Blogs‎ > ‎

Moving to Google Sites - Google's Curate's Egg ?

posted 3 Feb 2015, 09:24 by Andrew at Lycom   [ updated 23 Jun 2015, 05:15 ]
I am a simple soul. I like the technology around websites and the internet, but I have no interest in web design per se. Hence, I've been playing around with Content Management Systems (CMS) for years, they get the job done well without lots of (to my mind) tedious attention to which bit of HTML code works in which browser.

Traditionally for me, that centred on Joomla for CMS websites and Wordpress for blogging. However, I find my own needs too simple for a full-blown Joomla setup and  I have fallen out of love with Wordpress. Time was, wordpress was a simple blogging tool, and I loved it. Now, it is taking over as the CMS of choice for driving big websites and I find the complexity of it too much. Moreover, as it rises in popularity it seems to be a prime target for hacking, and woe betide you if you fall behind with your update regime ... 

I have decided to maintain my Joomla knowledge as I think it is the best CMS, but look around for a simpler alternative for my own site. I even toyed with the idea of a Jekyll-based static html site ... but maybe another day.

Then, I remembered my foray into Google Sites when I first took out my Google Apps for Business (as it then was) subscription. Gawd I though it was awful, and I left it well alone. Well, now it has developed a bit, and from a distance I can see its benefits as well as its drawbacks. So, this is my experience.

Pros

  • Tight integration with Google Apps, from 2-factor authentication through to  permissions-based access to edit and view pages
  • Ability to insert various Google gadgets into the site (drive, hangouts, calendars etc)
  • Simple online page editing
  • Reliable and secure hosting, with no requirement for security updates (it is a core Google hosted product)
Cons

  • Most of the design templates are horrible, and there is limited ability to tinker with the site layout
  • The user interface takes a little getting used to! 
  • You can't run ssl on a site hosted under your own domain name 
  • You are limited to the Google supplied gadgets and user contributed  modules 
  • It's a bit out dated, tables for layout, although you can do some limited html editing for div and style etc