Google has its own website platform called Google Sites. Google Sites is completely free and surprisingly simple to set up!
Step 1: Finding Google Sites
You will want to first log-in to your Google account. After you are logged in, you have a couple of ways to find Google Sites. You can either Google "Google Sites," type sites.google.com in the address bar, or click "Sites" under the 3x3 array located at the top right corner of your Google screen.
Step 2: Creating Your Site
Once you are in Google Sites, you need to click the red "create" button in the left-hand corner. When you have your site, this is the page you will see it listed on. After you click on the create button, it will have you choose a template, name your site, and pick a theme. ALL of these things can be changed later, so do not feel like you have to make a perfect decision right away!
*If you pick blank template, it is much more customizable, but may take more work on your end to make it look cool. If you want the layout pre-made, choose a designed template instead. The downside to the designed templates is that you cannot really change the formatting easily.
Step 3: All of the Options..
As you are creating your site, you could go down three different paths. You can choose a blank template with a theme, a pre-made template, or a blank template without a theme. Here is the run down on each of your options:
Blank Template with a Theme: This is a very customizable option. You can easily put text where you want, in the font that you want, choose the overall format of your page. However, many of these themes are on the plain-side, so that is just your personal preference.
Pre-made Template: These templates look very cool and are visually pleasing. However, customizing can be trickier with these templates. In my experience, you have to stick to original format unless you want to spend a fair share of time moving things around. It can be done, I just feel it takes a bit longer. Again, personal preference.
Blank Template: At first, you are starting with a completely blank slate. It will take some additional effort, but with this format, you can really make your site your own. If you do not care to completely customize your site, this option might not be for you since it will take some extra time compared to the other two options.
Step 4: Editing
No matter which template you chose, you will be able to edit your site. Editing is set out pretty simply, almost like Word. To edit, all you need to do is click the pencil icon at the top right of your site. Once you do so, you can change the font, font size, add pictures, add videos, and even embed other websites!
Step 5: Embedding a Website
I love this option because this means that my students can access all their sites for school in one place! To do this, you must be in the "edit" option. Next you will click on the "insert" tab on the left hand side of your site. Then, click the "more gadgets" option.
Step 6: Embedding a Website, Continued
You will then select the gadget called "iframe." This should be one of the first gadgets that you see. Once you select this, all you need to do is paste in the website that you want to be displayed on your site! You can adjust the size of the webpage on your site here, as well.
*You will not see your site until after you hit the SAVE button. It will just look like a white box. That is okay!
**If it still does not show up after you hit save, try this step again and make sure that your site begins with https, not http. Due to Google's new security features, you must have an https (or a secured site). If your website begins with http, simply add an s after to make it work!
Step 7: Adding a Page
To add a page to your site, click on the icon that has a paper with a plus sign on it (located at the right hand corner of your site). Name your new page and click "put under home level" if you want it to come after your home page!
Step 8: I Hate My Theme, What Do I Do?
If you decide you hate your theme or page template this can be easily fixed. Go to the gear icon and then click manage site. Once there, scroll down to the option "Themes, colors, and fonts." You will be able to change to whichever theme or template that you choose!
Step 9: How Do I Share My Site?
To share your site, simply click "share" at the right hand corner of your site. You can make this completely private to you, share it with only your class, share it to only those with the link, or share it with the world.
Step 10: How to Delete Your Site
If you feel that you have eternally ruined your site beyond repair, you can always start new! To delete your site, click on the gear icon and click manage site. Once you make it to the "manage site" page, the delete option is very easy to pass up. Use the image above to see the direct location of where the "delete this site" option is located.