Google Sites Vs WordPress: 4 Key Differences

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When you’re ready to build a new website, one of the first things to decide is what tools are the best ones for the job. And there’s no better way to figure that out than by comparing two popular website-building solutions, Google Sites vs WordPress, side-by-side to see which one best answers the bell.

Interestingly, the Google platform has two completely different website building options. One is called Blogger, which, as you may have assumed, is for building simple blogs. However, Google Sites more closely resembles the way Wix works, only in a simpler form.

Google Sites allows you to build your own website for a portfolio, project, event, business site, non-profit, and more. While it’s not a CMS (content management system) like WordPress (more on that later), it is a high-level alternative to one.

In this article, we’ll compare Google Sites vs WordPress in full detail. By the end, you’ll know which website-building solution is best for your project.

Let’s take a look.

In this article

    1. Google Sites vs WordPress: Who Is Each One For?

    Let’s be real: WordPress really is for everyone. Research has shown that around 410 million users view over 15 billion WordPress pages each month. That’s a lot of eyes you could potentially attract when building a WordPress website. The free and open-source platform contains elements that anyone, running any kind of site, can easily employ and put to use.

    Do you want to run a blog or magazine-style site? That’s exactly what the platform was originally based on when it was launched almost 20 years ago.

    How about an event site? There are dozens of different plugins that will help you run it as professionally as possible.

    Looking to get into eCommerce? The free WordPress WooCommerce plugin will give you everything you need with one simple download and installation.

    While originally a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into a complete CMS. And as that’s happened, the platform has appealed to a wider and wider demographic of website owners.

    In fact, currently, over 40% of the world’s websites are powered by WordPress.

    WordPress gives you the flexibility to run simple, one-page sites as well as major sites with complex functionality and millions of users.

    It scales incredibly well.

    The only downside to using WordPress is that it will require an initial learning curve when you first get started. But once you’re familiar with the platform, you’ll be able to fully unleash its power on your site.

    Google Sites is also tailored to as many users as possible. Being a part of the Google family of apps definitely gives the service a lot of visibility.

    However, unlike WordPress which can be used by any website owner for anything they can imagine, Google Sites is targeted toward everyone who needs a simple site that they can get up and running quickly.

    With Google Sites, when you initially get set up you’ll be able to choose a template and site type. Then, you’ll be directed to a simple and straightforward front-end page builder where you can enter your specific information.

    Truthfully, the customization ability of Google Sites vs WordPress is pretty minimal. However, the lightweight efficiency and simplicity that it affords make it a good option for people who need one-off sites. Just keep in mind the limitations as you plan for your business growth.

    google sites vs wordpress

    2. Customization Options

    Almost every website owner wrestles with the process of site customization. But it’s extremely important to find the best layout, design, and color palette if you want to be successful.

    The issue is that ease and depth of customization widely varies based upon the website-building platform you use. WordPress and Google Sites both offer their own degrees of customization and do it in different ways.

    Depending on the site you plan to build, either option may be the one for you.

    However, depth and ease of customization vary by platform and the need for those vary from site to site. Both WordPress and Google Sites offer customization, only in different ways. Depending on the kind of site you’re building, either one could fit the bill.

    WordPress Customization

    The WordPress platform is built on the ability to freely customize your website. It allows you the flexibility to release creative ideas for brand awareness, income flow through membership sites, and so much more. Its entire structure is built upon extensibility through the use of themes and plugins that give you endless options and configurations for your site.

    When you first start out, the unlimited number of site configurations may be a bit overwhelming. Because there are so many people involved in the community, there are quite a few options available. Finding the right one doesn’t have to overwhelm you. Start with something simple, powerful, and free.

    Is Kadence Theme the best theme to use?

    As a non-tech person, my answer is definitely a loud and emphatic, “YES!” Kadence Theme makes website building so simple even a content writer can do it. But from what I hear from developers, the answer would be, “YES!” The power of the Kadence Theme wrapped up with the speed it brings to the website makes it an excellent choice for working wonders with client development as well.

    What are the best SEO plugin and page builders?

    When it comes to developing strong SEO, the landscape is constantly changing. Although Yoast has firmly planted the flag into SEO territory, plugins like Math Rank are staking out their claim as well.

    Which WordPress security plugin will keep your site fully locked down from potential hackers and malicious attacks?

