Google has officially released a single-page website builder designed for small businesses. The new tool, simply called “Website”, is free and promises to allow small business owners to create and edit websites in minutes on either desktop or mobile.
According to Google, 60% of small businesses worldwide do not have their own website. Google is clearly trying to increase that number with the rollout of its new website builder.
Website is an extension of Google My Business, which means you will need to have a completely filled out GMB listing in order to make use of the tool. Google will automatically pull the information from your GMB listing to create the website, which can then be customized with themes, photos, and text.
If it’s your first time claiming a GMB listing, Google will automatically invite you to begin creating an accompanying website. If you already have a listing then sign in to Google My Business, click “Manage location”, and then select Website from the menu. Alternatively, you can start creating your website through this landing page.
Follow the instructions on the screen, and when you’re satisfied you can go ahead and publish it for the world to see. By default, sites created with Website will follow the domain structure: “yourcompanyname.business.site.” A custom domain can be purchased from the Settings menu in your account, and Google will automatically connect your site with the new domain.
After publishing your site, updating it is as simple as updating your GMB listing. Any updates made to your GMB listing will be automatically applied to your website.
Google’s website builder is decidedly limited by design, lacking many of the features you would find in a more robust content management system. However, that’s the trade-off you get with using a free, user-friendly tool that also comes with free hosting. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s arguably better than having no website at all.
For more information see Google’s help document.