So far you have worked hard to set up your site, but now is the time for some finishing touches - the flair that sets your site out as head and shoulders above the others. Time to charge up your creative juices and some personality and style.
1. Home page
- Your homepage is the first impression that visitors to your site get, so make it count!
- Try not to make it too busy. Don't put everything on the front page. This makes your site look confusing and hard to navigate.
- Make sure your homepage looks like a homepage, and not just another page on your website.
- Make it welcoming. Use graphics, color, videos and other elements to draw people into your site.
- What is a favicon? A small icon associated with a website that appears in a browser tab and/or address bar of the user.
- It makes your site look more professional, easy to find in a sea of tabs, and adds branding.
- You can create your own with a favicon generator, or download one from a site like FreeFavicon.com.
- Make sure your favicon file is named as favicon.ico. Nothing else is recognized by Googles Sites. Rename if you have to.
- Then, More > Manage Site > Attachments > Upload and choose your favicon.ico file.
Did you notice the slider on the front page of this website? Of course you did! It is designed to attract people's attention, and convey important snippets of information at the same time. They take a little bit of setting up, but are really little more than a Google Presentation that has been made to look nice. Instructions are here...
You might wonder why we left this to last. Well, there is a reason, and unfortunately the reason is due to a bug in Google Sites that makes the header image disappear every time you change something in Themes, Fonts and Colors. Still, header images really make your site stand out, so it is well worth creating one.
- You need an image editor like Photoshop, or Pixelmator, but Pixlr.com (Advanced) is free, and will work too!
- The screencast below will give you the remaining steps on how to create a header and add it to your site.
- There are a number of 3rd party gadgets that you may or may not wish to add to your site.
- Not all will add to the overall look and appeal of your site, so you might want to be picky, or ignore them altogether.
- Edit Page > Insert > More Gadgets > Public to see a full, searchable list of gadgets.
- To add videos from other sites like Vimeo.com, copy the HTML embed code for the video and use the Embed gadget. Or, for a cleaner look, you can edit the page, click HTML in the toolbar, and paste the code into the page at the correct point, as below.
Can't see the video above? You are probably using Chrome or Firefox. How do I know that? Both browsers now block HTML embeds, like the Vimeo video above, by default. It's annoying, but they detect it as unsafe content. Not sure why. Either way, you can fix it by clicking the shield in the address bar, and selecting to load "unsafe content".
This is obviously less than ideal for visitors to your site, so be aware of it if you have people complaining that they cannot see your content. Hopefully this is something that Google fixes in an update to the way Google Sites handles these objects.