Building your own website may yield lots of problems and frustration, but luckily, there are plenty of tools to bring your vision to reality. Whether you have plenty of time or no time at all, Google Sites and WordPress are some great examples that can help you create a website.
- What is Google Sites?
- WordPress: A Very Powerful Tool, But What Is It?
- What is the Difference Between WordPress and Google Sites?
- Can Google Sites Use WordPress?
- WordPress vs Google Sites: Key Features Comparison
- What are the Alternatives to Google Sites and WordPress?
There are a few different approaches to creating a website. One is to use a simple webpage builder platform, which provides all the necessary tools right on the screen, with drag and drop editors that need no web development experience.
There’s the traditional way of using code, but more conveniently, you can use software called Content Management System. It doesn’t necessarily require code, but knowing some certainly won’t hurt.
Content Management Systems are all-in-one and easy to use, which is the number one reason they’re being selected for quick projects and by corporations. A CMS is multipurpose, and it started solely as a blog posting management software before becoming what it is today, a complete tool to create any website you imagine.
In this article, we’re going to explore a popular versus between Google Sites and WordPress. Both are very different, yet they achieve similar things.
What is Google Sites?
From a newcomer’s standpoint or a busy person’s view, Google Sites is an easy and fast way to set up a website. At first, you might think that we’re talking about Blogger, but in reality, that is a separate tool that we won’t cover here. Google Sites is a neat online tool to get your small business up and running very quickly as it uses static web pages without the need to create a menu or assign posts to a category.
Google Sites aims at everyone who wants to create a professionally looking website in a couple of hours. The user can create a site through templates presented on the first screen and then add text, images etc. All that’s done inside a self-explanatory interface that doesn’t need any experience in building or hosting, as your site will be served through Google’s servers.
With Google Sites, you can create unlimited and professionally looking static web pages with no web development experience at all. Being all web-based, Google Sites also integrates most Google Suite tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Forms, Google Drawings, Google Maps, and Google Keep to make your editing a lot easier. With these integrations, it’s safe to say that Google Sites is meant to be used by small businesses, portfolios, artists and freelancers as it only creates static web pages, an ideal choice for this kind of content.
WordPress: A Very Powerful Tool, But What Is It?
WordPress is a very unique and open-source Content Management System. It gives users the power to create, edit and publish content, and it also has many customization options for creating really enjoyable and good-looking websites. The level of customization is almost endless, and the plethora of themes make WordPress an excellent choice for pretty much everyone.
There are two ways to create with WordPress, which makes it ideal for beginners and expert users. You either create a site from the official website, use the company’s servers for little to no fee, or download the WordPress CMS package file and install it on your web server or on your paid web hosting service. The latter is meant to be used by experts as you will need many extra steps in order to make your website public. The former is the fastest way to create beautiful websites, but you’ll have limitations in terms of the domain name, lack of premium themes and lack of plugins which actually make WordPress unique.
What is the Difference Between WordPress and Google Sites?
These two platforms have some things in common, but they are also very different. At first, WordPress needs to be set up, something that isn’t going to be an issue with Google Sites. The latter will only ask you a couple of questions at the start, and then you’ll have your website ready in practically no time.
While both are considered easy to use, Google Sites takes your website from a vision to reality in a matter of hours because of the all-online structure. The most significant downside of Google Sites is the lack of plugins and any non-Google addon, which is one of the selling points of WordPress.
Can Google Sites Use WordPress?
Google Sites is an online tool that uses a “What You See Is What You Get” editor (WYSIWYG), meaning it has no learning curve, but the engine and the code have nothing to do with WordPress.
The most profound limitation is that with Google Sites, you can only create static pages, whereas in WordPress, you can create categories and assign posts to each one, along with tags that make a blog-style website.
How Do Google Sites And WordPress Stack Up In Terms Of Ease Of Use?
Comparing the two tools, it’s safe to say that Google Sites is the easiest of the two and the simplest option. It requires little to no experience, and it’s ideal for people who want to have a professionally looking website for their small business or themselves in a matter of minutes. With Google Sites, you log in and start creating your own website right away.
