Bill Detwiler: Google Sites can be an effectivecollaboration tool for your IT department and the end users you support. Andwhether you're a Google Apps for Business customer or just have a Gmailaccount, knowing a few Site basics will help you use and support the product.
I'm Bill Detwiler, and during this episode of TR Dojo, I'llcover five things every IT pro should know about Google Sites.
Google Sites is the collaborative website development toolthat is part of the Google Apps Suite. The Sites tool allows users to quicklycreate internal and external websites.
Google Sites is accessible to all types of Google AppsAccounts--Google Apps for Business, Google Apps for Education, Gmail--basicallyanyone with a Google Account. To access Google Sites go to sites.google.com andsign in with your Google Account credentials.
If you can't access Google Sites, then your Apps Admin haslikely disabled Sites for your Domain.
The first thing you should know about Google Sites is thatyou don't need to be a developer to use it.
Google provides a WYSIWYG editor to help you create sites,and the process is similar to creating a Google Document. Using the editor, andits familiar toolbar interface, you can easily customize your site's layout andformat objects, text, and images.
If you are an old school HTML guru and like working withcode, you can do that to. Just click the HTML button on the toolbar and a newwindow showing the raw HTML code.
You can edit the HTML code directly in this window and evenpreview your changes before saving them.
There are gadgets for all kind of functions like displayingRSS feeds, showing the local weather, and embedding a calculator. Most gadgetscan be customized through a WYSIWYG editor so the user never has to interact withthe code.
The third thing every IT pro should know about Google Sitesis that you can specify page level permissions.
Until recently Admins could only grant “editor” or “viewer”permissions to entire Google sites. If a user had “edit” rights to one part ofthe site, they had edit rights to the entire site. Just a few weeks ago, Googleadded page level permissions. These settings allow you to specify who can view andedit each and every page. Permissions can even be inherited from one page toanother.
Now, page level permissions are turned off by default. Ifyou're the site owner, you can enable them on the Sharing and Permissionssection of your Site Settings page.
I'll link to a Google article that provides more informationon page level permissions in the TR Dojo blog.
After you've spent hours working on your Google Site, it'sgood to know that item number four on our list--you can create a copy of yoursite.
In the General Site settings there is a link called CopyThis Site. It lets you to make a copy of the site in another location on yourdomain (if you are using Google Apps) or to another URL if you are using GoogleSites with your Gmail account.
You also have the option of copying the site collaboratorsand the revision history.
The last item on our list, should be comforting to IT proswho support Android and iOS devices. A Site owner can configure their Site tobe automatically rendered for mobile devices.
To do this, go to the General Site settings page, and turnon the option to Automatically adjust site for mobile phones.
Well that does it for this edition of TR Dojo. Thanks toTechRepublic blogger Susan Cline, who put this list together.
For even more things you should know about Google Sites,such as how Google Sites Announcements work, check out her article, "10myths about Google Sites debunked and dispelled." I'll link to it fromthe TR Dojo blog.
And as always, for more teachings on YOUR path to becomingan IT Ninja, visit trdojo.techrepublic.com, sign-up for our newsletter, orfollow me on Twitter.
Thanks for visiting the TR Dojo.