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How to Create a Website on Google Sites

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

You can easily make a free website on Google using Google Sites – a simple drag-and-drop website builder. It is included into the Google Suite package and is initially geared towards the needs of first-timers. The service is intuitive, easy-to-use and quite convenient for all user categories and it has much to offer to each and every web designer.

Google Sites uses the WYSIWYG editor by default, although, its interface also works well for those users, who intend to manually edit website code to gain one-of-a-kind result. Mind that before using the service, you should sign up for a free Google account (if you don’t have the one yet). Here is a detailed walkthrough to help you figure out the must-have steps required to start a website for free with Google.

With Google Sites, you can easily create and manage interactive and dynamic projects in a couple of clicks only. No programming skills or web design experience are needed to work with the system – just follow the tips it generates and explore the dashboard to proceed to the website development process.

Google Sites uses the WYSIWYG editor by default, although, its interface also works well for those users, who intend to manually edit website code to gain one-of-a-kind result. Mind that before using the service, you should sign up for a free Google account (if you don’t have the one yet). Here is a detailed walkthrough to help you figure out the must-have steps required to start a website for free with Google.

1. Choose Website Name and Template

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

As soon as you login to your Google account and launch the website builder, you will be redirected to the control panel, where you’ll be asked to specify your company name. This is also the place, where you can change header image and style. By the way, you have an opportunity either to pick one of the stock images Google Sites offers or upload the one of your own. Having done that, you’ll need to proceed to template choice. “Themes” section is available in the detailed menu to the right of the screen. Apart from design, you’ll be able to pick header color and font style here.

Speaking about templates, Google Sites doesn’t offer a default template for new websites to enable users gain full control over their projects. Instead, the website builder lets you choose one of the existing themes from the gallery. As to the variety of themes, it’s not that impressive, but there is still much to choose from here.

What you should also mind is that the website builder differentiates between the notions of themes and templates. “Themes” are used to design the overall feel and look of the website (including the images and color palette), while “templates” encompass the choice of page types and layouts. This is what you will do further.

2. Edit Website Layout

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

While working on your website development, you’ll have an opportunity to pick and edit your website layout. All in all, there are 6 layout variants to choose from. These include one-, two-, three- and four- column layouts.

To replace the default layout, just choose the corresponding section and proceed to the editing process. Having made the choice, you will be able to fill out the blocks, uploading images and adding website-related texts. That’s very easy, quick and hassle-free.

3. Add and Customize Pages

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

As soon as you are done with the layout choice, it’s high time to add new website pages. Google Sites allows adding the unlimited number of pages that differ in their implications and types. To add a new page, just reach the corresponding “Pages” tab in the control panel and name the page. To cut down the time of website development, it’s possible to duplicate ready-made pages, add subpages and assign special properties to them.

As to the page types, it’s possible to select between options. To be precise, it’s up to you to decide what page type exactly you wish to add and what content you plan to upload afterwards. Thus, you may create and add standard web pages to feature your content and attach documents, announcements to post company news and updates, start pages, list pages as well as file cabinets to store, manage and share files. The number of pages should basically depend upon your website specialization, size and content you’d like to display.

4. Upload Content

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

Once you have customized the pages, it’s high time to proceed to one of the most time-taking, responsible and bulky parts of the entire website creation process – content uploading. With this purpose, go to the “Insert” tab in the control panel and pick the type of content to be added. You may choose from Text Boxes, Images, Embed option and “From Drive” variant. The choice will depend upon the source the files are initially stored in.

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

As to the types of content to be uploaded to the page, the insert button unveils lots of variants that cover the prevailing amount of users’ needs. Here is the list of content types you can choose and insert into your web pages: Table of Contents, Image Carousel, Button, Divider, YouTube, Map, Calendar, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms and Charts. Whatever element you will choose, you’ll be able to further customize it with regard to your website specialization.

Additionally, Google Sites makes it possible to integrate standard “gadgets” like calculators or news feeds, Google Search Console for better search engine optimization of ready-made projects, Google Analytics etc. As a Google-powered website builder, Sites allows integrating any G Suite extensions you consider important and necessary for your project.