WordPress has many things you have to learn to extract the most out of it. The number of plugins and themes is extreme compared to Google Sites, which has a simpler style as it only creates static pages.
WordPress vs Google Sites: Key Features Comparison
Each tool is designed with a different audience in mind. While Google Sites targets inexperienced users, WordPress goes the extra mile by offering more features and customization options right out of the box. To get more, you simply have to install a different theme, whereas in Google Sites you are limited to only some templates.
Simply put, if you want fast results, then Google Sites is the better choice, but if you want to release your creativity, WordPress is the right tool as it offers plenty of themes and plugins to enhance your site’s look. Let’s break down each core component.
Ease of Use
Whether we’re talking about creating the content or browsing the website’s front-end, it all comes down to how easy the site is to navigate and edit.
Being able to complete a project efficiently is a number one priority for most people, especially for businesses, and this is an area where Google Sites excels. WordPress is a powerful tool, but the user needs time to go through all the details before actual work is done.
Google Sites Ease of Use
Google’s attempt is straightforward and requires very little time before you’ll be looking at a finished product. In its simplest form, you need to log into your Google account and start creating from the comfort of your browser.
Start by selecting a site type and a template. Create a new page, add some content like images and text, and make it your homepage. Later, you can add more pages and complete your website.
For example, you can upload media files from your computer or Google Drive, embed some Google Suite into your project and then add some text to finalize it.
WordPress Ease of Use
Let’s say you have installed your WordPress website on your server. Looking at that dashboard can be overwhelming for the first time.
But, once you get the hang of it, you’ll see that it’s not all that difficult, and it gets easier when you learn how everything works and binds together.
By default, WordPress is built with a blog in mind, stacking blog posts one on top of the other. That’s when you use the default theme that comes with it. Go to the Posts from the sidebar and start typing to write your first post. There, you’ll meet Gutenberg, the user-friendly post editor built inside WordPress. Once you have everything you need, click on Publish and your content will go live.
With WordPress, you can create pages, and assign widgets to the themes’ predefined positions. These features take time to learn so it can be really demanding at the start for someone that isn’t familiar with CMS software. Also, WordPress comes with some sample content for you to play around with, like a “Hello World” post, a sample comment, and a sample page. Think of it as a headstart to make your stay more comfortable while you explore this open-source software.
Design and Templates
The look of a website is the alpha and the omega in the digital era. Having a great user experience is pretty much mandatory if you want your website to succeed online and get visitors. Popular search engines and crawlers simply won’t rank your website high enough if your content is not optimized. This covers the design side of things.
Template-wise, both tools have a list of available templates to use, although Google Sites has the back foot in that area. WordPress takes the lead as it’s open source, and generally, you’ll find a massive library of themes and plugins available.
Google Sites Templates
Google Sites has a wide variety of templates to use, but it’s very limited, allowing you to reach a certain basic level. It’s very easy to go through all of them and try which one is the best fit for your project.
WordPress’ success relies mainly on the use of third-party software for plugins and themes. The software has more than 4,800 themes available for free, but only if you’ve installed the software on your web server or on your web hosting service.
And if you thought 4,800 is a huge number, there’s more. Online, there are plenty more themes under the “Premium” umbrella, which means you get more features, plugins, and theme support for your site. Think of it as an expansion that adds functionality and sometimes promises to up your website’s look.
Let’s talk about pricing. Setting up a website is a very time-consuming process, but not only that, it comes at a particular cost as you have to pay for the domain name and the web server that will host your files. And you have to do it on a monthly or a yearly basis, depending on your hosting plan.
While both solutions work well, only Google Sites is the genuinely free option, which brings along many limitations.
Google Sites Pricing
Google’s web building application is completely free, and it’s available if you have a Google account. There’s a free domain option along with that, but there’s no way to get more simply by paying.
Although it’s open-source and free software, WordPress cannot function on its own. Inside the official WordPress website, you can start your own free blog, but this also comes with many limitations.
