Interestingly enough, Google has two different website hosting options. Blogger, which is a direct competitor to WordPress.com more than WordPress.org, is focused on publishing content, and Google Sites, which is a more direct alternative to sites such as Wix and WordPress.org, where you build a website based on a project or a portfolio or even an event. When looking at WordPress vs Google Sites, we have to take into account that Sites is definitely an alternative to the CMS (content management system) elements you get in WordPress.
WordPress hosts are plentiful, but there are a few, such as Cloudways and SiteGround, that offer awesome features at a very reasonable price. In this article, we’ll take a head-to-head look at WordPress and Google Sites, breaking down their intended users, customization features, ease of use, SEO, flexibility, and extensibility.
WordPress vs Google Sites: Who Are They For?
WordPress is for everyone. Really. It has elements that work for just about everybody with every kind of site. If you need an event site, there are events calendar plugins that help you run it. If you want a blog site, that’s what the platform is based on. E-commerce? WooCommerce has you covered. As the platform has evolved into a full content management system, so too has the demographic the software can appeal to. You can run simple, single-page websites as well as major sites with hundreds/thousands of pages that get millions of hits. It scales well, too.
However, the downside to this is that it requires a bit of initial learning from users and then tweaking to make sure that the site looks and performs the way you want it to.
Google Sites, too, is aimed at everyone simply by the fact that it’s an included part of the Google family of apps. However, rather than being aimed at everyone for everything, it’s aimed at everyone who needs a simple website for anything at all. When you set things up initially, you will choose a template and type of site (or a blank one), which then turns into a simple front-end page builder where you enter your own information.
The customization and flexibility in Google Sites vs. that from WordPress aren’t great. However, the simplicity and lightweight efficiency that comes from the service make it a great option for anyone who needs a one-off website or a simple, static web presence.
Which Is Best For Customization?
One of the elements that nearly every website owner gets caught up with is site customization. Finding just the right layout, the right design, and the right color palette is imperative to website success. However, depth and ease of customization vary by platform, and the need for those varies 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 is all about customization. With its entire structure being based on extensibility through plugins and themes, you really have endless choices for your sites. That can be a little overwhelming, too. What is the best theme? Which security plugin works the best? Do I even need one?
There are so many options for every single kind of feature that you may have a hard time choosing. That’s okay. While there is definitely a learning curve here, it’s hard to make a bad decision. The cream definitely rises to the top on the WordPress.org plugin and theme repositories, and anything you need to add to your site should be able to be found at the top of most simple searches.
If you are looking for a no-code design solution, WordPress has an arsenal powerful of page builder plugins and themes (like Divi) that allow you to build complete websites using a visual drag-and-drop builder on the front end.
Sites, on the other hand, is a straightforward tool that doesn’t have nearly the depth of customization that WordPress does. What it does offer in customization, though, is simplicity and ease of use. If you know what kind of site you’re going to build, you have a choice of templates for your site. They are basic foundations but professionally designed.
Whichever one you choose, the customization options are directly in front of you. A page builder loads and all of the options that you get are visible from the start. In general, these are aesthetic and design choices, meaning that you won’t be able to add features and utilities as you do with WordPress.
As you can see in the image above, the interface is clean and easy to use. You can add text boxes, dividers, buttons, images, and so on. Each of these has its own customization options. Some, such as text boxes, only have basic formatting (bold, italics, alignment, etc.), while others, like the header and navigation, get a more diverse range.