No third-party add-ons or plugins are needed to do that – just have a look at the set of extensions and pick those you currently need (Google Docs, Drive, Collections, Jamboard, Blogger and what not).

5. Review Website Management Options

Prior to unveiling your new project to the world, you should set and configure some of the most critical elements and website management options. What you can do here is connecting site analytics, duplicating the project, adding favicon, adjusting custom URLs, reviewing site info settings, assigning website sharing rights to other users etc.

If there is still anything you don’t understand here, just access the “Take a Tour” button to see what’s behind the system settings. Apart from that, the website builder allows adding multiple contributors to the project and even subscribe to recent project changes to stay aware of all the edits and changes made at the website.

6. Pick a Domain Name

There is one more thing to do before making it accessible on the web. You have to pick the domain name for your project. Actually, you can publish it under your own domain – the one you’ve owned before – or get a completely new one from Google. It’s up to you to decide that. Just think about the remarkable and easy-to-remember URL that will not only be associated with your business niche, but will also be unique and memorable for the target audience. Don’t make it too long, however, to avoid bulky URLs.

7. Adjust Website Access

How to Create a Website on Google Sites

There is a convenient opportunity to share the ready-made project with other users, setting the access rights. Thus, you can leave your website in the Draft Mode (while it’s still under construction), selecting specific people, who will have the right to edit the project. You can also make the website absolutely private so that no one will be able to view it. Likewise, you can publish the project to make it accessible to everyone. If you wish to invite anyone to edit the website with you, the system allows doing that by specifying the emails of these people and sending invitations to them.

In case you want to safeguard your project, you can tick the button that makes it possible to prevent other editors from publishing the project, changing access rights and adding new people without your awareness. That’s very convenient for people working in a team or for those users, who are involved in the development of custom-made websites for clients. Finally, it is possible to use the Preview option before the final project publication to make sure it looks properly on desktop, tablet and mobile screens.

8. Connect Google Analytics

Google Sites makes it possible to connect Google Analytics to your ready-made project. That’s a must-have feature, if you wish to stay aware of the major parameters of your project and factors that affect its performance as well as SEO rating. Integration of Google Analytics will help you find out traffic flow and fluctuations, amount of users visiting your website during the specified period of time, conversion rates, traffic destinations and sources, website abandonment rates as well as lots of other crucial parameters that may eventually make or break the entire website performance. Awareness of these characteristics will help you fix the potential problems on time to avoid more serious consequences.

9. Adjust SEO Configurations and Publish the Website

There is one more essential thing you should do before you make your website available online. We talk about Search Engine Optimization now. Google Sites lets you adjust the major SEO parameters to ensure high search engine ranking of your newly created project. To make it a success, it is recommended to connect Google Search Console that will make it easier for the search engines to index your project. Make sure to properly fill out the main SEO fields and sections that have direct connection to your website positions. Now that your website is 100% ready for publication, just click the “Publish” button and watch the result!

Bottom Line

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced coding-aware developer willing to make a website on Google, you will easily master it with Google Sites help. It is quite a functional system, even though, it has minimalistic design. No special programming knowledge is required to launch and manage projects with Google Sites. The control panel is intuitive and easy-to-explore, while the result is worth the effort in the long run.

The website builder makes it possible to create only simple web pages with rather limited functionality. It works well for small projects, while launching full-featured websites will hardly be possible. If you have an intention to keep working on further project development and promotion, it makes sense to pick a quality feature-rich website builder from the start. Wix, uKit, Weebly or even CMS like WordPress will easily cope with any task. Everything depends on your web design skills and experience.

Howard

About the Author

I'm Howard Steele, the founder and editor-in-chief of this website. With over 10 years of web building I know how complicated and tiresome this task can be for a non-IT person.

Can’t decide which service to choose? Feel free to ask me for advice. Just describe your website needs, and I’ll gladly help you.

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