Moving to a hosting environment means you have to pay for a domain name, for the webserver that will host your site, but moreover, you’ll need to pay for potential themes and plugins to boost the site’s functionality.
Apps and Plugins
The experience of these tools gets greatly expanded with the use of apps and plugins. This area favours WordPress because Google Sites only supports tools from the Google Suite. The latter comes out on top in terms of the time needed to set up an app on a page
Google Sites Apps and Plugins
Google Sites has a limited amount of apps that can be integrated, and they’re all from Google. Most of Google’s suite tools are available to embed on a Google Site, like YouTube and Google Keep, and they can be used as widgets in many areas of your static webpage. The way Google does it is much faster than WordPress, but the limited number of apps is definitely a drawback of this service.
WordPress Apps and Plugins
WordPress is a no-brainer in this field. Through the official plugin repository inside the dashboard, the user can browse tens of thousands of readily available plugins to download on your own website.
In a matter of seconds, the plugin will be available to use.
The support you get from these online tools is crucial, as it means you spend less time troubleshooting and more time making something extraordinary.
Google Sites Customer Support
Google has a support site with editing guides, pictures, and plenty of information for common questions regarding Google Sites. There is no further support through email or a live chat, but the documentation is well written, providing insight into questions that may arise.
WordPress Customer Support
On the other hand, WordPress offers free users an official support forum as well as a documentation database covering many aspects of its CMS. On the official forum, you can ask its users for solutions regarding your difficulties. Given that WordPress is the number one CMS out there, there are countless unofficial forums available online that can probably provide you with a ton of information for your issues.
On the paid plan, users have live chat and email support, which is available 24/7, something to keep in mind if you are just starting out with the platform.
SEO and Rankings
Search Engine Optimization is optimizing the website’s content to improve the traffic from a search engine. SEO optimization is vital to keep the traffic flowing on your website, and without it, your site will probably rank poorly in the search results.
Google Sites SEO and Rankings
Coming from a company that has one of the most popular search engines in the world, Google Sites has a disappointingly small amount of SEO options available.
You can change the page URL and the page title, and you can keep track of your statistics using the integrated tools, although the options are limited to just these.
WordPress SEO and Rankings
WordPress doesn’t have many SEO optimization options out of the box, but the vast plugin repository has some great tools like Yoast SEO or Squirrly SEO, where you can boost your traffic.
There are also free and paid SEO plugins available, with more options to further generate traffic toward your WordPress website. Some of these premium plugins provide further integration with third-party services for monitoring and help by optimizing your keywords as well as other aspects of your site.
What are the Alternatives to Google Sites and WordPress?
Google Sites is a static page-building tool, so the alternatives are quite specific. Services like Wix, Weebly or Squarespace provide the same functionality, and most importantly, they’re all code-free, allowing you to create content right away by dragging and dropping through a WYSIWYG editor.
For WordPress, the alternatives are multiple as well. Joomla! is another open-source software that is available online for free. It’s SEO optimized right out of the box, and it has multilingual support, among many other features. And like WordPress, Joomla! has an online tool to launch your website under its own domain, so you can quickly try this CMS on your own.
There are tons of Content Management Systems available, and Drupal is undoubtedly one more to add to your list of alternatives. It’s considered to be more challenging to learn than WordPress, and finding plugins and themes is trickier. On the contrary, the Yoast SEO plugin is available for this CMS, and it also promises to optimize your search engine results effortlessly. Just like Joomla! and WordPress, Drupal has an open-source back-end framework, meaning it gets most of the help from the community regarding updates and improvements.
Which is Better, WordPress or Google Sites?
In the end, the decision comes down to what project you’re working on. Google Sites is commonly used for small businesses, projects, and any website that requires static content. If you are building a small business website, then a static web page builder like Google Sites is probably the best option as it needs a small amount of time to set up and run.
WordPress is mostly suited for blogs/news websites, eCommerce, solo projects, freelancers and generally everyone who wants to have an online presence. It has a bigger market share, and because it is very versatile and customizable, with a large number of themes and plugins, it’s being used for many projects no matter how big or small they are.