Kim Bach’s Google Home Page

Kim Bach’s Google Home Page

I’m usually not promoting new Google services – since they promote themself – but Google has just launched a promissing new service, called Google Page Creator. Using Google Page Creator you can quickly create and maintain your own, simple, web-site.

All you need to get started, is a Gmail account, and a modern browser, and you’re ready to log in and start creating your home page, and with 100MB of storage you have a lot of freedom. Google Page Creator has the look and feel of all the other Google services, so you should feel at home if you’re familiar with, for instance, Gmail.

The first time you log in, you’re presented with an empty page, ready for editing. The title has been automatically filled out, so all you have to do is enter a subtitle, a footer and start entering some content. It is really quite similar to creating a PowerPoint slide.

The interface is WYSIWYG, with a very basic toolbar on the left, the two top buttons are labelled Image and Link, below are some basic formatting tools, bold, italic, lists, colour, font, size, paragraph alignment and basic styles. You can also decide to edit the HTML directly.

The “Image” button is integrated with an image upload service, but you can also provide the URL to an external image. Once you’ve added the image, it’s very easy to change the image size between small, medium, large and original size.

The “Link” button provides easy access to all the pages you have created, but you can also link to external URLs.

Another strong feature is the “Change Look” and “Change Theme”. Using “Change Look” you can switch between a list of templates, so far they’re very basic. Using “Change Layout” you can choose between 4 layouts: “title/content”, “title/left sidebar/content”, “title/content/right sidebar” and “title/left sidebar/content/right sidebar”. Simple and efficient. The layout and look are always applied to the entire site, you can not have different layout from page to page.

Once you’re done editing, press the Publish button, and your new creation is available to the world, as a sub-domain under googlepages.com, e.g.. http://Gmail account name.googlepages.com.

I like:

  • Easy to use
  • Gmail look and feel
  • Online, should work in all modern browser
  • Simple and efficient
  • Nice defaults
  • WYSIWIG editor
  • Quick unpublish feature
  • So far, totally ad-free

I miss:

  • Ability to rename pages
  • More languages than English
  • Ability to password protect pages
  • RSS feeds
  • Batch picture upload

Where I expect this is going:
Integration with Blogger, AdSense, Maps and a media service like flickr…You name it. I hope that Google will make this an open service, allowing for third party development of new components.

Conclusion:
Very good for a new service, this could be the home page creator for the rest of the world. It should really be compared to off-line tools like iWeb. Once you integrate Page Creator with a media service, it could be all you need. Your sites will, of course not, be as visually appealing as an iWeb created site, but it’s very unlikely that anyone will complain that your site is slow in loading.

My parents are using Gmail, it could be interesting to see if they can figure it out.

I’m very happy I’m not making my living from providing a similar home page authoring service.

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