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What I've Learned on this Google Sites Journey

These comments are in no order that may make any sense. They're simply chronological, with oldest comments at the top.

I should explain that I first started converting my website to Google Docs, and then made a transition to Google Sites, which is why some of these comments are a little strange. Where applicable, I may change the comments to reflect going from Docs to Sites.

  • The first thing was that I didn't want to be handing out long URLs (web addresses) to everyone, so I created a quick frameset on my website and had the main frame automatically forward to this the home page. Naturally, I used a folder named "docs" for this (when it was still being converted to a "docs" site), so this main page can be seen by visiting http://www.beens.org/docs. (the frameset is named default.htm so it loads without needing to specify the filename). (no longer a factor since I switched to Google Sites and have a been.org domain pointing to it)
  • The GoogleDoc table of contents feature may work out nicely. Normally I don't like the size of heading 1 as the main heading, but I'll go with it because of the convenience of the table of contents creation. (no longer a factor since Sites creates its own TOC)
  • I love the "Edit this document" message at the bottom top of each page. It makes editing sooooo convenient!
  • The Table of Contents on the pages can't be hidden, like on Wikipedia. I'm not sure if this will end up being a nuisance.
  • My old website had a great search engine. This one will not, unfortunately. Perhaps I should add keywords at the bottom of each page... (I would use the meta tags in the HTML but Google Docs does not give you access to the <head> section of the pages.) Update: Google Sites has a search engine, so this comment is no longer relevant. +1 for Sites over Docs.
  • Working with images in Google Docs is a bit of a nuisance because they can't simply be copied and pasted in.  What I've resorted to is uploading (or grabbing) my images with TinyGrab (tinygrab.com), then inserting the images with the URL of the online image. To make life a little easier, I've created this image library so I can quickly access images I use repeatedly. (Update: images can now be copied and pasted, at least within the same document. Google must have read my previous comment!) Update: Google Sites allows copying and pasting of images, so this comment is no longer relevant.
  • I like that Google Sites has a "Recent site activity" link. Handy for both me and students to see what changes have been made recently.
  • Hmmm, it appears I can't create bookmarks on pages, unless they are part of a heading. Bummer.
  • I've learned that I can map this site to my beens.org website under a subdomain (www2.beens.org). I hope it works! Update: it does!
  • Overall, I've been very pleased with this Google Sites website. I have no regrets switching over from my old RoboHelp-created website.
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