Sunday, 10 August 2008

Google Sites is Amazing

As mentioned in last weeks blog, Google Page Creator (GPC) will not be allowing any new users and those that have accounts will have to switch to Google Sites by the end of this year. I kind of sensed the end for GPC, there zero news/updates being made by Google. Last week I switched to Google Sites (I refer to it as Sites), and I find it amazing, it can do so much more than what Google Page Creator could. Before you read the following details, check out my site created with Sites and the pic below to get a sense of what it can offer.

Web Site Creation with Google Sites
As the name implies, websites (Google defines this as a collection of web pages) can be made with Sites. The number of websites created is limited by the storage, 100 MB for the free version, 10 GB for those that pay for Google Apps (only $50/year, other services included). Similar to GPC, there are templates, but the selection seems to be better with Sites and editing of the page components (i.e., Header text colour) is easily done, very close to how Blogger does it. Unlike GPC, the sidebar and body width can be easily changed, it was a big pain and task to do this in GPC. Sites handles images very well, which was a major criticism of GPC, and text is easily wrapped around it. As you notice from the pic above, the actual editing of webpage content is very similar to Google Documents (which I now use for my blogging), much better than the editor in GPC. Gadgets can be added, there are quite a lot available but I've encountered problems with text wrapping around these. The biggest improvement over GPC is the ability to add gadgets that can handle uploaded files, announcements, lists, and text (text box). I am currently using files and announcements, these are created as separate pages, and the gadget just condenses these to a small box. For example, if you look at the page that will be used for one of my teaching courses, a files section will be found. This is actually a web page that is condensed to be seen in a nice, easily viewable box.
Sites is a excellent product, and a great advance over GPC. Once again Google has created another hit product.

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