Google this week introduced a completely revamped version of its Google Sites enterprise webpage and wiki-creation tool.
The new version of the tool, which Google has previously described as one of its most popular enterprise products, is designed to make it easier for employees to create and share content within the enterprise via team websites.
The tool features a new drag and drop interface for adding text, links, images and other components to a website and for rearranging and resizing elements on the page.
The revamped Google Sites is also designed to let employees work with and insert content from the Google tools they use the most. For example, the refurbished Sites now allows users to embed schedules from Google Calendar, plug in a location from Google Maps or a video clip from Drive.
“You can also insert content from Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms and a live version will be presented within the site,” said Paul Covell, product manager for Google’s G Suite in a blog post. Sites is powered by the same technology as Google Docs. So it enables real-time collaboration on projects including multi-user coauthoring on a project site so team members do not have to contend with issues such as locked pages and usage conflicts, he said.
The revamped version of Google Sites also comes with layouts and themes that are capable of scaling and fitting to any screen size from large screen desktop monitors to smartphone screens. It supports an integrated preview feature that lets developers see how their web page will look like on different screen sizes even while they are editing the site.
Google first announced plans to launch a new version of Sites in June. At that time, the company had said it would test the new features and usability of the tool with a small set of users via an Early Adopter program.
Some of the feedback that early users provided via the program has been turned into new features Covell said this week. As one example, he pointed to a feature that allows users to track site performance via Google Analytics. The feature was added at the request of early users who wanted a way to measure site engagement. Other users wanted more design and site customization options, so Google Sites now gives them the ability to choose between six different themes, Covell said.
Google launched Sites in 2008 as a way to give enterprise employees a way to build project sites without having to learn HTML, CSS or other web programming skills. The company has long touted it as a tool for helping enterprise workers build an intranet, or a team site for managing projects. Other applications that it says the tool is useful for include creating individual profile sites and creating virtual classrooms for posting class notes, homework assignments and other content.