Google Sites and WordPress are two popular web building tools, which offer quite different approaches to the process of website development and are geared towards diverse user categories. The systems, however, have the same mission – to help users build websites, which will feature nice performance and appealing design. It’s quite difficult to compare these two platforms as they don’t have much in common.
When it comes to the choice of the best platform to cover the prevailing amount of users’ needs, it still makes sense to review the must-have aspects of both services. Which of them works better for all user categories? Is there a distinct leader that prevails over its competitor? Or both services work well for the completion of multiple web design tasks?
To identify the most trustworthy and full-featured web building tool, we should now compare each of them in details from the points of view of simplicity, convenience, functionality and flexibility, design approach, pricing policy and customer support options.
A Quick Snapshot:
Google Sites – is a websites builder, which is quite simple to master for all users categories. The system also provides a reliable hosting platform and creates intuitive web building environment. The feature set it offers is quite simple and works well for the development of ordinary websites for everyday use.
WordPress – is the world-known powerful Content Management System, which works equally well for proficient web designers and beginners. Everyone can find the required feature set here to further use it to design a high end project. Millions of websites are powered by WordPress across the globe and many more are currently under construction. What you should know, though, is that WordPress is not one-size-fits-all. The system still implies at least the basic programming knowledge required to reach the desired result. It provides advanced integration options and rich feature set needed to develop websites that really rank high in the search engines.
Thus, Google Sites and WordPress really differ a lot and this is exactly what makes the choice of the best platform a real challenge for most users. Which system has more to offer? Which of them comprises convenience, simplicity and nice performance? Which of them is easier to master in the long run? To answer these and other questions, it makes sense to review these web building tools in details. Let’s do that right away to detect the winner of the comparison.
1. Ease of Use
Google Sites. Working with Google Sites is so simple and quick that even the average user with little or no coding skills can create a standard project in around half an hour here. The system comes with the WYSIWYG editor, which is very intuitive, understandable and easy. You don’t have to be a web design pro to explore and master it with ease. If you are fortunate to have at least basic programming knowledge, then you’ll be able to manually edit your website code to give the project unique design and high end functionality.
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. What you need to get started is a standard free Google account. What also matters a lot here is that Google Sites comes with integrated hosting, which eliminates the need to look for a trusted hosting provider elsewhere. That’s another bonus that makes the website builder easy-to-use and convenient for everyone.
- See also: Google Sites Review.
WordPress. WordPress is a bit more complicated as compared to Google Sites. To start with, the website builder requires preliminary download and installation. This takes more time and effort, even though, the process is not that complex at all. Secondly, this is just a CMS; it doesn’t include ready themes and web hosting. You have to manage these aspects yourself.
If you don’t wish to bother about hosting and integration of external plugins or templates, it makes sense to use a simpler alternative like Wix, for example. This is the all-in-one professional website builder, which comes with integrated hosting, hundreds of mobile-ready themes and rich feature set required to complete projects of diverse complexity levels. In case you still give preference to using CMS, then WordPress works best for this very purpose.
Google Sites vs WordPress. Google Sites is less intuitive than Wix or uKit, 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 website builder is quite easy to use yet it offers a nice feature set to start and manage a quality website. As far as the system is a Google product, it’s tightly integrated with other Google applications and services. Just browse the list to discover the available options and decide, which apps might be a good addition to your project. Thus, the website builder allows using Google Maps, YouTube, Calendar, Hangouts and other apps that will seamlessly synchronize with your website.
Editing website layout is very easy with Google Sites due to the intuitive and simple control panel, which has three tabs providing the required set of features. These are Insert, Pages and Themes tabs. There is also the Layout section here, where you can choose the desired layout for your project. All in all, you can choose from 6 layout options comprising 1, 2, 3 and 4 columns. Having made the choice, you’ll be offered to arrange and fill out content blocks, upload images and posting texts or other desirable content.
