Google Sites is a Google application you might not hear much about. But if you want to create an intranet for employees, a website for your family, or a central spot for a project team, Google Sites might be ideal.
Google Sites is a website and page creation tool that was released in February 2008. It’s part of the Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) productivity suite and is available as a web-based application.
The tool is currently completely free and integrates with other Google services such as Google Calendar, Google Maps, Google Docs, and more.
Comparable to website builders like Wix and Weebly, almost anyone can create a website with Google Sites. You don’t need coding knowledge, design talent, or an IT staff. In just a few minutes, you can have a website with multiple pages up and running.
There’s no definitive answer as to when you should use Google Sites, but there are several situations where you may choose it for its convenience and price.
Create a website for:
- An intranet or wiki for your company that includes guidelines, policies, or contact information.
- Your family across the country or around the world with news, photos, and events.
- A project team with documents, a meeting calendar, budget sheets, and presentations.
- An online resume for your education, work history, skills, and talents.
- An online portfolio to show off your work like articles or photographs.
- Your class and students with room rules, office hours, and assignment details.
- A club or team that includes a calendar of events and maps to locations.
Now that you know what Google Sites is and which scenarios make it a good website building option, let’s look at its features and limitations.
The biggest advantage to using Google Sites is the integration with other Google services mentioned above. With a simple click, you can add a calendar, map, document, slideshow, and more. The integrations currently include these services.
- Google Drive
- Google Calendar
- Google Maps
- Google Docs
- Google Sheets
- Google Slides
- Google Forms
- Google Photos
Google Sites provides templates, themes, and layouts to get you started. You can then insert items like text boxes, images, and charts and simply drag them to resize or move them wherever you like, regardless of the layout you selected.
If you want a coworker or friend to build the website with you, you can share the site the same way as other Google applications. For example, you can set up restrictions similar to when sharing a document in Google Docs.
You can use a custom domain that you purchase or one that starts with
https://sites.google.com/view/, per your preference.
Once you publish it, you can restrict who can view your site. Whether for business or pleasure, you can keep your site from being accessed by just anyone by choosing specific people. Plus, you can opt your website out of search engines.
Google Sites is an intuitive, free option for basic website creation. But it doesn’t offer many features you’ll see with more robust builders. Here are just some of its limitations.
- No site categories, description, or sitemap
- No embedding of your site on other sites
- No view of recent site activity without a Google Analytics account
- No social sharing buttons
- No access to the source HTML code
- No SEO features like a title tag or meta description
With all of this in mind, Google Sites may be the ideal choice for your particular situation, like a company intranet or classroom site. But on the other hand, it may be too limited for purposes such as a high-traffic business or commerce site.
Keep in mind, the features and limitations here are not all-inclusive. And because Google continually updates Sites as it does its other applications and services, you might just take it for a test run to find out if it fits your needs and decide from there. Remember, it won’t cost you a dime!
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