One of Google’s many services is Google Page Creator. In order to sign up for your free account it helps to have a free Gmail account, but I think you can sign up even if you don’t. Google Pages Creator presents you with a paging showing all the web pages you have designed either as a list or thumbnail view (grid view).
Last weekend I created a mini-site on Google pages. It follows my personal history of buying stereo gear along with my comments about each piece. This mini site was sort of an addendum to an ongoing personal history project. I thought this would be perfect to test Google Pages. Sound Of Music
Once you have your account set up, Click the green + page icon to start a new page. Title your page. Although you can change your page title later, the URL for the page is based on your first title and can’t be changed, so take come care.
I knew I would have a couple pages and I wanted to call this project “Sound Of Music.” A blank page will come up with the default Look and Layout. It is easy and fun to look at the other Themes (Look). Click the ‘Change Look’ link in the upper right corner. There are 60 colored themes. They all look pretty good. Once you choose one you like just click it to update your page. (Later, you can change your mind without having to start over.) Click the ‘Change Layout’ link in the upper right corner. There you have four different layouts; hopefully one of those will fit your needs. I wanted a right sidebar where I could show photos of the stereo equipment.
At this point it is pretty straight forward. Simply click in the dotted boxes and type in your content. To format the content, use the tool bar. I wrote my web site in Word, and pasted the content in. Warning: if you paste content into the dotted boxes it will override all the formatting- this is bad. What I did was paste my content into a text editor (notepad) first, then copy it from notepad and paste it into my Google Page. This strips Word’s formatting out, allowing me to use Google’s toolbar; keeping the Style Theme consistent.
You can add links with the chain link icon. Select the text, click the icon and add the URL. This is how I linked the five pages together using the footer area as a navigation bar. Images are handled in a similar way. Google throws in some nice tools which let you crop, resize and adjust your image. They also throw in 100mb of storage. This makes adding photos and images much easier than other web sites.
When you’re done click the ‘Publish’ button. The web page is now ready to be viewed. Use the Site Manager Link to edit other pages, add pages, add and edit images and files. Google will even allow you to create a total of 5 web sites. Each with their own URLs. (Click the ‘Create a new site’ link in the upper right corner.)
Google Pages are perfect for someone new to creating web sites or anyone in a hurry. It is certainly much easier than learning HTML, Frontpage, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, FTP (File Transfer), or coding a site a by hand. (It is possible to access some of the HTML to fine tune your Google Pages, but it’s not necessary.)
There is a dramatic time savings because you will spent 90% of your time with the content and only 10% putting the site together. Although other sites have some of these features (pbWiki also has a word processor like tool bar) no other site seems to have the storage, easy of use, flexibility, and low cost (free) that Google Pages has.
This post is part seven of a series on posting content to the Internet.