How to create a personal website using Google Sites

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What if I told you that five minutes from now you could have your own website? It’s true. If you have a Google account (a Gmail email account is a Google account), creating and publishing your own website is as easy as creating a Word document.

Google Sites

 

Want to see what’s possible with Google Sites? Here’s a collection of websites that were created with the service:  https://sites.google.com/site/gsitesgallery/ You’ll see lots of thumbnail images for websites – just click on each one to view the site itself.

Google sites examples

 

For this example, I’ll make a website about my two little Yorkie dogs, Lilly and Fenway.

The first thing you’ll need to do is go to the Google Sites website: site.new. If you haven’t already signed in to your Google account, it will ask you to sign in (or create an account if you don’t already have one). The opening page looks like this:

Google Sites home page

 

When you click on “Header type” you’ll see you have four options:

  1. Cover
  2. Large banner
  3. Banner
  4. Title only

You can click on each of them to get an idea of what each one means. For this example, I’ll choose “Large banner” (you can change it later if you want).

And when you click in the “Your page title” area, you can type the title of this web page. You can also click on “Change image”, and upload a picture from your computer as a background image. And “Enter site name” is where you would put the overall name of the website. So here’s our site so far:

Google sites

 

Over on the right side, you see 3 tabs:

  • Insert – this is where you would decide what content goes on this page that we’re working on
  • Pages – this is where you add more pages to this website
  • Themes – you will see several options for the design of the site

So I went to Themes and chose the “Aristotle” option.

Then I went back to Insert, and chose to insert a text box. This gives you a place to type whatever written content you want to put on this page. I typed a couple of sentences, which now appear under the main header image (you can type as much text as you want):

Google sites

 

Now I’ll go back to Insert, and choose to insert a picture. You can upload an image from your hard drive, or you can choose from your albums on Google Photos.

Then, I’ll write a little about that picture and drag that text to be right next to the image.

Google sites

 

So you can see, just about anything you would want to add to your web page is available in that tool section on the right side. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see lots more options:

Google sites

The best way to get a feel for these things is to just click on each one and see what it does. You can create a button that links to some other website. You can put in a divider line to separate groups of content. You can embed a YouTube video. You can put in a form, where you can ask questions and people can fill out the form and submit it to you. You can insert documents, spreadsheets, all kinds of stuff.

At the top of the page you also have some other controls. In the middle is an icon of an eyeball.

Google sites

 

You can click the eyeball to get a preview of your site at any point. So you can try adding something, preview it, then go back to editing until you get it exactly how you want it to look.

And when you’re done, click the big “Publish” button to take your site live for the world to see.

That will give you some options. The primary one is to determine the actual address (URL) for your site. Since I typed lillyandfenway that means the address for my site is:

https://sites.google.com/view/lillyandfenway (that link takes you to the actual site I created)

You could also get a domain name so that it looks more personal or professional. Such as, “lillyandfenway.com” or something similar, depending on what domain names are available. That just makes it easier to tell people the website and have them remember it.

You can also set a limit on who can view the website. In most cases “Anyone” is fine since that makes it public for anyone to be able to see it.

Google sites

 

So there you have it – creating your own website with Google Sites.

Keep this in mind: a website that looks really great and has lots of content and features means that whoever created that site put in the time and effort to make it that way. Google Sites just gives you the technology and the tools to create a great website. It’s kind of like writing. If you have a computer and Microsoft Word, you have the opportunity to write a NY Times best-selling book. But most of that depends on you, not your computer.

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JANET GERVAIS
December 28th, 2018

Hi Scott, Thanks for all your info on creating a website . Have a great New Years! Jan Gervais , paid for a website pay to click, and pay for something else. I don’t know much about it, I started it, but had a Tia mini stroke, while being a 24/7 caregiver for Mom who is 92 with Alzheimer aS I I can’t do outdoor shows, and the coops are already filled with artwork. So I am trying to get a site, maybe Etsy, where I can sell digital downloads of my paintings and photography, besides my dolls. I’m on Facebook as well. Miss you, nice to hear your voice!