Earlier this week we added backup and restore for Google Sites to Spanning Backup. This has been one of our most requested features and I’m really excited to be able to deliver it to our customers. Google Sites is growing in popularity. Not only is it used for externally facing sites, but it is becoming a standard tool for both internal and external collaboration. Making sure Google Sites is available is critical for business operations.
Like we always say, backup is easy—it’s the restore that’s hard. This is particularly true for Google Sites. In fact, restoring Sites is so tricky that our main competitor Backupify simply doesn’t do it. (Q: As an admin, can I restore my users data? “A: Restore is not available for Google Sites”)
Spanning Backup not only restores Sites backups but also does it right. Recently, I wrote a series of posts describing why our Google Drive support is the best in the business. I’m happy to say that everything I said about Google Drive also applies to Google Sites, including restoring your folder hierarchy, restoring multiple files and folders in a single operation, and restoring to a point in time.
Spanning Backup performs versioned, differential backups and provides point-in-time restores for Google Sites. You can restore a single asset from a site (a page, an image, or a file), a portion of a site (a page and all of its child elements or a whole section of site), or an entire site—all in a single operation.
In short, Spanning Backup is the only product on the market that provides comprehensive restore for Google Sites.
There are however some limitations of the Google Sites API that affect backup and restore. Following is a high-level list of those limitations. (For those with an eye for the details, we salute you!) If you have any questions about these please contact our support team at [email protected].
- The Google Sites API does not report a page move as a site change, so we are not able to back those up. If you restore a page that has been moved, you will have to manually restore the link.
- The Google Sites API does not grant us access to Google Gadgets, so we are not able to back those up either. If you restore a page that contains Google Gadgets, you will have to rebuild and customize those Gadgets.
- The Google Sites API does not grant us access to comments (those are moving to Google+), so we are not able to back them up.
- Spanning Backup only supports Google Sites backup for domain customers. This is due to the way that Google grants access (or doesn’t grant access, in this case) to Sites for non-domain users.
- We do everything we can to maintain link relationships between Google Sites pages. This can be tricky, as sites are made up of a combination of absolute and relative links that can change as pages are moved, including during the backup and restore process. There are two specific instances that need special attention:
- If you delete a page, Google maintains the link but directs it to an error page. If you then restore that page from Spanning Backup, you will have to manually restore the link.
- If you use Announcements pages (a specific Google Sites page type) and have a need to restore it, any links in individual posts on the Announcement will be broken and have to be manually fixed.
We have always been very proud of the Google restore capabilities we provide in Spanning Backup. We are now especially proud of our new Sites functionality, despite these minor limitations. We will always strive to provide the most complete restore capabilities for any product we protect. As with all of our products, we will monitor how Google Sites backup and restore is used by our customers and continuously improve the user experience.
Without the ability to restore, we believe that backups are practically useless. If you use Google Sites is an important part of your business or organization, there is only one viable choice to protect your data: Spanning Backup.