Saturday, October 12, 2013

Best Free Google Sites Alternatives

Few products are as crappy as Google Sites. Google bought JotSpot in 2006 and (Google Sites is based on JotSpot) there haven’t really been any significant improvements for the service since. The good news is that there are a ton of Google Sites alternatives you can use and they are free. Let’s take a close look at them.

1. Bitrix24.

Bitrix24 is probably the best/most known Google Sites alternative, at least among free ones, if you planned to use GoogleSites for collaboration or as intranet. It has all GS features (wikis, etc.) but it’s more social (Bitrix24 is a free private social network) and comes packed with collaboration tools as well as business tools (HR and CRM). I’ve been using Bitrix24 for almost two years, so I can give you a very detailed description for this one. Here’s what you get with Bitrix24:

Documents: doc management, file sharing (private and public, multi-user online editing, version history tracking records management, Bitrix24.Drive (Dropbox clone) 5 GB free. MSOffice/Office365/GoogleDocs/LibreOffice/OpenOffice.

Collaboration and social: activity stream, intranet search, extranet, private social network, enterprise social network, likes, badges, posts, comments, blogs, instant messaging, videochat (one on one), videoconferencing, screen sharing (WebRTC), following, tags.

Project Management: workgroups, tasks, to-do lists, time tracking, Gantt charts, task reports, task counter, task reminder, personal calendars, shared calendars, group calendars, company calendar.

CMS: cloud (free) or on-premise ($2299), source code and API for on-premise version. 430+ free modules available, Bitrix Intranet for intranets, Bitrix CMS for regular site (non-intranet, non-collaborative use).

Knowledge Management: wikis, workgroups, intranet search, employee manuals, idea management, eLearning, training courses, knowledge base.

CRM: contact management, core CRM, invoicing, click to call, IP telephony.

HR: Core Human Resource Information System, searchable company directory, dynamic orgchart tool, internal job board, employee self-service portal.

Mobile and apps: Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac desktop app, PC desktop app (works as free Dropbox alternative).

Bitrix24 has over 35 free tools built in, so expect to spend an hour or so studying them all, if you plan to use Bitrix24 as Google Sites alternative.

2. SharePoint

$5K+, ton of integrations available, cloud or on premise

3. Jive Software

Supergood for large organizations, can get pricey ($50K+)

4. Huddle
Nice suite of collaboration tools, $20 user/mo.

5. Wiggio

Free (ad supported), student oriented.