|Initial release||February 28, 2008|
The declared goal of Google Sites is for anyone to be able to create simple web sites that support collaboration between different editors.
Google Sites started out as JotSpot, the name and sole product of a software company that offered enterprise social software. It was targeted mainly at small-sized and medium-sized businesses. The company was founded by Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, co-founders of Excite.
In February 2006, JotSpot was named part of Business 2.0, "Next Net 25", and in May 2006, it was honored as one of InfoWorld's "15 Start-ups to Watch". In October 2006, JotSpot was acquired by Google. Google announced a prolonged data transition of webpages created using Google Page Creator (also known as "Google Pages") to Google Sites servers in 2007. On February 28, 2008, Google Sites was unveiled using the JotSpot technology. The service was free, but users needed a domain name, which Google offered for $10. However, as of May 21, 2008, Google Sites became available for free, separately from Google Apps, and without the need for a domain.
In June 2016, Google introduced a complete rebuild of the Google Sites platform, named New Google Sites, along with transition schedule from Classic Google Sites. The new Google Sites does not use JotSpot technology.
- Responsive design of the new themes.
- Domain name mapping – owners can map their site to a custom domain name.
- Drag and drop editing – page elements can be dragged-and-dropped, and arranged automatically on a grid layout.
- Levels of permissions ("owner", "editor", and "viewer").
- Automatic multi-level menus.
- Integration with Google Drive, Google Maps and more.
- Design and edit a website layout.
- Classic Google Sites third-party gadgets extensions are not supported anymore.
- No support for Google Apps Script.
- Very limited styling options, no support for custom CSS.
- Cannot host Google AdSense ads.
Classic Google SitesEdit
- Owners can map their site to a custom domain name
- Access permissions
- Page templates
- File attachments
- HTML source editing
- Separation or Abstraction – custom code can be abstracted to a distinct file
- Reuse – the same gadget can be reused by multiple sites as it is published publicly
- Limited e-store capabilities, have to use the Google i-store gadget to add a shopping cart, iframe a third-party e-store provider such as Amazon, or use a Google Buy Now button.
- Sites that are hosted on Google Sites are not available to residents of countries where Google services are blocked.
Following a regional Turkish court ruling in 2009, all pages hosted on Google Sites were blocked in Turkey. It was done after one of the pages contained an alleged insult of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In 2012 the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this a breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (Yildirim v Turkey, 2012). The ban was lifted in 2014.
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- 1 Crown Office Row (2013-01-16). "Turkish block on Google site breached Article 10 rights, rules Strasbourg". UK Human Rights Blog. Retrieved 2013-06-15.
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