Google Sites allows you to create a website without the hassle of learning how to manage a web server or how to write HTML. In addition, it allows for a collaborative environment in which many users can edit the same web page. In order to use St. Olaf's Google Sites, visit http://sites.stolaf.edu/. You will have to enter your St. Olaf username and password.
Google Sites does have limitations- it is not as customizable as creating your own web page using web design software. However, it is far easier to use and can be used to create robust and exciting web pages. If you would like to learn more about dreamweaver, a tutorial can be found on the MDC resources page here.
After you have logged in, click create a site. Give your website an appropriate name (take note of what the URL is).
Fill in what type of site you will have in the site categories text box (separating multiple entries with commas). Then, create a short description of what the website will contain so that it is clear to web surfers what content is offered on the website.
Choose the radio button which determines who can collaborate on your website- if you are the only person who is going to edit the website, simply choose Only people I specify can view this site.
Choose a theme for your website- whichever theme you pick will be applied across all of your web pages. Clicking more themes offers around two dozen themes to choose from.
Finally, to create your website, click Create site.
Begin editing your webpage by clicking Edit page. When you are finished adding content to your page, click Save to return to the normal view.
To edit text in either the header or in the main content, click where you would like to place your text and begin typing. In order to indent the text, use the indent buttons found above the main content window. In order to align the text, use the alignment buttons found next to the indentation buttons above the main content window.
To add a list (either bulleted or numbered) click one of the list buttons. The left list button will create an ordered, numbered list whereas the right button will create an unordered, bulleted list.
To make headings for sections of your website found on each page, begin by typing the heading into the main section. Next, highlight the heading, and use the drop-down menus to select Format->Heading (H2). From this same menu, you can also select sub and minor headings, or turn a heading into normal paragraph size font.
Adding a Table of Contents
A table of contents on a web page allows for speedy links to different parts of that web page. To create a table of contents for your web page, you must first have headings for the sections of your web page. After the headings are in place, use the drop-down menus to select Insert->Table of contents. Choose a width for your table of contents (the default width works in most cases) and click save. Your table of contents will be automatically generated with your headings when you save your web page and view it without edit mode on.
Inserting Horizontal Lines/Rules
A horizontal rule can break up the flow of a web page to make it more understandable and easier on the eyes. A good place for a horizontal rule is before any major heading to denote a new section on the same web page. Do not overuse horizontal rules, as they can become distracting and make the web page more difficult to understand. To insert a horizontal rule, use the drop-down menu to select Insert->Horizontal Line.
To insert images, use the drop-down menu to select Insert->Image. This brings up a pop-up window, in which you may select to upload your own picture or to use one already on the internet. After you have uploaded or selected an image from the internet, click on that image and click the Add Image button. The image will appear on your web page Drag the image to the location you would like it at. If you place your mouse over the image, you will see a small set of options appear below the image. The picture can be aligned to the left, center, or right of the page by clicking on the L, C, or R, respectively. The size can be made small, medium, large, or the original size of the file by clicking on the S, M, L, or Original options. Text-wrapping can be turned on or off. Finally, the image can be removed from the web page by clicking Remove.
To add a link to your web page, type what you would like the link to say and highlight it. Use the drop-down menu to select Insert->Link. Use the tabs on the left side of the pop-up window to pick if your link is going to point to a page you made or type in a different outside web address.
To add video, you must first upload the video to Google Video or YouTube. Once you have uploaded your video, use the drop-down menu to select Insert->Video. Select the host where you have uploaded your video. In the pop-up window, paste the URL of the video, select if you would like a border around the video, and label the video. Click Save and your video will be displayed on your page when you view it.
Attaching Documents and Files
An attached Document or File will not be displayed on the page like an image or video, but it allows users to download the file easily. It will appear as a link to the file at the bottom of your web page when you save your changes and return to the normal view. Attaching a document or file is accomplished by scrolling to the bottom of your page, clicking Browse and selecting the file on your machine. If you would like to remove the file, click Remove.
Adding Different Types of Pages
Clicking Create new page presents you with options for five different types of pages, they can be used as follows.
- Web page - An unstructured page that can be used in most circumstances.
- Dashboard - A two-column page with gadget placeholders to display information quickly.
- Announcements - A page that shows posts in chronological order for items like news or events.
- File Cabinet - The file cabinet allows the management of documents from your hard drive into folders with the advantage of version history in the case of a desired revert.
- List - A list page allows you to easily track lists.
Advanced Site Settings
Google Sites allows for more customization than first appears. Although the customization is not unlimited, clicking the link labeled Site settings (which is located at the top right of the Google Sites window) will bring you to a menu with three tabs.
- Sharing - This allows you to manipulate the collaboration settings for the web page.
- Appearance - Brings a set of three more tabs
- Site Elements - Changes the sizes of the elements (header, footer, navigation bar, etc.) to better suit your website.
- Colors and Fonts - Changes the individual colors and fonts of most of the individual elements of the web page, including URL link colors and the main font on the page.
- Themes - Allows you to pick a new theme if you do not like the one you chose when you began the web page.
- Other Stuff - Changes advanced web-hosting settings and offers the option to permanently delete the web page.