New Google Sites and Custom Domain Migration Process

I finally decided to migrate my site to use the new Google Sites. New platform is mobile friendly and provides HTTPS for custom domains, like mine. Which is awesome.

Notes about the Google Sites migration process with Custom Domain.

  1. Posts with custom HTML codes used to color encode information for better readability lost all color information. Mitigation? I've screen captured the key parts (only for the most important posts) and posted as images allowing to retain the essential color encoding.
  2. Also all preformatted / console / fixed with texts with line feeds are now messed up, that's pretty annoying. Data is still left, but formatting is totally gone including line feeds.
  3. Domain migration was slightly annoying. Domain needed to be re-verified and the migration process didn't provide atomic update. Of course I first dropped the TTL for domain to very low value.
  4. Because CNAME was used for the domain and txt records were used for the domain verification process, I had to disable the CNAME for a while, allowing the TXT records to be processed. CNAME ghs.google.com was dropped.
  5. Finally, I couldn't assign the domain to the new site, because it was still being used by the old site. It's kind of funny, because I thought this was migration project. Just allowing the new record to replace old one would have been pretty nice. Now I had to find the classic sites, drop the domain for the classic sites and then re-assign it for the new sites. Which of course worked.
  6. Then I reassigned the CNAME to ghs.googlehosted.com. After this everything should have been fine. I waited for a short while to get the old DNS records to timeout.
  7. Finally slight confusion on my side, was caused due to old DNS caching on my computer. It seemed that the site wouldn't be working, but was. This was due to my local DNS cache. After clearing cache everything worked.
  8. But now it's all done, and you're seeing the new Google Sites, with SSL support and new Themes & Layout.
  9. Backup plan? I did run full site capture, and if there would have been a major problem, I could have hosted this site as static files from any of my several cloud servers trivially. But the CMS features of the Google Sites is the reason, why I'm not doing that the main publishing method.
  10. The Blog post list, was migrated to new platform. But the new platform doesn't update list anymore automatically. Also in the navigation list, old posts are ordered alphabetically, but new posts are added to the end of the list. To get the new posts to be present on the blog page, I'll have to manually add every post to that page. It's ok, as long as you'll remember to do that.
  11. Other remarks? It seems that the Google Sites has been greatly simplified, which is a good thing in general. This is really really simple publishing platform, and sometimes keeping things simple enough, is the best way to avoid problems. - That's why I like this Simple Theme and simple site design.
  12. Thank you Google.