A Web Designer's Review of Google Sites

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Google Sites is a part of the ever-growing Google Apps family. It allows users to create simple web pages, by employing a “what you see is what you get” editor (or WYSIWYG). Google is known for its extremely user-friendly interfaces, and Google Sites carries on that reputation. In under an hour, a user can have a functional website up and running. Google Sites is not only ad-free, but it’s free period. Users are not required to pay a monthly fee to set up their website.

Since it’s introduction, a lot of web designers have discussed whether Google Sites will cut into the freelance web design market. Web designers are responsible for creating individualized websites for users, and with the entrance of a WYSIWYG creator by the likes of Google, it’s conceivable that customers will venture off to try and design their own websites for free. Google certainly has the marketing power on their side, as over 80% of all internet traffic comes through Google. Many wonder if a web search for “website design” will pull up Google Sites, however it should be pointed out that Google does maintain neutrality with its other sites, like YouTube and Blogger.

Google Sites is a fairly customizable web page editor. Users have the ability to select page backgrounds from a collection of designer themes. Because Google Sites is owned by Google, users have access to seamless integration with other Google sites, including Picasa, YouTube, Google Analytics, and Google Docs. Users can edit the page layout as well. Each Google Sites web page account holds up to 100 MB of space. Users can add files for mass dissemination. Google Sites can also be shared with a group of users, so that information can be updated from a variety of sources. One of the best parts of Google Sites is no advertisement. It never gives off the impression of being a “free” site, especially if one uses a purchased domain name.

How should a web designer feel about Google Sites? Google Sites is a relatively new kid on the block in a long line of free web page editors. Although it provides all the necessary tools needed to create a rudimentary web page, it can never replace the personalized service of a web designer. Google Sites is more attractive to a hobbyist or clients who are interested in making a professional website tailored to their specific needs.

Check out more on Google Sites at Bright Hub’s Google Channel