Are you aware that Google quietly slipped into the web design and hosting business as well?
I discovered it myself only a few months ago almost by mistake, while playing around with my Gmail account's settings.
If you have a Gmail account, type “http://pages. google.com” into your URL window and hit return to go directly to Google's web-site building (called GOOGLE PAGES) interface.
After you log in by using your regular Gmail User ID and Password, you are ready to construct your web site.
Google really made it “fool proof” to make sure everybody will be able to have a web site without any excuses.
You can select from one of the available dozen or so templates to come up with a fairly decent web site within 15 minutes at ZERO cost.
Once you create your main “Index” page, the rest is about creating additional pages and linking them to one another in any way you want.
I recommend you select at least a 2-Column template to use your second column as a navigation side bar (where you would have your text links to other pages, including the all important HOME link).
You can import IMAGES as well very easily and configure both the alignment of the images (click and drag) and their size (small, medium, large).
Here is a valuable HINT that might save you a lot of grief:
When you create a new page, do NOT use a QUESTION MARK in the file name. For some odd reason such pages cannot be linked and they gave a 404 error message (page not found) when you try to bring them up in the browser.
Instead, create your pages with file names that do not include a question mark, immediately publish them as is with no content, then go back to the same page and (if you want) write a HEADLINE that does include a question mark.
Here are the GOOD POINTS of Google Pages:
1) It is FREE.
2) You can use over a dozen free templates to construct your web site within MINUTES.
3) The web editor interface does not allow you to do too many things but it is very simple to use and the Header choices provided will satisfy a majority of web users.
4) It is very easy to UPDATE, EDIT and PUBLISH your existing pages.
And here are the NOT SO GREAT aspects of Google Pages:
2) For the same reason, you cannot use Google pages for e-commerce either.
3) You have to start off with a domain name that is always a subset of the googlepages.com, as in “mysite. googlepages.com”. However, you can POINT your own domain name to this site.
If you need a relatively static website on a FREE and well-maintained server with a FREE and very easy to use foolproof editor, then you should check out what Google has to offer.
I have a feeling Google will not stop with this basic version and will continue to add new features as we go along. It's worth keeping an eye on this new experiment from Google.
(540 words, Copyright May 2006 Ugur Akinci)
by Ugur Akinci, Ph. D.
Creative Copywriter and Technical Communicator
Ugur Akinci, Ph. D. is a Creative Copywriter, Editor, an experienced and award-winning Technical Communicator specializing in fundraising packages, direct sales copy, web content, press releases and hi-tech documentation.
He has worked as a Technical Writer for Fortune 100 companies for the last 7 years.
You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE consultation on all your copywriting needs.
Please visit his official web site http://www.writer111.com for customer testimonials and more information on his multidisciplinary background and career.
The last book he has edited: http://www.lulu.com/content/263630