Tag Archives: Google Sites

Additional tools for managing the transition from classic to new Google Sites

What’s changing 

In 2017, we announced that we would replace classic Sites with new Sites, and in 2019 we announced that domains will have until the end of 2021 to complete the transition. Important note: Starting May 15, 2021, website creation in classic Google Sites will no longer be available. Visit the Help Center for more details on the Classic Sites migration. 


To help Admins and end users manage the transition to new Sites, we introduced the Classic Sites Manager in 2020. Recently, we’ve added several new options to the Classic Sites Manager to help you and your users manage the transition from classic Sites: 
  • Super Admins can now delegate admin-level Classic Sites Manager access to other users in their organization via a new assignable privilege, allowing them to do things like assign site owners or convert websites to the new Google Sites experience on behalf of their end users 
  • Admins and site owners can now bulk delete and restore sites within the Classic Sites Manager 
  • Admins can now bulk update ownership of sites from within the Classic Sites Manager 


See below for more information. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 


Why it’s important 

We hope these new options help admins and their end users navigate the transition from classic Sites to new Sites. 


Admins can delegate admin-level access to the Classic Sites Manager to the right people within their organization, allowing them to view all classic Sites and determine which migration actions need to be taken (convert, delete, assign site owners, etc.). 


With the addition of the delete bulk action in the Classic Sites Manager, admins (or delegated admins) can quickly remove any sites that are no longer relevant within their domain. End users will be able to remove any sites they own. Once a site is deleted, a user or admin has 30 days to restore it before it is permanently deleted. 


For sites that have no owners, admins (or delegated admins) can now use the update owners action to assign ownership of sites to a point of contact in your organization who can best advise on whether the site should be deleted or converted to new Sites. 


Additionally, sites can be converted to the new Sites experience using the Classic Sites Manager, with the option to export a filtered view from the Classic Sites Manager to Google Sheets for record keeping or further analysis. 

The Classic Sites Manager can be used to convert, delete, restore, and assign ownership of sites within your domain.




Getting started 



Rollout pace 

Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, and Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers 
  • Not available to Google Workspace Frontline customers 


Resources 

Google Vault now supports Google Sites

What’s changing

Google Vault now supports new Google Sites. You can use Google Vault to set retention policies for Google Sites, perform searches of Google Sites data, and export Google Sites content. If you already use Vault to hold Google Drive files, sites files will now be covered by those holds. You can set Sites-specific retention rules if you want to manage sites retention.

Who’s impacted

Admins

Why it matters

This provides you with expanded control over your organization’s data, and can help you meet regulatory or legal obligations for your Google Sites data.

If you have Drive retention rules set to purge data after a retention period, sites will be purged according to those rules.

Getting started

  • End users: There is no end user setting for this feature.

Rollout pace

Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains: Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) starting on April 27.

Availability

  • Available to Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, and Nonprofits.
  • Not available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter and Business Standard customers, and G Suite Basic customers.

Resources

Google Workspace Admin Help: Supported services and data types
Google Help: Google Vault Help

Reminder: Website creation in classic Google Sites will no longer be available starting May 15, 2021

What’s changing 

As previously announced, we are replacing classic Sites with new Sites. All Google Workspace customers will have until the end of 2021 to complete this transition


We’d like to remind you that starting May 15, 2021, users will no longer be able to create new websites in classic Google Sites. We recommend that you turn off site creation in classic Sites for your domain before May 15, 2021. 


Note that the timeline for this transition varies for users with personal Google accounts — see the “Getting Started” section below for more details.


Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 


Why it’s important 

If you haven’t already, we strongly recommend enabling new Sites creation for your users today, to ensure all newly-created websites use the new Google Sites. If you want your organization’s classic Sites content to continue to be viewable without interruption, make sure all of your existing classic Sites are migrated by December 31, 2021.


Admins should also review the remaining transition timeline and take any necessary action: 
  • Starting May 15, 2021: New website creation will no longer be available in classic Sites. This means that any new websites created in your organization will only be in new Sites. 
  • Starting December 1, 2021: Editing of any remaining classic Sites will be disabled. 
  • Starting January 1, 2022: When users try to visit a classic Site, they will no longer see the website content. Any remaining classic Sites will automatically be: 
    • Downloaded as an archive and saved to the website owner’s Google Drive. 
    • Replaced with a draft in the new Google Sites for site owners to review and publish.

We anticipate the transition process for all remaining classic Sites that starts January 1, 2022 will take one to three months to complete. You’ll receive a notification once this is completed for your domain. During the transition period, you and your users will still be able to take action on remaining classic Sites. Visit the Help Center for more details on the Classic Sites migration. 


If you don’t take any action, the changes outlined in the transition timeline above will automatically be applied to your domain. Use our Help Center to learn more about the transition from classic Sites to new Sites.


