WordPress and Google Sites are two popular website builders that have revolutionized building and managing websites (even if you have coding experience). WordPress is an open-source platform that powers about 43% of all websites, while Google Sites is a simple drag-and-drop builder. Google Sites is free to use, while WordPress requires a web hosting solution.
But which one is better? To help you choose, we’ll look at a number of different aspects of both platforms and compare them here.
- WordPress is a more powerful and versatile platform than Google Sites, offering more customization options, themes, plugins, and features
- Google Sites is simpler and easier to use than WordPress, making it a good choice for simple websites or beginners
- WordPress is better suited for e-commerce websites, thanks to its wide range of e-commerce plugins and customization options
- Google Sites is free to use, while WordPress requires paid hosting and may involve additional costs for premium themes or plugins
- When choosing between WordPress and Google Sites, it’s important to consider factors such as the purpose of the website, budget, technical expertise, design and customization needs, and SEO and analytics needs
Overview of WordPress and Google Sites
Before diving into our comparison of the two platforms, let’s start with a quick overview of WordPress and Google Sites.
WordPress is not just a website builder; it’s a revolution that started in 2003 with the mission to build a better web. It was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architected personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. In just a few years, it has become the most popular content management system in the world, powering about 43% of all websites on the internet.
One of the key reasons for WordPress’s success is its thriving community. From its humble beginnings as a few lines of code, it has evolved into a massive ecosystem of developers, designers, bloggers, and business owners. This community provides endless support, documentation, and resources for users, making it easy for anyone to create a website that’s just right for them.
Among the many advantages of using WordPress are:
- Customizability: With thousands of themes and plugins available, users can fully customize their website’s design and functionality
- Plugin availability: WordPress has over 59,000 plugins, which allow users to add various features to their websites without any coding knowledge
- SEO-friendliness: WordPress is designed to be SEO-friendly and has features such as permalinks, sitemaps, and the ability to add SEO plugins like Yoast SEO
- Security: WordPress has a dedicated team of developers constantly working to fix any security issues and provide regular updates to keep websites secure
In short, WordPress is not just a website builder; it’s a platform for creativity, innovation, and community building that helps you stand out from the crowd.
Google Sites is a website builder that was born out of a desire to democratize website creation. Its origins date back to 2008 when it was introduced as part of Google’s G Suite. Since then, Google Sites has evolved to become a user-friendly website builder in the Google Workspace package that makes creating websites accessible to everyone, regardless of their technical skills.
Here are some key benefits of using Google Sites:
- Easy to use: Google Sites has a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create websites quickly and efficiently. With Google Sites, anyone can create a website that looks great and functions well.
- Integration with Google Workspace: It seamlessly integrates with other Google Workspace tools, making it a valuable addition to any organization that uses Google Workspace. This integration enables users to add Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to their website, facilitating collaboration and productivity.
- Collaboration features: Google Sites provides powerful collaboration features that enable multiple users to work on a website simultaneously. Users can assign different permissions levels to control who can view and edit the site.
- Free hosting: It offers free hosting for websites created using the platform. This means users do not have to worry about paying for web hosting or managing servers.
WordPress vs. Google Sites: What Are the Differences?
While WordPress has a long history dating back to 2003 and has evolved to become a widely-used platform with a vast ecosystem of plugins and themes, Google Sites is a relative newcomer that focuses on ease of use and integration with Google Workspace. Now, let’s take a closer look at the differences between these two website builders:
1. Design and Customization
Building a website that accurately reflects your brand and captures your audience’s attention requires careful attention to design and customization. WordPress and Google Sites take different approaches to website design and customization, and these two platforms each have their advantages.
With WordPress, you get access to an extensive library of themes, ranging from sleek and modern to fun and playful. These themes give you complete creative control over the look of your website by allowing you to modify everything from the color scheme to the layout. In contrast, Google Sites provides a smaller collection of pre-designed themes that prioritize simplicity and usability.
WordPress’s massive library of plugins provides unparalleled flexibility and functionality for your website. You can tailor your website to your specific needs by installing various plugins, such as those for social media integration or e-commerce. However, Google Sites only offers a few basic tools and supports a small number of plugins.
