A Brief Guide to New Google Sites Web Hosting

Classic vs. New Google Sites

Using Google Sites

Google launched Google Sites in 2008 to serve as a free web hosting solution for Google users, similar to Wordpress.com, Blogger and other free blogging platforms. The company received criticism regarding the difficulty of working with the original Sites interface, and as a result, in late 2016, Google's overhauled Google Sites went live with a redesign. The web pages created under the original Sites design are designated as Classic Google Sites, while the sites created under the redesigned Google Sites are identified as New Google Sites. Both are fully functional, with Google promising to support Classic Google Sites web pages at least through 2018. 

The newly redesigned interface promises to be much easier to work with. Although you can still work with the Classic site for a couple of years, and Google is promising a migration option for moving from Classic to New, if you are planning a new website with Google, it makes sense to use the redesigned New Google Sites. 

How to Set Up a New Google Sites Website

  1. While logged in to Google, go to the New Google Sites homepage in either the Chrome or Firefox browser.

  2. Click the create new site button in the bottom-right corner of the screen to open a basic template. The button looks like a plus sign inside of a circle.

  3. Enter a page title for your website by overtyping "Your page title" on the template.

  4. At the right side of the screen you'll see a panel with options. Click the Insert tab at the top of this panel to add content to your site. Options in the Insert menu include selecting fonts, adding text boxes and embedding URLs, YouTube videos, a calendar, a map, and content from Google Docs and other Google sites.

  5. Change the size of fonts or any other elements, move content around, crop photos, and otherwise arrange the elements you add to the page.

  6. Select the Themes tab at the top of the panel to change the page font and color theme.

  7. Click the Pages tab to add additional pages to your site. 

  8. If you want to share the website with others so they can help you work on it, click the Add Editors icon next to the Publish button.

  9. When you are satisfied with the way the site looks, click Publish.

Name the Site File

At this point, your site is named "Untitled Site." You need to change this. Your site is listed in Google Drive with the name you enter here.

  1. Open your site.

  2. Click on Untitled Site in the top left corner.

  3. Type the name of your site file. 

Name Your Site

Now give the site a title that people will see. The site name shows whenever you have two or more pages in your site. 

  1. Go to your site.

  2. Click Enter Site Name, which is located in the top left corner of the screen.

  3. Type in the name of your site.

You just created your first New Google Sites web page. You can keep working now or come back later to add more content.

Working With Your Site

Using the panel at the right of your website, you can add, delete, and rename pages or make a page a subpage, all under the Pages tab. You can drag pages within in this tab to rearrange them or drag one page onto another to nest it. You also use this tab to set the home page.

When you edit New Google sites, you should work from a computer, not from a mobile device. This limitation may change as Google's product matures.

Using Analytics With Your New Site

Collect basic data about how your site is being used. If you don't have a Google Analytics tracking ID, create a Google Analytics account and find your tracking code. Then:

  1. Go to your Google Site file.

  2. Click the More icon next to the Publish button.

  3. Select Site Analytics.

  4. Enter your tracking ID.

  5. Click Save.