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.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

New Google Sites comes November 9 - Here's what you should do

Google has announced via email that the new Google Sites is coming November 9th, 2016. Here are my recommendations for classic sites users the world over.

Public Websites
As far as I know, and this may change in the release, New Google Sites cannot be mapped to a custom domain. That makes getting to a New Google Site impossible with a nice www.example.com web address. This is a deal-breaker right now until the feature is available.

Intranets
Google has said and it is still the case, that New Google Sites is very basic, only capable of small project sites. Therefore, your large intranets, your functional hubs, your wikis, those just aren't ready to be built in the New Sites. Right now, you can only build pages in two levels. Page & Subpage. Navigation is limited to say the least. Again, this is a major roadblock to large sites. Also, many gadgets just aren't available yet, so if you want extra functions outside G Suite or Awesome Tables, you'll have to wait.

Conclusion
So, I know you might be anxious and concerned about your Google Site, but we have two years to transition. New Sites will be receiving the development it needs to bring it up to speed with Classic Sites. Most of us will want to hang tight, keep using Classic Sites and when the time is right, migrate using the tool forthcoming.

Here is the letter that was sent out for your edification:

Five months ago, we introduced a new version of Google Sites to our G Suite customers through an Early Adopter Program (EAP). Thanks to their feedback, we’ll begin rolling out new Sites to all G Suite customers on the Rapid Release track on November 9, 2016. Scheduled Release will follow 2 weeks later. Please read this email carefully, as you might need to take action to ensure that new Sites works in your organization.

What will happen to the previously existing, classic version of Sites?
Classic Sites will continue to exist in parallel with new Sites as we add capabilities that are similar to those found in classic Sites. Classic Sites and the sites created with it will continue to follow the Sites-specific settings in the Google Admin console at Apps > G Suite > Sites.

Please note:
In 2017, we’ll provide and recommend options to migrate your sites from classic Sites to new Sites.

Beginning in 2018, we’ll send a timeline and instructions regarding the gradual process to shut down classic Sites. The specific date for the shutdown of classic Sites has yet to be set, but we’ll inform you at least one year in advance of the shutdown.

Will new Sites be On or Off by default when it’s released?
New Sites will be On by default when it’s released. It’s important to note, however, that your users will not be able to create or edit sites in new Sites unless you have both Google Drive and Sitesturned On.

How can I turn off new Sites after it’s released?
To turn off new Sites in your organization, you can do any one of the following options:

In the Admin console, go to Apps > G Suite > Sites > New Sites and select Users at my domain cannot create and edit sites.

Turn off Sites entirely.

Turn off Drive entirely.

Important note for EAP participants: If you’re currently taking part in the EAP but do not have classic Sites enabled for your organization, you’ll need to turn on classic Sites if you want to continue using new Sites after its release on November 9.

How will I change the privacy and sharing settings for new Sites?
New Sites will follow the Drive sharing settings in the Admin console (located at Apps > G Suite > Drive). It will not follow the classic Sites sharing settings (located at Apps > G Suite > Sites). If you allow users to publish Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on the web, they’ll also be able to publish sites created in new Sites on the web. If necessary, please make any changes to your Drive sharing settings prior to the new Sites release on November 9.

Thanks for being part of the journey that led us to new Sites. We're constantly working on our technology so that it improves and grows with your team.

Check out the G Suite Updates Blog on November 9 to learn more about this launch. If you have any questions, please contact Google Support or visit the Sites Help Center.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Take a look at the New Google Sites



The New Google Sites is beginning an early adopter, beta like stage. Get information from us on what's new. What is the difference between these two products? Should you choose to make a Google Site in the Classic or New mode?

View the full news article
View the side by side comparison
New Google Sites Early Adopter Program






Wednesday, April 13, 2016

5 Google Sites with Big Colorful Backgrounds

We have been designing many Google Sites these past few months. Kirksville Web Design has a new initiative to always use the responsive web design feature of Google Sites, known as the "Automatically adjust to Mobile" feature. This results in a few design limitations, but a lot of benefits for web property owners, including SEO page rank points. 

As you may know, you have two backgrounds to play with in Google Sites: 1) Background Image and 2) Background Wrapper Image. The wrapper image has a higher z-index, meaning it is layer on top of the background image. You also have background color at your disposal.

We've been designing for a lot of schools lately, which is wonderful. We have a bunch of samples here in this Google Doc. All Google Sites.











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