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What’s New, Google Sites?

Written by Thao Mai


I’ve used Google Sites for a few years now as my class website and students’ digital science notebook.  There are a lot of positive things about Google Sites that keep me coming back.  However, the Classic Google Sites (old version), is not very user-friendly or visually appealing.  It looks outdated and maybe that’s why it’s not very popular.  Recently (November, 2016), Google released a new version of Google Sites that is drastically different than the classic version.  Below are some of the reasons for me to explore New Google Sites and created something to use with my students this year.


Drag and drop interface

You can now drag and drop items to your Sites.  Rearranging items on your site is much easier and faster than before.  Just click on an item and drag it to the spot on the page that you’d want.

Pre-designed templates

Having a list of templates to choose from might alleviate work for some people who do not want to spend too much time designing a site.  This can be a bad thing if you want to customize your site’s template, as this is not available at the moment.

Insert from Drive

Inserting items from Drive is a lot easier with the side menu bar.  You can also embed Google Calendar, Map, or YouTube quickly on your site.

Add collaborators

Just like any Google Docs, you can add collaborators (other teachers or students) to edit the same site.  This is helpful if you team teach or if students are working on a group project via New Google Sites.

Responsive templates

New Google Sites can be viewed using different devices.  The screen will automatically adjust to fit the device accordingly (tablet, phone, chrome book, etc.)

New Google Sites is in no way perfect.  There are a lot of features available in Classic Sites that New Sites currently do not have.  However, I do believe that it’s worth checking out if you want a basic website that is easy to create, navigate, and use.  Google will continue to work on adding more to New Google Sites.  Eventually, you will have the option to transfer content from Classic Site to New Site.  For now, I would keep using Classic Site

For an example, you can check out my class website HERE.                                      For a video tutorial/overview of New Google Sites, click HERE.

About the author

Thao Mai

Science teacher in AUSD, explorer, and life long learners.