WordPress’s flexible settings allow you to modify the look and functionality of your site to your exact specifications. This flexibility comes with a steeper learning curve and requires some technical knowledge. In contrast, Google Sites offers a simpler and more user-friendly customization experience, making it an excellent option for those who want a website up and running quickly.
2. SEO and Analytics
WordPress and Google Sites differ in terms of search engine optimization (SEO) and analytics capabilities. Both platforms have built-in SEO features and plugins available, but there are differences in the level of control and customization you get. Here’s how they compare:
SEO Plugins and Features
When it comes to SEO plugins and features, WordPress takes the cake with its robust selection of options that offer a wide range of features. Popular plugins like Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack let you customize meta titles and descriptions, make XML sitemaps, and optimize content for target keywords. With Google Sites, on the other hand, you get only basic built-in SEO features, which can be limiting for those who want more control over their website’s search engine rankings.
In terms of analytics integration, both platforms allow easy integration with Google Analytics. However, WordPress outshines Google Sites in terms of the level of data and insights provided. With WordPress, users can access a wealth of metrics and reports to track their website’s performance, including traffic sources, page views, bounce rates, and more. In comparison, Google Sites’ analytics tools are more limited, providing only basic data and insights using Google Analytics.
3. E-Commerce and Payment Options
When it comes to e-commerce and payment options, WordPress and Google Sites differ in their offerings. Let’s take a closer look at the top e-commerce plugins available for each platform and the payment gateway integration options.
E-Commerce Plugins And Options
WordPress is known for its robust selection of e-commerce plugins, with top options like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, BigCommerce, MemberPress, and Shopify. You can tailor your storefront, accept different payment methods, keep track of inventory, and more with the help of these top eCommerce plugins. In contrast, Google Sites’ built-in e-commerce capabilities are both limited in scope and flexibility. It, however, allows you to embed third-party tools like Ecwid’s e-commerce shopping cart.
Payment Gateway Integration
WordPress makes it simple to accept payments through services like PayPal, Stripe, Square, Authorize.Net, WooCommerce Payments, and Alipay. It provides a safe and very reliable payment gateway integration and a lot more options than you can hope to get with Google Sites. However, built-in payment gateway integration is not currently available for Google Sites. Google Sites, however, doesn’t have a native payment gateway integration. It does support embedding third-party tools, such as payMyPage (pMP), for accepting payments online through links.
4. Pricing and Hosting
With all the differences between WordPress and Google Sites, pricing and hosting can play a big factor when you want to make a decision. Let’s take a closer look at how the two platforms compare in terms of pricing and hosting options.
WordPress Pricing and Hosting Options
WordPress offers free, open-source software that you can use to create a website. However, to make and keep a WordPress website up and running, you have to pay extra for things like domain registration, hosting, and security.
There are many WordPress hosting options you can opt for. We covered them extensively in our comprehensive review.
When it comes to pricing, WordPress.com, a hosted version of WordPress, offers several pricing plans with different features and storage options.
The Personal plan costs $4 per month and includes 6 GB of storage, while the Premium plan costs $8 per month and includes 13 GB of storage.
For businesses that require more storage, the Business Plan costs $25 per month and includes 200 GB of storage. For eCommerce sites, the Commerce plan costs $45 a month for the same amount of storage, with all plans getting billed annually.
Google Sites Pricing and Hosting Options
Google Sites is part of the Google Workspace suite of tools, which also includes Gmail, Drive, Meet, Docs, Slides, and Forms. While Google Workspace can be used for free as well, there are various pricing plans with different features and storage options to fit your needs.
The Business Starter plan costs $6 USD per user per month with a 1-year commitment and includes 30 GB of storage per user.
With the Business Standard plan, each user can have access to as much as 2 terabytes of storage space for $12 per month (billed annually).
The Business Plus plan includes 5 TB of storage for each user at $18 USD per month with an annual commitment as well.
