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How to create a website with Google Sites

create a website
(Image credit: Google)

Google Sites is a website builder from Google that you can use to create fairly advanced websites in just minutes. The platform uses a drag-and-drop editor, so you don’t even have to touch HTML code to build a new website.

Perhaps the best part about creating a Google Sites website is that it’s completely free. You just need a Google account to start using it.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a new website with Google Sites. To get started, just head over to the Google Sites website at sites.google.com.

create a website

The Google Sites interface (Image credit: Google)

1. Choose a name and address

The first thing you need to do to create a new website is to pick a name and URL. By default, the URL of your site will be sites.google.com/view/yoursitename. Keep in mind that your site URL must be unique⁠—you’ll get an error message if it is already taken. 

Your website URL must be unique

Your website URL must be unique (Image credit: Google)

Have your own URL? You can connect that to your new site to make it easier for visitors to find you. Click the gear icon, then the Custom URLs tab. Enter your URL to redirect it to your new website. 

2. Select a template and theme

Google Sites offers eight templates to help kickstart your design. These are fully customizable, so don’t worry too much about this choice. 

create a website

Templates available for Google Sites (Image credit: Google)

Once you choose a template, you’ll be taken to the site editor. Select a theme for your site by clicking the Theme tab in the navigation pane. The theme options modify the color palette, fonts, and overall look and feel of your website. 

3. Edit site layout

Every page in Google Sites is divided into sections, each with its own layout. To create a new section with a specific layout, navigate to the Insert tab of the editing pane. Under Layouts, you’ll find six basic page section types. Click on one and a new section with that layout will be added to the bottom of the current page. 

create a website

Default layouts available within Google Sites.  (Image credit: Google)

You can move sections up or down by dragging on the pattern of 10 dots that appears on the left side of each section. You can also delete sections by clicking on the garbage can symbol.

4. Create a page

To add a new page to your website, navigate to Pages, hover over the plus symbol, and then click New Page. Give the page a name and customize the URL address if desired. You can drag and drop the position of your new page within the editing pane to customize how it appears in your site’s navigation. 

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Add a new page to your website (Image credit: Google)

5. Add content

You have a lot of options for adding content to your website. You can create text boxes and upload images or source them from Google Drive. You can also select special elements, such as buttons, image carousels, or Google Maps displays, to add to your website. 

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Add images and text to your website with content elements.  (Image credit: Google)

Any content element you add to your site can be moved around by dragging and dropping it. You can also resize any content elements simply by clicking and dragging on the edges.  

6. General website management

Before you publish your new website, it’s a good idea to configure your site settings. Click on the gear icon to modify the style of the navigational menu and to add a logo if you have one. You can also connect your site to Google Analytics so that you can track how much traffic you’re getting. 

create a website

Configure your site settings before publishing.  (Image credit: Google)

7. Control access

By default, your newly published site will be accessible to anyone. But, you can also limit access to your website to only specific individuals or those with a direct link. To invite specific people to view your site, click the sharing icon and enter emails into the box labelled Add people and groups. 

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Invite people to view your new website. (Image credit: Google)

8. Track and revert changes

If you want to continue making changes to your website over time, you can. Google Sites automatically tracks the changes you make so you can undo them at any time if needed.

To see all past versions of your website, click on the three dots and select Version history. To undo recent changes and restore an older copy of your website, select the desired version and click Restore this version.

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Restore a prior version of your website to revert changes (Image credit: Google)