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Google Sites Review - A Comprehensive Look At Website Building

An In-Depth Google Sites Review | Explore the features, pros, and cons of Google Sites as a website-building platform.

Thomas Mitchell
Thomas Mitchell
Nov 03, 20234.7K Shares79.5K Views
Jump to
  1. Google Sites Review - What Does It Do?
  2. Key Features Of Google Sites
  3. How To Build A Website With Google Sites?
  4. Pros Of Using Google Sites
  5. Cons Of Using Google Sites
  6. Integrating Media On Google Sites
  7. Google Sites Support
  8. Google Sites Alternatives
  9. Google Sites Review - FAQs
  10. Conclusion
Google Sites Review - A Comprehensive Look At Website Building

Google Sites, a website-building platform offered by Google, has gained popularity for its simplicity and integration with other Google services. Whether you're a beginner looking to create a personal website or a professional aiming to design a collaborative site for your team, Google Sites has something to offer.

For businesses, organizations, and even individuals, having an online presence is essential in the digital age. Building a website is one method to do this, and Google Sites is a well-liked platform for doing both. But like every technology, Google Sites has advantages and disadvantages of its own.

This comprehensive review will exploreGoogle Sites review- the platform's essential features, its pros and cons, and discuss its versatility and limitations.

Google Sites Review - What Does It Do?

Create an essential website using Google Sites. In your assessment of Google Sites, the term "simple" will appear frequently since it genuinely is the finest one.

Some folks are comfortable with simplicity. However, even though it does have a longer learning curve, you'd be better off choosing a tool that allows you more freedom for the majority of websites.

A few pre-made templates are available, or you may create them from scratch. Then, a straightforward but helpful drag-and-drop editor appears. In order to provide functionality, Google Sites strongly depends on other Google services.

Google Sites is a versatile platform that serves a multitude of purposes, from personal websites to business and educational platforms.

Personal Websites And Blogs

Google Sites is an excellent choice for individuals looking to create personal websites and blogs. Whether you want to share your travel experiences, showcase your hobbies, or maintain an online portfolio, Google Sites provides the tools to express yourself.

You can choose from a selection of templates that suit your style and customize them to make your website unique. The ease of use ensures that even those who have technical expertise can create a visually appealing and engaging personal website.

Business And Professional Use

For businesses and professionals, Google Sites is a valuable tool for creating a professional online presence. It offers a straightforward way to build a company website, highlight services, and provide essential information to clients and customers.

The platform's integration with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) means you can seamlessly incorporate Google Drive files, calendars, and forms into your business site. This enhances collaboration and productivity, making it a go-to choice for many businesses.

Educational And Academic Platforms

Google Sites is also well-suited for educators and students. Teachers can use the platform to create class websites, share resources, and communicate with students and parents. Educational institutions can establish a solid online presence and provide easy access to course materials.

Students, on the other hand, can create e-portfolios to showcase their work, projects, and achievements. The collaborative features allow students to work together on group projects, making it an ideal platform for remote or blended learning environments.

Project Collaboration And Documentation

Project teams often require a central hub for sharing information, progress tracking, and documentation. Google Sites excels in this regard. You can create project-specific websites to organize tasks, timelines, and project files.

The collaborative features enable team members to work together in real time, making project management more efficient. Revision history ensures that you can always access previous versions of your project documentation.

Event Planning And Promotion

Whether you're organizing a wedding, a conference, or a local club event, Google Sites can be your event planning and promotion ally. You can create dedicated event websites to provide information about the event, share schedules, and allow attendees to RSVP or register.

The integration with Google Calendar makes managing event dates and schedules a breeze. Google Sites ensures that your event information is readily accessible to potential participants.

Knowledge Bases And Documentation

Businesses and organizations can use Google Sites to create knowledge bases and documentation repositories. This is especially valuable for sharing company policies, procedures, and training materials.

The collaborative nature of Google Sites allows employees to contribute to and update documentation, ensuring that the information remains up-to-date. It also makes onboarding new team members more straightforward.

Community And Nonprofit Websites

Community organizations and nonprofit entities can take advantage of Google Sites to create informative and engaging websites. You can use the platform to share information about your cause, showcase projects and initiatives, and raise awareness.

The platform's mobile responsiveness ensures that your message reaches a broader audience, and the integration with Google Forms can help in gathering feedback and engaging with your community.

