Table of Contents
Google Sites: Best website builder for intranets
- Free to use
- Minimalistic and user-friendly interface
- Features web hosting and domain
- No built-in eCommerce
- Lacking in SEO tools
- Minimal customization tools
Introduction: What makes Google Sites the builder to watch out for?
With the vast array of Google digital products that we use on a day-to-day basis, it's no shock that they also have a free website builder. Google Sites aims to be a user-friendly website builder that reinforces collaboration between editors. In this one of many Google Sites reviews, let's check the ins and outs of this website builder and reveal its pros and cons. Also, let's check out if there are notable Google Sites alternatives.
Google Sites was initially released back in 2008 to much excitement, utilizing JotSpot’s technology. In 2016, Google introduced the New Google Sites that no longer runs on JotSpot’s technology.
You might be wondering how to make a Google Sites that achieves your goals? What features does it have to let you create a professional website?
In this Google Sites reviews, let's talk ease of use, features and flexibility, SEO & mobility, support, and of course, pricing. In this contribution on Google website builder reviews, we might also mention some awesome Google Sites alternative on areas you may find the builder limiting.
Ease of Use:
Much like any Google apps you have used in the past, Google Sites is reasonably easy to use. According to Google Sites reviews, there isn’t any learning curve since the interface is designed to be straightforward. You can quickly start a website in a few short minutes. If you have a Google account, you’ll be able to use Google Sites completely free.
Integrate Google products like Google Drive, Calendar, Maps, Google Docs, Sheets, and more with a click of a button. Consistent with findings in many Google Sites reviews, there aren’t any technicalities or complicated design options that you need to learn before you publish your website.
Design and Customization:
In our Google sites reviews, it's important to tackle how well a builder allows you to customize and tweak. If you lack technical knowledge or coding abilities, Google Sites gives you the ability to create a website. You’ll also find their drag-and-drop editing a breeze to use. Press the “+” sign on the templates you like, and you’ll be able to see a full one-page website.
All the customization options can be found on the right pane while the page itself is fully displayed in front of you. There are tons of widgets for you to choose from and embed to on your website.
Google Sites isn’t your traditional site builder since it offers cookie-cutter designs that are a tad generic-looking.
Therefore, if pitted against, say, Google Sites vs Squarespace, you'll probably find the former somewhat unexciting. There are pre-built templates for you to choose from that have limited customization. Unfortunately, even if you have the technical know-how, you wouldn’t be able to edit or add CSS or any interactivity.
Google Sites reviews suggest that some of the things that you could do are customize your texts, insert a table of contents, add sidebars, integrate Google tools, and add text boxes.
Features and Flexibility:
When considering Google Sites, Google website builder reviews on features are vital factors that you should take into account.
With website builders, on the task of how to make a Google site, nothing is perfect. As various Google Sites reviews will inform you, it all boils down to its practicality for you. Google Sites does an excellent job of being a user-friendly site builder than anyone can use. How to make a Google site is absolutely something a novice can do. There aren’t technical options or coding involved. If you want a hassle-free process on website building, then how to make a Google site using this platform is your answer.
Themes and Templates:
Whether it's the Classic Google Sites or the face-lifted New Google Sites, it will give users two design choices: Theme and Templates.
The classic themes that were once available with the Classic Google Sites are still available today. There are additional banners and themes for you to choose from. However, as Google sites reviews will point out, these themes are simple and basic, with solid-colored banners that reminisce of Google’s website aesthetic. For aesthetic control, you can find Google Sites alternative builders like Weebly or Wix more useful.
Templates, on the other hand, are more of layout choices for the user. There are a few to choose from, and once you’ve decided a pre-built site will populate your website. The pre-built templates include design, page layout, and content that you can edit.
If the purpose of your site is to disseminate information internally, then design options aren’t that big of a deal. The thumbs-down on design that Google Sites builder reviews point out shouldn't matter much. However, if you want to set up a brand, a website that can carry your aesthetic would be ideal. For this, you need to seek out Google sites alternatives.
3rd Party Apps:
In many Google sites reviews, this criterion is where it scores low. Unfortunately, Google Sites does not support any 3rd party apps. So if you’re planning to use form builders, Custom logo Design, Visitor Analytics, or SEO apps, you won’t have any luck with Google Sites.
Hosting and Domain:
Google Sites is free for use with a complete hosting service like the way your Google drive files are hosted by Google. To top it off, since it's part of GSuites, all your security is handled by Google, just like your email account.
Although your published website can be viewed from outside your team when it comes to your domain, there are no custom domain options. You get a sub-domain [sites.google.com/site/name]. However, if you want your custom domain, Google can help you purchase one through their domain host partners.
Backups and Migration:
If you’ve already created your site using the Classic Google Sites in the past, you can easily migrate to the updated New Google Sites. During migration, all your files will be transferred to a new URL.
SEO and Mobility:
How to make a Google Site with SEO and eCommerce capabilities? Unfortunately, Google Sites does not have any eCommerce tools, nor can you use a 3rd party app for eCommerce.
Whether you’re using the Classic or the New Google Sites, you won’t be able to edit the meta tags or meta descriptions. It is shocking how a site builder by Google doesn’t have any built-in SEO tools and features. There are rumours that Google favours ranking sites built with Google Sites; sadly, there’s no way to prove this theory.
You’d be happy to know that all published sites on Google Sites are mobile-ready with Google-like page speeds.
Support and Resources:
Both the Classic and the New Google Sites are easy to use; should you run into any problems, Sites has a knowledge-based support page. Some articles can point you in the right direction and forums that have helpful replies. Unfortunately, there aren’t any live chat or phone support for Google Sites.
If you have a Google account, you are free to use Google Sites. It’s 100% free unless you reach the set storage threshold. And if you’re thinking of using a custom domain name, you will incur charges based on Google Domain or their affiliate domain hosting partners.
Conclusion and Recommendation:
What is it best used for?
As many Google website builder reviews will have you know, this platform is targeted towards small business and up and coming starters. Google Sites does an excellent job of producing professional-looking and incisive websites.
What is it not best used for?
Its lack of design options, SEO & eCommerce tools are no surprise because Google Sites has always been marketed as a tool for internal collaboration.
Google Sites Alternatives:
In contrast, if you need a more intuitive and interactive website builder that boosts your creative mind, there are a few notable Google Sites alternatives. Wix is a current favourite and among the most well-regarded site builders on the market.
Nonetheless, Google Sites delivers on its promise to give you well-designed websites in a few short minutes. If you lack technical knowledge or time to spend on nitpicking every detail of your site, Google Sites might be the thing for you. The lets remember it is free so there is no harm to try.
That’s all for now:
Grateful to you for reading our Google Sites Reviews! Don’t forget to keep an eye out for our ever-growing blog of review and comparison articles of eCommerce platforms, SEO software, screen capture tools, webinar and conferencing software, education platforms, website builders, and more! Please share any comments below!
Not only the best tea/coffee maker on the team Sophie keeps the many marketing projects flowing ensuring completion on time. Skilled across multiple marketing skill areas Sophie is our all rounder and a great asset to the team. Sophie is a website building trainer and tech writer who takes pride in helping small businesses and startups build their websites and launch their eCommerce platforms. Sophie is also the practical joker of the team and always wears a smile on her face. In her spare time she likes to spend her time with family. She loves going on holidays and spending time with friends.