Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Sites Features for Better Intranets

Just a quick update on two new features to the New Google Sites!

Iframe
Just use "insert URL" to iframe in content from a website if it is available and secure to do so.

Search
It just popped up. The search icon appears in the top right beside your navigation links. Once clicked, it artfully swipes to reveal a larger search bar.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Custom Domain Mapping - How to Setup New Sites Web Address

It looks like very soon G Suite Admins will be able to setup a custom web address domain for their New Google Sites. According to Google's blog post earlier today, it should be done through the admin counsel and be very similar to the Classic Sites process.

Go to:

  1. admin.google.com
  2. Apps > Google Sites
  3. Web Address Mapping
  4. Add a New Web Address
  5. Include your site's current URL extension, for example, sites.google.com/example.com/newsite , the extension would be newsite
  6. Select a subdomain of a domain or domain alias in your G Suite.
  7. Complete and then handle the DNS Records modications through your domain registrar

Google explained in their blog post introduction that organizations need the option to setup simple web addresses for their Google Sites. You know, so organizations can just refer to intranet.company.com or hub.organization.edu . Of course this not only helps Google Sites intranet users but those who wish to use Google Sites for public websites. But it seems at this point, G Suite is a requirement.

Here are their important notes:
  • For sites that are viewable within your organization only, the link is redirected to the Google Sites URL (such as http://sites.google.com/example.com/mysite).
  • New Sites address mappings automatically provision domain-validated SSL certificates for secure connections. You cannot use other certificates.
  • You may need to wait up to 24 hours to see your changes reflected. This feature is not available for trial domains.
Thanks all. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

New Google Sites Design Examples

Hi All - Kirksville Web Design has been producing quite a few New Google Sites for its clients. Check out some excellent New Google Sites examples for design inspiration.
















Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Google Sites Roadmap - 10 Features from Classic to New

The roadmap from Classic Google Sites to New Google Sites has been eagerly anticipated this year. The Google Suite team provided general goals previously, like a migration tool to transfer to New Sites. Since Classic Sites will shut down eventually (maybe in 2018), we are building all new portals, hubs, intranets in the New Sites application. It is quickly coming up to speed.



1. Migration Tool coming Q4 2017.

Good to hear. No one wants to manually copy and paste hundreds of pages of content from their site.

2. Intranet Search Engine 

A must have. Perhaps this could tap into Google Suite's other search engine technologies that feature search into Drive, calendar, etc.

3. Page Level Permissions, Fine-tuned Access Permissions

A nice have for portals, definitely.

4. Iframes, Markup, Code Inject

This will make a big difference and allow Sites to reach outside the Google ecosystem to bring in all sorts of other third-party content, embedded into Sites.

5. Email Notifications on Updates within Google Sites portal

This is always something that clients wanted, even with Classic Sites. Glad to see it made the list of roadmap features.

6. Improved Organization & Hierarchy for Sites with a lot of pages

Two levels is where Sites currently stands, which is hardly good enough for the multi-level portals we've seen.

7. Customization of Google Sites templates and themes

As Google Sites experts and designers, we would love to see this. Check out the Google Sites we've designed thus far to see what is possible: http://www.kirksvillewebdesign.com/google-sites/new-google-sites and http://www.kirksvillewebdesign.com/google-sites-intranet/intranet-samples

8. More text formatting options

Again, nice to see. Nothing special, but quiet important for getting the right look on your site.

9. Link your domain, web address mapping (public websites? not sure)

This will help bring New Sites up to the same level as Classic. Increasing visibility and access to New Sites.

10. Google Sites API

Anything that empowers developers is welcome!


Overall, these are features for improved team sites, portals, knowledge bases and intranets. Therefore, we see the focus on New Sites as an internal web platform.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Google Sites Promoted as Hub Solution

Intro
Google Next 2017 and a flurry of updates to Google Suite have provided some new discoveries concerning Google Sites. We all know the transition is here from Classic to New Sites, but the vision and roadmap have no been as clear. Will the New Google Sites become the product for the corporate portal, hub and team site? New evidence suggests the answer is yes. Here's why...


Recent Discoveries:
Work hacks from G Suite: a new corporate training regimen (no weights required)https://blog.google/products/g-suite/work-hacks-g-suite-new-corporate-training-regimen-no-weights-required/

This article, published on March 23, 2017, makes a strong case for New Sites as a viable employee handbook, onboarding hub, training center, etc. They even made this cute little gif for us. Obviously team drives create a central place within Google Drive for teams to collaborate and share files. Those pop-in nice and easy within a Google Site. 


They also noted the responsiveness of New Sites for intranets, saying to check it out on mobile, find your materials on the go. The biggest selling point here is the inter-connectivity. You don't have to look outside Google Suite to get this up and running.

It is nice to see some confidence placed into Sites, which is benefiting nicely from all the upgrades to Drive. Then you have Calendars and Forms, which can also live and breath in Sites, making it into an appealing hub indeed.

Virtual Training Hub

Simplify the onboarding process by creating a central training website. New employees often get lost in large or distributed companies, which is why most turnover occurs within the first few months of employment. Create a Sites webpage with all your onboarding and training resources so they can quickly get up to speed and easily find important reference materials in one place.

Google Suite by Product - Google Siteshttps://gsuite.google.com/learning-center/products/sites/

Conclusion
Google Sites is getting more recognition, more promotion as a platform to bring things together. It has done this in the past, but New Sites has more of the spotlight since more capabilities are being added on a regular basis and the gap between Sites and Drive narrows.


Monday, January 2, 2017

Kirksville Web Design on New Google Sites

It's coming together, my new Kirksville Web Design website built entirely on the New Google Sites engine. I'm building my faith that this will be worth investing in. Obviously the sites look great and are quick and easy to build, but the limitations and lacking features make it difficult for these "sandbox sites" to come to life. 

I look forward to the big reveal with you all, and right now I'm doing my part to get ready for when public web address mapping comes out. Google Sites SEO will be a major concern with the New Google Sites though. 

Just so you all know, I'm also building a fair share of Squarespace sites right now. At first I was only building Squarespace sites for Ecommerce, but now it has garnered more of my attention until New Sites is ready for prime time. I simply can't wait and twiddle my thumbs as a freelancer. Don't get me wrong, Classic Sites is still excellent for intranets, but Squarespace is my transitional platform and something worthy of diversification. 

Tell me what you think of my new sites below:



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Google Sites Top Needed Features


Have you played with the New Google Sites? If you have, you may be noticing some missing key features. According to the Google Sites Help Forum (https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/sites/NXcBWrvLq2c) here are some top requests and what the Google Sites team is working on, thankfully:

Publish to a group
Obviously permissions is an important part of Google Sites. You may want to share you site with the whole world or just a small group of associates. Contact groups are nice to share to as well, since that group can be flexible and change.

Customize logoJust text won't cut it for long. We want to brand these sites don't we. I don't exactly understand the need to limit us to a few colors and few fonts. =/

Copy a page/section
Makes sense.

Map to a domainHugely important both for internal usage and external. We want to easily navigate to these sites.

Search within a Site
I don't know why this wasn't built in first thing. This alone will limit us to small project sites. A search engine in Google Sites is essential for finding information on a deep site.

Nest Pages / Deeper Subpages / Better Sitemap Control
Right now you only have top level nav and dropdown subpages. Again, this will keep sites simple & small.
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