Screenshot of a Web page made using Google Sites
|Initial release||February 28, 2008|
|License||Creative Commons or Apache License|
Google Sites is a structured wiki- and Web page-creation tool offered by Google as part of the G Suite productivity suite. The goal of Google Sites is for anyone to be able to create a team-oriented site where multiple people can collaborate and share files.
Google Sites started out as JotSpot, the name and sole product of a software company that offered enterprise social software. It was targeted mainly at small-sized and medium-sized businesses. The company was founded by Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, co-founders of Excite.
In February 2006, JotSpot was named part of Business 2.0, "Next Net 25", and in May 2006, it was honored as one of InfoWorld's "15 Start-ups to Watch". In October 2006, JotSpot was acquired by Google. Google announced a prolonged data transition of webpages created using Google Page Creator (also known as "Google Pages") to Google Sites servers in 2007. On February 28, 2008, Google Sites was unveiled using the JotSpot technology. The service was free, but users needed a domain name, which Google offered for $10. However, as of May 21, 2008, Google Sites became available for free, separately from Google Apps, and without the need for a domain.
In June 2016, Google introduced a complete rebuild of the Google Sites platform. At the time of writing, this is available on a limited trial basis to Apps customers who opt into the trial. On November 23rd, 2016 the rebuild of Google Sites went live to all G App users. The user interface has been updated, with themes that use Google's Material Design aesthetic, the new Sites are based on responsive web design, Google Analytics is now available on new Google Sites to track engagement and you can edit the site collaboratively at the same time.
- Custom Domain Name Mapping — Owners of both personal Google accounts and Google Apps for Business accounts are allowed to map their Google Site to a custom domain name. One must own the domain and have access to change the CNAME records.
- Multi-tier Permissions and Accessibility — There are three levels of permissions within Google Sites: Owner, Editor and Viewer. Owners have full permissions to modify design and content of the entire Google Site, whereas editors cannot change the design of the site. Viewers can only view the site and are not permitted to make any changes to text or otherwise.
- Separation or Abstraction — the custom code can be abstracted to a distinct file
- Reuse — the same gadget can be reused by multiple sites as it is published publicly
- one HTML Box cannot interact or refer to code outside including other HTML Boxes
- Script cannot create another script, image or link tags
- 100 MB of storage (for free account) and 10 GB of storage for Google Apps users
- Limited e-store capabilities, have to use the Google i-store gadget to add a shopping cart, iframe a third-party e-store provider such as Amazon, or use a Google Buy Now button.
- No longer serves .html/.htm Web pages, like Google Pages did. All static HTML Web pages previously hosted on Google Pages can be migrated to Google Sites, but users later attempting to access them, as well as Portable Document Format (PDF) or other migrated files, must download those files in order to view them.
- Sites that are hosted in Google Sites are not available to residents of countries where Google Services are blocked.
Following a regional Turkish court ruling in 2009, all pages hosted on Google Sites had been blocked. It was done after one of the pages contained an alleged insult of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In 2012 the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this a breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Yildirim v Turkey, 2012). However, as of October 2013[update], Google Sites remained fully blocked to users in Turkey.
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- Spot on – Google Blog, November 1, 2006
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- Google Sites Documentation
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- 1 Crown Office Row (2013-01-16). "Turkish block on Google site breached Article 10 rights, rules Strasbourg". UK Human Rights Blog. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
- "Google Transparency Report – Turkey, Google Sites". Google. Retrieved October 4, 2013.