Black Samsung Tablet on Google Page
Black Samsung Tablet on Google Page

Key Features Of Google Sites

Google Sites still has several features that still need to be changed. A simple website may still be made using Sites. It continues to be an essential G Suite app. To create your site, you may still work together with editors of your choice. Additionally, you may still link your website to Google Analytics to learn more about how users move throughout your site's pages.

Many of the more difficult capabilities that were previously present in Google Sites were eliminated by the upgrade. No more devices. No more intricate sidebars and columns. No more access rights at the page level. There won't be any more forums, no more web pages designed for desktop-centric environments.

Instead, Google Sites now offers the most straightforward method for displaying Google Drive files in context online. Every page now has a single content column that is simple to read. On a PC, tablet, or phone, every page functions flawlessly. Every site's components also fit together well because of the themes, fonts, and color schemes you choose to make your design cohesive.

Here are five considerations to bear in mind when you transition from the traditional Google Sites to the more up-to-date, cutting-edge solution.

You Can Create Web Pages That Display Nicely On Any Device

Google only provided you with the option of a one-column, no-sidebar layout. Additionally, you have a choice of three-page header kinds (a considerable banner, banner, or title-only) and two navigation menu placements (either a top menu or a side menu that shows when you click a three-line menu icon).

You Can Insert Content From Google Drive And Other Apps

You may insert, trim, and resize photos as well as add, modify, and format text on your website, as one might anticipate.

More significantly, you may include Google Drive material on your website. Add any Google Drive documents, including Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Charts, Videos, and images, to a specific area of your website. Additionally, you may still include YouTube videos, Google Maps, and Calendars. All of them provide a preview of the file; if the visitor picks the file, the entire content may be seen.

You Can Embed Some External Content

Sites will automatically add an image, a title, and a description when you include a link to, say, an article on TechRepublic. Any of these may be shown or hidden at your discretion. In my testing, sites effectively uploaded material for the majority of posts and articles.

A link to the content is offered by Sites when an embed malfunctions. Google Sites displays a link for a Tweet since an embed code or direct connection to a Tweet would otherwise not function.

You Can Customize And Move Content Sections

You may reposition content areas on your page: Move the portion after selecting the two lines of five dots. You may adjust the size of content frames inside a content section to, for instance, center an image or a paragraph of text or to show more (or less) of a Google Doc.

Sites have some well-placed gridlines and clamp the boundaries of your content to those lines, helping your site retain a visually cohesive structure.

A content section's backdrop can be changed to emphasize a particular region visually. A simple white, gray, or black backdrop is an option, or you may add an image. Sites modify the background picture when you add it to a section to make your content more visible.

You Can Publish Your Site To Your Organization Or The World

Sites give two sharing settings when you publish as of the beginning of November 2016. You may decide whether to publish your site for public viewing or to make it accessible to everyone in your company.

Compared to the page-level rights offered by traditional Google Sites, there is a substantial difference. (Page-level permissions developed complex access restrictions while allowing you to restrict access to particular web pages.)

A Person Using Google Website on a Laptop
A Person Using Google Website on a Laptop

How To Build A Website With Google Sites?

Google Sites is a simple and user-friendly platform that allows you to create websites without needing to write any code. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to build a website with Google Sites:

Access Google Sites

Go to Google Sites in your web browser.

Sign In

If you're not already signed in to your Google account, sign in with your Google credentials.

Create A New Site

Click the "+" (plus) button or "Create" button to start a new site.

Choose A Template

Google Sites provides a variety of templates to choose from. You can select one that suits your website's purpose or start with a blank template.

Name Your Site

Click on "Untitled Site" to give your site a name. This will become the title of your website.

Add Pages

Your website consists of pages. Click on the "Pages" button to add, delete, or rearrange pages as needed.

Edit Content

Click on a page to start editing its content. You can add text, images, videos, and other elements by clicking the "+", "Insert," or "Text box" options.

Customize Layout And Design

Use the options in the toolbar to customize the layout and design of your pages. You can change fonts, colors, backgrounds, and more.

Add Media

To add images or videos, click on the "Insert" option and choose "Image" or "Video." You can upload files from your computer or select from your Google Drive.

Highlight the text you want to turn into a link, click on the "Link" button, and enter the URL you want to link to.

