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The New Google Sites - Beta Testing & Early Adoption

posted Jun 14, 2016, 7:41 AM by Kyle Horst   [ updated Jun 19, 2016, 8:08 PM ]
Big news in the Google Sites world - the new Google Sites is coming down the line. Right now it seems to be in an early adoption phase. My current conclusion is that Google Sites has been simplified. This is an expected turn of events considering Google's refinement of Google Apps service like Google Forms. 

Will Google Sites be the new Wix, Squarespace or like cloud-based application? That remains to be seen. Let's take a look at the information we have via their email news blast announcement and their early adopter sign up page.


A totally rebuilt Google Sites

Google Sites is one of the most popular products among our enterprise customers, and we’ve been working on an update that makes it even easier for employees to share information within their company.

With the new Google Sites, you can build beautiful, functional pages to aggregate and distribute content across your enterprise, optimized for every screen. A new intuitive drag-and-drop design experience supports real-time collaboration by multiple editors, just like in Docs, and offers easy access to all your content from Calendar, Docs, Drive, Maps and more. The new Sites also includes themes and layouts designed to scale and flex to any screen size, so they’re as useful when you access them on the 30-inch monitor at your desk or your smartphone on your commute.


Responsive Web Design
There is a big step towards responsive web design in the version of Google Sites. Images span 100% of the screen size. Fonts respond appropriately with media queries. Break points are ready and navigation looks like it has the classic hamburger menu, though it is hard to tell.


Control Panel
Formerly the toolbar and most popularly the Insert menu. It seems like there is some kind of control dock to add images, urls, drive and other functions. Very interesting, perhaps floating element.


Content Blocks
A popular facet of web design is accenting with blocks of color which span the length of the screen. This was only available in tables before and wasn't the greatest solution. Organization of the Sites would break the mold of their classic layouts. This looks to be the case.


Easy of Use
It looks like the new Google Sites is much easier to use and make look decent. However, the freedom to design however you want seems limited. Is simplification creating more freedom?


Here are the top 5 key facts:
  1. You can apply to this early access program here if you meet the requirements.
  2. Your classic Google Sites will keep running and won't be affected by the new Google Sites rollout. You can still access these sites and keep them running.
  3. You don't have to adop the new Google Sites
  4. You can edit a Google Sites new Site simulatenously, live collaboration similar to Google Docs.
  5. Google Sites will look even better on all devices.