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Google sites…some of you might be wondering if that’s even a thing. Turns out, it is. Google has a slick little DIY website builder tool that’s hardly ever mentioned.

I’ve successfully used Google sites for a handful of reasons over the years as a freelancer. 

It’s a surprisingly good tool to showcase portfolio pieces on the fly. It’s a great DIY website builder for people who get easily overwhelmed and need less options to stay focused. 

I’m also a big Wix fan, though. (I know, I can hear the Wix haters booing me in the background). 

Wix helped me earn over 100k in my first year as a freelancer, so I’ll sing its praises all day if I want to, thank you very much. 

So, let me help you answer those questions with my comparison.

Who wins in the battle of Google Sites vs Wix?

Ultimately my answer will be a lot of “it depends”. 

I definitely have strong opinions and real-world experience with both Wix and Google Sites, so you can trust me. 

Plus, I legitimately use both sites in my current arsenal of tools and I always prefer product reviews and honest comparison posts written by people who’ve actually used the product. 

Google Sites vs Wix Templates

If we were just to compare Google sites to Wix based on templates, Wix will win hands down. Wix has over 800 “designer-made” templates. And it shows, they’re really pretty.

You could easily pick any of the Wix templates and hit publish and look like a business rockstar.

Scrolling through Wix templates you can quickly navigate through different categories. The templates are highly personalized and thought-out by Wix, which is a huge timesaver.

  • For example, if you’re a musician they will serve you templates that have built-in Spotify or SoundCloud integrations.
  • If you’re a Business Consultant, you’ll see themes with a crisp, clean layout and a contact form front and center.
  • They even have CBD website themes. Wix is clearly on-trend in terms of what’s emerging in ecommerce and startups. 
  • Even if you have a website you’re currently building, there are even beautifully designed ‘coming soon’ landing page options to use prior to launch.
Is WiX or Google Sites the Better Website Builder

Google Sites Template Selection

As for Google Sites, the template selection is much lower at around 14 designs at the time of writing. 

But you actually have more options than you realize. What I like about Google Sites is that you can choose an overall design and then tweak the theme within it.

Themes are pre loaded colors and fonts that you can apply to your overall design with one click. It’s awesome to have this one-click feature so you can “try on” different looks for your site before you determine what fits your brand or goal.

These are the buckets that Google has themes for

Work

  • Event
  • Help Center
  • Project
  • Team

Enterprise

  • Portal

Small Business

  • Dog Walker
  • Holiday Party
  • Photo Portfolio
  • Restaurant
  • Salon

Personal

  • Portfolio

Education

  • Class
  • Club
  • Student Portfolio

Based on these theme categories, you can tell Google Sites has a focus on Work, Corporate, and Education. However, I think it’s cool they have some small business designs in there, portfolio options, and even a dog walker. These can be versatile. 

  • The photo portfolio Google Site theme is really striking. I could see this being useful for a photographer, freelance writer, freelance illustrator, or even a musician. 
  • The Salon Google Site theme is great right out of the box, too. You could easily grab this template, add your content, and have a professional small business website within an hour. 

I want to state this again – sometimes having fewer options is very good. Google Sites has a very lean and streamlined set of themes to choose from, and I believe that is by design.

They know what they’re doing and why they created Google Sites. It’s meant to be a very simple, easy-to-launch website builder. It doesn’t need to have hundreds of glamorous themes to accomplish its goal.

Custom Domain Name

Wix Domain Names

If you’re starting a business, you must have a custom domain name. I know it’s tempting to use the free domain like mysitename.Wix.com but it’s not professional. 

When I’m in a hiring mindset, I always appreciate when someone takes the time to set up a custom domain for their website. To me it shows initiative and a sense of pride in your business (even if you’re a solopreneur).

Google Sites Domain Names

The Google support page outlines the process to hook up a custom domain name very clearly.

In a comparison of Google vs. Wix for custom domain names, each one can do it.

Mobile Accessibility and Mobile Design

At this point, more people access websites from a mobile device than from a desktop computer. So whatever website builder you choose, it MUST look perfect on mobile.

Mobile Features on Wix

According to their website, “Wix automatically creates a mobile-friendly version of your site for you. From your desktop, you can edit your mobile site using the mobile Editor.”

Also note that you don’t have “multiple versions” of your site. 

According to Wix, “The desktop and mobile versions of your site represent different viewing modes of the same site; they are not separate sites. Changes to your desktop site affect your mobile-friendly view, while changes to your mobile site do not affect your desktop view.”

This can be a little confusing so make sure you focus on editing your site in the regular Wix Editor and then doing a mobile specific Edit after. 

In my experience using Wix hands on, their mobile Editor is pretty good. Usually it takes what you’ve designed and puts it into a good looking mobile layout. Sometimes things look a little wonky when you compare your desktop design to mobile, but that’s just how it goes. 

