Website Management

Creating a website in Google Sites is deceptively easy and simple, at first. All you seem to need to do is open a page and add content. And, all you need is one login and one browser. But at some point you will need to do work that requires more skills and tools or you will need a to add another site, like Facebook or Twitter. A website can be complicated fast. The following is a basic list of requirements necessary to manage most Google Sites websites.



Computer Skills

Mouse - You should understand what the left, middle (if available) and right mouse buttons do but the left mouse button will be used more than the other two.

Keyboard - You should know what the most commonly used keys are and what they do. Keys are how you give computers instructions.

There are a few basic keys that are shortcuts to often-used tasks and there are commonly used keys, too. 

Note that some shortcuts may be different from computer to computer.

The keyboard is divided up into sections. Each grouped by function.

  • Top - Function keys F1 - F12
  • Bottom Left - 5 rows of alphabet and other commonly used keys
  • Bottom Middle - Positioning keys with arrows
  • Bottom Right - Numberic keys

Commonly Used Keys (Shortcuts)

  • F5 - refreshes page content
  • Control C - to copy content
  • Control V - to paste content
  • Shift & Control used for specific tasks

Commonly Used Keys

  • Backspace
  • Tab - move from one place to another
  • Enter - to submit a form, open a new page and so on
  • Space Bar
  • Delete - to delete content

Editor - You should know what they are in theory.

Editors are programs that edit content. Content can be text, images, video, audio and so on. 

Regardless the type, they all do the same thing. They take content and edit it.

To use Google Sites, you should understand specifically what text and image editors are and what they basically do.

Google Sites uses text editor tools to work with page content.Text editor tools are shown as icons at the top of the editor page. 

Text can be edited by changing its size, color, font family or positioning.

Additionally, text can be formatted via the "Format" menu. Here you can choose how to display the text such as a header, list, paragraph and more

Each formatted item has it own built in styles (margins and positioning) so you don't have to add these yourself.

Though Google Sites does not have an image editor, you will need one. 

At some point, you will want to add an image to a page but it will probably need to be edited first such as being made smaller or cropped. The image editor will do these.

File Manager - You know know what one is and how to use it. This program will organize your website related files such as images and documents.

Internet Skills

Browser(s) - You should understand what it is, what it does and how to use it.You will be working in a browser to interact with your Google Sites website.  Specifically, you should know how to use "tabs".

Understand that the browser is not Google Sites but a program that displays website pages. Each has its own buttons though sometimes it is hard to tell where the browser ends and Google Sites begins.

Dialog Box - You should be able to recognize one and know what it does and how to use it.

To perform tasks such as creating a new page or adding a link to a page, for example, little windows open up in the browser.

They are called dialog boxes and are named correctly. They will walk you through steps (dialog) to complete a task.

Online Account - You should know what an online account is, what terms of service are and how use one.

Accounts allow you access to online services offered by others such as a bank, store, email and so on. 

Without them, you would have to conduct business in a store or use the telephone to contact someone, for example.

They are contracts. Be sure you understand the terms of service and your rights and responsibilities before creating and using them.

Breaking the terms of services may result in the closing of the account and even legal action.

Be aware that some are organized differently than others. 

Some require you to contact them to delete an account while others provide this service with the account.

Bookmarks - You should understand what they are and how to use them enough to create folder and sub-folders.

Bookmarks, also know as Favorites, are browser tools that save pages so you can return to them later and they can be organized into sub-folders.

These are essential to managing your website because they will keep you organized. 

By grouping all website related pages together such as account logins, help forums,  Facebook accounts, tools like online image editors and more, they will be easier to find and keep you aware of how many you have.

Most browsers have bookmarks and each have their own instructions how to create them. 

You will have to find out what browser(s) you have first, then search for instructions.

The following items are suggested folders but you may create your own.

  • accounts - login pages to all accounts
  • websites - all websites related to your site such as a Facebook profile, Twitter page and so on
  • help - forums, blogs, user sites
  • instructions - specific "how to" instructions for often repeated tasks

Tools

Multiple Browsers - No one browser displays website content the same nor does all functionality behave the same in all browsers, if at all. 

There will be instances where something won't work in one browser but will in another.

It is essential that pages be viewed in as many browsers as possible to ensure that they display correctly for as many viewers as possible.

While you might not be able to fix all of these problems, you can be aware of them and either avoid using whatever is causing the problem entirely or post a note on your site to viewers.

Multiple Computers - You don't need a second computer of your own, just another one that you can check when your website is having problems such as a friend's or even one at the library.

There may even be instances where website problems will be specific to "a" computer.

File Manager - File managers keep your website organized.

Over time website content will grow as you add images or documents. To organize and stay on top of all website content, you need to have and understand how to use a file manager.

I recommend creating a folder just for your website. In the folder create sub-folders for every page in your website that has uploaded content.

For example, if you have a image on the Home page, create a home page folder and put a copy of that image there. Do this for ever page that has content.

Why? When the time comes to replace it, you can find the original and at least get its dimensions.

But for some images, heavy modifications might be required and must be made using using the original. Placing it here, makes it easier to find.

Image Editor - To modify images before uploading, you will need an image editor. There are many free ones that either come with your computer or are available online either by download or right in the browser.

Account Management Program - Find a program or just create a text file at the start of your website, to track ALL accounts related to your website. 

Over time they will grow and you will either forget about them entirely or forget their logins. 

Website Manual - This is an absolute necessity whether it is a 3-ring binder or a file. 

Manuals are used in the business world to ensure the work is done in a consistent, repeatable manner and that all necessary work gets done on a regular basis. How else to do it but with a manual of some sort.

At the very least it should consist of the following sections.

  1. account info - a list of all accounts related to the website and their login info
  2. to do list - self explanatory
  3. regularly scheduled tasks - list of all tasks to be done, when, how often and by whom
  4. instructions - step by step instructions for jobs that are done on a regular basis because often these jobs are not done often enough to remember how

Website Testing Tools - Just because you put content on a webpage does not mean others can view, use or even see it.

To ensure that your website is performing, testing is essential. There are many free services available as well as for fee.

Note that you have no access the server where you website lives so have limited control over some behavior. Basic testing tools include the following but there are more.

  • checking for broken links
  • download speed - too much content on your pages?
  • browser compatibility - does the page display or perform in most browsers?
  • accessibility - can viewers with disabilities use your site? Note that this one of those issues that you have limited control over.
  • readable, understandable content