Getting started 

  • Admins: Follow the disable creating classic Sites instructions to turn off site creation in classic Sites before May 15, 2021. This change will help ensure all newly-created websites are using the new Google Sites experience. 

    • Use the Classic Sites Manager to help your users make the transition. Using this console, admins can: 
      • View all classic Sites in your domain with the option to export to Google Sites for project management. 
      • Convert, archive, or delete your websites. 
      • Bulk delete and restore sites within the Classic Sites Manager. 
      • Bulk update ownership of sites from within the Classic Sites Manager.

  • Google Workspace end users: Users need to transition from classic to new Sites according to the timeline outlined above. Learn more about how to use the Classic Sites Manager tool, or visit our Help Center to learn how to convert a classic Site to a new Site

Availability 

  • Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers.
  • Available to users with personal Google accounts.

Resources 

Customize text style and appearance in Google Sites

Quick launch summary 

You can now adjust text size, color, font, spacing, and more while typing in a text box in Google Sites. This significantly expands control over how individual words, paragraphs, pages, and sections look. We hope this will help you make your site look and feel just the way you want it to. 

In 2021, we will add the ability to create themes, which will allow you to easily set fonts, colors, and styles across your whole site. We'll announce on the Google Workspace Updates blog when that's available. 


Getting started 

  • Admins: There is no admin control for this feature. 
  • End users: This feature will become available automatically. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to change how your site looks


Rollout pace 

Availability 

  • Available to Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, as well as G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers 

Resources 

Timelines and tools for transition from classic to new Google Sites

What’s changing 

In 2017, we announced that we would replace classic Sites with new Sites, and in 2019 we announced that domains will have until the end of 2021 to complete the transition. Now, we’re providing a more detailed timeline, as well as new tools to help you and your users manage the transition. 


Timeline to fully transition to new Sites by end of 2021 

Here’s a detailed look at the expected timeline for the transition from classic Sites to new Sites: 
  • Currently available - Classic Sites Manager, a tool which can help admins and users manage the transition to new Sites. See more details below. 
  • Starting August 13, 2020 - New Sites will become the default option for website creation. See more details below. 
  • Starting May 2021 - New website creation will no longer be available in classic Sites. This means that any new websites created in your organization will only be in new Sites. 
  • Starting October 2021 - Editing of any remaining classic Sites will be disabled. 
  • Starting December 2021 - When users try to visit a classic Site, they will no longer see the website content. Any remaining classic Sites will automatically be: 
    • Downloaded as an archive. 
    • Replaced with a draft in the new Sites experience for site owners to review and publish. 

We’ll announce more details on each of these stages on the G Suite Updates blog over the course of the transition. Use our Help Center to learn more about the transition from classic Sites to new Sites


Enable new Sites for users today 
If you haven’t done so already, we recommend that you enable new Sites for all user groups that don’t already have access within your domain, and disable creation of new classic Sites. This will help reduce the number of classic Sites which get created and then need to be migrated. Your users will still be able to view and edit existing classic Sites as needed. Use our Help Center to learn more about turning on new Sites for your users


New Classic Sites Manager tool now available 
A new tool, Classic Sites Manager, is now available. It provides a view of your classic Sites, the ability to export a summary to Google Sheets for project management, options to convert classic Sites, and take bulk actions to archive or delete sites. Currently, super admins will be able to see and manage all classic Sites in their domain, and users will be able to see and manage classic Sites they own. Use these guides to learn more about how to use the Classic Sites Manager tool: guidance for G Suite admins, guidance for end users.

  
New Sites the default option starting on August 13, 2020 
Starting August 13, 2020, new Sites will become the default option for website creation. This means that if you have both classic Sites and new Sites enabled, when users go to sites,google.com, they’ll be redirected to sites.google.com/new. From there, users can see and manage new Sites, as well as create sites with new Sites. Users will still be able to use classic Sites easily by clicking the “back to classic Sites” button on the new Sites homepage. 


Who’s impacted 

Admins and end users 


Why you’d use it 

Since launching new Sites, we’ve listened to and incorporated your feedback, and top requests are now included in the new Sites experience. These include: 
  • Admin permissions that allow you to control your users’ ability to edit and create sites within your domain. 
  • Section layouts and pre-built templates that let users create websites with fewer clicks and less site creation expertise. 
  • Version history that allows users to see their edit history, revert and restore previous versions, and review the history of who made changes. 
  • New tile types that let users be more expressive with website content, including a table of contents, image carousels, collapsible text, and more. 
  • Custom URLs and publishing to an audience that let users share their website content. 
As a result of these improvements, new Sites offers powerful features and a simple user experience so users can create websites without designer, programmer, or IT help. For example, you can learn about how customers are using Sites to support remote work and learning. Use our Help Center to learn more about how G Suite admins can use the new Google Sites


Getting started 

Admins: 
  • New Sites default: This change will take place by default if you have both classic Sites and new Sites enabled. You can turn new Sites on or off for users at the OU or group level. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to enable new Sites
  • Classic Sites Manager console: Use our Help Center to learn more about the Classic Sites Manager and plan for your transition using this migration guide
End users: 

Rollout pace 

New Sites default: 
Classic Sites Manager tool: 
  • This feature is available now for all users. 

