Google Sites Overview

Google Sites is a free, modern, a powerful and easy to use web base tool to create public websites and private intranet. You just need a Google account, internet connected computer and a web browser to use Google Sites which is an online application to creating a beautiful website, wiki's and intranet. It is as easy as editing a document, no HTML knowledge is required. With single-click page creation feature, you can create web pages, insert Google Drive folder, YouTube video, Calendar, Map, Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Charts.

New Google Sites overview



Sharing and Permissions in Google Sites let you designate owners, collaborators and viewers for your site. You can always control your Google Sites access, whether it's just yourself, your team, or the whole organization to work with it or the world to view it. No software to Deploy or Servers to Maintain for Google Sites

Integration with other Google Products and Services

You can integrate other Google services and products with Google Sites, for example, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster tool and Google Drive folder. You can also use Google YouTube videos, documents from Google Drive, Google Calendar, Google Spreadsheet, Google Presentation, Charts, Google Groups, Google Plus, Start Hangout button, Google Maps and much more. You can do all this with few clicks.

Customization and Applying Own Branding in Google Sites

Google Sites allows you to fully customize your site. It offered dozens of templates and allows you to start with an existing theme and make customizations. It comes with options like changing background color and adding background image feature with fix and adjust on page feature. From background to text, borders and columns, you can choose almost any color of the rainbow with their easy-to-use color chooser. You can use horizontal navigation or sidebar navigation or both at the same time and customize them as well.

If you don't want to go deeper in Google Sites customization, you can choose a template for your site from dozens of pre-built templates. Moreover, you can apply your own branding on your chosen template which requires a bit experience in working with Google Sites. You can hire a Google Sites Designer and Developer for this customization.

Powerful Search Engine in Google Sites

Search across Google Sites content using powerful Google search technology. Now you can find specific pages and documents instantly as the same way you do on Google.com.

Security: Sharing and Permissions in Google Sites

Sharing made easy by Google Sites, this is 100% real statement because Google Sites allow you to do this in few clicks. You decide who can modify, add new content or page to your site. Google Sites site can be private intranet or public site. Only authorized persons can access and view your site. Moreover, you can control your site permission on 3 levels: View, Edit and Owners rights. You can also control sharing and permission on page level.

Google Sites as Corporate Intranet

You can create intranet using Google Sites for your organization. By enabling page level sharing and permissions, you get more control that who can view or edit a specific page. This feature allow you to restrict one user/department not to access other user/department information. With one click, you can share your intranet with your whole corporate employes/agents and even from your outside your organization. Some Google Sites key feature are:

  • End users of your intranet can update content themselves, no need for web design and development skill

  • No additional hardware or software to purchase or support

  • Accessible anytime and anywhere to distributed or remote users

Google Sites as Public Website

You can create your business presence over the internet using Google Sites. You can make your content public with few clicks and less then a minute. You can map your Google Sites website with a custom domain, for example, your Google Sites URL is https://sites.google.com/a/siteshelp.com/www/ and you can make it accessible at www.siteshelp.com

A Real Collaborative Tool

You can call peoples around the world for work together on the running project.

Form in Google Sites

Creating form for websites is always a difficult thing to do but you can do it now with Google Forms and use them in Google Sites. You can create a simple to complex from and store from data in Google Spreadsheet.

Fully responsive

Google Sites are fully responsive so you can have the perfect view on all types of devices from desktop web browsers to mobile.

Google Sites is simple enough for a personal, family, education and business website and powerful enough for a company intranet with all features which can not be beaten by any other service provider.

Google Sites Review by Expert Team at Sites Help

Our team of Google Sites experts wrote this Google Sites review based on their practical experience. This review is specially helpful to understand the benefits, drawbacks, limitations and security (sharing and permission) of Google Sites. We hope this Google Sites Review will help you in a better way to make your decision to move on with Google Sites for your public and intranet site.


Pros:

Free, powerful and most secure platform which is hosted on Google servers for creating public websites and private intranet. Simple interface with What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG). Lots of gadgets to add which are available by Google Sites and also add your own custom gadget. Saves previous versions of pages. One click integration with other Google products and service like: Drive, Maps, Spreadsheets, Presentations, YouTube, Calendar, Google Plus and more.

Teacher Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Websites Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Intranet Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Cons:

Limited page layout and design options so customization is not an easy option. Some key HTML tags, external CSS and JS (javascript) files are not allowed to use in HTML editor of Google Sites. iFrame can only use through gadgets. No summary of used space of Google Sites which created under Google Apps.

