Classic Sites migration details

This article only applies to Google Workspace customers. If you use Sites with a personal account, please refer to this article.

As of December 2021, classic sites will no longer be editable. Visit Transition from classic Sites to new Sites for details.

Starting in January 2022, all remaining classic sites will be removed. Administrators and Sites owners can convert classic sites to new sites, export classic sites using Takeout, and delete classic sites until January 2022.

For any classic sites that remain after January 2022, Google will try to replace each classic site with an archived export of the site using Takeout and a converted draft new site, and then delete the classic site. After Google creates the converted draft site, a user can publish it.

Important: Sites that exceed 1200 pages may not be replaced by a draft in new Google Sites.

Your domain’s classic sites will remain accessible (but not editable) until we begin the automatic migration process for your sites, which may be any time after January 1, 2022. We expect it will take up to 90 days to complete the automatic migration for all remaining classic sites.

Note: The latest version of each remaining classic site will be automatically converted to a new site, even if you previously converted your classic site. During an automatic migration, you will not be able to convert your classic site, delete your classic site, or cancel an in-progress conversion of your classic site. Any changes you make to the sharing permissions of your Classic Site after January 1, 2022 may not be factored into auto-migration.

Recommended migration settings

To prepare your domain for the most complete migration path possible, verify these settings in the Admin console.

  1. Turn the Sites service on for everyone. Visit Turn Sites on or off for users for details.
  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenSites. Go to New Sites and thenSite creation and editing, and choose Users can edit sites and Allow users to create new sites.
  3. Turn the Drive service on for everyone. Visit Turn Drive on or off for users for details.
  4. Turn the Google Takeout service on for everyone. Visit Turn Google Takeout on or off for users for details.

Google will respect these settings when replacing remaining classic sites after January 2022. Depending on the settings listed above, site owners may receive a Takeout export, a new Sites draft, both, or neither, for each classic site they own. For example, if no eligible site owner (explained in more detail below) can create a new site because one of the services listed above is not turned on, then no converted draft site will be created.

Regardless of the setting configuration outlined above, Super Admins will always receive a complete Takeout export of all classic sites remaining. Super Admins, if they have Drive enabled, may also receive a Drive folder of shortcuts to all draft new sites Google has created.

If none of the classic site owners are eligible to create a new Sites draft, Super Admins will be considered an additional site owner. If a Super Admin has permission to create a new Sites draft themselves, any remaining classic sites that have not yet been converted will be converted to new Sites drafts with the Super Admin as owner (and all previous owners as editors).

Special considerations

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Multiple site owners

Classic sites can have multiple owners. New Sites draft sites can only have one owner (or Shared Drive). When Google converts a classic site, a single owner is selected from a list of possible owners. The result will be:

  • The most recent editor who is an owner of the classic site becomes the new site’s draft owner:
    • When the most recent editor who is an owner cannot become a new site’s draft owner for any reason, a new owner is selected (in alphabetical order) from the current classic owner list.
    • If no current owner is eligible to become a new site’s draft owner, a Super Admin is chosen as the new owner (assuming they are eligible). If no Super Admin is eligible to become the new owner, no conversion is created.
  • All other co-owners of the classic site become editors of the new Sites draft.
  • All editors of the classic site become editors of the new Sites draft (like a typical site conversion).
  • All viewers of the classic site become published viewers of the converted new site, although the new site draft must be published for site viewers to view it (like a typical site conversion).
Bulk conversion
  • The user who initiates the bulk conversion will become the owner of all converted sites.
  • If some sites in the bulk operation cannot be converted (for example, they are in a different domain from the converter), then they will be skipped and the user will be notified by email.
  • Confirmation emails are only sent if a conversion fails for a size violation.
Sites shared outside of your domain

For a classic site shared externally, the new site draft owner’s external sharing settings (controlled by Drive and Docs sharing settings) will determine if external users are added as owners, editors, or viewers to the new draft site.  If the draft owner can share externally, the external users will have the same permission they had previously for the classic site. If the draft owner cannot share externally, the external users will not have access to the new site. 

For details of the sharing settings for classic sites, visit Set sharing options: classic Sites.

For details of the sharing settings for new sites, visit Set Google Sites sharing options

Group owned sites

Classic sites can have a Google Groups owner, but new sites must have a single user (or Shared Drive) owner. Group owners will become editors on any converted new site draft (assuming there is at least one user, including a Super Admin, who is eligible to become the owner of the converted new site draft). A Group will not receive a Takeout export.

Google Workspace sites owned by personal accounts

Personal account owners of Google Workspace classic sites will be treated as if they were editors of the classic site. Personal account owners will become editors of a converted new site (assuming there is at least one user, including a Super Admin, who is eligible to become the owner of the converted new site draft). If there are only Personal account owners of a Google Workspace site, the Super Admins will be the only users who receive a Takeout export. No personal account user will receive a Takeout export of a Google Workspace site.

Determining site ownership. You can check if your site is managed by a Workspace account by checking its Sites URL. If the URL includes a domain name after "sites.google.com," then it is a Workspace site. Examples of Workspace sites would be sites.google.com/my-domain.com/my-site and sites.google.com/a/my-domain.com/my-site, where the site is managed by my-domain.com.

Sites owned by users in different Google Workspace domains

Google Workspace site owners in a different domain will become editors on a converted site (if it can be created), and they will not be eligible to receive a Takeout export.

Determining site ownership. You can check if your site is managed by a Workspace account by checking its Sites URL. If the URL includes a domain name after "sites.google.com," then it is a Workspace site. Examples of Workspace sites would be sites.google.com/my-domain.com/my-site and sites.google.com/a/my-domain.com/my-site, where the site is managed by my-domain.com.

Suspended domains

If a domain has been suspended (for example, for abuse or billing reasons), classic sites will be exported using Takeout following the standard procedure outlined above. No new sites drafts will be created. Note: A suspended domain cannot access these files until the domain is restored. For details, visit Restore a suspended Google Workspace account.

Disabled Google accounts

Google accounts can be disabled, preventing them from logging into Google services. Disabled accounts continue to receive email (but these emails can’t be viewed), and disabled accounts can be re-enabled in the future. Suspended Google accounts that own classic sites will receive Takeout exports, but they will not receive converted new sites.

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