Availability 

  • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google accounts. 

Resources 

New features for Google Sites: Templates, announcement banners, and access for children with Google Accounts

What’s changing 

We’re adding three features in new Google Sites (sites.google.com/new):

  • Site templates - Quickly and easily create high-quality sites optimized for common uses. 
  • Announcement banners - Highlight important information to make sure site visitors see time-sensitive updates. 
  • Access for Family Link accounts - Enable users with Google Accounts managed by Family Link to view and edit sites. 

See more details below, or see our Cloud Blog to post to see how Sites can support remote work and learning.

Who’s impacted 


  • Templates and announcement banners: All site owners and editors. 
  • Access for Family Link accounts: Site editors and viewers with Family Link accounts. 

Why it matters 

We hope these new features make it easier to create and use sites, especially as our customers deal with the impact of COVID-19. For example, announcement banners can help businesses quickly communicate important information to customers. Using templates to create high-quality sites without requiring design or coding skills can help educational institutions and businesses enable remote learning and workings. Overall, we hope the enhancements make Sites a more useful tool to share information across dispersed audiences.

See our Cloud Blog to post to learn more about how Sites can support remote work and learning

Additional details 


Site templates 
For this launch, we’ve built 10 templates for common site uses, available in 16 languages. With one click, you can start a site suited for a specific purpose with a professional look and feel. Then, you can customize the site to make it your own. Examples of sites that templates will make it easier to create include:

  • Help centers: Help users learn how to use new tools and resources, for example tools to enable a remote workforce or remote learning for students. 
  • Project sites: Help colleagues or classmates collaborate on a project remotely. 
  • Class or team sites: Have a centralized place for team resources and information. 
  • Club sites: Enable students to continue club activities while remote learning. 
  • Small business sites: Keep customers informed about your business, like your restaurant or design services, while they’re social distancing. 

We’re building more templates and working to make templates available in more languages. You’ll see more templates for common business sites added to the available options in the next several weeks. Use our Help Center to find more information about using templates in Google Sites.

Announcement banners 
Created based on customer feedback, announcement banners help site owners communicate timely, important messages to visitors. They display information in a banner at the top of the site, grabbing viewers’ attention when they land on the page. Ways that customers can use banners include:

  • A business administrator at a large company can add a banner to an employee resource site to highlight newly added pages and information in the larger site. 
  • A small business owner can add a banner to alert customers of changing operating hours or business practices. 
  • A teacher can add a banner to a class site to notify students that a new assignment has been posted. 

Use the Help Center to learn more about how to add an announcement banner to a site.



Access for accounts managed with Family Link 

Until now, users with personal Google Accounts managed with Family Link have not been able to view or edit sites. To help increase access to valuable resources, we’ve made it possible for Google Accounts managed with Family Link to view public sites, and view and edit sites that are shared with them.

While personal Google accounts managed by Family Link can now access Sites, students with G Suite for Education accounts should continue to use their school accounts to log in and complete schoolwork in Sites and other G Suite services.

Important note:  This only applies to sites created with new Sites. Personal accounts managed by Family Link will still not be able to view or edit sites managed with classic Sites. Use our Help Center to learn more about using Google Sites with Accounts managed with Family Link.

Getting started 

Admins: These features will be ON by default. There are no admin controls for them.

End users:  These features will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to create a website from a template or add an announcement banner to a site. Note that parents can use Family Link to restrict websites or permissions if their child is using Chrome on an Android device or a Chromebook, and may have to allow their child to see your site.

Rollout pace 

Site templates: 


Announcement banners: 


Access for Family Link accounts:

  • Already available to all users. 

Availability 


  • Available to all G Suite customers 

Resources 



Roadmap 


Edit your new Google Sites faster with a revamped Settings menu

Quick launch summary 

We’ve made some improvements to the “Settings” menu in new Google Sites. Specifically, we’ve consolidated the location of several settings into one place, making it easier for site editors to access and configure different options for their sites.

For example, you can now now add a favicon to your site by going to Settings > Brand images. Or, to add Google Analytics tracking to your site, go to Settings > Analytics.