Organize Content

You can use the drag-and-drop feature to rearrange content within a page or move pages within the site navigation.

Publish Your Site

Click on the "Publish" button in the upper-right corner. Choose your site's visibility settings (public, anyone with the link, or specific people), and then click "Publish."

Custom Domain (Optional)

If you want to use a custom domain (e.g., www.yourwebsite.com), you can purchase one separately and set it up to point to your Google Sites website.

Share Your Site

After publishing, you can share your website by copying the URL or sharing it directly through Google Workspace (if applicable).

Manage Permissions

Adjust the sharing settings and permissions to control who can view or edit your site.

Keep Updating

Regularly update your site with new content to keep it fresh and engaging.

Google Sites is straightforward, but it may not offer the same level of customization and complexity as some other website-building platforms. However, it's an excellent choice for creating simple websites quickly and easily, especially if you're already using Google services.

Pros Of Using Google Sites

Google Sites offers a wide range of advantages that cater to the needs of various users, from individuals looking to create personal websites to businesses seeking efficient collaboration tools.

Easy To Use

The Google Site platform is simple to use and doesn't require any coding expertise. Users may quickly build and change pages because of its drag-and-drop interface.

Integration With Google Workspace

Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and other Google Workspace features are all completely integrated with Google Sites. It is now simple to incorporate material from these tools into your website.

Collaboration

Google Site is perfect for teams or organizations since it enables concurrent collaboration between several users on a website.

Cost-effective

Given that Google Site is a free platform, it's ideal for people who are just getting started or are on a tight budget. Additionally, Google Workspace, a premium edition, provides extra features and advantages.

Mobile-friendly

Because Google Site templates are responsive, mobile device optimization is possible. This is crucial since more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet.

Google App
Google App

Cons Of Using Google Sites

While Google Sites has its advantages, it also comes with some drawbacks that may influence your decision to use the platform.

Limited Customization

Although Google Site is simple to use, there are a few ways to customize it. Users can select from a variety of templates, but they are only able to change the template's provided options for the website's layout and design.

Limited Functionality

Compared to WordPress or Wix, Google Sites offers fewer features. In particular, if you want to develop an e-commerce website, it might contain only some of the functionality you want for your website.

Limited Storage

Google Site provides limited storage space for free users, which could not be sufficient for individuals who need to upload numerous photographs or other types of data.

Limited SEO Options

The limited SEO choices provided by Google Sites might make it challenging to optimize your website for search engines. Your website's visibility and traffic may suffer as a result.

Limited Support

Despite being simple to use, Google Sites might offer less help than other website builders. If you encounter problems with your website, there aren't many options accessible for debugging or receiving assistance.

For those seeking a simple website builder with basic functionality, Google Sites is a fantastic platform. For individuals with a tight budget, it is a reasonable choice that is completely integrated with other Google Workspace features.

However, Google Sites might not be the ideal option for you if you need additional features, modifications, or SEO possibilities. In the end, it will rely on your requirements and tastes.

Woman Using a Computer Laptop Near a Glass of Juice
Woman Using a Computer Laptop Near a Glass of Juice

Integrating Media On Google Sites

The ability to seamlessly integrate media elements is a pivotal aspect of creating engaging and dynamic websites. In this section, we'll explore the various methods for integrating media on Google Sites, including images, videos, and other multimedia content.

Uploading And Embedding Images

Images are a fundamental part of web design, and Google Sites offers a straightforward approach to incorporating them into your website. You'll learn how to optimize images for the web, adjust their size and alignment, and add alt text for accessibility.

Embedding Videos And Multimedia Content

The integration of videos and multimedia content can significantly enhance the impact of your website. Google Sites supports embedding videos from popular platforms like YouTube and Google Drive.

Google Drive Integration For Document Sharing

Google Drive is a powerful tool for document management and collaboration. You can effortlessly integrate Google Drive files into your Google Site, enhancing the accessibility of documents, presentations, and spreadsheets.

Audio Integration For Enhanced Multimedia Experiences

Incorporating audio elements can be an excellent way to engage your audience. Google Sites provides the capability to embed audio files, allowing you to share podcasts, music tracks, and other audio content.

