Transition from classic Sites to new Sites

The timelines below are for G Suite admins and users. If you're not a G Suite customer, see this different timeline for consumers.

Starting August 13, 2020, the new Google Sites becomes the default for website creation. If you haven’t already done so, as the next step in your classic Sites transition, we recommend that you enable new Sites for all user groups that don’t already have access within your top-level organization. 

Your users can still switch back to classic Sites. Migrate existing classic Sites to new Sites by December 2021 using the console built to support administrators and users in streamlining the migration process to new Google Sites: Classic Sites Manager.


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What do I need to know?

Besides migrating existing classic Sites by December 2021, use the key dates below to plan and manage your organization’s migration from classic Sites.

August 2020: New Sites becomes the default for website creation

If you have:

  • Both classic Sites and new Sites enabled, sites.google.com goes to new Sites.
  • Classic Sites enabled and new Sites disabled, sites.google.com takes you to classic Sites. 
  • Only new Sites enabled, sites.google.com takes you to new Sites.
Starting May 2021: No websites can be created in classic Sites

New websites can only be created in new Sites. This limit includes copying existing sites, creating sites using the Sites API, or any other form of site creation in classic Sites.

To ensure a smooth transition for your organization, turn off the creation of classic Sites in the Google Admin console as soon as you can. Doing so decreases the number of classic Sites your organization must migrate.

Starting October 2021: Editing of remaining classic sites will be disabled

Site editors can’t make changes to their classic Sites. Viewers can still view classic Sites.

Later in 2020, a feature is scheduled to arrive in the Classic Sites Manager, which helps admins disable editing classic Sites. Use this feature as soon as it’s available to ensure a smooth transition from classic Sites for your users.

Starting December 2021: Classic Sites transition

When users try to visit a classic site, they won’t see the website content. Remaining classic sites are automatically downloaded as an HTML file, saved to the site owner’s drive (in Google Drive), and replaced with a draft new site for site owners to review and publish.

Tips to avoid disruption for viewers

If you want the site to be available to viewers, convert it to new Sites using the Classic Sites Manager or Sites settings before December 2021. Using this tool, you can publish your new site at the same URL as the old site to avoid disruption to viewers. For details, see Migrate classic Sites to new Sites

What do I need to do?

Start planning for the change to ensure a smooth transition for your organization. See the dates below and recommended actions you as the admin should take by those dates.

August 2020: Enable sites creation in new Sites, review old sites & plan migration 
  • Enable site creation in new Sites in your Admin console for everyone. Users can switch back to classic Sites until December 2021.
  • Using the Classic Sites Manager, review how many classic Sites are in your organization and develop a migration plan. Use this tool to view all classic Sites in your domain; export a summary to Google Sheets for project management; and take bulk actions to delete, archive, or convert your sites. See below, for the Sites transition best practices for admins.
Before May 2021: Turn off sites creation with classic Sites & convert old websites
Before October 2021: Turn off editing of sites in classic Sites 
  • Permissions to disable editing of classic sites will be available to you, as an admin, by the end of 2020.
Before December 2021: Disable viewing of classic sites 
  • Permissions to disable viewing of sites created in classic Sites will be available to you, as an admin, by the end of 2020.

If no action is taken, the changes outlined above will automatically be applied to your domain.

Sites transition best practices for admins

First, ensure all user groups have access to new Google Sites and to turn off creation of sites in classic Sites as soon as possible.

Next, decide on your approach for the transition. Do you want individual site owners to migrate their sites, or do you as the admin want to manage the entire migration?

Manage classic Sites migration

  1. Migrate inactive sites by deleting or archiving them. Choose an option:
    • Export classic Sites using Google Takeout.
    • Delete any classic Sites that are no longer useful to your organization.
    A sign that the site might be a good candidate to delete is that no one edited or viewed it in the past year.
  2. Turn off editing in classic Sites. (Feature scheduled to launch by end of 2020.)
  3. Turn off viewing in classic Sites. (Feature scheduled to launch by end of 2020.)
  4. Start migrating active sites by converting them or rebuilding them in new Sites:
    • Convert the most viewed or most frequently edited sites from classic Sites to new Sites.
    • When you have a draft of the new site, compare the sites and make any manual adjustments or changes the new Site might need.
    • Publish the new site over the URL of the classic Site.

For certain sites, you might consider rebuilding the site from scratch in new Sites using the site templates available. Some find this approach easier than converting and manually adjusting sites, especially for sites with a number of features that are unsupported in new Sites.

See Compare classic Sites & new Sites.

Questions

How do I know if I’m affected?

To see if your organization has any classic sites that need to be migrated, visit the Classic Sites Manager.

I’ve seen different transition timelines in user help articles or forums.

The key dates for consumers and G Suite users are different. The dates in this article are accurate for G Suite customers. If you’re a Gmail user using classic Sites, see Convert your classic Site to new Sites.

Why is this change happening?

We designed new Sites to help you and your users create websites without programming experience, across mobile and desktop, and with real-time collaboration. New Sites is a replacement for classic Sites, built on Google’s latest infrastructure. For more information, see the related G Suite blog entry.

How do I know if I’ve correctly enabled new Sites?

After you enable new Sites in the Admin console, sites.google.com redirects to sites.google.com/new, instead of sites.google.com/classic.

I don’t have access to an Admin console. What steps should I take? What are the differences between classic Sites and new Sites? When will additional admin controls be available for managing classic sites?

Permissions to disable editing and viewing of classic sites will be available to admins by the end of 2020 in the Classic Sites Manager.

Who becomes the site owner after converting a classic Site to new Sites?

The person who converts the site from classic Sites to new Sites becomes the site owner.

For example, if an admin converts the site, they become the owner of the new site, and:

  • Previous owners become editors.
  • Viewers stay viewers.
  • Editors stay editors.

The admin can later transfer ownership of the site to someone else, if needed.

For more information about the experience for users, see the section about converting your site in classic Sites settings in Convert your classic Site to new Sites.

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