Re: Setting up a Google Site
From: Kathy Icenogle (
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2015 14:35:03 -0700 (PDT)
We use Google Sites for our Washington Village community website and it
works reasonably well for freebie technology. You can integrate the Google
Calendar, Google Groups conversations (we have a group for the whole
community, as well as groups for each team), photos (Google Photos/Picasa
Web), and any type of Google doc, including forms (surveys), and other
features if you want to get into using their "gadgets"...  (I'm sorry, our
members want to keep the current website private.. I haven't had a chance
to build a public side to it yet.)

Something to keep in mind, if you intend to publish a lot of documents on a
Google Site, is that they limit storage space to 100MB... and I haven't
found the secret yet to how one might request more space... 100 MB gets
used up pretty fast if you use the "File Cabinet" page type, because it
stores documents as part of the website. We're getting around that limit by
storing documents in a shared Google Drive - and then inserting drive
folders into pages on our site.  (I would be interested to know if I'm
missing a better solution. I'm no expert.)

Kathy Icenogle
Washington Village, Boulder, CO

PS. Sharon, I love your posts. Thanks for all the great info you provide.

On Sat, Jul 25, 2015 at 9:03 AM, Sharon Villines <sharon [at]>

> I recently gave out the address of an example Google Site that Takoma
> Village uses for Facilities. It is just a sample of what is now a large
> site.
> Several people asked for instructions on how to do this and I referred
> them to the Google site. WELL, when I finally realized that people couldn’t
> find the right page, I went over to Google to find it. I could find my
> example but not how to start a new one. Hours later…
> No wonder people have been asking so many questions. I finally was able to
> set up another example from scratch. After I finished the directions below,
> however, I found YouTube videos on it — lots of them.
> Or you can read the directions below. I like directions myself but videos
> can also be helpful—they just take longer.
> Sharon
> ---------
> Google Goop: For a company that can produce such a wonderful search
> engine, they have an incredibly frustrating interface for personal
> accounts. The “My Account” page, for example, does not show my Sites or
> Docs. I just had to persist.
> How to set up a Google Site:
> Google Sites are “wikis” which means anyone who is authorized can add
> information easily. It is like using a word processor. No programming
> required. Information is organized like a filing cabinet in outline format
> with main headings, sub headings, and pages.
> 1. Sign in to or set up a new account.
> 2. In the upper right hand corner you will see a small checkerboard menu
> icon. Click to get a dropdown menu of icons of Google Apps.
> At the bottom, click “more” and you will see more icons.
> Then click “even more.” You be taken to a page with all the Google Apps
> listed in a sensible format with actual names, descriptions, and links.
> (You may want to bookmark this page. There doesn’t seem to be any quick way
> to find it.)
> 3. Scroll down to "Home and Office” and click on “Sites.” You will be
> taken to a page that lists all your sites. If you have no Sites, I don’t
> know what happens. (I can’t seem to set up an account unrelated to mine so
> I can’t check this.)
> 4. On the “Sites” page, click “Create.”
> 5. The next page shows a few templates with an option to view more. The
> “Browse the Gallery Window will take you to something so complex you will
> wish you hadn’t seen it. Not a big deal because you can always change the
> template. But see below— there is a better way.
> Add a name for your Site and it will appear in the website address below.
> You won’t know if this name available until you finish the page and click
> “Create Site.” (This may take a lot of time.)
> At the bottom there are arrows for “Select a Theme and “More Options” The
> options arrow drops down a box to enter a description of the site. The
> theme arrow drops down a lot of themes to choose from—I think these are the
> best options. The elaborate ones are probably too specific for a cohousing
> community.
> (I prefer the simple empty templates like Launch Default, Simple, Solitude
> (choice of several colors). These have colors but you can change them later
> and add your on photos.)
> Verify that you are not a robot.
> Click “Create Site at the Top”
> Change name if necessary. Reverify.
> If the name is good the spinning wheel will spin and suddenly you site
> will appear. If you have chosen a theme with content, it will be filled
> in—for weddings or crafts show, for example. If not you will see an empty
> page with colors and sections.
> Bookmark this page!
> 6. On the upper right, you will see three icons and a share button. The
> icons are for editing the page you are on, adding a page, and a drop down
> menu for everything else.
> 7. I think the items on the drop down menu are self explanatory. If you
> don’t understand them, just experiment. You can’t do anything irreversible
> except delete the site. (I couldn’t even find that command so I don’t think
> you have to worry about it.)
> There is also a help menu at the bottom of that dropdown menu.
> Google Sites are wonderful places to store information so I highly
> recommend them but the upfront interface is a brain puzzler. And Google
> changes it at will. That’s why I said to bookmark your pages. You may never
> find them again.
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