Saturday, September 13, 2014

Trick Out Your Google Site

Read Sites Tips and Hacks


Some time after Christmas, I decided that I needed to get my act together and really figure out how to use Google Sites. I needed a professional website, and I needed to be able to speak from a position of experience when talking about all of Google's tools, so I set out to master Sites.
Image: Wikimedia Commons

My first version was, admittedly, pretty basic. Nothing fancy, maybe too many colours, things weren't as organized as I'd wanted. I had a plan in mind, but I was having some trouble figuring out how to get to where I wanted to be.

The basics were pretty easy to get the hang of. Once you know where to look for things, it's pretty simple to start getting things to work the way you want. But I quickly realized that there were some limits to sites, and I wanted more.

Fast forward a few months, and I've got some experience under my belt. I've built www.opensourceteacher.ca (shameless plug) to be a hub for resources, thoughts, ideas, and to support and extend what I began with this blog. I've also put together www.cdnedchat.ca to serve as a resource for the Twitter chat I help moderate (yes, that's another shameless plug).

When I showed them to my friend +Tanya Avrith , her comments were incredibly positive. I think the nicest thing she said was "It doesn't even look like a Google site!" This was a compliment because, if you've spent time on a Google site, it has a certain look and feel. It has typical elements, and there are always things you won't find on a Google site.

I decided to document some of the things I've tried, learned, or implemented on my site. It's in keeping with my open source philosophy that I share how I do what I do. So I started to put together a Google Doc to collect what I've done. It's now 19 pages later, and I still have a few things I want to add (like using Google Webmaster Tools).

If you're interested, take a look at the document. It will keep evolving as I continue to learn new things.

Enjoy!