Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Why New Google Sites is Unusable?

And how the Classic Sites is becoming useless...

You cannot edit HTML in New Google Sites. Whew! Do we need to go any further? Yes, because 1 reason is not enough for those who invested on the Classic Sites and now want to move to the New Sites.

So here comes:
All sites need a header region (almost all). You can only choose from 3 options (lean - which is not lean, wide and wider). No customisation possible.

All sites need a branding (almost all). The logo you upload has a fixed size. Eh! and the Header is not customizable too. And yes, you cannot upload an image in the header region - only text. So you cannot even workaround text by uploading suitable images, for example, like a blue background. Lovely!

The New Sites does not support the Announcement Page. This is a very nice feature in Classic Sites which helps in creating something like a Notice Board where the latest post appears on the top. No, New Sites does not have it, and there are indications, it will not have it at all (I leave it to Google to deny, if this impression is incorrect!).

You would be using Classic Sites, not because how the Look and Feel is, but because you could embed Apps Script. If you wanted Look and Feel, you would have done a PHP site or have something on Wordpress to make it look awesome. So now, that you would be on Classic Sites, embedded Apps Script no longer works on externally mapped domains (http) - the page loads blank - where the script GUI should have come up. Well, that makes Classic Sites itself near to useless.
We traded Look and Feel with Functionality and here that goes too...Poof!
Remember, this used to work till 10-May-2018. No longer does...
This is an unacknowledged bug, so Google is not working on it yet.

To beat (workaround) the Fifth issue, you would try using the internal sites url which would read like https://sites.google.com/domain/sitename/pagename
Well, it seems there is a problem here too. SitesApp.getActivePage no longer works. Refer https://issuetracker.google.com/issues/79580932
So if you have been identifying the page from which the script is loaded to ensure you access the relevant data based on this URL - you would fail.
And the impact of this is that you will need to maintain 50 versions of the same app where you would have been maintaining only 1.
Poof! - so there goes Classic Sites too... Remember, the New Sites is nowhere near production (Google is working on it!), so all your Classic Sites are in danger. Time to jump out of the G-Ship, I guess!

You could workaround the SIXTH issue by using a URL param after the /exec in the script URL when you embed it. But alas! Google does not allow that even in the New Sites. Welcome, if you are still on-board.

I did not say anything on the lack of templates in the New Sites. Not much to choose from, and those that exist are not even close to impressive.

In summary:
Issues First, Second, Third, Fourth make the New Sites useless.
Issues Fifth, Sixth, Seventh make the Classic Sites useless.

Time to jump out of the G-Ship.