The almost two billion websites that exist on the web originate from numerous website builders. You might be looking to create your website and add it to the number of existing sites. If so, then you have dozens of website builders to choose from. One of your available options comes from the expert search engine itself, Google. Google Sites, first released in February 2008, has changed over the years. In its more than a decade of existence, many website owners have found it useful. This article reviews this website builder from the popular search engine. Here, you will also find how to create an account and get started with Google Sites.
Who can use Google Sites?
Google sites are for these two groups of persons:
If you are a student or your business is in its early stages, you should consider Google Sites. Google Sites will not require any fees from you to build a website.
Due to the easy and straightforward nature of Google sites, you do not need programming skills. Either for personal or business purposes, you need no coding knowledge.
Google Sites Features
Google Sites promises to create high-quality and engaging sites for those who use it. Its features veer towards meeting its goal. Here are some of the features of this website builder:
1.) Team collaboration
The team collaboration feature allows other members of the Sites team to assist a user. It allows all members to work together and make changes easily.
The drag-and-drop feature allows users to arrange their website layout with ease. You can also adjust the sizes of some content with Google Sites. With the drag-and-drop feature, Google Sites automatically fixes your content into a grid layout.
3.) G-Suite Integration
G-Suite allows users to add content from their Google Calendar, Drive, Slides, and so on to their websites.
There are several themes for you to pick from on Google Sites. These tools are vital to website customization, though there is a limit to the changes you can make.
5.) Secure your site without IT
Lastly, you can share ownership and permissions with partners on your site. It is possible to do this without delay as all you need are a few clicks. You can control access to your site from the sharing settings. And Sites ensures that your site stays secured while sharing.
Other features of the website-building platform are the following:
It does not allow editing from a mobile device, even though it supports mobile viewing.
It is compatible with various browsers. These browsers include Chrome (recent versions), Internet Explorer, Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Firefox.
Google Sites Pricing
You can build your website with Google Sites for free. However, the platform on G Suite requires payment. For every user, the G Suite costs about $6-$25. The G Suite allows you to create a site on your domain. Its only other advantage is its users getting updates earlier. G Suite members have access to new features before they are accessible to standard users.
Pros of Google Sites
You can expect a website builder from Google to have its perks. And it does. Here are the major pros of Google Sites:
With Google Sites, you can easily build a website. Within minutes, you can learn how to use the site builder with no previous coding knowledge.
Although Google Sites is easy to use, its services are free. Paying for the G-Suite is solely up to you.
With Google Sites, you have several templates to choose from for your website. The templates Google sites offer give your site a better layout.
Functions of Google Drive like Calendar, Documents, and YouTube can be added to your site. Integrations like this allow you to work on a website and not worry about halting the other services.
Cons of Google Sites
Google Sites does not only have advantages. There are also some loopholes in the site builder. These are some cons that come with Google Sites:
This is a terrible pitfall for business websites. If SEO is what you seek, it is impossible with Google Sites. You cannot edit your meta description or name tag. There are no Facebook pixels and you can neither share nor redirect.
Using Google Sites does not grant you access to features like adding interactivity or editing Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). You also do not get tools that are not features of Google drive. Again, editing the layout of templates is impossible with Sites.
Google Sites Reviews
The usefulness and efficiency of Google Sites are highly subjective. Below are some user reviews of the website builder:
"Ideal for beginners." - Emily K., Programming tutor.
"Integrate it with G Suite and watch it perform” - Rob.
"Awesome for small websites. Use the new version if you want style and the classic version if you seek detail." - Anonymous user.
How to create a Google Sites account
Once you look past the cons of Google Sites, you may decide to create an account and get started anyways. Below are the steps for creating an account and carrying out other functions with Google Sites.
Creating and Naming your Site
Step 1- Enter the Google Site's homepage.
Step 2- Click on the plus icon to start a new site.
Step 3- Enter the name you would like your site to bear.
Step 4- Confirm the name by pressing the "enter" button.
Step 5- Add the content of your choice to your site.
Step 6- Finally, press the "Publish' button at the top right of the page. Ensure you are satisfied with the site layout before clicking the publish button.
Making a Duplicate Site
Step 1- Open the site you want to duplicate on a computer under the new Google Sites page.
Step 2- For other options, click on the "More' button at the top right corner.
Step 3- Under the more options, click on "duplicate site'.
Step 4- Enter a name for your duplicate site in the space for the file's name.
Step 5- To change the site's storage location, press the "change' button. However, this step is optional.
Step 6- When you feel content with your site, select "ok'.
NOTE: The process of duplicating a site might not be successful when the file is large.
Changing the Address of your Site
Although you cannot change your site's current web address, you can do something else. If you do not like your site's web address, here is how to go about it.
Step 1- Go to "Classic Google Sites" on your desktop and open your site.
Step 2- Select "More actions'.
Step 3- A tab will open where you can find "manage site'. Click on it.
Step 4- Copy the Site from the manage site tab
Step 5- Enter a name for your site in the space next to the "Site Name'.
Step 6- Select the "Copy' button.
Step 7- Lastly, delete the original site. You can decide to keep it since this step is optional.
Changing the URL link of your website
To change the URL of your website, you need to take the following steps:
Step 1: Open your site in "new Google sites' using a computer.
Step 2: Click the drop-down next to the Publish button. The drop-down leads to the Publish Settings.
Step 3: Under the Publish Settings, you will find the "web address' space. Insert your new URL in that box.
Step 4:Select "Save"to save changes.
Using a URL you own
To reuse a URL either currently in use or previously used, you need to first change that of the original site. After taking the steps to change your web address, you can proceed to reuse the URL. Here are the next steps to take:
Step 1: Open the site you would like to use an existing URL for.
Step 2: Select the "Publish" button on the top right of the page.
Step 3: Insert the URL in the space for it.
Step 4: For the process to be complete, click on the "Publish' button. If you no longer need the site previously using the URL, you can delete it.
Frequently Asked Questions about Google Sites
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Google Sites:
Is it possible to use a mobile phone to edit a Google website?
No. It is only possible to view a Google site using a tablet or a mobile phone. To edit a Google Sites website, you need a computer.
Can I still use the previous version of Google sites?
Yes, you can. There will be no disturbances to your site if you already use the previous version.
Can I buy a domain using Google?
Yes, you can. Google can assist you in purchasing a domain through one of their host partners. To purchase, click the "buy a domain” button on signup. For you to set up a domain for your G-Suite, Google will provide a guide. And yes, you need a G-Suite account to enjoy this benefit.
Google Sites might not be everyone's favorite, but many agree that it is easy to use. No doubt, it has limited features. Yet, there is no denying that the straightforward tool is helpful for a simple website building. Google Sites reviews show that even Google has its limitations. Though unmatched in the search engine game, it needs to step up in the website-building arena. Still, Google Sites will come in handy if you seek a free, simple, and straightforward website builder.