpleton to partake & preview. You can create & collaborate & review changes on a web site equally easily as you can on a Google Doc .
Cons of Google Sites
now – there are plenty of negatives with Google Sites. Like I ’ ve said with all web site builders – there is no overall “ best ” – there ’ s only the best for you considering your budget, meter, resources, and goals. After reading the pros of Google Sites – you are probably wondering how Google Sites international relations and security network ’ t the go-to solution for every web site. well, Google Sites has plenty of negatives. But the drumhead is that Google Sites is identical feature-limited and not actually meant for long-run web site projects ( hence the chasteness ). I like to use veridical estate of the realm as an doctrine of analogy. If running your own web site on your own host account is like owning a build on your own property and using a web site builder like Weebly is like running a business in a leased shopfront, then Google Sites is like leasing a table at a farmer ’ south marketplace or festival. It ’ s bang-up for short-run, flying projects. And you do have enough of options to “ make it yours ” – but it ’ s not actually meant for a long-run business web site. Let ’ s spirit at some of the specifics .
Limited Design Features
Google Sites ’ design features are sorely specify.
Read more: How to Embed a Google Form: Flickroom
Your template limits precisely what you can and can not edit. And – you have identical few templates to choose from in the foremost place. You can not add or edit CSS and add any kind of interactivity. The textbook box is super-basic. There ’ randomness only a few appliance options. The design features on propose are simple and square – but they are all Google Drive associate design tools. There ’ randomness some embedding but no editing the implant details. Although the templates look good, you can ’ thymine edit the layouts or any of the kernel parameters. For exemplar, with your navigation menu, you get to choose from the lead correctly or the sidebar…and that ’ s it. There ’ south no 3rd option or even re-arranging . The templates create reactive websites that look good on all devices but enforce stern limits on everything to make this have happen. If you want to build any sort of sword identity or build a custom-made plan with tempates – then you ’ ll be painfully limited with Google Sites .
Limited Marketing Features
Google Sites ’ marketing features are sorely limited a well. As a master seller, this negative is particularly crying. You get google Analytics access indeed that you can have critical data like Sessions and Pageviews and such…but that ’ south about it . There ’ s no adding a Facebook Pixel, Share Buttons or Redirects. If you ’ re into SEO, there ’ s no editing your title tag or meta description ( very ironic for a product built by a research engine ). now – if you get all your traffic from offline methods, direct world wide web referrals, or word of mouth then these tools may not matter. however, since marketing data is only deoxyadenosine monophosphate utilitarian as the amount of historical data you have – if you ever have plans to grow or use early selling channels, then Google Sites will not be a adept option .
Custom Domain Setup
All Google Sites use hypertext transfer protocol : //sites.google.com/ [ yoursitename ] as the default knowledge domain name. Unlike classical Google Sites, there is no option to add a custom sphere appoint . I don ’ t know why. The feature might be coming since Google rolled out custom-made domains to the new Google Sites for G Suite subscribers only. Either way – this is a major downside for Google Sites as a business or even a personal web site. While not strictly necessary for a successful web site, a knowledge domain name is cardinal for any long-run project. It ’ s this miss feature that actually highlights the fact that Google Sites is very only for temp projects or internal uses – similar to a Google Doc or Presentation .
Google is ill-famed for killing off products – including actually popular ones. And while Google Sites does seem to be a congress of racial equality part of Google ’ s productivity suite…that could change at any time ( as is the case with the classic Google Sites ). I ’ ve learned to always have a stand-in plan with any Google service that I use. And while you can export your data as part of Google ’ s Takeout program, there ’ s no way to directly export or access your account via FTP within Google Sites. If you are running a business or even a personal site on Google Sites, you should be aware that it could go away at some point in the future and you should have a plan for that .
Google Sites Alternatives
Google Sites is a full product that serves a purpose – but how does it compare immediately with early products in the web site builder world ?
