Sites.Google: Starting Your WebPage via Google
Starting a website can be daunting. There's so many web-building sites to chose from! From Webs.com to Wix and so on. Which one to chose? Google has come to save the day yet again. You can now go to www.sites.google.com to begin your walk through of how to build your own website.
My Web Building Journey
I had heard about Google offering this service before. I didn't know how to find it. It took a while of searching certain terms on Google before I finally found where it was.
I have built web sites before on template providing sites, and back in high school built them using the now seemingly obsolete HTML. During that time I knew a thing or two about computers and their lingo. Today, I have to look up many terms that I come across. It's true what they say! If you don't use it you lose it!
When I went to Sites.Google.com, I was wanting to make a web page to promote myself as a writer. This was basically an experiment for my other company that needs to move away from the site it was built on. I have had many difficulties with this site and simple functions such as changing font colors in each capsule. It is time to prove that webpage building is not a tedious as previous sites have lead me to believe!
Have you Used Google Sites?
If you haven't already, the first thing you need to do is get yourself a Gmail account. This is very easy, and can be done at www.mail.google.com. You can use old email addresses from other mail services (for example, I have one from yahoo acting as my Gmail account log in name), or create an entirely new one.
When you first arrive at your Site Builder, you will see a button on the left that simply says "Create". Upon clicking it, you will arrive at your template selection. For my purposes, I clicked the "Browse the Gallery for More" and arrived at a professional looking one to display my writing. Don't be intimidated by their titles! If the Church Site Template has the right look for your pottery company, select it! You can change the meat of any of these templates to make it yours! I personally chose "Professional Site" for my experimentation.
Do you have the name for your website ready? Usually, the way it works is you have to pay for your domain name. We haven't gotten to that part yet, so just make sure you know what you want to name your webpage. I like to keep if classic, and since I have a couple Usernames my writing is known for, I'm going to keep the one closest to home: PenNamePen (One of mylast names being Pen). My web address for the time being will be Sites.Goggle.com/site/PenNamePen
A theme is different from a template. A template is the general lay out of your site while a theme is the similarity between pages. For example, I chose Professional Template, but I really like a darker looking site - I find they are more energy efficient as they use less wattage, and they have a professional look about them. So I want my site to be darker. I'm more likely to chose the "Slate" Theme over say the "Mint Chip" Theme.
The Theme choice is located in small letters just under the space where you enter your website name.
Play around with it! Nothing is set in stone when you are building your site. You can change it at any point.
The other tiny link just below Themes is "More Options", though really it is just one option and a half. Here is where you may enter in the description of your website. So for Patty's Pottery, she might write "Molding together the world Glazed by Patty's Pottery".
The "half" portion is the little box you may click if the viewer should be of adult age or not. I'm not judging!
Type in the code below and hit "Create" at the top!
Your Blank Site
If you have entered in a name which is available, you should find yourself at your new site! It is blank and fresh and clean and just waiting for you to cyber-scribble all over it and make it yours!
Immediately when I got to mine, I didn't like it. I went against my gut and chose "Horizon" instead of "Slate". After some toying around, I found the "more" drop-down menu in the top right corner. I went to "Manage site", and on the left side menu found, toward the bottom, "Themes, Colors, and Fonts". I selected my "Slate", but noticed the other options I had! I had options of selecting which sections of the page I wanted to alter, as well as standard texts I wanted.
I customized a few of my text boxes and backgrounds, really enjoying the preview that was provided below all of my options. I clicked save at the top and went back to building my site.
Getting used to the controls reminded me of getting used to Google+, they take a while to figure out, but once you can grasp the concept behind it, it gets easier.
Creating a New Page
Every website has to have buttons that toggle and take the surfer to a new place. To make the new page, simply go to the top right corner and you will see a little square with a pencil and to the right of it, a little square with a rectangle in it without a corner. That is your New Page button.
You have the option of creating "sub" page, or as far as navigation goes, will be found as a drop-down list from whatever page you want. For example, your "home" button could allow a drop down list which could take you to calendars, photos - whatever you decided to link it with. I personally am starting an Article page, and will make a tab for each category that my articles fall under, which will drop down from my "Articles" button.
The first "Trick" I attempted on Google was trying to add a table. I found that while it was simple to just insert a table, I couldn't center it, I had no options to alter the lines - which I didn't want visible. I gave up fairly quickly on that one.
I found that when I attempted to create a "blockquote" format, it turned the block of text I was quoting to a different font and color as well as changed the background just for that block of text.
There have been other odd quirks that I have come across so far, such as the alignment not doing as it should - staying to the right when it should be centered. These are some interesting difficulties that I am coming across.
Overall, Google Sites has been fairly easy. However, I did have a difficult time finding certain functions, such as how to change the actual template. Thankfully, Google has provided a great many "how to" videos which are suitable for even the most computer-illiterate of web designers.
Though on other web-building sites, in order to alter the general them of the pages you're working on, or tweak certain things, you are able to stay on the page you're working on, and it is usually a pop-up or drop-down menu, instead of going to another page entirely. I found this a little tedious and bothersome.
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