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 appears to be 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 G Suite offerings.
Google Sites three levels of sharing:
- Public and findable through search
- Public, but only findable by those given the link
- Shared with all internal users, but not public (an intranet! – more below)
For companies that subscribe to G Suite, 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 the new Google Sites, with an emphasis on embedding various G Suite 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 the new Google Sites.
The Main Company Website
A small business with a outdated website or with no website could use Google Sites for its main website.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 simple setting in your domain registrar account in Classic Google Sites, www.yourdomain.com could be associated with any website you designed. Unfortunately, this “web address mapping” is not yet available in new Google Sites.
Currently, the URL for a public site has the format: https://sites.google.com/yourdomain.com/you-decide-but-30-chars-max
If you want to create a microsite that has a completely different focus from your main website, new Google 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, of course) to create and manage a microsite or microsites outside of the corporate CMS.
Update: On August 21, 2017, Google announced the ability to map your Google Site to a custom URL. The example that Google provides is that you can map the URL https://sites.google.com/example.com/mysite to a custom URL, such as https://mysite.example.com.
A Company Intranet With New Google Sites
This may be one of the more interesting possibilities for many organizations. Rather than committing to a third party intranet platform, new Google Sites can be used to host the company intranet.
Sharing of 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 contains a set of view-only documents for employees. The folders could include any type of employee resource.
Keep in mind that by enforcing 2-Step Verification in your G Suite account, internal company information will be even more 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 G Suite compatible CRM solution, such as ProsperWorks.
There are many possibilities for the new Google Sites across different types of organizations.