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New Google Sites rollout starts next week: Here's what you need to know

By Sara Barker, Fri 4 Nov 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Google G Suite customers will see the new rollout of Google Sites this month, with Rapid Release track customers getting the new features first.

Google Sites will be available to Rapid Release track customers on November 9, while the Scheduled Release will launch two weeks later.

Rapid Release customers will receive new features as soon as they are released to the public, while scheduled release customers receive new features one week later, in order to prepare users for changes.

Google sent out an email this week detailing the changes, warning users to be prepared as the changes might mean organisations must make changes to ensure the new Google Sites works correctly.

The company says that the old version of Sites, now named 'Classic Sites', will still exist as the new version is rolled out and more capabilities are added.

"Classic Sites and the sites created with it will continue to follow the Sites-specific settings in the Google Admin console at Apps > G Suite > Sites."

Next year Google will start to push the rollout more extensively, providing and recommending users migrate their sites to the new Sites platform.

In 2018, Google will start shutting down Classic Sites and will provide a timeline and instructions to ensure migration to the new Sites is successful. No specific date has been chosen. Users will be notified one year in advance of the shutdown.

Google says that the new Sites option will be on by default when the rollout happens. Users wanting to create or edit sites in the new Sites will not be able to do so unless Sites and Google Drive are turned on.

Users can also turn off the new Sites option by doing the following:

In the Admin console, go to Apps > G Suite > Sites > New Sites and select Users at my domain cannot create and edit sites.

  • Turn off Sites entirely.
  • Turn off Drive entirely.

Google says organisations using EAP that don't have classic Sites enabled must turn it on if they want to use the new Sites.

Privacy and Site sharing options can also be managed in the Admin console.

"New Sites will follow the Drive sharing settings in the Admin console (located at Apps > G Suite > Drive). It will not follow the classic Sites sharing settings (located at Apps > G Suite > Sites). If you allow users to publish Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files on the web, they’ll also be able to publish sites created in new Sites on the web. If necessary, please make any changes to your Drive sharing settings prior to the new Sites release on November 9," Google states.

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