Google Sites is a simple website builder that requires no coding knowledge or prior design experience. Users can choose from numerous pre-made templates or start from scratch. The application offers templates that work for many purposes, from sharing family updates to managing a project or classroom or creating a company website. The application boasts a single-click site creation, which lets users create a new site quickly. The user can choose a template (or a blank template) and add a site name, Google URL and theme. The user can click a link to edit the sidebar or start with the homepage content. Google provides a few very basic customization options so the user can ease into site creation. Users can build multiple sites using one Google account.Show more screenshots »
Google Sites was launched in February of 2008. The application was originally named JotSpot (the name of the company that originally developed it). As JotSpot, the application earned a number of awards and recognition, including one of the NextNet 25 businesses and one of InfoWorld’s 15 Start Ups to Watch in May of 2006. Google acquired the application in October of 2006. The original version required the user to have a domain name. In May of 2008 an update was made that eliminated the domain requirement and let users access Google Sites separately from Google Apps.
Website builders are becoming easier and easier to use. Google Sites is another example of how simple it has become to create a site. Users can access templates or create a new site from a blank template. Regardless of which the user selects, they will find that Google Sites stands out because it is extremely use to understand and customize. The application provides a handful of site building tools without going overboard and overwhelming the user with features.
Google Sites sticks with Google’s familiar Spartan design. Users will note the light background color and narrow black header that is often found in Google’s products. The interface is extremely simple, although it borders on bland compared to some website building tools. For some users this is a plus because it gives them just what they need with no fluff to distract. Google Sites offers a simple, user friendly interface and basic tools that give the user a number of ways to create a unique web page.
Just like other Google applications, users must have a Google account to use Google Sites. The bonus is that creating an account gives the user access to many applications. To create an account, the user can click the blue “Sign Up for a New Google Account” link in the upper, right hand corner of the page. The next step invites the user to sign up with an existing AOL mail, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Gmail or other email account. Clicking the “other email” button takes the user to the registration form. The form asks for an email address, password, location, date of birth and word verification. The user is automatically logged in, but advised that a verification message has been sent to the email address they provided.
All users can create a Google account and access Google Sites for free. There are no subscription fees and all users are given the same level of access. Users receive up to 10 GBs of storage for Google Sites. Users who subscribe to Google Apps Premier Edition receive an additional 500 MBs for each Premiere user account. Google Apps costs $5 per user per month or $50 per user per year.
Google Sites is ideal for anyone who wants a fast, easy way to build a web page. The application is intended for users of all experience levels, especially those with little to no knowledge of programming or design. The interface is simple to understand and all users can begin creating pages for free. The user doesn’t need a domain name and can access all basic tools as soon as they sign in and begin creating pages.o