Moving from Google Classic Sites to New Sites? Read this.

Posted by Luke Gallagher, Senior Solutions Engineer - Large Customer Segment

Oct 11, 2021


An evolution is underway and the era of Google’s classic Sites will soon be eclipsed by new Sites. For businesses that haven’t yet made the move, it’s time to understand the changes and develop a strategy to streamline the transition.

In addition to a revamped and updated feature set (more on that later), new Sites enables easier integration with the growing portfolio of tools and elements available within the Google platform. Users can tap into apps such as Sheets and Docs, plus leverage Google Analytics for performance tracking and other diagnostics. But accessing that feature-laden goodness means leaving classic Sites behind, and change can sometimes be a challenge for businesses. We're here to help you understand the transition and learn what you can do to make your migration a success.

What does the change mean for users of Google classic Sites?

The mix of capabilities between the classic and new versions of Sites isn’t one-to-one, and enterprises should understand where a specific functionality may need to be tweaked or even replaced as they make the move. Page-level permissions available in classic Sites, for example, don’t exist in new Sites. New Sites also lacks the file cabinet feature found in classic Sites. However, that particular functionality is still available—users simply need to share documents and map links in a different way.

Along with updates to existing features, new Sites brings with it a number of exciting enhancements. The editing capabilities are straightforward and more modern, aligning more cleanly with Google’s material design. New Sites also sports a greatly improved mobile experience, which is an important factor for businesses as mobility continues to be a primary consideration in most engagement efforts. 

Google’s own research shows that even seemingly minimal increases in page load time can increase bounce rates by 32% and consumers are 62% less likely to make a future purchase if they have a negative mobile experience.

But to take advantage of everything on offer in new Sites, your business needs a strategy to guide your migration and ensure the right capabilities are in place to suit your use case. 

New Sites doesn’t give me the same functionality I have now. What can I do?

Complex websites, such as those with high traffic or a lot of pages, may need some additional support to ensure data management and site management practices are crafted to fit within what new Sites can do. Enterprises utilizing classic Sites as part of an intranet solution within the organization or across a wide install base, for example, might find it helpful to have some guidance on planning the migration from a change management perspective. Site owners may need help understanding the transition and figuring out what they need to do to keep the resources running. Remember that IT staff and other internal folks responsible for managing the Workspace environment may not be the site owners, and they may be unfamiliar with handling change management and responding to questions from users.

The good news is that the experts at Onix can help with more complex use cases, ensuring your transition is seamless and nondisruptive. If new Sites doesn’t include all the features you want, there are some compelling options available to help meet your needs and smooth your migration. Onix has extensive portal and digital community expertise utilizing solutions such as LumApps and Happeo, both of which are excellent additions to round out the capabilities available in new Sites. For businesses focused on supporting a remote workforce and elevating digital engagement, these platforms can help power important initiatives to bring employees together and enable collaboration at scale.

Let’s talk about migration timing

The timeline for the switch has evolved, but the January 2022 deadline is approaching and the final phase of the transition to new Sites will soon be underway. Don’t wait until the last minute—we recommend businesses jump into the Classic Sites Manager migration tool right away to get an idea of what their install base looks like and what the transition process will entail for their organization.

Because the editing of classic Sites will be disabled in December, it leaves little time for self-migration of any but the simplest installations. If you need additional support, we want to be sure you have time to make the right arrangements and execute the steps to keep your site functional and available. And if December seems like a long way away to you, it isn’t—anything started after early October is likely to experience a disruption given the backend changes that need to be deployed and tested as part of the migration to new Sites.

So don’t wait. Get in touch with an Onix expert now to develop the right transition strategy for your business before classic Sites is gone for good.


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Luke Gallagher, Senior Solutions Engineer - Large Customer Segment

With more than 12 years of experience in technology strategy, business intelligence and systems engineering, Luke helps his clients improve organizational efficiency through cloud computing solutions. He is both a Google Workspace Solutions Engineer and an AppDev Solutions Engineer for Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.

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