We’ve also given site editors the new option to hide anchor links from site viewers on a published site. Currently, anchor links appear by default when site viewers hover over headings on a page. With this new setting, found in Settings > Viewer tools, site editors now have even more control over how a published site looks. Visit the Help Center to learn more about using anchor links in new Google Sites.

Getting started 

End users:

  • Settings menu: The new Settings menu will be available by default. In the “Resources” section below, you’ll find a list of features that can now be accessed in the Settings menu.
  • Anchor links: Use our Help Center to learn more about adding or disabling anchor links in new Google Sites

Rollout pace 




Availability 


  • Available to all G Suite customers 


Resources 


Review the latest changes to a new Google Site before publishing

What’s changing


Before publishing changes to your new Google Sites, you can now compare the currently published site with the soon-to-be-published draft site in an annotated, side-by-side view.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

When a site has multiple collaborators or many pages of content, it's sometimes difficult to track what changes have been made and to review and evaluate updated content. With ’Review changes and publish’, you can easily examine changes made to a draft site since it was last published.
 
Changes are displayed in an annotated, side-by-side visual comparison.  For example, you’ll see:

  • Who most recently changed each page and when
  • Pages that have been added, moved, or deleted
  • Page content and layouts that have been changed
  • Other site-wide changes such as footer and title, theme, and navigation changes 

With more complete information, you can confidently publish your content, or return to your draft site to make further revisions before publishing.

How to get started

Additional details

You’ll automatically be prompted to “Review changes and publish” on every subsequent publish after a site is initially published. You can turn this feature off on a per-site basis; use our Help Center to learn more.

Helpful links

Availability

Rollout details
  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on January 14, 2019
G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be ON by default and can be disabled on a per site basis.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Embed Cloud Search in your new Google Sites

Quick launch summary

We’re adding a Cloud Search integration in new Google Sites. Site editors can now replace in-site search with Cloud Search, or add an always-open Cloud Search box to the header, body, or footer of the site itself.




Adding Cloud Search to your new Google Sites will give site viewers more powerful search, allowing them to find content across other Google Sites as well as other G Suite content. Search results are available to the site viewers directly from within the new Google Site itself.



Site editors can use our Help Center to learn more about using Cloud Search in new Google Sites.

Admins will be able to configure what data sources they want Cloud Search to search over using the “Google Sites Search Application”. The Google Sites Search Application will become available from within the Admin Console in late January. We’ll update this blog post once it begins rolling out.


 Availability

Rollout details

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions who have Cloud Search enabled.


On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default for users with Cloud Search permissions enabled.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

View the version history of a new Google Site

What’s changing

We’re starting to add version history for sites created in new Google Sites, a highly requested feature from our site owners and editors. 

Version history will roll out over the course of 2020 for both users creating new sites as well as for previously existing sites. Version history will be gradually enabled on a user-by-user basis for newly created sites, while a separate rollout will enable version history for previously existing sites. We anticipate:

  • By March 2020, all users will have version history enabled for newly created sites
  • By the end of 2020, most existing sites will have version history enabled


Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

Version history allows site editors to easily:

  • Revert to previous versions of a site
  • Restore deleted site content
  • View the history of who has made changes to a site

How to get started


  • Admins: No action is required, as this feature will be available by default for newly-created sites once it rolls out to a user. Rollout will not be on a domain basis — it will roll out to newly created sites on a user-by-user basis and to existing sites on a site-by-site basis. Not all of your users will get access to the feature at the same time. 




Additional details

How can I tell if version history is available for my site?
You’ll see “Version History” as an option when you click the overflow (three-dot) menu when editing a site or when you select “All changes saved in Drive” from the top menu bar.


Will version history be available for existing sites?
We’re introducing version history gradually for existing sites over the course of 2020, and we anticipate most existing sites will have version history by the end of the year. 

Because of changes required to bring users this feature, version history will become available site by site for existing sites and per user for newly created sites. So, until this feature is fully rolled out, users may have version history for some sites, but not others. 


If a user who has version history enabled creates a new site, will other editors have access to version history on that site?
Yes, once a site has been created by a user with version history enabled, other users who are editing that site will be able to access the version history of that site.


When does version history start collecting and storing site content changes? 
Any changes made before version history is available will not be stored. Changes are only logged once the feature is available for that specific site.


What qualifies as a “newly created” site?
Any site created from the Sites home screen, Google Drive, or sites.new is considered a newly created site and will have version history once the feature is available to the site creator.

Converting a site from classic Google Sites to new Google Sites or creating a copy of an existing new Google Site does not qualify as a newly created site.

Helpful links



Availability

Rollout details

Newly created sites:
  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
We’ll update this post when the rollout for newly created sites is complete.

Existing sites:

  • We anticipate that most existing sites will have version history by the end of 2020. We’ll update this post once rollout begins and once rollout is complete. 

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches