Google Sites is a free website builder from Google. It’s part of Google Workspace and is ideal for beginners who have limited knowledge, resources, and time. Wix is a popular site builder with over 200 million users. It caters to users of all skill levels.
But, which is better for building your website? I’ve spent over 9 hours reviewing and comparing the two site builders, and in this article, I’ll show you all the major differences between the two platforms. We’ll look at the ease of use, design and customization, SEO, eCommerce capabilities, pricing, and other features so you can choose the right platform for you.
1. Ease of Use
Ease of use is among the most important factors to consider when choosing a website builder. This is especially true if you have no prior experience. You want an intuitive platform with a user-friendly interface and a no-code editor.
Let’s see how these two site builders compare in this department.
There’s no denying that the Google Sites editor is super easy to use. You can literally create a website and launch it in minutes without ever having to touch a line of code. There’s a range of Google Sites templates to choose from.
You can use the visual drag-and-drop editor to add elements to a page. Click on the text, images, etc. to customize colors and styles. There’s no need to spend hours learning how to implement complicated coding languages like HTML.
Create simple websites that support collaboration between multiple editors thanks to the live editing feature which lets you see modifications to the website in real-time.
Just like on Google Docs, Google Sites editors can track changes, version histories, and more to make it easier to monitor the progress of the website and collaboration process.
Project managers can centralize resource materials such as tutorials, guidelines, media, and more. They also get additional features through the Google Workspace network, such as the ability to remove or modify any team member’s editing privileges.
Summary of Google Sites’ Ease of Use Features:
- Completely free website builder
- Very shallow learning curve, ideal for beginners
- Easy to share webpages with a single click
- Live collaborative editing with the WYSIWYG editor
- No bandwidth limitations
- Integrates seamlessly with all Google apps
Like Google Sites, Wix also makes it very easy to build your website without the need for code. You’ll find plenty of easy-to-use components that you can simply drag onto a page and then click to customize to your requirements.
In addition to its classic drag-and-drop editor, Wix also offers an AI-powered tool, Wix ADI, that can build a website for you.
This artificial design intelligence asks you a few short questions about the type of website you want and then proceeds to create one for you in just a few minutes. You can then start to customize your pages and elements, and your site is ready to publish.
Summary of Wix’s Ease of Use Features:
- 900 unique website templates available to choose from
- Three different editors to cater to users of all skill levels
- Unstructured drag-and-drop builder for complete design control
- Limited free plan available to try out the features risk-free
- Seamless Wix App integrations for added website functionality
Winner: Google Sites
If your main consideration is ease-of-use, then Google Sites is the clear winner. Unlike other site builders, there’s no confusion here, even for total beginners.
Of course, it’s important to consider that to get such an easy-to-use site builder, you have to sacrifice much control over the design and customization of your website.
Having said that, complete beginners will appreciate the simplicity of the site’s builder which eliminates the need for coding and allows you to have a website up and running in minutes regardless of your prior experience.
2. Design and Customization
Having a website builder that’s easy to use is a huge consideration for most people. However, if you value design flexibility and want full control over the customization of your site, then you must choose the website builder that offers you the freedom to create your online presence the way you want.
Here’s what you get with each site-building solution.
Google Sites lets you build a basic single-page or multi-page website quickly and easily. First-time users will appreciate the simplicity of the editor. All the elements are automatically positioned on a pre-determined grid, and all indents and sizes are adjusted for you.
This means you’d have to try very hard to mess up your website design when using Google Sites.
But, being a free site builder, Google Sites is quite limited compared to other site-building platforms like Wix. For instance, you only get a few website templates and themes (compared to Wix’s 900+). Your selection of page-building elements is also quite limited.
Moreover, when it comes to website features, you are often limited to other Google apps. For instance, you have to use YouTube for embedding videos, Google Maps for integrating a map, and Google Forms for adding website forms.
There is a code-embed option that lets you integrate third-party apps with your Google Sites website, but it’s nowhere near as seamless as the Wix integrations.
Of course, all these limitations don’t matter much if you just need a basic site for a service-based business or brick-and-mortar business where you can provide visitors with information about your business and maybe capture emails.
For local businesses that use Google Business Profile (GBP) and simply want a basic website to list on their GBP listing, this site builder is quite sufficient.
On the plus side, Google Sites offers great mobile responsive design. If much of your traffic comes from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices, you will appreciate having this site builder. Your website will look great on desktop and on smaller screens.
Summary of Google Sites’ Design and Customization Features:
- Simple website builder requires zero design experience
- Modern, minimalistic template designs
- Easy website customization options
- Integrated functionality and toolsets from Google and Hubspot
- 100% mobile responsive design
Wix is a dynamic all-in-one website builder that focuses on providing site-building tools for small to medium-sized businesses. You can use it to build any type of website, including eCommerce websites, membership websites, blogging websites, and more.
As previously mentioned, there’s a simple AI feature (Wix ADI) that basically creates a fully functional and responsive website for you in just minutes. All you have to do is answer a few simple questions and the AI will get to work creating your site.
For those who require a bit more control, you can switch over to the Wix editor, pick a template from the hundreds available, and use the powerful drag-and-drop page builder that gives you more options for customizing your new site.
All of this is easy to do thanks to the intuitive editors on the platform. You can change anything you want, upload images, add videos, restyle text, and more to get your website online instantly.
Add valuable features to your website, such as eCommerce features, newsletter tools, music, live chat, and much more by heading over to the Wix App Marketplace where you’ll find hundreds of apps to add unique features to your site. This is yet another helpful element to creating a website on Wix that you won’t find on Google Sites.
Unfortunately, Wix’s platform has some inconsistencies in its mobile responsive design. And since website responsiveness is among the most important parts of creating a site, this is a serious drawback to consider when making your choice.
As a Wix user, you’ll have to always check that your website displays well on mobile whenever you make any changes to it since these won’t always be implemented automatically.
Summary of Wix’s Design and Customization Features:
- Many different ways to create your website (Wix ADI, Wix Editor, or Wix Code)
- 100% customizable templates and themes with built-in marketing features
- Build a full-featured multipage website of any kind
- Free logo creation tools
- Wix App Market for additional tools and apps
- Huge library of free images, icons, and vector art
Google Sites is very limited with regard to what you can create. Compared to Wix, it has very few themes, templates, elements, built-in tools, and integrations. This means you’ll likely end up with a very basic-looking website that doesn’t have much unique functionality. Wix, on the other hand, lets you build any type of website you want, including multi-step sales funnel websites, SaaS websites, and more. That’s why it’s the obvious winner here.
The platform has a more functional system that allows for deeper customization of your website. And while it may take a bit more time to master all the different design features and customization options available on the platform, the results are certainly worth it for a unique website that looks and functions exactly the way you want.
3. eCommerce Capabilities
Wix has been around since 2006. Over the years, it has grown to become a staple for webmasters and online store owners. But, how does it compare to the newer Google Sites platform in terms of eCommerce capabilities?
Google Sites has no eCommerce engine at all, which means that you can’t add products on your Google website. This is a dealbreaker for anyone who intends to sell products online.
Of course, you can embed a third-party app, such as Ecwid, and use that to create a free online store which you can then embed onto your website. You can also integrate third-party platforms like Shopify using iFrame. This allows you to continue managing your website while making use of Shopify’s powerful eCommerce functionality.
Just keep in mind that this option requires more advanced coding skills in order to manage and update your project.
Summary of Google Sites’ eCommerce Capabilities:
- Integrates with third-party eCommerce platforms like Ecwid and Shopify
- Allows you to run a website and online store for free
- Additional eCommerce tools available via Hubspot integration
Unlike Google Sites, Wix makes the eCommerce selling process simple and effortless. All the tools you need to sell products online come built-in which means you don’t have to worry about integrating third-party apps like Ecwid.
Some of Wix’s eCommerce features include a point-of-sale (POS) feature that lets you sell both online and in physical stores. You can sync your inventory easily and filter products on your website.
Manage everything on the go using the Wix mobile app, and get in-depth reports and analytics on how your eCommerce business is performing.
The Wix business plan even has an abandoned cart saver. This is a powerful feature that automatically contacts any potential customers who leave your site before completing their purchase. This helps to lower your cart abandonment rate and boost your conversions and sales.
Summary of Wix’s eCommerce Capabilities:
- Sell digital products, physical products, subscriptions, and more
- Robust point-of-sale (POS) features built-in
- Display both images and product videos
- Connect multiple payment solutions to give customers more options
- Enterprise-grade security for maximum protection
- Dropship products through Printful, Modalyst, Spocket, etc.
There’s no contest here. Wix means this one by a landslide. Compared to Google Sites, it’s much better suited for eCommerce. You will have to sign up for the Wix Business or eCommerce plan to start selling an unlimited number of digital or physical products online.
Thanks to the Wix app market, you can run a feature-rich online store with all your sales and marketing tools working seamlessly together.
4. Blogging Tools
Having a blog on your website will help you drive targeted traffic to your products or services. Here’s what each platform offers with respect to blogging functionality.
Google Sites doesn’t have a blogging engine, either. If you intend to create some sort of informational project using the platform, you’ll have to choose a blank template, customize it, and then submit the content you want to be posted there.
