When Google Sites got its long awaited update, nobody was shedding a tear for the clunky and over complicated classic Google Sites. However, not everyone jumped on the new Google Sites as quickly as you might think. Many had school websites or other content that would have been too cumbersome or complicated to transfer with just copy and paste. These people were waiting on Google to released the transfer tool that they promised would convert the old Google Sites to the new Google Sites. That time has finally come. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Convert to New Google Sites
The following procedure is available to those with personal Google accounts right now. It comes to G Suite domain administrators for schools and enterprise on May 22, 2018, and to other G Suite users with an eligible site on June 19, 2018.
- Open your classic Google Site at sites.google.com
- Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner
- Click Manage Site
- At the bottom of the menu on the left hand-side, click Convert to New Sites.
- Choose the sharing permissions for the new site
- Click Start to begin the transfer
If everything looks good, and you have made any changes that you need to make, you need to hit the Publish button to make your site live. When you do this, you will be asked if you want to keep the URL from your old site had, or to start fresh with a new URL.
If you choose to keep the URL you had before, (a useful option if your site is being linked to from multiple places), then the existing URL will automatically redirect users from the old site to the new site. It also means that any URL shorteners that you used, (bit.ly, tinyurl, etc.), will continue to work. If you choose a new URL, be sure to let people know about the new location for your Google Site.
Will Everything Transfer?
In theory, most content should transfer pretty well to the new Google Sites. However, your site won’t necessarily look the same as it did before, and that’s kind of the nature of the beast here. Pages and navigation will be the same, but you may need to tweak your layout, and the fonts and colors will have been modified so that they are in line with the theme options in the new Google Sites.
Widgets, iFrames and custom HTML will likely not transfer well to the new Google Sites, but File Cabinet pages, attachments, embedded Google documents, and YouTube videos should make the transition as expected, albeit with some minor changes. For instance, File Cabinet pages will be converted to an embedded Google Drive folder with all the files you previously uploaded.
A full comparison of what you will see when you convert your old Google Site to the new Google Site can be found on Google’s help page, What to Expect When You Convert a Site.
I Can’t Convert to the New Google Sites
If you’re reading this after June 19, 2018, and you still don’t see the option to convert to the new Google Sites, your site may not currently be eligible for transfer. Google doesn’t offer much guidance here other than to say you should continue to check back for when it may be eligible.
Alternatively, you could copy and paste content from the old Google Site to a new Google Site, providing you don’t have too much content to transfer.