Setting up a Google Site
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2015 08:03:58 -0700 (PDT)
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.



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 
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 

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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