Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Wait is Over! Set your Sights on the New Google Sites

The wait is finally over - the New Google Sites is being released to all users over the next month.

G Suite users on the Rapid Release Track have access to the new sites today (November 9th), while all other users will gain access on November 21st.  Under the Rapid Release Track, a G Suite domain administrator can turn this on so users get new features as soon as Google releases them to public consumer users.

I have had the opportunity to be a part of the Early Adopter Program (EAP) and am super excited that everyone will now have the opportunity to create simple, effective and beautiful sites in no time at all. The EAP is a program Google does for many of its new products and is open to G Suite domain administrators on a first-come, first-served basis. To sign up for the EAP for new product releases, it is recommended to follow the official G Suite Updates blog. You can also sign up for email updates at the same site.

Here are the first steps in creating your New Google Site:

The New Landing Page:

Looking a lot like our Google tools landing page, our sites landing page allows you to sort and organize your sites to your liking.  With one click of the red + you begin building your new site.

New Site

Just like Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms, we can name our Google Site by editing the text in the top left hand corner (a).  The name of our site can change, just like our other G Suite tools and it will not affect the unique URL for our site.

There is a second spot for our site name (b), like Google Forms, to show the creator what it will look like on our published site.  The two are connected and just requires a click inside the textbox to populate the name.

Like our other favourite G Suite tools, the New Google Sites saves changes automatically and saves in your Google Drive.  Yes, you read that correctly; your site is now in your Google Drive and follows all of the same sharing properties as your other G Suite tools.


Whether you choose from the Gallery images or remove an image altogether, you have the power to customize the banner of your new site.


There may not be hundreds of themes to choose from or templates to copy, but the New Google Sites allows you to pick from six unique themes, with 5 colours in each and 3 font styles for each.  If you do the math, that provides you with 90 options.  

Many may find these themes restricting but I found that with limited options I make strategic choices to ensure consistency and simplicity.

Adding Elements

The new Google Sites focuses on integrating our current G Suite tools seamlessly into our sites. The quick add menu in the top-righthand corner allows creators to add in a textbox, images, URL’s or upload their own items from their computer.

To add in our G Suite products, many creators will use the menu below:

Adding New Pages

Continuing the theme of simplicity, to add a new page to your Google Site just click on Pages at the top of the right hand menu and click the circular button, add the title for the page and click done.

Want to reorder your pages and create child pages?  By clicking and dragging your pages within the menu, your new site has the ability to be as dynamic as you.

Publishing to the Web

When the blue Publish button is clicked, the creator has the ability to choose the URL address and determines who they can publish their website to.  Clicked on the wrong group?  Don’t worry - just click on the drop-down menu and change your selection:

Geeky Tip: Headers and Titles

As you create the site, you will notice that all elements are contained within a rectangle. Within each rectangle the creator is able to organize elements horizontally but not vertically.

There are guidelines in each rectangle to help guide your size choices. Creators are restricted to these sizes but that helps to simplify each webpage design. The guidelines are consistent throughout each page and each rectangle ensuring all of your elements line up perfectly!

What Others Are Saying

Rosalinda Jaimes and Michele Osinski, also known as the Tech Fairies (@TechFairies2), out of Temecula, CA, made their own New Google Site, TechFairies at the Summit this weekend!  Here is what they have had to say:

Donnie Piercey, a 5th Grade Teacher & Tech Integrator for Eminence Schools in Eminence, KY uses the New Google Sites to host all of his EdTechTeam Summit resources. Donnie shares:

Next Steps

Can’t wait to learn more?  

RSVP for our live Q&A and demo when the New Google Sites is released on November 21st to all users at 3pm Pacific/7pm Eastern. You can also catch Lisa Thumann on Google Education on Air: Meet the NEW Sites live on Dec. 3rd!

Emily Fitzpatrick
Director of Professional Development 

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