Google Sites Become Prettier With Templates

Google Sites, which launched a little under two years ago, have given businesses and consumers a way to quickly build their own websites with no HTML knowledge required, making it relatively easy for anyone without a technical background to build a simple website. Now, Google is making it infinitely easier for anyone to create sleek, attractive websites with new feature Templates.

For those that aren’t familiar with this product, Sites is the reincarnation of Jotspot, which Google acquired back in 2006 (though the two products look totally different). The product is Google’s easy-to-use website and wiki builder that’s widely used by businesses, though there’s a consumer option available.

Google Sites now has a fully stocked gallery of public templates that can be used by both consumers and businesses. Google has also created templates that are targeted for business use. Templates let you quickly start a new site with pre-built content, embedded gadgets, page payouts, navigation links, theming and more. And Businesses using Google Apps will also have a private area where employees can share proprietary site templates, which can be made via Sites’ recently launched API, with coworkers. This is actually useful to organizations, such as the Boy Scouts of America, which wants to share templates for chapters over the nation to launch as their platform.

Sites will be free for all Google Apps customers (both paid and free) as well as for consumers. While Sites’ templates can be easily used for collaborative workspaces like employee intranets, project tracking sites, team sites and employee profile pages.

Though templates isn’t a monumental additions to Google Sites, it is a complimentary, easy-to-use and free feature that’s included in Google Apps. The tie-in between the two only reinforces the strategy Google has of continuing to make Google Apps more appealing to businesses to perhaps take a significant bite out of Microsoft’s market share.