Getting Started with Google Sites

posted Dec 17, 2012, 1:24 PM by Julie Sharma   [ updated May 13, 2013, 4:22 PM ]

Video on this topic

Google Sites includes easy-to-use tools to help you put together your website.  To create your own free Google Site, sign into a Google (gmail or Google Apps) account at sites.google.com.  Then, here are a few tricks to get you started with your first Google Site.

Test Website

If you've created any type of document, you know that the first version is never final. In fact, in some cases, you probably scratch entire documents and start over.  This is true for websites, too.  
However, when you create a website, you're "locating" it at a web address, which, if you delete the website and start over, can be difficult to reuse. Because of this, I suggest creating a test website and then, once you're happy with the set-up, copying that test site to make your real site. Here's how.

Templates

One of the first decisions to make when creating a new Google Site is which template, if any, you'd like to use.  While there are many helpful templates, if you don't want to use all the elements, pages, images, etc. from the template, it can be overwhelming clearing out the content you don't want.  Alternatively, if you simply would like the header images, colors, and fonts of a template, you can add those after you create a site. This way, you will be able to make use of a template's colors, fonts, and images without getting all the pages and page content.  Here's how.

Navigation

Once you've created your site, you'll be faced with one lone menu:. From this menu, it can be tricky to figure out how to modify the page content vs header, navigation, etc. To help clarify the various editing options, take a look at this how to.

Page Templates

To help organize your web pages, you can make use of Google's built-in page templates or create your own. The built-in page templates offer a blog-type page, file-storage page, list page, as well as basic web pages. Learn more about page template options.

Create a Go-to-page

If you use any of the special page types, you can bring highlights of the most recently posted items to one page, perhaps your homepage, thus making one go-to page where visitors can see a snapshot of recent entries.  This can be especially helpful for educators who want to make it easy for students to find updates on assignments, projects, class calendar and more at at glance.  Here's how.

Using Format and Colors/Fonts to Keep Consistent Format

When you edit a page, you have options to modify fonts, colors, and formatting by word or by section:edit toolbar
However, it can be better to change formatting at the site level to help keep format consistent between pages throughout your website.  Learn how.

Page Layout

When adding text, images, and gadgets to your website, you can use preset page layout options to keep your page organized.  Learn how.
Comments