This is a time-consuming process, so if you intend to have a content-rich website then this may not be the best option for you.
However, the platform does offer unlimited bandwidth for your website. This means you don’t have to worry about upgrading to a different plan as your site grows. It’s rare to find a free website builder that doesn’t have a bandwidth limit.
If you intend to create a content-heavy website, you’ll certainly appreciate this feature. Furthermore, your site will be hosted on dozens of Google’s data centers spread across the globe. This will not only ensure fast, reliable performance, but you also don’t have to worry about your site going slow or crashing if you get an influx of visitors.
Each Google Sites site also comes with Gmail and you can create an unlimited number of websites on your account. Add unlimited pages, videos, images, and any other elements you want to use in creating your website.
Summary of Google Sites’ Blogging Tools:
- Unlimited storage available
- Global data centers for maximum performance
- Free Gmail with each site
Wix is a powerful website builder with a built-in CMS (content management system). It comes with great blogging features, including pre-made blog templates and a simple editor that lets you create and publish posts right from your dashboard.
The blogging platform is adequate for anyone who wants to build a basic blog for a small business or for personal use. In addition to the blogging feature, you’ll also find other complementary tools to assist your blogging efforts.
This includes built-in email marketing, social media, and search engine optimization tools. There are AI-powered tools like the blog name generator and the cool Wix ADI feature to assist you in creating a share-worthy blog.
Wix also has an app marketplace where you can get third-party tools to further extend your blog’s functionality.
Unfortunately, Wix does not offer unlimited bandwidth and you will have to spend money to make your website load quickly if you want to avoid being negatively impacted by poor page load speeds on Google.
Summary of Wix’s Blogging Tools:
- Powerful content management features
- Free hosting for your blog
- Fully mobile-responsive blog
- Advanced integrations to drive more blog traffic
- Powerful SEO features, including automated XML and HTML sitemaps
Clearly, Wix has a lot more to offer with regard to blogging functionality. There are more built-in tools to help you create and distribute your content to your readers effectively. You can even create a membership area to give your blog readers access to premium content via a login.
5. Search Engine Optimization Tools
As you well know, SEO is crucial for gaining visibility for your website. You need a site builder that provides you with tools for optimizing your website so visitors can find it easily. Here’s what Wix and Google Sites have to offer in the SEO department.
You would expect Google Sites to have a stronger focus on search engine optimization. However, that is not the case.
The platform offers limited settings, and you won’t get separate fields for title or description meta-tags. These are generated automatically. If you want a website with a friendly URL, you must indicate that manually in the webpage settings. Other features that are absent include Sitemaps and Robots.txt files.
But, despite all these limitations, Google Sites websites are search-friendly and load very fast. They come with HTTPS protocol and all the pages are well-optimized to help them rank higher on all search engines.
Also, thanks to Hubspot integration, Google Sites users get a suite of marketing tools that help bolster their website’s SEO.
From keyword research to link building, keyword implementation, and more – the Hubspot integration will give you access to all the tools you need to build a powerful SEO strategy for your new website.
Summary of Google Sites’ Search Engine Optimization Tools:
- Zero wait time for indexing your website
- Seamless Google and Hubspot tools integrations
- Automatic integration with Google My Business
This web development platform allows anyone to create a stunning online presence using simple yet powerful cloud-based creation tools.
Wix comes with built-in features to help you optimize your site for search and social. You don’t even have to be an SEO expert to make use of the optimization features thanks to Wix’s SEO Wizard.
This feature guides you through the entire process of optimizing your website for search to cover all the basics. More knowledgeable users can dive deeper into the settings to make custom changes to everything from image optimization and meta-tags for social share, to structured data, canonical URL, and instant indexing of your website pages.
You even get an SEO checklist with a personalized list of all the different optimization elements that you must cover for your website. All in all, Wix strives to provide you with everything you need to get your website ranked high in the search engine results pages.
Although Wix has a lot of great features for optimizing your website, the platform does have a few drawbacks. For example, the design on your desktop isn’t consistent on mobile. This is a problem for SEO, and without features like auto-resizable elements, your site won’t display well and you’ll have to worry about inconsistencies with the mobile view.
Summary of Wix’s Search Engine Optimization Tools:
- SEO Wizard for easy search engine optimization
- SEO Checklist with a personalized list of optimizations for your site
- Structured data to help Google contextualize your content
- Image optimization for improved website performance
- Auto-create and submit a site map
Wix wins this one by virtue of having a more impressive suite of SEO tools. Also, the platform has an impressive uptime of 99.9%, which means your website will always be available online. And, thanks to dozens of its data centers located all around the world, you can be sure of maximum reliability and performance even during routine maintenance.