Image Sliders And Galleries

Image sliders and galleries are practical tools for presenting multiple images or showcasing a portfolio of work. Google Sites offers built-in features to create image sliders and galleries.

Responsive Design For Media Elements

Ensuring that your media elements appear and function correctly on different devices is crucial.

Google Sites Support

Google Sites support encompasses a range of avenues, ensuring users have access to assistance in multiple forms. Here's a breakdown of the support options available to Google Sites users:

Help Center Articles

  • Google Sites boasts an extensive Help Center, housing a vast library of articles and tutorials. These resources cover a wide spectrum of topics relevant to the platform.
  • Users can easily navigate through this repository to find answers to common queries, follow step-by-step guides, and troubleshoot any challenges they encounter while utilizing Google Sites.

Community Forums

  • Google maintains dedicated community forums where users can actively engage. Here, they can post their questions, exchange valuable tips, and seek guidance from fellow users.
  • These forums are diligently moderated by Google staff members who offer their expertise and support when necessary.

Email Support

For users seeking personalized assistance, Google provides email support as an option. Although response times may vary, the typical turnaround is within 24-48 hours.

Google Sites Blog

  • Google's dedicated Google Sites blog serves as an informative hub. Users can access the latest updates, insights, and tips related to the platform.
  • The blog covers diverse subjects such as new features, updates, case studies, success stories, and detailed tutorials.
  • Accessible through the Google Workspace Updates blog, which serves as the primary blog for all Google Workspace products.
  • Users can quickly locate Google Sites-specific content by filtering posts by product or conducting a simple search for "Google Sites" in the blog's search bar.

Despite these support avenues, it's worth noting that some users have expressed concerns regarding the responsiveness and effectiveness of Google Sites support. In certain instances, users have had to seek solutions or explore third-party support resources independently. Nevertheless, for basic inquiries and issues, the combination of help center articles and community forums can be a valuable resource for users.

Google Sites Alternatives

In this analysis of Google Sites, you learned about the platform's most valuable characteristics and saw some examples of how you might put them to use. There are more website creation options than Google Sites. In truth, there are alternatives to Google Sites that provide more excellent functionalities.

Here are some alternatives to Google Sites:

  • Blogger- Blogger is Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc.'s free blogging platform. While Google Sites has a drag-and-drop builder and intranet features, Blogger is a great free alternative for creating a blog due to its SEO tools, monetization options, and the ability to use custom themes and embed HTML widget codes.
  • Brizy - Brizy is a well-regarded option for creating static websites. Unlike the Google Sites website builder, Brizy offers a pop-up builder, a CMS (Content Management System), and Membership features.
  • WordPress - WordPress is a widely used content management system (CMS) that was developed in PHP and MySQL and released under the GNU General Public License version 2 (GPLv2). Everything you can do on Google Sites and more is possible here. WordPress's self-hosting nature presents several challenges, although they may vary from company to business and website to website.
  • Wix - Wix is an additional free option for creating blogs and websites. The features, flexibility, eCommerce support, and integrations offered by this site builder are among the best available.
  • Weebly- A free alternative to Google Sites. There's an integrated app store, stats, and a visual page builder.

Google Sites Review - FAQs

Is Google Sites Suitable For E-commerce Businesses?

Google Sites has limited e-commerce capabilities, making it less ideal for online stores.

Can I Integrate Third-party Apps And Services Into Google Sites?

Google Sites offers limited third-party integrations, which can be a drawback for users needing specific external tools.

How Does Google Sites Handle Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Google Sites may have limitations in terms of advanced SEO features, making it less suitable for users prioritizing SEO.

Can I Track Website Performance With Google Sites?

Google Sites allows integration with Google Analytics, enabling users to monitor website performance and user behavior.

Is Google Sites A Cost-effective Solution For Web Development?

Yes, Google Sites is a cost-effective option as it's a free platform, making it accessible to a wide range of users.

Conclusion

In this comprehensive exploration of Google Sites, we've uncovered the platform's diverse capabilities and limitations. From its ease of use and integration with Google services to its collaborative features and mobile responsiveness, Google Sites offers a versatile tool for website creation.

However, it does have drawbacks, such as limited design flexibility and e-commerce capabilities. Despite these limitations, Google Sites serves as a cost-effective solution for various users, and its pros and cons make it essential to consider your specific needs and priorities when embarking on your Google Sites review.

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