Google Sites allows adding the unlimited number of website pages you can further customize and personalize. This can be done in the corresponding “Pages” tab, taking a few minutes only. Generally, you can create different types of pages based on your web design needs, such as announcements, list pages, start pages, file cabinets and more.
When it comes to content uploading, you may pick the desired elements in the “Insert” tab. This is where you may choose and further integrate Images, Text Boxes, files stored on your Drive or those you wish to embed in the manual mode. As to the content types the system offers, you may pick the following elements: Slides, Sheets, Table of Contents, Image Carousel, YouTube, Map, Calendar, Docs, Button, Divider, Forms and Charts. Whatever element you decide to select, you’ll have an opportunity to further customize it with regard to your project focus.
Additionally, the website builder lets you integrate standard elements that contribute to your website performance. These include news feeds, calculators, Google Webmaster Tools or other extensions included into G Suite.
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. It’s up to you to share website access rights with those users you consider necessary. Likewise, you may save the project in the Draft Mode or make it absolutely private. There is also an option allowing you to select certain people, who will have the rights to edit the website.
Finally, you may enable the feature, which prevents other editors from publishing the project without your permission. That’s also very convenient. If you wish to track your website statistics and control traffic fluctuations, Google Sites makes it possible to connect Google Analytics to the project. Awareness of major parameters of your website will help you undertake special measures in case of certain problems.
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.The CMS was initially developed as a blogging platform and, thus, it requires deep coding awareness to create other types of websites. Nonetheless, the system is currently used to launch websites of any type, from blogs and portfolios to complex web stores and community websites – all you need is to use the right combination of plugins.
Fortunately, the system provides the astonishing amount of free and paid plugins, which may be found on the web. Mind, however, that the more plugins you pick and integrate into your project – the more updates you’ll have to make afterwards. This may have negative impact upon your website safety and performance.
After the recent update of the system, it has introduced the advanced Gutenberg editor, which has replaced classic text/HTML editor. The new editor is block-based, allowing users to replace and arrange content blocks on a page in any preferable order. This approach to the web design process has made it similar to that offered by traditional website builders.
Consequently, the innovation has simplified the process of creating websites with WordPress. Those users, who are not satisfied with the Gutenberg Editor for some reason and wish to switch to the old one, should choose and integrate the corresponding plugin, which is not quite convenient and altogether safe.
When it comes to using WordPress, you won’t go without hosting choice. As mentioned above, the CMS does not provide integrated hosting by default and, thus, you’ll need to look for the trusted provider on your own. It’s impossible to avoid this unless you decide to switch to a website builder like uKit, for instance.
The system combines extensive feature set with integrated hosting, which cuts down the web development time without affecting the result. If you still decide to keep working with WordPress, then it really makes sense to use Bluehost. The host is officially recommended by WordPress due to its affordability, functionality, rich feature set and lots of undeniable benefits provided.
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. The CMS abounds in advanced features and it also offers powerful integrations that can bring your project to the brand new level.
Google Sites. Google Sites has a limited set of themes, most of which, let’s face it, are mediocre. What’s more, the website builder distinguishes between the notions of templates and themes, which is one of the system’s distinctive features. “Templates” provide the selection of page types and layouts, while “Themes” are more about website design (that is, the choice of color schemes, images and other related elements).
A user doesn’t have rich design customization options. What you can do here is changing the header image and style, choosing either a stock Google Sites image or uploading the one of your own. The same is about the choice of the color palette and font styles.
WordPress. The Content Management System has a collection of integrated templates, which is available in its dashboard (specifically, in the Design category). However, the number of themes and their assortment is not enough to cover the entire range of users’ needs. This is where the themes developed by web designers from all over the world will be of great help.
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. What you should know about these templates is that they are not altogether safe sometimes. The thing is that you may choose from paid and free designs – there are lots of them out there. Free themes, however, sometimes come with malicious codes that may potentially pose danger to your website. Keep that in mind, when making the choice.