Google Sites vs. Flickroom
I reviewed Flickroom. If you have a belittled, temp project, then Google Sites will be the meet. Flickroom is costly and has its own learn curvature. But – if you have a long-run business or personal project and you value well-done templates that display high-quality photography, then Flickroom will be a better equip .
Google Sites vs. Wix
I reviewed Wix as well. Wix has a loose design where you use a [ yoursitename ] .wix.com domain diagnose – so in some ways it ’ sulfur like to Google Sites. But with Wix, you have premium plans and access to custom domains. They besides offer more features on their free design. Wix has similar issues to other web site builders, but unless you are building a identical little free project, then I ’ vitamin d go with Wix. Unlike Google Sites, Wix at least allows you to design more and grow out of the release plan. See Wix ’ mho plans & price .
Google Sites vs. GoDaddy’s Website Builder
I reviewed GoDaddy ’ s Website Builder ( aka “ GoCentral ). It is very circumscribed servicing compared to Google Sites…but it ’ s besides super easy to use with a few more market tools. critically, it allows you to seamlessly integrate a custom sphere. however, it ’ randomness besides a paid merchandise. If you have some budget and want a custom knowledge domain, but do not want/need many features – then I ’ vitamin d consumption GoDaddy ’ s Website Builder. For a barren price period – you ’ ll get a similar product with Google Sites .
Google Sites vs. Weebly
I reviewed Weebly. Weebly is a solid hosted web site builder. They have a free plan with a [ yoursitename ] .weebly.com domain name – but they besides have upgrade options and customs domain name options and interesting beginner-level eCommerce options. Unless you have a particular reason to use Google Sites, I ’ vitamin d function Weebly for their drag & drop and upgradeable frame-up .
Google Sites vs. WordPress.com
I wrote about WordPress.com vs. WordPress here. WordPress.com has a spare design that is limited to [ yoursitename ] .wordpress.com domain name. The setup is focused on blogging – but they have web site features & enough of upgrade options – including a custom domain option. Unless you have a specific cause to use Google Sites, I ’ five hundred use WordPress.com for their design features and upgradeable apparatus .
Google Sites vs. Self-hosted WordPress
I wrote about setting up a WordPress web site. This choice requires some budget ( about $ 5/mo ) and has some learn bend, but it ’ s besides the best long-run choice for businesses investing in their on-line presence. If you have a bare, short-run project with a definite end then I ’ d just use Google Sites. If you know that you have a long-run project, then you ’ ll want to invest in the teach bend and go ahead and set up your own web site on your own host .
indeed – is Google Sites beneficial for small businesses ? Yes…ish. As a define short-run solution or project-based solution, it ’ south great. Go set up your locate here and use my guide to setting up a Google Sites web site here. You can besides explore Google Sites Examples. But…if you have a new site or project that might expand, then I ’ d look at other options. Take my best web site builder quiz here. If you are truly good looking at e-mail, read more about Google ’ sulfur Business Email price here. If you have a stick out that is long-run and worth induct in, then I ’ five hundred go ahead and get your self-hosted web site apparatus w/ instructions here .
What is Google Sites Good For?
Google Sites is good for a quick, barren, simple, short-run web site. Google Sites is well for something like a agile consequence, short-run plan web site, time-sensitive web site – or even a dim-witted placeholder web site. If you have a Google Account, you can use Google Sites to build a web site for loose. If you are investing clock & attention in a long-run project, Google Sites will quickly run out of tools & flexibility for most projects. For a longer-term web site, explore other web site builders .
What is Your Domain in Google Sites?
By default option, you have a subfolder on the sites.google.com subdomain. You can, though, purchase a knowledge domain name and “ compass point ” it to your Google Site so that you have a recognizable custom-made knowledge domain .
What versions are available with Google Sites?
Google has two versions of Google Sites – Classic and New. The New one load by default, has a much less cluttered appearance, and has bare tools. You can click to revert to Classic within the new Google Sites if you prefer some of the previous tools .