These steps will show you how to configure the administration settings for Google Sites, G Suite, and your domain host logs to use a Google Site website as your organization’s website.
Video: 6 Easy Ways to Share Links to Google Sites TechTip.com Andy Wolber walks you through six easy ways to shorten and share Google Site links.
If you use G Suite and your organization needs a website, take a look at what you can do with Google Sites. Google Sites allows you to create a website that works on mobile and desktop with a drag-and-drop editor.
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However, Google Sites may not offer enough customization for all organizations. If you need e-commerce capabilities, personalized control over themes and brands, or integration with databases or other CRM systems, look for web hosting alternatives.
But for organizations that need an easy-to-edit website with little maintenance, a Google website can serve as your organization’s website. A Google site also benefits from Google security because it is protected with your Google account login and is also served securely.
Starting in May 2019, you will need the following to create and use a Google website as your website: Administrative access to G Suite (admin.google.com), administrative access to your domain host (often this is your domain name registrar, such as Google Domains) and desktop Chrome or Firefox to create and edit your site.
1. Create a new Google site
First, enable the new Google site for users in your organization. A G Suite administrator can access the G Suite administration console (admin.google.com)> Applications> G Suite> Sites> New sites, and then ensure that the “Users can create and edit sites” option is selected.
Then go to https://sites.google.com/new and select the circle with a plus sign in the lower right to create a new Google site. Choose the theme, fonts, and colors that best represent your organization. Add pages and customize menus as needed. Embed content from Google Drive or elsewhere, embed a map, or create and embed a Google form to collect queries.
Choose “Publish” after you have added the content you need to your site. Enter a name for your site appropriate to your organization, such as “YourBusiness” or simply “website”. You will need to refer to this name later.
Select ‘Manage’, then ‘Change’ to the right of ‘Published’, and select ‘Anyone can find and view the published version’. This makes your site visible to the public. Select “Save” and then “Done.” Do not check the Search Settings box so that search engines can index the content on your site. Choose “Publish” to share your site online. (Check your work. View the site from a browser window where you are not logged in to make sure the site is public.)
2. Map of the web address
Next, a G Suite administrator will map your site to a web address from the G Suite admin console. 1. Go to Admin> Applications> G Suite> Sites> Web Address Assignment and select “Add a new web address”. The URL format is likely to be the default format for “new sites,” which is what you want. The domain screen will likely also be the default for your organization’s primary G Suite domain. Enter the name you selected for your site after the domain name. For example, if you have named your site “website” before, enter “website” to the right of your domain name.
In the web address field, enter “www” to the left of your domain name. This way, when people type “www.” before your domain, they will go to the Google site. Add the mapping. The change may take a few hours to complete.
You may also have to add a CNAME record to your domain name host to map your domain to Google’s servers. For example, in Google domains, an administrator must log in, choose the domain, and select the icon that appears in the “DNS” column. Scroll down to the “Custom Resource Records” section. You can edit an existing assignment or add a new record. The goal is to have a record with “www” in the name column, CNAME (selected from Type), and “ghs.googlehosted.com” in the data field.
3. Enable naked domain redirection
After completing the above, people will see your site when they type “www.” followed by your domain. But you probably also want people to go to the same place when they type in your domain, without the “www.” previous.
A G Suite administrator enables this redirection from the admin console (admin.google.com)> Domains> Add or remove domains> select “Redirect your bare domain” for your main domain. Make sure “www” appears in the subdomain box and then choose “Continue”.
Next, you will need to modify the A records of your domain host, such as Google domains. These logs ensure that requests are sent to specific servers with the IP addresses when people type a domain in a browser without the preceding “www”. For example, to enter this information in Google domains, you must go to domains.google.com, log in, select the icon located under the DNS column next to the domain you want to edit, and then scroll to the «Registrations of personalized resources ». Find an A record, choose “Edit” to the right of the “A” record. In another browser window, open the Google “Configure A Records” section and expand the “Configure A Records (Generic Steps)” section, and then expand the “A Record Values” section. There, you will see multiple A disks. Modify the registry entries for your domain host A to match the records shown. (For example, I have modified my domain’s A record to point to four different IP addresses.) Optionally, you can also add AAAA records, which similarly direct IPv6 requests to the appropriate addresses for your domain.
Once you have completed these steps on your domain host, return to the G Suite administration window and select “I have completed these steps.”
Wait and work
Domain and DNS changes can take up to two days to complete. In most cases, you can see the impact of the changes within one to four hours. And double check your settings: I misspelled two server IP addresses when I went through this, which created problems.
Once everything is working, you will have the benefit of the G Suite team’s systems powering your site. You no longer have to periodically update your website’s CMS, update plugins, or run website security scans. You can focus on your work, not on maintaining your website.
If you know of a business that uses G Suite to power their main website, let me know, either in the comments or on Twitter (.
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