As mentioned above, WordPress has recently presented Gutenberg editor, which, in its turn, resulted in the incompatibility of versions and themes. This means that not all the designs work well with the new editor, which may also have negative impact upon your website performance. For this very reason, the updated WordPress version additionally comes with a standard Twenty Nineteen theme you may pick to develop a worthy project.
Customization of WordPress templates is more complicated as compared to Google Sites, but the result will be worth that in the long run. To give your project the desired look, you can add parallax effects, animations, change website background, layout, font styles and sizes, adjust typography settings, title design etc. It is also possible to customize header, footer, sidebar and other parts of your website.
What’s more, each WordPress template comes with individual settings that allow you to get the most out of your project design. Thus, you can pick and upload logo, create main menu, activate/deactivate widget display options, adjust color palette etc. If you have CSS/PHP skills or web design background, then your chances to create one-of-a-kind website design become much higher. That’s another WordPress advantage that makes it prevail over the competitor.
Google Sites vs WordPress. WordPress is 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 doesn’t have customer support service at all. As a popular CMS, however, it boasts an extensive worldwide user community, representatives of which are always ready to help newbies solve their system-related problems. There are also multiple WordPress video and text manuals, tutorials and guidelines, which are written by experienced system users.
When browsing the web, you’ll also come across hundreds of blogs, YouTube channels and forums that cover all the nuances of working with the system. At the same time, there’s no phone number or email to call for help here and if you have never worked with the platform before, you’ll have to explore and master all the nuances of it on your own. This will definitely take much time and effort, especially when it comes to integration options.
WordPress vs Google Sites. There’s enough information on both platforms on the web. While Google Sites has an official knowledge base and free phone support available in 13 languages, WordPress users rely on independent experts. The CMS has the amazing worldwide user community, representatives of which eagerly share their knowledge and experience with newbies on special forums, blogs, videos, manuals and other sources of information.
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. To get more functionality, you may have to upgrade to one of the G Suite Plans, namely Basic, Business or Enterprise. Their cost constitutes $5/month or $50/year, $10/month or $120/year and $25/month or $300/year correspondingly.
WordPress. WordPress is technically free. However, if you have long-lasting aspirations and plan to develop a full-featured website (or even several of them), you won’t go without plugin/template integration. Hosting and domain name choice is also a must, but it’s still up to you to pick reliable hosting provider and domain that will come up to your niche specialization.
WordPress, however, officially recommends using Bluehost as a reliable, full-featured and reasonably-priced hosting provider. The cost of hosting your website with the service starts with $2.95/mo only, while the feature set you will avail will definitely exceed your expectations. Bluehost offers a bonus domain name and ensures fast page load speed, strong uptime rates, eCommerce features, worthy marketplace as well as extensive SEO and content marketing options.
Google Sites vs WordPress. Both platforms are reasonably priced, in our opinion. What’s more, there is no fixed cost of website development in any of them as the final budget will depend upon the feature set and functionality a user chooses based on the current web design needs and objectives. Google Sites offers G Suite plans to extend your project functionality, while WordPress comes with amazing integration options and implies the choice of hosting and domain name to publish a ready made project.
Google Sites and WordPress are vastly different. Each service has much to offer to the target audience and each of them has individual approach to the process of website development. Which of them, however, provides a more extensive feature set combined with advanced design customization options? Which of them is a more reasonable and trusted solution? Which service prevails over its competitor in the long run?
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 uKit are updated automatically and include hosting, WordPress users must update their software manually and tackle the web hosting issues themselves.
The final choice of the service mainly goes down to a number of factors. These include the type and size of the project you plan to launch, your web design skills, time and desire to learn, budget you are ready to invest into the website development and the result you expect to avail in the long run. If you are pressed for time and need quick yet simple result, then Google Sites might be a good alternative for you. However, if you hope to launch a full-featured project with high end performance and stunning design, then WordPress is definitely the system to go for.
Overview Comparison Chart
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