Friday, January 1, 2010

Google Sites : build your website for an unbeatable price

If you area considering creating your own web site then Google Sites may be a good option for you. In this article you will learn more about the good and bad about using Google Sites, see some examples and you will be pointed in the right direction if Google Sites interests you.

The best part of Google Sites is that it is virtually free. The cost is $10 per year which includes: domain registration, hosting, multiple email addresses and much more (this is also referred to as Google Apps). Personally I find Google Sites very easy to use. You can create multiple pages, and add content such as text, images and video. In addition, you can also add useful gadgets such as blogs, forms (linked to spreadsheets), photo albums and much more, all by using a simple user interface. More savvy users can edit HTML directly (which is code to layout your website). Finally, each page on your site can be public or restricted to a select group of users. This price and flexibility is all good news and just as we are accustomed from Google it works really well.

What I don't like about Google Sites is that the navigation menu as well as the general layout is rigid and the look and feel cannot be altered much (without serious head-aches anyhow). For example it is not possible to change the padding, font-size of the menu bar or to layout the menu items horizontally. So in essence you are stuck with the Google Sites "look and feel". For more advanced users it is also not possible to add CSS (other than in attributes), JavaScript or any database back-end. However you can write your own gadgets using XML, CSS, HTML and Javascript that are hosted separately.

Overall, Google Sites is a good option to quickly design a website. If you like the hosting price and features but you don't have time to design your website then an option is to hire a graphic design firm such as Bokenkamp Consulting to help you develop your website in Google Sites.

Google Site Examples:"

Getting Started:

Introduction Video + 6 Additional Sample Templates

Raymond Bokenkamp MS, MBA

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