Let's look at this scenario: A job/internship opportunity pops up at the last moment, and as you rush to e-mail a resume to your employer, you realize that you still haven't gotten around to making that online portfolio. But did you know that anyone with a Google account can use Google Page Creator to create a web site: quickly, easily and for free? If you've never done web design before, you're going to need a little guidance.
First of all, is Google Pages the right option for you?
- You have no idea how to make your own web page
- You have little time to teach yourself how to make your own web page
- You lack money to buy a domain or hosting
- You don't know what a domain or hosting is
Plus, there are many restrictions:
- Can't do much customization of the design, colors or modules
- Can't do simple things like link photos to an external link (photos will only link to the original photo)
- Can't resize photos
- Can't embed HTML (meaning you'll have to link externally to multimedia work)
What you'll need:
- A Google account (you should really have one anyway for great features like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Checkout, Google Reader... oh, don't get me started on why you need Google to live)
- A gameplan: What pages are you going to have on your site? Do you have content for each of those pages?
Step one: Choose your layout and your look
Step two: Create your pages
- Home (everyone must have this)
- Resume (It's probably smart for everyone to have this page too, regardless of your major/profession. But be careful! Think about whether you really want to include your home address and phone number on the web! I say stick with e-mail address)
Step three: Create your navigation
- Type the name of each page into your nav area
- Link each text item to one of your pages
Step four: add your content
- Adding text: Pretty self-explanatory. Simply type where you want text to exist. Make sure to use the same font to keep your site looking clean and consistent.
- Linking to external articles: I suggest you link to wherever your writing is posted on the Web instead of having to make a new Google Page for each piece.
- Inserting images: You can add images from a remote place on the web or from your computer. The downside is that you can't control the size of your image or where it links. You can align an image to the left or right by simply dragging it to the corner of a module.
- Publishing your pages: Click "Publish" at the top of the page when you're ready, or go to your site manager and publish all your pages at the same time
Other tips and tricks:
- Keep it visually engaging. Try to have one visual element on each page. Break up your text with white space and by making certain words bold or different colors (make sure you stick to the same palette as your theme though)
- Link to social networks. On the contact page, include external links to your Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, blog, Flickr, e-mail address and any other social network you feel comfortable showing to an employer. Promote yourself! (And on the flip side, include a link to your Google Page on your resume and business card)
- Change it later. Remember that Google Pages should be your temporary solution. You should really buy your own domain and learn HTML so you can create something less generic.
Good luck! If you have any other questions, post them in the comments. After you finish the final product, please post a link to it in the comments too.