    WordPress is the most used, which means that hackers will be on the prowl. Protecting your website, your content, and your users have to be an essential part of your design plan.

    What is the best WordPress backup plugin to use?

    Get the bonus content: 10 Things People Get Wrong About WordPress Site Backups

    Nothing hurts as much as losing your entire website, and without a backup plan that is what can happen. Whether it happens because of a hack, a technological failure, or a natural disaster, you want to make sure that if something happens you have a plan in place to let you rebuild fast.

    The truth is, with WordPress, there are so many different options for every possible feature that it can be difficult to choose. While there may be a small learning curve while you figure out what tools to use on your WordPress site, rest assured that the cream rises to the top on the WordPress plugin and theme repositories.

    There’s a good chance that anything you’re looking to add to your site will be found near the top of most searches.

    And if you know how to code, you’ll be able to dig in even more by adding and altering your site’s:

    • HTML
    • PHP
    • JavaScript
    • WP core files

    If you don’t know how to code, it’s no big deal on WordPress. After all, that’s what the theme and plugin developers are already doing for you with the tools they make available.

    Just remember that it may take a little research, trial, and error to land on the perfect fit for the site you’re creating.

    Google Sites Customization

    Google Sites is quite different from WordPress when it comes to its customization abilities. Basically, it doesn’t have anywhere near the number of customization options that WordPress has.

    However, what it does offer in customization is ease of use and total simplicity.

    If you already know the type of site you want to create, you’ll be able to choose one of their basic, yet professionally designed, templates to get you started.

    And no matter which one you go with, all of the available customization options will be right in front of you. You’ll see a page builder load, and all customization options available to you are visible from the beginning.

    Remember that with Google Sites, these are mostly design and aesthetic options, meaning that you can’t add utilities and features like you can in the WordPress platform.

    You’ll notice right away that the Google Sites interface is easy to use and very clean. You can easily add:

    • Text boxes
    • Dividers
    • Images
    • Buttons
    • And more

    Each will have its own unique customization options. A text box, for example, only has basic formatting (italics, bold, alignment, etc.). Others, such as navigation and header, give you a more diverse range of formatting options.

    You’ll be able to easily add Google Analytics for tracking your site traffic, a custom domain (that you can buy from anywhere, including Google Domains), and your brand logos. 

    Beyond that, you just need to drag and drop the different site elements along with the page when you’re ready to start designing. Google Sites has a built-in grid that you’ll be able to follow during this process. You won’t be able to place elements anywhere you’d like, but the platform will make sure you place them where they work.

    3. Google Sites vs WordPress: How Easy Is Each One To Use?

    When you choose the platform you want to build your site on, it’s important to take into account your expertise level. In other words, if you’ve never built a website before, Google Sites will probably appeal to you because it’s so simple to use.

    But WordPress has made major strides in recent years to become as user-friendly as possible. 

    WordPress Ease-of-Use

    For new users, it can be a little intimidating to log into the WordPress dashboard for the first time. Absorbing all of the information in the sidebar menu items and widgets can seem like a lot.

    Some users may even find themselves paralyzed and not know where to begin.

    But using WordPress isn’t that difficult. In reality, it’s actually quite intuitive once you start learning how everything works. The learning curve can be somewhat steep for some, especially when you consider how many different ways a WordPress site can be customized with plugins and themes.

    But outside of the plugin and theme universe, posting and editing on WordPress is quite simple. The new Gutenberg editor that WordPress now uses makes it even easier.

    Using the Gutenberg editor, users can now:

    • Add any elements or blocks they want
    • Individually adjust the options for each block
    • Publish

    Basically, everything is now right at the user’s fingertips.

    Context menus are also very simple to navigate. And a quick search of the available blocks gets you where you want to go right away.

    There can be a learning curve for some when it comes to learning WordPress, but the great news is you have a wealth of information and support available through the community and training opportunities like those offered through iThemes Training.

    Google Sites Ease-Of-Use

    The platform is ultra-simple to use from the moment you sign up. Of course, being so easy to use means that the overall options and power of the platform are quite limited. If you’re comparing Google Sites vs WordPress in terms of power, it’s not a close competition: WordPress is the clear-cut winner.

    But using Google Sites couldn’t be easier to use.

