Google Sites website builder is not the only builder that the company has had. Actually, it’s the third installment in the line. The first one was ‘Google Page Creator’, which existed on the Web until 2006 – the year when Google bought ‘JotSpot’ company that had developed its own website-building tool. They hoped to succeed with this purchase and to develop it to make it as popular as many of its huge products – like Maps or Docs. They renamed the Google Page Creator to ‘Classic Sites’. Now, to change the old ‘Classic’, the Google Sites site maker arrived in 2016 – and we are going to talk about here meaning only a Google Sites site maker (active in 2019) in this article – just to be clear about this issue.
We’ll say at the start – so the reader can choose if the reading is worth spending time on – that this site maker is one of the most inconvenient and restrictive site makers on the market. It is not easy to set up a beautiful site (and it’s impossible to do one like Squarespace or uKit in the simplicity, adjustability, and visual perfection). It has a close semblance to other Google’s tools – not flexible, restrictive, and not oriented at visual excellence, yet powerful, integrate-able, secure, and available to everyone.
The new Google Sites site builder is definitely a lot easier to use than it was with Classic but many features were lost along the way. Now, though it is simple, seems like Google has sacrificed completely with the desire of people to self-express and the need to make a design as they want. What actually this site builder allows today is mostly boiled down to picking among or between options – Yes/No or multiple options – when adjusting pages to the needs. That’s a scarce thing and it actually makes you feel like a small screw-nut facing the gigantic machine of Google’s business. There is no actual feeling that what you’re doing really belongs to you and you have power over it.
In addition to 14-days free trial, users are offered to pay from 6 to 25 dollars a month within the net of Google Sites pricing, receiving differing strengths of customization and setup.
Also, each subscription plan of this site builder offers the following list of capabilities:
Pros of Google website maker:
As for the speed – it should really have been better, according to our Google Sites review:
The speed is quite not the best what we have seen over the years of analyzing website builders; Google Sites stands here in the tail of the list.
As we have been saying during this text numerous times, the design and templates are not the strong sides of this website creator. Some users ask ‘How can I create my own website on Google’ as they don’t know if Google Sites for business or for personal needs is of any good in customization and power (everything but security and integration powers).
Well, a user is basically limited to a few selections from the possible list and in some cases, limited to ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ answers (‘Do you want menu vertical or horizontal?’ rather than asking ‘What kind of menu do you want?’)
But it’s not like you’re having 100 fonts or colors of background to choose from – they are likely limited to ten or something. So, while pretty enough for fast websites, where the design is not the priority, this website editor is a good tool, which cuts off everything superfluous with Occam’s razor. If you want a superabundance of customization that may even be confusing and tiresome – go to Wix rather than using the Spartan simplicity of Google website builder.
Unlike a dedicated service of customer support of other website creators on the market, in this tool, it is slightly different:
E-mail and phone are ready to help you in 14 languages. Chat supports less. Google Help supports largely more (every popular language of the world with English version considered primary).
SEO is a tough point of this website creator. There is no embedded possibility to enter or change the SEO parameters in the user account (‘My Google Sites’) or in any menu. Some people talk that as they create a Google site, they notice that Google ranks them in search results high – no matter what is in Google Sites’ content. This is something that is hard to be relied on – and you never know when the rules are going to change. Doesn’t it seem at least odd to you that the most powerful company on the market, which requires other websites to comply with many SEO requirements and constraints, so easily cuts off all users of their product from this market?
What about marketing? We weren’t able to find information about any marketing tools of this website creator – it seems like if you want to make e-mail or other types of marketing, you have to choose another web maker (as even simple integration with MailChimp seems unreachable).
There are two types of integration within this website creator:
In the first case, everything is seamless and perfectly reliable – as Google tailors its products for the best usage and smoothness of integration. There is pointless to name the list of the products – you can see them on your own, just google it.
As for the second – things will require to play around, highly likely leaving you eventually dissatisfied with the result.
Well, this website creator is not a shopping or e-commerce platform – which completely deprives its users of having any payment channels or gateways. It is hard to attach them if you can’t change the code – but even if you do, you are going to have a problem with SSL certificate (which seems to be not a part of its amazing security) and have to rely on SSL of the payment gateways. It’s a fat reason to choose some other website creator over Google Sites. We know people who were running an online store designed on this website creator but the only financial transaction tool was PayPal – which is relevant for some countries of the world (not all of them) and is only ONE channel of payments, whereas there exist hundreds of payment channels over there. You can easily access them in Shopify through a number of ready-to-integrate payment gateways simply and smoothly (if you need a store) rather than dance around with Google Sites.
As it is not destined to build stores and accept payments, there is no such thing as coupons and promo codes. If you want to run a store – then why don’t you choose a dedicated creator of web stores in the first place rather than to deal with tons of bypasses to connect payment systems to this one?
Use it if you have a strong need to create a functional and rigidly looking website in hours of time. The interface limits you to only the most functional things, not hoping that you will go beyond farther than that.
It would be a perfect solution for people working in companies or teams who want to share the results of their work and submit the information on a website – in a presentable and clearly structured way.
This website creator is also a nice tool for common work with many contributors, as it is the case with G Docs – online Word and Excel. High integration and security powers are the hallmarks of Google Sites but if you want your creativity to blossom or to build an e-store – this tool is not what you shall choose.
It seems like this site creator is a tool, which, unlike Google Company, doesn’t know anything about SEO, analytics, beauty, and functionality of adjustments. What people were working on its creation if the basics were not considered and implemented? Competitors?
Depending on what you want to edit – page specifics or overall – there will be 2 ways. To edit a page, find one in your account and then click ‘Edit’. To edit a website, select the editable website and in the gear, find the ‘Manage site’ option.
In the page-editing interface, in the horizontal menu, find the font actions you want to change: face, size, style, and others.
In the website menu, find the page that you wish to delete, click ‘More’ in the right top corner, and select ‘Delete’.
On the menu, find the website you want to share, in the right top corner, click ‘Share’, select the access options for people with whom you are sharing, and save – just like it’s done in Google Docs.
For the full instruction consisting of 14 steps, refer to Google help page here: sites.google.com/site/siteshelphowtos/google-sites-instructions/Basics/removepagefromnavigation