Back in February we saw Jotspot resurface as Google Sites, a service for creating group websites. After reviewing it, it looked like a great way for people to easily create a website that had a customizable look and feel. The only problem at its launch was that it was available only to those with a Google Apps account. As of late yesterday, Google Sites is now open to everybody. The possibilities of what you can do with the service are near endless, and it’ll prove to be beneficial for classrooms, maybe a family website to keep family members updated, clubs, or groups you may be involved in.

One of the nicest things about the service is that no coding is necessary, not even HTML. All you have to know how to do is click and type, and you’ll be able to set-up a website that will look like it took some work to make. Another great thing is the collaboration features. You can decide who can view and edit the content which has its benefits. Other examples of how you could use Google sites include:

  • planning club meetings and activities
  • share info on a secure company intranet
  • collaborate on a team project
  • stay connected with family members

Below you’ll find a screenshot of the screen you’d see if you went to create a site. You simply enter in a site name, a description, decide who you want to share the site with, and then choose a theme. They only show three themes on the page, but there are about 20 in all that you can use if you click to “view more.” Once you create the site you can start changing the site elements, colors and fonts, and general appearance and content. You can embed documents, calendars, photos, videos and gadgets, right into your pages. Other features you’ll enjoy include the option to enable Google Analytics for your site, and they use a built-in editor similar to Google Docs so that you can easily edit the content on your site.

google sites.png

My only complaint still remains that the design of the pages is fluid and so the window adjusts to your browser. They have set a minimum width on the design, so this causes issues in the formatting if the browser gets to small. I would have thought by now that they would have addressed the issue, but they haven’t. It’s a very minor issue though and I think it was smart for Google to open up Sites to everybody.

Source: Official Google Blog