New Google Sites rolled out to all Google Workspace customers in November of 2016.
The original Google Sites, now called “Classic Google Sites” was released in 2008 after the acquisition of JotSpot in 2006. The product did not see much in the way of enhancements for many years.
The new Google Sites was built from the ground up, which means not only a modern set of design components and full device responsiveness but an app that fits in much better with the rest of the Google Workspace offerings.
For companies that subscribe to Google Workspace, new Google Sites is included at no additional charge. There’s no limit to the number of websites that can be created (by those who have permission to create Sites).
Here’s an overview of Google Sites, with an emphasis on embedding various Google Workspace and other Google components. Here’s the Google Sites page featured in the video.
There are a number of options as to how businesses can take advantage of Google Sites. We also have included links below to the many incremental improvements that have been made to Sites.
The Main Company Website
A small business with an outdated website or with no website could use Sites for its main website. Alternative website platforms such as WordPress, Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly have an additional associated hosting or subscription cost.
Through a CNAME setting in your domain registrar, https://www.yourdomain.com can be associated with any website you create in Google Sites.
If you want to create a microsite that has a different focus from your main website, Sites can be used for this.
Marketers, whose company is using a complex CMS platform for its main website, have the ability (with appropriate permissions) to create and manage a microsite or microsites outside of the corporate CMS.
You can map your Google Site to a custom URL. The example that Google provided is mapping https://sites.google.com/example.com/mysite to a custom URL, such as https://mysite.example.com.
This is an interesting possibility for many organizations. Rather than committing to a third-party intranet platform, Sites can be used to host the company intranet.
Sharing any type of resource from Google Drive on the intranet site, including folders, documents, spreadsheets, videos, or forms can be done with easy point-and-click.
For example, a human resources page could include one or more embedded Google Drive folders, which contain a set of view-only documents for employees. The folders could consist of any type of employee resource.
Keep in mind that by enforcing 2-Step Verification in your Google Workspace account, internal company information will be extra secure.
Here’s Google’s promotional video:
A specific department, such as sales, may want to have its own internal resource site. This could complement a Google Workspace-compatible CRM solution, such as Copper.
Google Sites Continuous Improvement
Google continues to add new functionality to Google Sites. Here are some updates from the last year:
Embedded Google Forms improvements
Embed Google+ Streams
Copy a site
Add custom links to the navigation bar
Add a custom favicon
Publish sites to a specific audience
Easily add a site-wide footer
Expanded page hierarchy
Embed sites as iframes
Map your site to a custom URL
There are many possibilities for the new Google Sites across different types of organizations.