As of November, the all new version of Google Sites is now available for everyone to use. So how does it stack up?
In short... Easy, Beautiful, but Basic
- Easy - By far the new version of Google Sites is the easiest web design program I have ever used (and I even wrote my own web design program about 15 years ago... anyone remember POW-PAK?) Every time I have demonstrated the new sites to a group of teachers, everyone is blown away by how simple and intuitive it is to quickly create a functional website.
- Beautiful - Although “easy” is important, it would be no good if the resulting site was unattractive. Thankfully the new Google Sites makes it difficult to make an ugly site. The options for themes and layouts keep everything clean, organized, modern, and attractive. The sites even adjust perfectly from desktop to tablet to phone view. Even if design is not your strength, you can make a beautiful site.
- Basic - So what’s the drawback? At the moment, the biggest weakness with the new Sites is its lack of features. The program is still very new, so its tools and options are limited. If you are used to the Classic Sites, you will quickly notice some things missing such as commenting, a blog page, page-level permissions, revision history, and such. However, I am sure all of these features (and more) will be rolling out over the coming months as Google continues to develop the program. (For a thorough comparison chart of Classic versus New Sites, see this page from Steegle.) Even at its "Basic" level though, the new program can make an excellent site.
Although the new Google Sites is very easy to use, you may still benefit from a tutorial walkthrough of its features. See below for the recorded video of one-hour webinar I conducted where I go through all the steps of creating a classroom website using the new Sites.
- The All New Google Sites agenda - Google Docs link
Video Tutorial (1 hour)
Additional Session Resources
- Video - "The All New Google Sites for Schools" - YouTube link
- Slideshow - "The All New Google Sites for Schools" - Google Slides link
- Blog Post - "The Totally New Google Sites" - Blog post link
- Comparison of Classic Sites to New Sites - web link
- Resources for "Classic Sites" - web link
Post by Eric Curts. Connect with Eric on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1