Google Sites is a website creation tool developed by Google that has been operating since 2008. Google Sites can be compared with Wordpress or Wix but it differs in that it focuses its business on organizations and not on individuals or sole proprietors. The essential goal of Google Sites is to support communication and collaboration by creating simple web sites and hosting company information. Therefore it is used as an intranet solution. Google Sites is a product of Google Workspace. If you already use some of the Google Google Workspace products like G-mail, Google Drive or Google Calendar then Google Sites might be a good additional app to use. It is considered a good option for Google intranet, an impressive website builder and seen as a great way to kickstart an internal newsroom strategy. Still, Google Sites intranet comes with a lot of negatives. It is a good app for short-term projects and for top-down communication but it is definitely not recommended for any long-term business projects and for organisations that care about conversations, collaboration and employee engagement.
Is Google Sites going away?
In November 2016 Google released the new Google Sites. Since then Google has had two site builders: classic Google Sites and new Google Sites. Having two site builders caused some serious confusion and users needed to understand the differences between the two. In August 2020 Google announced that the service of the classic Google sites will be shut down fully on September 1, 2021. With that announcement classic users are also asked to migrate to the new Google sites. The creation of classic sites will be disabled as from November 1, 2020. Continue reading to learn more about Google Sites intranet and its advantages and disadvantages. Get to know Google intranet Happeo as well - the best alternative to Google Sites.
Want to see and compare Google Sites alternatives? Visit our intranet platforms comparison.
|Digital workplace||Happeo||Google Sites|
|Third-party app launcher||✓||✗|
|Integrated Drive Editing||✓||✓|
|Integrated Docs editing||✓||✓|
|Integrated Sheets editing||✓||✓|
|Integrated Slides editing||✓||✓|
|Social intranet||Happeo||Google Sites|
|Personalized news feed||✓||✗|
|Branded file templates||✓||✗|
|Overall features||Happeo||Google Sites|
|Mobile intranet app||✓||✗|
|Single Sign On||✓||✓|
|ISO compliant security||✓||✓|
|Deep Google Workspace integration||✓||✗|
|Fast time to deploy||✓||✓|
|Google Workspace integration||✓||✓|
|Office 365 integration||✓||✗|
See how Happeo stacks up against other alternatives
Happeo vs Jostle
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Happeo vs Jive
Jive is a software company that provides solutions for internal communications in businesses. Jive is one of the old-school leaders in the industry.
Happeo vs Simplrr
Simpplr is a US-based software company founded in 2014. Simplrr helps with connecting and engaging employees accross departments.
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Google Sites integrates natively with Google Workspace
Since Google Sites is a Google app, it integrates seamlessly with the rest of Google Workspace and its apps – except for Analytics. You can easily insert forms, docs, spreadsheets, slides and it will be updated automatically if you do changes in the source document. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a mobile app, so you can’t access it from any device with ease. But Google Sites is not the only page creator that integrates with Google Workspace. Social intranet provider Happeo lets you create pages as well. As an integrated hub for collaboration Happeo links to all Google Workspace applications together in one single window. Happeo’s software lets you create pages easily for you to share company information.
Google Sites only works for static information
You can use Google Sites to create sites for your team. There are templates available and you can easily replace the content in the template with your own. Your team can then access all your pages and content within a few clicks. That said, Google Workspace's Google Sites is a tool to deliver information and to inform employees about company news, developments, projects or events, but it has no social capabilities to increase employee engagement. Happeo on the other hand lets you create dynamic pages that encourages top-down and bottom-up communication. Like a true social intranet it features posting, sharing, liking and commenting - all features that benefit your company culture and promote employee engagement.
Google Sites has limited functionality compared to other site builders
Building sites is easy with Google Sites but its functionalities are also limited. There are plenty of Google Sites alternatives which use templates and have a lot of functionalities that allow you to build your company sites without much effort. You can have a look at Wix as a great alternative, a tool that offers many designs and functionalities to build a site. An even better alternative is Happeo - a recommended Google intranet. With Happeo you can build dynamic pages for your company. The intuitive editor allows anyone to create pages within seconds - without any technical knowledge. Furthermore, pages can be completely customized and branded, so it matches your company’s look. Besides the page function Happeo offers many more intranet features.
Google Sites is a fast way to get an internal website up
If you are already a Google Workspace user and all you need is an internal-only website, Google Sites works well. It’s an easy-to-use, lightweight CMS that allows you to publish static information without a hassle, within minutes. But it does lack the necessary features to be called a true intranet or a social intranet, a digital workplace or a collaboration platform. Using Google Sites might sound easy, but wait for Happeo. Happeo is a simple tool to install and manage. After the installation is done and if you are already a Google Workspace user you can simply set-up a Google Workspace integration to synchronize the accounts in your Google Workspace domain. Once everything is set-up, you’re ready to go! Create and manage pages with full CMS capabilities. A big plus point of Happeo: learning how to work with it is simple to grasp for anyone, even non-techy people. Pages can be created and managed by teams with ease and content can be crafted by everyone in the company. Because Happeo is so easy to manage user satisfaction and adoption rate are very high.
Google Sites reviews: Expectations not met
Going through reviews for Google Sites it quickly becomes clear that users expectations are not met. Users expect a site builder tool that offers plenty of functionality and design features, but they get disappointed about the lack of abilities for creation and designing. Users negative feedback is also about the little amount of templates to choose from and the limitations on editing them. Besides that, Google Sites may seem to be a good intranet solution at first look but with all the alternatives on the market like Happeo, Google Sites disappoints with its advertised intranet features.
Google Sites pricing – free with unlimited use
One of the most important advantages of using Google Sites is that it is free and has no limitations on use and websites. For users with the business plan Google Sites comes with backups, administrative controls and guarantees. However because it is free it also comes with its cons which needs to be kept in mind when looking for an intranet software. Happeo is the favored Google Sites alternative because it comes with pricing packages that fit to your company size and needs.
Classic Google Sites vs new Google Sites
We often hear the question: Is classic Google Sites going away? And what is the difference between Classic Google Sites and the new Google Sites? You might think that the new Google Sites will be newer, better and fresher than the classic Google Sites - it is to some extent, but the new Google Sites also has its downs. With new Google Sites you can create websites without having had any programming experience. Other editors can be invited to collaborate simultaneously. Also, new Google Sites caters not only desktops but to mobiles and tablets as well. It is also equipped with the latest cloud technology and features shared drive sharing. Some of the drawbacks are: The choices of designs are even more simple than with classic Google Sites and many other features from the classic version are left out like site categories and descriptions, the embedding of your site on other sites, viewing recent site activities and many more.