Bottom Line:

With Google Sites, you can create public website and private intranet more easily and quickly than other the first generation of services (Geocities, for example). Many gadgets offer a lot of content, features and communication tools to give life to you site. Gadgets are easy to use.

Other competitors like Freewebs, Wetpaint and Wix have better interfaces for design and development but not easy and vast like Google Sites.

Google Sites is a powerful tool to build public websites, private intranet for your business and use as classroom for teachers. It is a web-based application so you won’t need to download/install any software on your computer. You can access it from any OS (Windows, MAC, Linux etc). This is free to use with your Google stand alone account and also come with Google Apps for Work with no additional charges. Google Sites is most secure platform for business owners who would like to create a secure intranet to improve and simplify your employees’ collaboration.

Summarized History of Google Sites

Google Sites started out as JotSpot. In October 31, 2006, JotSpot was acquired by Google and announced a huge data transition of creating webpages using Google Page Creator (now expired product) to Google Sites servers in 2007. On February 28, 2008, Google Sites was unveiled using the JotSpot technology. JotSpot original version required a domain to use with it. May 21, 2008, Google Sites became available for free separately from Google Apps, and without the need for a domain. At that time, it was with minimum features and complex user interface. In last few years, Google come out with huge improvements and enhanced features of Google Sites. You can now create mobile websites in Google Sites. In Nov 22, 2016, Google announced new version of Google Sites and named it "New Google Sites"

Creating Google Sites

With a valid Google account (a stand alone or Google Apps account), you can create website/intranet in Google Sites. No need to register separately for Google Sites.

Create Website in Google Sites

To create a site, simply press the button to create a site and it takes you to a page that requires just five things. A wizard helps you get started, and there are dozens of templates available such as clubs, corporate intranets, classrooms and families. Write the site name, choose a URL in the site name in a sites.google.com/site/your-site-name (this URL type is for those sites which created using Google stand alone account) and write a short site description (optional) and you are done. You can decide on the time of creating your site or alter it later that whether it is a restrict site or a public site. By default, it make the site public when you create a site using Google stand alone account. This is the most simple way to create websites and even intranet which is not offered in other services like Wix, Freebie, Wetpaint etc.

Working with Google Sites page

Google Sites lets you insert images, link, tables, and gadgets like table of content, subpage listing, recent post, files and items and more. You can also add your own custom gadgets in Google Sites. It comes with simple toolbar to edit your page.

Google Sites editing toolbar

With HTML editor in Google Sites, you can play with more customizing of your Google Sites. It does not allow you to use a lot of Web 2.0 content and removed these HTML tags automatically when you update HTML editor. When compare this feature with other website builder like Wetpaint and Freewebs, they give you more flexible control.

Page Templates and Page Options

When you create a site under Google stand alone account, it offers 4 types of default page templates and if a site is created under Google Apps account, it offers 5 types of default page template:

Google standalone account: Web page, Announcements, File Cabinet, and List page. Google Apps account: 4 same as above but in addition with Start Page.

Each page comes with powerful features like page attachments to add file and comments. The comments feature is well designed and useful for intranet sites. You can enable the entire organization in Google Apps to comments even if they are with view rights. This comment feature is better than Wetpaint that requires every page to receive comments and Freewebs, which requires the addition of a widget for comments.

Creating New Pages

When you create a page, you write is name which is actually page title. This is very important to write it as perfect match of your page content to improve SEO of Google Sites. Be default, the page name translated into page URL with addition of "-" after every word but you can change it as you want.

The "Web Page" is default template for creating new pages in Google Sites but you can change the default template in Google Sites.

Custom Page Templates

You can built your own page templates, make them default. You can set the location of template and when you create new pages using that template, it will select the page location which you set to it. This feature give a pretty much control for creating new pages in Google Sites.

Custom page template does not make changes on existing pages which you created using them. For example, if you change the page layout, it will not applied on already created pages. This is one of the required feature which can take the Google Sites on next level of developer choice.

Page Settings and Page Options

Google Sites Page Options

Google Sites keeps the revision history of all the pages. If you have made any change in a page by mistake or you want to revert to previous version of the page, you can do it under More action button. You can change the page name/title, page URL and page description in page settings. Also you can change page location even once it is created. All you can do this in few clicks. Page Layout

Google Sites comes up with 9 page layout option and you can select one of them for your page. Few of more frequently layout used by Google Sites designer and developers are: One column, Right sidebar and Left and right sidebars.