6. Community and Support
Most website builders strive to create the simplest possible process for building a website. However, even with intuitive tools and pre-built templates, you may still require support during the site creation process.
Here’s what Wix and Google Sites offer with regard to community and support.
Google Sites offers support via a well-curated help center. Here, there are documents to help you with getting started with Google Sites, converting from the old to the new Google Sites version, creating your website, editing, sharing, publishing content, and much more.
There’s also a community of users with whom you can interact to learn more about the different tips and tricks to get the most from the platform.
Wix has an online help center packed full of articles to answer any questions you might have regarding the software. You can browse through the well-curated library of documents, but if you still require assistance from an actual person, you can get in touch with the support team through live chat, phone, or email.
It’s important to note that only VIP subscribers get access to 24/7 priority phone support. There’s also a vibrant Facebook community of Wix users with whom you can connect and get guidance and advice along your website-building journey.
Summary of Wix’s Community and Support Features:
- Multichannel, multi-language customer support available
- In-depth how-tos and beginner tutorials available
- 24/7 callback option for premium users
- Community-based information portal
- Additional support through a vibrant Facebook community
Wix offers more options to get help any time you need it. This is a helpful feature that will ensure you don’t get stuck during your site-building process.
Pricing is yet another important consideration when choosing a website builder. You want an affordable solution that provides you with all the features you need at a price that won’t be restrictive.
Google Sites is part of both versions of Google Workspace, free and paid. This means that as long as you have either account, you can get access to the website builder. You can use a free domain or add a custom one.
This free website builder obviously lacks a few of the tools and features that are must-haves for developing any type of project other than the most basic website.
If all you need is a simple site, then this free website builder can be a great option for you. However, for more comprehensive needs, you might consider a platform like Wix.
Wix offers a range of plans to suit different needs. There’s a free, ad-supported plan that comes with everything you need to build a stunning website. You can upgrade to a premium plan to remove ads and get even more features and benefits.
Here’s what each Wix plan entails:
- Free Plan: $0/Month: You can use Wix’s free plan for as long as you want. You get a free subdomain and up to 500 MB of storage and bandwidth. Customer support and online payments are not included and you can’t connect a custom domain or third-party integrations like Google Analytics unless you upgrade to one of the premium plans.
- Combo Plan: $16/Month: This plan is ideal for personal use. It comes with a custom domain, a free SSL certificate, and 2GB of storage space. You can host up to 30 minutes of video.
- Unlimited Plan: $22/Month: The Unlimited plan comes with everything in the Combo plan + 5GB of storage space, one-hour video, and a visitor analytics app. This plan is ideal for entrepreneurs and freelancers and comes with a Google Ads budget to help promote your business.
- Pro Plan: $27/Month: The Pro plan is ideal for complete online branding. It comes with all the features in the Unlimited plan, as well as 50GB of storage space, two hours of video, an events calendar app, and over 40 different sizes of your logo ready to use on various social media channels.
- VIP Plan: $45/Month: This plan has everything in the Pro plan, as well as 100GB storage space, 5 video hours, and priority customer care. If you value first-priority support, then this plan is ideal for you.
Winner: Google Sites
Google Sites is a free product from Google, which means you don’t have to worry about hosting subscriptions, storage, bandwidth fees, etc. Wix, on the other hand, is a subscription-based service with plans starting from $16/month.
If you are a beginner with limited resources, Google Sites is the best option for you. You get all the features you need to build a complete website but without the cost.
On Wix, not only will you pay for features, but if you need to increase your bandwidth, and plugin use, and unlock other features such as eCommerce, you’ll have to upgrade to a higher-priced plan.
Having said that, Wix is obviously more feature-rich and functional, which makes it the better choice for business websites with a view to growing.
So, what’s best for your business, Wix or Google Sites? Well, as this comprehensive Wix vs Google Sites guide has shown, both site builders have unique features to offer and they’re each suited to different types of users.
All in all, I think Wix has more to offer in terms of features and functionality.
However, your choice will depend on your individual needs.
Choose Google Sites if you are short on time, money, and resources and want a basic single-page or multi-page site. This free website builder is perfect for individuals with very little to no marketing or website creation experience. Your Google site comes with everything you need to quickly establish an online presence. There are no bandwidth limitations, which means you can have as many sites, pages, and videos on your website as you want without having to worry about it slowing down.
Choose Wix if you have more comprehensive website requirements. This freemium website builder is likely the best option for your website requirements if you want to create a small business website, blog, or eCommerce store with unique features that go beyond the limits of Google Sites. With Wix, you’ll be able to build a full-featured business website with the potential to scale and grow your online presence.
If you still aren’t sure which platform is right for you, you may want to consider reading about other Wix Alternatives.