From the search engine giant, here comes the free website builder Google Sites for building new websites. Since it is from google, you can be sure to easily network your site to other google services such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google+. Unfortunately, in order to make it possible google provides the same theme to all the sites. This may not be desirable for everyone who would like to create a new website.
The greatest advantage of using a Google created site builder is definitely the easiness to integrate other google products to your site. Let’s consider that you are looking for a personal site where you need to include everything google like a Gmail link, a Google calendar, Google map, YouTube links etc. Google Sites is the answer to you. However if you are looking forward to create a diversified publicly viewable site, then go for other free website builders.
Signing up is easy as like any google products. You can login using an existing google account or create a new one. Once you login, you need to pick a template – Blank, Classroom site, Soccer Team or browse through the millions of templates created by google users. Then name the site to automatically create a site link. Then select the functions that you would like to add to the theme which is very user friendly. Once it is done, enter the captcha and select Create Site button.
Once the website is up and running, you are left with a very basic interface to create and design pages. Most of the buttons are not marked. The only way to see what the buttons are for is by hovering the mouse pointer on top of these buttons which reveals their label. There is also a More button which expands to display settings related to Adsense, Templates, Attachments and more other options.
The page editor is not advanced. It is just a plain word processor inferior compared to the ones provided in other website editors. One feature that stands out is the ability to drag and drop contents from WebPages and from Word Processors. But once the content is inside, there is not much modification that can be done on the text.
Splitting the page into columns and tables is pretty easy. You also have the option to edit HTML codes to some extent, but there is no complete freedom. You can even insert your Adsense code in one of the columns created on the sides.
Final Verdict: Google Sites is sort of okay, if your only intention is to dump some google content somewhere and share other information among a small circle. But if you are looking for a professional looking, flexible and functional site, then go for other options.