    Starting out, you’ll see a sidebar with very simple options, such as:

    • New Page
    • New Link
    • Make Homepage

    You’re able to make any page you create a subpage of any other page. You can also take it off the header navigation or create a copy.

    Additionally, the Google Sites elements feature a simple, content menu with every option you need available at your fingertips. All you have to do is double-click on the element you want.

    When you do, the element will pop us and allow you to do:

    • Upload media
    • Adjust text
    • Ad images
    • Add media from Google Drive
    • Create embeds

    And all of it couldn’t be easier to do. The platform functions in such an intuitive manner that you shouldn’t need to reference much of their documentation to figure out how to use it. In fact, for simple websites, Google Site is probably the website builder to use because it is so easy.

    4. SEO, Extensibility, and Overall Flexibility

    When you look underneath the hood of Google Sites vs WordPress, what you really want to know is what everyday use and utility will be like as a site owner.

    Will you be able to expand your site down the road? Can you actively optimize your site’s content to rank better on the search engines?

    Here, we’ll look at how Google Sites vs WordPress stack up for the everyday user.

    WordPress Flexibility

    As previously discussed, WordPress is flexible and customizable enough to power any website you can imagine. From blogs to eCommerce, WordPress has you covered.

    You can even use WordPress to create membership websites and online courses using the Restrict Content Pro plugin.

    The tools inside WordPress are very powerful, but the ecosystem of plugins makes the flexibility of WordPress limitless.

    When it comes to SEO (search engine optimization), WordPress is the champion. The top SEO plugins to use include:

    • Yoast SEO
    • Squirrly
    • Rank Math

    There are many others to choose from.

    These plugins will give you options to optimize your meta-data, schema, and site maps so that you get the best possible results from web crawlers.

    If you plan on creating new content on a regular basis, such as an ongoing blog, and want your blog posts and articles ranked as highly as possible on search engines, WordPress is your best choice.

    Google Sites Flexibility

    Google Site is much more limiting than WordPress. Yes, it does have an easy-to-use static website builder, but it doesn’t have any kind of ecosystem for plugins.

    However, you do have access to Google’s entire suite of products that you can use on your site.

    Additionally, Google Sites can’t be used to publish blogs. But it can be linked to Google’s Blogger platform. You’ll just need to open an account there as well.

    It’s also not possible to create an eCommerce store on Google sites. Your best option is to embed the code from one of your Shopify pages. Of course, that would mean that you need to build your product offerings with Shopify first.

    But for simple, straightforward sites, Google Sites is the way to go. Anything that requires custom functionality, you’ll want to choose WordPress.

    In the world of SEO, Google Sites is a huge letdown. Even though it’s a Google product, the SEO and meta-data options just don’t exist. If your plan is to rely on organic search results as the main traffic driver to your site, you’ll definitely want to avoid Google Sites.

    But the websites you can create on Google Sites are great for pages that you plan on distributing to a small audience and you don’t need a lot of traffic.

    Some of the best Google Site websites are for:

    • Community information and updates
    • Product information pages
    • Internal business websites
    • Branding
    • Weddings
    • Personal portfolios
    • One-page websites

    Any of these would be perfect to build on this platform.

    Google Sites vs WordPress: Which One To Choose?

    Google sites and WordPress target two completely different audiences.

    Google Sites is a great platform for simple websites that can be set up in a few minutes without any hassle. If you’re completely inexperienced with building simple websites, Google Sites is perfect. It’s incredibly easy to use and intuitive.

    Of course, it’s not extensible. You’ll quickly hit the limits of Google Sites once you start using it. But for what it is, the Google Sites platform is a great tool that does what it promises to do.

    WordPress is the best tool for most website creators. It has a robust platform and a lot more extensibility with the plugins and themes you can choose from. You can do almost anything you can imagine with the WordPress CMS. You just need to take the time to learn it, tweak it, and set everything up.

    If you’re an experienced coder or even a brand new website owner, you’ll definitely get everything you need from WordPress. The tools are there, and all of the support and documentation are available with a few simple web searches. WordPress is a powerful platform with an amazing (and invested) community.

    With great themes and tools, like Kadence Themes and Kadence Blocks, your amazing website is now easier to create through WordPress than ever before.

    Get the bonus content: Getting Started with WordPress

    google sites vs wordpress

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