Google Site Builder

Back when building web sites were still a new and novel idea, I remember slaving endlessly over pages of HTML coding, and having to do most everything from scratch, from images to links to layouts. Nowadays, with web building software like Adobe Dreamweaver to Apple's iWeb, along with a slew of other site-building websites, it's easy to drag and drop various images and content into a page, and have the code generate automatically, without a need for manual coding. While I've used some of those types of software before, it had been a while since I made a site, and so when my friend asked for my help in designing a new web site, he suggested we try out Google's free site builder tool, called "Google Sites."

Like most any other web page maker, you can choose from pre-made templates, or make your own from various different themes offered. Once in, it's easy to click the areas where you want to insert text or images. You can choose from a variety of different layouts, with the navigation bar in different places, or multiple columns on the page. It's easy to build directories in the navigation bar, because the site editor automatically detects which you're creating a new page from, and asks if you would like the new page to be filed under the old one. The navigation bar can be customized as well, from its width to the links it has, and in what order. It's easy to rearrange the links just by clicking up and down buttons on the editing page, or indenting the link with the left and right buttons. The URL of any page can be easily be changed in the page preferences, in case you change your mind.

In short, while Google's Site Builder may not have as many fancy bells and whistles as software like Dreamweaver, the functionality and design it offers for free is quite amazing. One thing that really surprised me was how professional-looking the web site turned out, despite the fact we had just added a few simple links with a simple layout. To use Site Builder, you will need to have a Google account, but it's easy to register, and people already using Gmail are all set to go.

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