Wix’s mobile Editor also lets you hide things on mobile if they’re only applicable to a desktop viewer. This can be handy when you have big graphics or elements that just don’t work on a mobile device. 

Mobile Features on Google Sites

Google Sites are also automatically created with a mobile and tablet view as you create your site, just like with Wix. I think that Google Sites does an amazing job of creating a mobile version of your site that looks clean and easy to use/read. 

As you’re creating your Google Site you can quickly toggle between desktop, tablet, and mobile view. 

You don’t have a ton of customization options if you want to tweak things specifically in the mobile view, but I think that’s sometimes better in the long run. It can be a lot of custom work (and rabbit hole time spent) trying to customize each view of your site. 

Google Sits vs Wix Integrations 

Wix Third Party Integrations 

A big part of choosing the best website builder is the integrations. Wix has been around for so long that they’ve had time to build a comprehensive library of integrated plugins and features. What this means for example is if you use a third party service for email, chances are that provider can hook into Wix and integrate easily. 

When things integrate well, it just saves time.

  • Blogs
  • Membership areas
  • Payment processors
  • Lists
  • Social shares
  • HTML and custom code
Wix vs Google Sites

Some are free while others have additional costs whether one-time or monthly. Integrations for other applications you use can provide the convenience of things being all in one place. Wix can merge your email templates from Mailchimp or your QuickBooks account.

Google Sites does not allow for add-ons to the sites created on their website builder. This could be a setback depending on the needs of the business. However, Google Sites will allow the integration of other Google applications.

Google Sites “Gadgets, Scripts, and More”

Google refers to its addons as gadgets, scripts, and more. Whether you call integrated features widgets, add ins, or gadgets, the sentiment is the same. It refers to the ability of your website builder to play nice with other third party apps.

Google knows integrations are important. “You can customize your site by adding links, scripts, gadgets, app content, and other features.”

Google has a built in list of components to add to the site like 

  • YouTube
  • Calendar
  • Map
  • Docs
  • Slides
  • Forms
  • Charts

Custom HTML and Embed Options on Google Sites

And if there’s something you really need to add to the site, Google Sites has an option to “embed”. You can embed a link. Or you can embed custom HTML. I haven’t toyed with that feature much, but I’m sure it could get you what you need if you absolutely need to embed HTML code. 

Elements and Uploads

Wix Elements and Uploads

Different elements of a website can be added to bring the website together to provide all the content you intend. Wix allows almost endless elements.

You can think of an element as anything from HTML code to a PDF to a video or image. Other common Wix elements are forms, videos, videos, GIFs, music streaming modules, calendars.

One of the most useful element features for me as a freelancer is the ability to upload PDF documents to showcase my writing samples.

Google Sites Elements and Uploads

As stated above Google Sites has limited add-ons with an emphasis on its own Google applications. With the custom HTML embed option, I bet you could do a lot though. For example, I think a musician could add a custom music player. Or an online coach could embed a ConvertKit form. 

Overall your third party elements are more limited on this website builder, but I still think you can do what you need. 

Is WiX or Google Sites the Better Website Builder

Website Capacity

Wix Website Capacity

Depending on the needs of your website will determine the capacity that’s best for your business. I’m thinking if you’re considering Wix vs Google Sites you probably don’t need massive enterprise level capacity which clearly these sites can’t support. 

It’s good when using a website builder to at least make sure you know how many pages you will need. 

For Wix accounts, they have different pricing plans ranging from a professional portfolio website as little $14 USD a month to enterprise plans that require a quote from staff. 

There is a free version of Wix but allows only up to a 500MB capacity. The other plans offer different amounts of storage up to 50GB. The space allows for various web pages which is important especially to support ecommerce businesses.

Google Sites Website Capacity

Google Sites has a smaller capacity unless you have a G Suite account with them. Personal Google accounts are roughly 100MB per site while G Suite accounts are unlimited.

Is WiX or Google Sites the Better Website Builder

Each site allows for custom coding for more personalization. Wix has experienced feedback about duplicate CSS. HTML code is available on both platforms but not required to create sites. It is just an option but the ease of use has been the priority of these website builders. 

Security

Wix Security and SSL

Security has to be a consideration for everyone researching a website builder. If you’re starting an ecommerce site for example, you may be dealing with peoples’ sensitive information like credit card numbers. In that case, it’s absolutely crucial to feel confident that your website is safe from hacking and any other nefarious stuff that happens online.

From a security standpoint, Wix offers good protection. Wix has included SSL certificates.

Wix has enough history to know what not to do with security and they also have enough money to hire top cybersecurity experts to stay on top of ever-evolving threats. 

Google Security and SSL

On the other side, Google Sites is on the most advanced platform in the world – Google. They have incredible technical prowess. The only thing to consider with Google Sites is that it can be easily shared, like all Google products, which makes security slightly more of a question. Google Sites also has SSL included to protect users accessing your website.

