Introduction to Google Sites

Google Sites has everything you need to create simple yet intuitive sites β€” in a matter of minutes.

This is a collaborative article created between Ryder Cragie and YSSF.ML.

Introduction to Google Sites

Google Sites is a cloud-based website creation platform that helps you create, collaborate and publish your site in a matter of minutes β€” within the same interface used by other Google services.

Whether you’re in for a minimal portfolio, corporate or education site, Google Sites offers templates to get you up and running in no time. Plus, YSSF offers a vast library of templates and use-cases that give you a head start in the competition. Check out their library!

Additionally, there's no software to download, just sign up for a Google account and start building your site today!

Basic Google Sites Features and Benefits

Google Sites has many features that make it easy for anyone to build a website. The site builder features include:

  • Drag and drop editor.

  • Customizable templates.

  • Site management tools.

  • Mobile responsive design.

  • Google Analytics integration.

In-Depth Features of Google Sites

  • Collapsible groups: An easy way to add a button next to any section of text to expand it to see more.

  • Table of contents: Each heading or sub-heading of a page will be added to a list. Viewers can click any of them to jump straight to that section.

  • Image carousel: Pictures combined into one section that can easily be flipped through to see them all β€” without making your site look cluttered.

  • Button: A clickable button that can take you anywhere on the web. This could be another page on your own site or someone else's site.

  • Divider: Dividers allow you to section off one part of a page from another part. It is a line that can be customised in terms of thickness and colour.

  • Placeholder: Placeholders let you choose what types of content go where on your site. For the time being, they will contain nothing but you can add said content at any time. This allows you to get the sizing and placement of other sections correct before the new content is ready to be added.

  • YouTube embed: Ability to place a YouTube video on your site without having to add a link to it. This prevents viewers from leaving your site.

  • Calendar: You can embed a calendar on your website so that other people can view events you have added.

  • Map: With a map, you can link to any location in the world. This may be useful for businesses that want the general public to know where they can be consulted.

  • Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Charts and Drive: With Google Workspace, you can create a variety of documents, presentations and files. They can easily be added to any Google Site.

  • Navigation: In the navigation bar at the top of your site, you can add pages and links. You can also group them into categories to make them easier to find. A search bar is also included to make your site more easily navigatable. You can also add a logo to your site which will appear at the top left of every page, as well as a favicon that will appear next to the tab in almost all browsers.

  • Layouts: There are 6 different types of layouts you can insert on your website. These include placeholders for images and text which look great for all types of sites, no matter the type of content. Layouts are easy to customise and they're very user-friendly.

  • Themes: Google Sites includes 6 preset themes, as well as the ability to create custom themes to refine your site to your liking. Custom themes allow you to customise the look and feel of every part of your website, including heading styles, background colours and text colours. This way you do not have to change them on every new page you create. Editing a custom theme will edit it across all of your pages.

  • Google Analytics: With Google Analytics, you can see how people are using your site and what pages are being visited the most. You can also see the devices they're using and what country they are in β€” and much more.

  • Announcement banner: You can add a banner at the top of your site which will grab people's attention when they visit your site. Announcement banners can include text and a link, or just text. They can also be any colour of your choice.

  • Sharing: You can share your site with other people so that they can edit it. As you both make changes, you'll see the edits live as they happen. This is an easy way to create collaborative articles β€” like this one.

Getting Started: How to create a site

  1. Go to sites.google.com or www.sites.new.

  2. At the top left, click the multi-coloured "+" icon.

  3. Edit and customize your site using the tools on the right.

When you're ready to publish your site, just click the Publish button in the top right corner. You'll then be able to choose a free web address on the sites.google.com domain β€” or you can use/connect a custom domain you already have such as RyderCragie.com.