Easy Integrate of other Google Products

Other Google Products in Google Sites

Integration of calendar, Drive folder/files, spreadsheets, presentations, chats, apps script and more is key feature for Google lovers! Well, you can do it very easily. All this is offered in edit mode of your Google Sites page and you can insert any of them in your page. The integration with other Google products and services make the page editor more advance.This is a very handy feature which make your Google Sites more productive and useful. It make it easy for you to control the interactive content of your Google Sites page.

Specially, when you are running your intranet on Google Sites, the integration of other Google products made you intranet more effective and easy to use tool in collaborative environment.

Apps Script which allow you to write web application and in Google Sites, you can deploy these dynamic web application into your Google Sites less then a minute. This makes the Google Sites most advance and preferable platform for cloud developer.

Tracking your Google Sites website

Everyone want to track his website and Google Sites give you easy integration of Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tool to use with your Google Sites. No code implementation is required.

Work Together and Share

Sharing and Permissions in Google Sites let you designate owners, collaborators and viewers for your site. You can always control your Google Sites who has access, whether it's just yourself, your team, or your whole organization to work with it or the world to view it. Its very simple as it was never before.

Powerful Search Engine in Google Sites

Search across the site content using powerful Google search technology. Now you can find specific pages and documents instantly as the same way you do on Google.com. You can Configure Google Sites Search Engine and make it searchable only for a site, on entire domain sites and with Google! Also you can configure additional search providers, for example, Google Custom Search Engine and enable Google Adsence to earn money.

Pricing and Storage

Google Sites is free to use for all Google stand alone users. If you are using Google Apps for work, it comes with no additional charges. It depends which Google account type you are using for Google Site. There are 5 types of user account.

  • For Sites created under: http://sites.google.com/site/

- Site quota: 100Mb/site

- Pages per site: unlimited

- Max attachment size: 20Mb

  • Google Apps: Partner Edition

- Site quota: 100Mb/site

- Pages per site: unlimited

- Max attachment size: 20Mb

  • Google Apps: Standard Edition (Free if your domain is using Google Apps)

- Quota per domain: 10Gb

- Max attachment size: 20Mb

- Sites per domain: unlimited

- Pages per site: unlimited

- Site quota: N/A (quota is tracked at the domain level)

  • Google Apps: Premier Edition

- Max attachment size: 50Mb

- Sites per domain: unlimited

- Pages per site: unlimited

- Site quota: N/A (quota is tracked at the domain level)

- Quota per domain: 10Gb + 500Mb multiplied by the number of paid users

  • Google Apps: EDU Edition

- Quota per domain: 100Gb

- Max attachment size: 20Mb

- Sites per domain: unlimited

- Pages per site: unlimited

- Site quota: N/A (quota is tracked at the domain level)

Google Sites lets you insert tables, and even HTML, but when the latter contains the service tag considers insecure, iframe, integrate, styles, writing will be removed. (We think it is lame, because it does not allow you to use a lot of Web 2.0 content). When I tried to paste in the code that includes one of these tags, I found an error that freezing the page with the displayed error message. In Wetpaint and Freewebs, I had problems to add a video of DailyMotion containing some of these forbidden tags.

Each page is an entry in navigation pane, a feature of attachment, and comments, each which can be powered off. The comments feature is well designed and useful, but is not threaded all are at the same level. However, is an application somewhat better than Wetpaint that requires every page to receive comments and Freewebs, which requires the addition of a widget for comments. Only guests can add comments on your site in Google, even if you have designated the most visible place for the world.

New pages added come in one of the five flavors: website, Dashboard, ads, a Cabinet, and list. Any type can be your top-level page. Page for the Assembly of Gadgets, which can be standard Web, such as links and images; parts pane Google services such as calendars, presentations from spreadsheets, videos from YouTube, Picasa Web slides or any of the thousands (search) available in iGoogle gadgets and programmed by independent developers. You can add gadgets to any page, but they are scorecards preformed with a grid of content areas for them. As with iGoogle, you can see the categories of equipment, but lists usually lose relevant elements and the list of the noise. Many appliances also display ads, but the selection is much greater than the available at Freewebs or Wetpaint.

Listing pages blogs are like a new message button in these lets you create a new area on the page with text and images, and you can also add HTML code there. The file cabinet page type is limited to create a list of your uploaded files that are available for download. You can create multiple folders, but there are no levels subfolder. As was expected, because taking companies JotSpot wiki sources, list page type is similar to project management, with templates to the elements of action of the project, the issues, units. But you can also specify your own column headings for your list.

Related FAQ

Q. How does Google Sites can save money of my web hosting?

A. Google Sites is free tool from Google for Google account holders and for Google Apps users, so if you sign up, you can get free tool for your website.