Usability with Google Sites vs Wix

Each site allows for custom coding for more personalization. Wix has experienced feedback about duplicate CSS. HTML code is available on both platforms but not required to create sites. It is just an option but the ease of use has been the priority of these website builders. 

Security on these platforms offers good protection. Wix has included SSL certificates to protect websites against hackers and more. Google Sites also has SSL included to protect users accessing your website.

Price

Both Wix and Google Sites offer free plans. Google Sites is primarily free unless you decide to use a custom domain and third party hosting.

Wix Price

Google Sites Price

Blogging with Google Sites and Wix

As we detailed above in the template section, Wix has rich features for bloggers. But what about Google Sites for blogging?

You can definitely blog with a Google Sites setup. I wouldn’t say that it’s really meant to be a blogging platform, so you might find it to be limited in features, but it’s possible.

I would say to think about how you would be blogging. Some people just want to do stream of consciousness, digital journal-style writing. That’s awesome, therapeutic, and either Wix or Google could get you there.

If you’re trying to create a blog as a business with ad revenue, email subscribers, and major exposure, I’d opt for a Wix site.

Wix vs Google Sites Drag and Drop

Wix used to have the edge on all other website builders with its drag and drop editor. I know that’s what initially drew me to Wix. I am such a visual person, that I wanted full control over where all my website elements were. Wix offered a drag and drop editor that was fast and pretty creatively satisfying.

Now, other sites like Showit have a drag and drop tool so it’s less novel. Even WordPress is in the drag and drop game with their new Block Editor which is much more visual and entry-level friendly.

Does Google Sites have drag and drop? Somewhat. It’s more of a components-based editor, but you do get to build it pretty visually the whole way. You choose the element you want and drag it over from the side to your Google Sites page. In all, it’s absolutely a breeze to use, and foolproof. With Google Sites you really can’t mess things up.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes choosing the righ website builder can seem like the most monumental decision. But I’m here to urge you to just pick one. Go with your gut. And if you find that you change your mind, I give you permission to pick a different website builder. 

What I don’t give you permission to do is to stay stuck when you have a good business idea, a freelance dream, and a desire to get the heck out of your 9 to 5. 

Considering the features of each website builder, my suggestion is that Wix is the better option. The features can be more suitable for a growing new business. There are other website creation tools out there but if you would like to have a more frugal option, go with the Wix platform.

Google Sites vs Wix, TL;DR and FAQs

How do I convert Google Sites Classic to New Google Sites?

You may have dabbled in the Google Sites in the past, and have a Classic version of a Google Site created. You will need to convert it to the new version. Google gives very good instructions on this. 

Here’s a recap:

  1. Navigate to Google classic Sites.
  2. On the left-hand side you will see and click Classic Sites Manager. 
  3. On the right-hand side click Conversion tool.
  4. If you want to share this site the same, just keep the same permissions and click – “Share with the same people.”
  5. Click Start.
  6. Be a little patient if you have a large site, it can take a bit of time. 
  7. Click Continue.
  8. To review your new Google Site, you can click Review draft.
  9. Note if you have a new domain name you plan to use, you will need to click “Advanced – Disconnect”
  10. Almost done. Publish your new Google site by clicking “Publish” in the upper right of the screen. 
  11. This is where you can set the new domain name for your new Google Site.  
  12. Click Publish.

Is Wix a ripoff?

Not by a long shot. As I mentioned, I started my entire freelancing career with a Wix website. It helped me look legitimate to my first Upwork client. Then a cascade of referrals and good choices later, that Wix website made me over 100k. So no, Wix doesn’t suck, it’s not a ripoff, and you can disregard all the hate Wix gets.

Is Wix good for making websites?

Yes, it can be. If you make the right choices upfront. You need to decide what your goals are with your site right off the bat. If you want a website that can withstand millions of visitors daily with insanely good technical power and SEO within the first year, I don’t know maybe Wix isn’t right. But literally who starts that way? Much of the Wix hatred comes because of its lack of technical prowess for scenarios that simply aren’t going to happen to the first year entrepreneur. The only reason I ever steer someone away from Wix is if they get SO overwhelmed with choices, they need to have something so simple and limited that they can’t get derailed.

Google Sites is a great choice when you need complete focus and a site that’s done in less than 90 minutes.

So, is Google sites a good website builder?

Definitely. It’s fantastic for it’s pricetag of FREE. Plus it’s on the Google platform (have you heard of it?). So that means it plays nicely with all your Google tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive.

Is Google sites going away?

I doubt it. I think Google will continue to support Google sites and enhance it. Especially as more and more larger enterprises become Google Enterprises with G Suite tools. It only makes sense to me that Google Sites could eventually become a competitor with things like Sharepoint. Corporate dwellers know exactly what I mean when I mention Sharepoint.