I have used Google Sites to create, not only my class web site, but also our school and district websites since 2009. For the first time since I started using this service, Google has decided to drastically update and redesign the service for modern web design.
Before Google Sites, I was using GeoCities create websites. Some of the revolutionary features of GeoCities, such as a web-based page editor, were successfully emulated in Google Sites.
|How a GeoCities Website Typically looked (circa 1999)|
What's New in Google Sites
So, is the new Google Sites an improvement. I would say yes. Take a look at some of the improvements I highlighted below.
- Redesigned editor that is easy to understand and use a layout matches other G Suite Apps
- Sites now automatically create a Desktop Version as well as a Mobile and Tablet version of your site, all from the same template you create.
- This is a huge improvement over how Google Sites used to format itself for mobile devices. This change had to be made as mobile devices are increasingly used to look up web content.
- Better integration of other G Suite apps, such as embedding Google Docs, Slides, and Calendar.
- This feature used to be buried under the Insert tab in the old Google Sites. Now, every page your edit has the ability to embed other G Suite tools visible on every page.
- and more...
Any Drawbacks in the New Google Sites?
There are some parts of the new Google Sites that are not all there yet. I suspect as Google continually updates the product, these features will be added. Here are some of the features I noticed were missing.
- You cannot change the font.
- Page anchors are missing
- Search your site bar is missing.
- Page Level Permissions (essential in a School environment)
- Is there an ability to create sub-pages? (I couldn't find this or information on this)
For those that are creating a website for the first time, this could be a great tool to use. However, when I look at the features I currently have in the old Google Sites, I believe I'll have to wait to convert.
Google is still supporting the old version of Google Sites. You can still create a Google Site in either platform at least until the end of 2017. Google announced that sometime in 2018, the goal is to end support for the old Google Sites. So there is time left for those that need time to either re-create or re-design their websites.
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