Google Sites is a great tool to create and manage a website. Google has made it easy to use, offers support for its products and integrates many of those products into a Google Sites website. But, it has its limitations and may not be a good choice for all websites. Be sure it is a good choice for your website and that you are ready for the responsibility before choosing it.
- Internet Connection
- Email address (to create a Google Account)
- Google Account (stand alone or Apps)
- image program (recommended)
- multiple browsers (Chrome and Firefox)
- file manager (website files such as images and documents)
- method or program to manage logins (Google and other website related accounts)
- Basic Computer Skills
- can use a mouse & keyboard, know what an editor is
- Basic Internet Skills
- know what a browser is, how to use one, can open multiple tabs, what a dialog box is, what an account it, understand bookmarks
- Basic Tools
- multiple browsers, file manager, image editor, program to manage accounts and passwords
- Training, from others or on your own, to learn how to use Google Sites
- Commitment to stay up-to-date with changes to Google Sites and any other Google product used in the site
- Webmaster to manage the site whether it is you or another person
- Learn some HTML and about websites
- Free website hosting
- Free website building tool (Google Sites)
- Free public support via help forums, video and text tutorials but if Google Apps is used, Google support is offered
- Free email
- Free Google products: Presentation, Calendar, Forms and more but some products must be added from outside of Google Sites such as Docs, Analytics.
- Google Apps Account: Account fee and domain name
- Google Account: Domain name if used
- Website Development: if not built for free
- might include costs for images, logo & other graphic art, writer, scripts, developer to build the site
- Time to learn to build, update, manage and trouble shoot problems
- Commitment to continual learning
Google Sites has very limited CSS, limited HTML use, no FTP, poor file management and limited use of scripts (must be in gadgets).
The Pluses. There are less features so websites are easier to learn to use and manage.
The Negatives. There are less features so more elaborately designed and functional websites are hard to create, if it all.
Is Google Sites the right website builder for you? That depends on your website.
While elaborate websites can be built using Google Sites, it is not recommended for most owners. Anything more elaborate requires customization that is beyond the average Google Sites user to maintain, takes more time to manage, requires extensive training and an experienced webmaster.
Google Sites was created to build wiki like websites for a "non-techie" user. It tries to find a balance between what is easy to manage, build and looks good.Google Sites are best suited to sites with little scripting, simple design and easy management.
When using Google Sites, simpler is better.