When it comes to content management systems, WordPress is the standard. As of September 2016, WordPress was used by more than 23% of the top 10 million websites, and in total, it powered roughly 60 M websites.
Though popular all over the world, WordPress is not one-size-fits-all. While it’s primarily targeted at those who have at least a basic knowledge of website creation, there are also a number of website creation platforms intended for completely HTML-illiterate users, and Google Sites is one of them.
Google Sites and WordPress have the same mission – to help you build a website, so it’s obvious that the two patforms have some overlapping capabilities. But each has its own approach. Hopefully, this article will help you make the right choice.
#1 Ease of Use
Google Sites. It would take the average computer user 20-30 minutes to build a basic Google Sites website. The system operates in WYSIWYG mode and requires no coding at all.
Google Sites is an all-in-one platform, which means you get everything you need to design, publish and administer your site under the same roof – there’s nothing to upload and install.
WordPress. WordPress is a bit more complex. First, because it requires installation and it’s less fun. Second, it’s just a CMS; it doesn’t include ready themes and web hosting. You have to manage these aspects yourself.
Google Sites vs WordPress. Google Sites is less intuitive than Wix or Weebly, yet it’s undoubtedly easier to use than WordPress. WordPress has a higher learning curve for first-time users, yet in the end it offers more freedom.
WordPress doesn’t offer included hosting and themes, which is both an advantage and a disadvantage. On one hand, you have to administer your hosting yourself, but on the other, you can transfer your website to any other web host at any time, while this is impossible if you use a site builder with included hosting (they can run only on their own servers).
#2 Feature Set and Flexibility
Google Sites. The heart of Google Sites is collaboration. Users can work together on a site just like editing a Google Document, and you always have control over who has access. When you create a new page on your website, its functionality will be determined by the type of a new page: you can choose to add an announcements page, a file cabinet, a web page, a list page or a start page. Each page type comes equipped with its own specific set of features, the announcements, for instance, operate much like a blog.
Since Google Sites is a Google product, it’s tightly integrated with the other Applications, including Calendar, Drive, YouTube, Maps and Hangout, among others. These synchronize with your website seamlessly.
WordPress. WordPress is an open source CMS which means it has a potentially huge set of features. WordPress is highly extensible – you can add various plugins to get the desired functionality.
It’s used to create websites of any type, from blogs and portfolios to complex webstores and community websites – all you need is to use the right combination of plugins.
WordPress vs Google Sites. While Google Sites is primarily used to create intranets and sharing information online with a team of users, WordPress’s technical nature makes it a great choice for any website imaginable.
Google Sites. Google Sites has a limited set of themes, most of which, let’s face it, are mediocre. To make their sites mobile-friendly, users must manually enable the mobile view in the control panel.
WordPress. Given its open source nature, new WordPress themes are designed and added to the official and third-party libraries on a daily basis, so you get a wide range to choose from. Also, you can hire a designer to draw a custom theme.
Google Sites vs WordPress. WordPress it the clear winner here. There are thousands of themes to choose from out there.
#4 Customer Support
Google Sites. There’s a help center containing numerous how-to articles. You can also contact one of the experts by sending your feedback right from the control panel. There’s also free phone support available in 13 languages.
WordPress. WordPress has a huge community – you will find hundreds of blogs, YouTube Channels and forums dedicated to this CMS. But there’s no phone number or email to call for help.
WordPress vs Google Sites. There’s enough information on both platforms on the web. While Google Sites has an official knowledge base, WordPress users rely on independent experts.
#5 Pricing Policy
Google Sites. Google Sites is a free app that comes with the Google production suite. If you have a Google email, you can start building a website using this account. As a free user, you get 100 MB of site storage. Paid Google Apps users get 10-100 GB, depending on the plan.
WordPress. WordPress is technically free. But you’ll have to pay for your web hosting, your theme (if paid) and plugins (if paid).
Google Sites vs WordPress. Both platforms are reasonably priced, in our opinion.
Google Sites vs WordPress: Conclusion
Google Sites and WordPress are vastly different. Google Sites is a simple all-in-one platform for creating intranets, microsites, personal pages and landing pages. It can’t be used for eCommerce, large websites and websites with custom designed themes.
WordPress is a professional CMS that’s used to create any type of site, thanks to its flexibility. But just like any feature-rich software, it has a less user-friendly interface, and it takes a while to learn how it works. While SaaS services like Google Sites, Wix or Weebly are updated automatically and include hosting, WordPress users must update their software manually and tackle the web hosting issues themselves.