Universe Pages vs. Google Sites 2.0

Over the next four weeks we’re excited to be sharing our experiences of working with Universe and the new Pages CMS. We’ll be co-writing four blog articles to highlight our partnership with Universe and the value it brings our customers. To kick things off, in this first post we’ll compare Universe Pages with the new Google Sites–both tested in beta over the past few weeks by the Avalon Solutions team.


Google Sites vs Universe Pages

Evolution, Not Extinction

Since 2010, the death of the intranet has been a much publicized and much discussed topic among corporate information keepers. First came a wave of DIY websites that let anyone with a knack for memorizing hex color codes create their own intranets on open source websites, then came communication giants set on disrupting the space to create “social intranets.”

In the intervening years, we’ve seen a lot of great options as the intranet market has splintered into niche needs. With the gradual shift of office work onto cloud collaboration platforms such as G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work), collaboration has become the cornerstone of all new platforms. What sets Universe apart in the market is that it extends the reach of G Suite, harnessing the technology and furthering the ambitions of the digital workplace.

Google Sites 2.0

On November 9 Google launched the new Google Sites, affectionately called Sites 2.0 by many G Suite administrators. The product vision is clear, with its simple UI and material design architecture. In its newest incarnation, Google Sites changes from being a lightweight website builder to being digital real estate for teams and projects.

Sites are quick and easy to create; any end user is able to build responsive websites without the help of IT or Marketing. It’s so simple that there’s no learning curve. The downside is that this simplicity limits the features and use cases for Sites.

The incompatibility between the new and old versions highlights just how different Sites 2.0 really is. With only five predefined themes and almost no ability to customize styling, it won’t take long before all your sites start looking the same.

So, the question remains: how do companies leverage collaborative mindsets and their G Suite infrastructure to address their need for an intranet?

Universe Pages

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Universe Pages has evolved from a webpage embedder into a robust CMS which bridges the gap between the need for collaboration and static information.

Both Sites 2.0 and Pages have native integrations to G Suite to let you easily embed things like Drive folders and documents, but it’s not until you try both that you really feel the difference. Pages is a much more refined product, with well thought out functionality and a cohesive architecture.

For example, if there is a Drive folder on a page, in Sites 2.0 users are limited to only opening the folder in a new tab. In Pages users can sort folders, as well as preview, open, and rename them.

Universe Pages

Pages also offers extensive styling functionalities that allow companies to create ready-made branded themes. This means content creators don’t need to start from scratch every time. The full launch version of Pages will also include the ability to add custom fonts so that the design-obsessed can make their creations shine.

One tab to rule them all

While Pages on its own is a worthy alternative to Google Sites, it excels when Universe’s other features are factored in. With Universe as a platform, you have a CMS inside the same tool as where you also collaborate on projects, discuss with colleagues, and create and manage documents. This combination truly makes Universe the one tab to rule them all.


For more information, please contact sales to find out how Avalon Solutions can help you deploy Universe in your organization.