As early as 2017, Google gave a timeline for its efforts to shut down the classic version of Google Sites, its simple site building tool. After implementing migration tools that users can take advantage of, he’s committed to giving the new Google sites as much feature parity as possible before shutting down the old one.
This included the ability to search for a website, restrict access to published sites, have more granular access to different sections of sites, the ability to embed URLs and code, notifications for updating. sites, corporate themes, the ability to build larger sites including a deeper hierarchy, more text formatting options, custom web addresses, and API capabilities.
Before we move away from classic sites, we’ll make sure new sites include several features needed for team sites, portals, knowledge bases, and intranets.
Google Workspace Updates
Since then, the company has done a lot, including these text and theme formatting tools, and is now updating its nail in the coffin timeline for classic sites. The following dates are taken from Google Workspace Updates Blog. Basically, if you still have websites in Google Sites Classic, you’ll have until July 1, 2022 to convert them to the new, better-performing format. Previously, this date was set for the first day of the coming year!
- As of June 1, 2022 (previously December 1, 2021): You will no longer be able to edit the remaining classic sites in your domain.
- As of July 1, 2022 (previously January 1, 2022): Classic sites will no longer be visible unless they are converted to new Google sites.
While that certainly comes as no shock as it’s been slated to be like this for quite some time now, it’s nice to see Google expanding this. I’m guessing too few users took advantage of the original timeline and just aren’t able to close the old tools right now. Change can be difficult, and we often see the business stretching the deadlines that end users rely on to do something vital. It is difficult to mobilize millions of users to move on to something new as a result of complete service recreations.
For now, this updated timeline does not affect users with a standard and free Google Account, as they lost access to the classic version of Sites on September 1, 2021, but these people can still download their sites from Google Takeout or Drive where they were archived. Plus, as long as they’re under 5,000 pages, Google has gone ahead and pushed a preview of the classic site to the new sites dashboard for review and publication.
However, if you are a Workspace user of any level, or have a G Suite Basic or Business license, you definitely have more leeway, and that’s fantastic! Unfortunately, the Bulk Convert Tool for Classic Site Manager is temporarily offline because Google is updating the “conversion fidelity” for site settings, so you will either have to wait for it to be up and running again or convert them one by one.