Google Sites vs. WordPress

On Sep 2010,  said:

As a long time user of Gmail, I naturally turned to the almighty Google in the search of solutions. And behold – my saviour was Google Apps. E-mail services from Google for my own domain was set up in no time. In fact, all this took about ten dollars and two hours of my time and I had it all set-up and configured. Ok, first part of the problem solved.

The second part, the web site, is still under progress, but converging to a solution (as we techies sometimes say). Google offers site hosting for free, they have a simple site builder and some templates/themes. So, behind the scenes I sketched up a simple web site, which turned out to be exactly that – simple. But I wanted simple and good-looking website. At this point I learned the old truth: If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

So, I quintupled my initial investment, abandoned Google Sites and signed up for a web hosting elsewhere. I have managed to set up a simple and better looking website using WordPress CMS (stand-alone version of the same engine of this very blog). My e-mail is still with Google, meaning that my initial 2 hours investment was not wasted. And I am now working my way towards my initial goal: simple and good-looking website. I am still on my two-week trial and things are looking promising for the host-candidate.



On 01 March 2009, Posted by Eyal Sela:

If you’re thinking of setting up your own personal Website or blog, or considering using one as a collaboration tool for you team, using WordPress or Google sites must have crossed your mind. These two platforms has some overlapping abilities but they actually suit for totally different uses. Here is a review of WordPress and Google sites that will help you choose the right platform for your needs.


WordPress logoWordPress is an open source blog tool and publishing platform. It is the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world.

Google sites

Google Sites logoGoogle Sites is an online application for easy creation and sharing of webpages. It allows you to gather information (such as videos, calendars, presentations, attachments, and text) in one place and share it for viewing or editing with others.


First time setup

you do not have to know code to use WordPress, but first time installation might be difficult if you do not know how (or have someone to help you) to create a database and use FTP. ‎ Google Pages First time setup is as easy as the day to day use, and include about ten mouse clicks. No code or behind the scenes files to move or change.Note that you can use, which is a service, just like Google sites (that means that you do not host it on your server). In this case, setup is as easy as in Google Sites – you only need to sign up.

Google Sites - create new site screen

Content management

in WordPress, authoring and file sharing are done form the control panel. So if, for example, you want to share a file, you will have to go to the control panel, upload the file and then add a link to it in the desired page. In Google Sites, on the other hand, you only need to go to a page and upload the file as an attachment or click “edit” to change the text. That feature makes Google Sites suitable for daily operations of documents and information management and WordPress for publishing of more carefully edited posts and pages.

Pages functionality

In Google Sites You can choose one of five types of pages – regular web page, dashboard, announcements, file cabinet, or list. Each of them has different functionalities, such as file uploading and sharing, overview of information, data listing, and information sharing (such as news, status updates, or notable events).WordPress offers only regular web page, besides the default page where blog post are published to (although you can build custom web pages using PHP).

Ease of use

both platforms are easy to use, but Google sites is easier for first timers since it is more intuitive. WordPress’ control panel might require some accommodation until it can be used to its full strength.

WordPress - control panel


with hundreds of themes available and the ability to change them (using code) makes WordPress based websites beautiful and flexible (examples: networksolutions,ridgewoodprep and biggovhealth). The exact opposite is true with Google Sites – only few pre-packaged themes are available, with limited changes possible to the layout and look of elements. That makes even Google’s own example sites (Team projectEmployee profileStudent clubClassroom) look simple and unprofessional, design-wise.


WordPress has numerous and ever growing number of plugins to improve the site’s functionality, management, monitoring, design, and more. Adding them is easy, but might require you to use FTP, and for small number of plugins, to edit code. Google Sites doesn’t have any extensions of that kind, but it is possible to embed content (video, Google Docs documents, spreadsheets, presentations, Picasa photo slide shows, iGoogle gadgets).


The key feature of Google Sites is its collaboration abilities. You can decide who can watch the site (Viewers), change it (Collaborators) or manage it (Owners). Collaborators and owners do not need to have a Gmail account to make changes, but will have to go through a short registration, to get a Google account (with their current email). WordPress collaboration abilities are much more limited. Although it allows similar levels of management privileges, its central content management and lack of pages functionality make it suitable for multiple authoring, but not more.


Although both platforms can grant collaboration permission, the ease of use in Google sites and collaboration abilities make it suitable for team work and collaboration; Its easy setup and limited design makes it suitable for small personal sites (but not if you’re in the Internet business) or group participation like in friends club­ and the like. WordPress is great for “regular” websites thanks to its design, extensibility,‎ and also high level websites that requires code and advanced design and functionality. And, of course, it is a wonderful blogging platform. Look at the table below to see at a glance the differences between Google Sites and WordPress.

Use WordPress Google sites
Extended functionality with ‎plugins/gadgets or coding Limitless poor
Users can share files ‎ X V
Messages and lists X V
Ease of use V V
Single-click page creation V V
No Coding required V V
Free V V
non-blog content management ‎ V V
Users can be invited to ‎collaborate V V
themes ‎ V V (few)‎
Users can comment ‎ V V (with ‎permission)‎
Beautiful design V X
Blogging abilities V X
Users can register V X



Continue research: database and script with Google Sites and


2 thoughts on “Google Sites vs. WordPress

  1. Pingback: Day 3: Setting Up for Portfolios « SHS InfoPro 2013

  2. Pingback: Day 4: Setting Up Your Portfolio Presences « SHS InfoPro 2013

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