If you want to use a custom domain for your site, you can purchase one through one of Google’s domain hosting partners.
Which Platform Is Best For You?
Choosing between WordPress and Google Sites can be a bit like picking the perfect outfit – it all comes down to your unique needs and preferences. This is why it’s important to evaluate your website’s needs and the features offered by each platform before making a final choice. In this light, keep the following five things in mind:
1. Purpose of the Website
The purpose of your website should influence the platform you choose between WordPress and Google Sites. For portfolio websites, landing pages, or small websites, Google Sites is an excellent choice as it is free and easy to use. For more complex sites like big-time blogs, business websites, and e-commerce stores, WordPress offers more features and flexibility. With WordPress, you can change your website to fit your needs by using different plugins and themes.
When considering the cost of each platform, there are several factors to consider, including hosting, domains, themes, plugins, and payment gateway fees. Google Sites is free to use, and hosting is included in the platform, making it an affordable choice. WordPress gives you more choices, like free and paid themes and plugins, but it costs more to host. The long-term value of each platform is also essential to consider, as WordPress offers more features and customization options that can benefit businesses in the long run.
3. Technical Expertise
When it comes to technical expertise, Google Sites is more beginner-friendly, while WordPress requires more technical skills to use and customize. Google Sites comes with an easy-to-use interface, and you don’t need any coding or technical skills to get started. WordPress is more powerful and offers more customization options, but it requires more technical skills to use effectively. But, WordPress has a large online community and helpful resources that make it easier to fix any problems.
4. Design and Customization Needs
WordPress is the better choice if you require more control and flexibility over website design and layout. With WordPress, you can choose from tens of thousands of free and paid themes and plugins to customize your website’s looks. Google Sites may have fewer customization options, but its drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to use.
5. SEO and Analytics Needs
SEO and website analytics are essential for the success of any website. WordPress has many SEO and analytics plugins that can help optimize your website for search engines and track website traffic. While Google Sites does have some SEO and analytics tools, they are not nearly as robust as what is offered by WordPress. If SEO and analytics are essential to your website’s success, WordPress may be the better choice.
How Can Readers Make an Informed Decision About Which Platform to Use?
Making an informed decision between WordPress and Google Sites requires a good understanding of what each platform is best suited for. Here are some guidelines to help you decide:
Use Cases for WordPress
WordPress is a versatile platform that can accommodate a wide range of websites. WordPress’s user-friendly interface and extensive personalization features make it ideal for individual bloggers who want to give their work a unique spin.
Business owners will appreciate the e-commerce capabilities, SEO features, job boards, and reliable customer support.
Meanwhile, artists and designers can showcase their work with stunning visual portfolios and build private membership sites for their fans to support them. Whether you’re building a podcast, an online course, or a recipe database, WordPress’s use cases offer the flexibility and functionality to suit your needs.
Use Cases for Google Sites
Google Sites is a great option for creating simple, streamlined websites with a professional look and feel. There are several use cases for Google Sites.
For individuals hosting personal sites or planning travels, Google Sites provides an easy-to-use interface that’s right for them. Small businesses can use Google Sites to create landing pages or display important information, such as contact details and business hours. Educational institutions can use Google Sites to create online resources for students or to showcase student work. You can use it to create a simple portfolio site to send people to.
After comparing WordPress and Google Sites, it is clear that both platforms have their unique strengths and are suitable for different types of websites.
WordPress is a versatile platform that can handle anything from a personal blog to high-traffic e-commerce stores. On the other hand, Google Sites is a more straightforward platform that is perfect for simple websites.
Ultimately, the choice between WordPress and Google Sites depends on what you want and which one serves your website’s purposes better, but overall, WordPress has the most advantages.
As you get started, you’ll need more guidance on which web hosting and website-building platforms to opt for. At HostAdvice, we offer a wealth of information and resources; check the next steps for more details.
Next Steps: What Now?
- Explore recommended WordPress hosting options
- Check out some of the most useful WordPress plugins
- Learn about WordPress widgets and how to use them
- Find out about other website builders you can use
- Check out our guide to building an outstanding website