My name is Tomi Häsä and I live in Tampere, Finland. Discussing about Google was my hobby for a few years and I have received one Google T-shirt for participating in discussions on the official Google Groups forum and a hooded sweatshirt for participating on the official Google Web Search forum. Nowadays my interests are also programs, operating systems, devices, social media, etc. Here are my computers I have been using so far and here's some software I have found useful.
The first version of this website was created using the free Yahoo! GeoCities service in year 2004 (old URL: http://www.geocities.com/googlepubsupgenfaq/) and first it only contained the unofficial google.public.suppport.general FAQ (frequently asked questions), which also has three other authors, but I haven't seen them posting to that newsgroup for a long time, and the newsgroup is pretty much dead anyway as it has been replaced by other Google forums. The reason for making the FAQ is the usual: I started seeing the same questions appearing again and again year after year, so I started posting the FAQ once a month to the newsgroup so people searching for the newsgroup FAQ might find their answer without even creating a Google account for asking a question in the group and also to save some time of the group regulars who answered the same questions repetitively. That group has already been replaced by other official Google forums, but I still keep it for its useful information.
Since the beginning I have used text editors to create the HTML contents on my web pages. First, I started using the default Notepad text editor that comes with the Windows operating system, but after experimenting with various text editors to find the one I liked the most, I moved to using the free SuperEdi (by WoLoSoft), which shows certain parts of the HTML source in different colors. I'm using TED Notepad (by Juraj Simlovic) to modify the line length to 70 characters for monospace text as I got used to the 70 characters limit in Google Groups (actually it is 71 characters, but just in case I'm using 70 characters). The reason I have a line length limit for monospace text with most of the documents here is that at some point I got bored answering the same repetitive questions again and again year after year, so sometimes I just copied the text from one of my unofficial FAQs to Google Groups to I save some time from writing the same information again. Also, by having the line length limited to 70 characters I could see how the text would look like in Google Groups before it was posted to a group. With monospace text using the PRE tag I don't have to tweak CSS and/or tables and/or DIV tags to define the paragraph width so that it is the same for different web browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. Also, no matter how long the URLs are, there is enough space for them to the right of the page without them being cut off as happens for example in Google Groups version 3 (GG3).
At least in the past (for example in 2010) there have been reports of exceeding the bandwidth usage on Google Sites. That's why I'm using small images when they appear on several pages. For example, the English and Finnish flags take less than one kilobyte (actual disk space depends on file system). The Google Plus, Twitter, YouTube and Delicious logos appear only on the English and Finnish main pages and take about 1–2 kilobytes.
You can't use all the HTML tags and CSS functionality in Google Sites. For example, you can't use comment tags to remind you of some of the design decisions you have made. Another problem is that the pages are much larger because Google Sites generates unnecessary CSS content. I have a monthly data transfer limit on my mobile phone service, so I would like to get back to small web pages files. For example, when I saved this page with Internet Explorer (IE9, Win7) in February 2012 the size of all the downloaded files was 392 kilobytes when the corresponding HTML source is only 11 kilobytes (without the parts created by Google Sites).
When I used HTML documents, they looked fine also with older web browsers that didn't support CSS. Google Sites doesn't support uploading HTML files, so Google Sites isn't very backward compatible. Web browsers that don't support CSS (or which support CSS2 poorly or none at all) should be for example Internet Explorer 3, Netscape Navigator 3, Opera 2 and NCSA Mosaic, and text-only browsers, such as lynx (UNIX, Linux, and Windows platforms).
I'm now used to the limitations of Google Sites. The good side of not being able to use all the HTML tags and all CSS functionality is that I'm not using so much time in perfecting the HTML and CSS source. When I have a page that I only edit with Google Sites' own editor I can edit it with any computer that works with Google Sites. In addition to that, if I happen to change the URL of a page, Google Sites updates the corresponding links on all the other pages (in one case there was a bug, so I had to fix the links manually).
One more problem is validation. Before moving to Google Sites when I still was using uploaded HTML files in Google Page Creator and before that in Yahoo! GeoCities most of my HTML documents had valid and W3C compliant HTML and CSS sources (unless there were some special circumstances for appearance), but Google Sites doesn't allow uploading HTML files, so I won't worry about getting my pages validated as Google's web pages don't usually get validated anyway. See links below for information about validating web pages:
When I read Google Page Creator was going to be shut down in 2008 I was thinking about the alternatives: whether to move my Google Page Creator website to Google Sites where you can't upload HTML files and use CSS or whether to buy my own domain and webhotel for cheap. I was looking at the prices here in Finland and thought about sharing that info with people interested in the prices in my country. In general, the prices in Finland aren't very cheap. At the time of writing this document (August 2008) here are some approximate and rounded prices when you are using your own domain and web hotel from the same service provider (prices don't include starting payments, because these prices are only for getting some kind of picture of the possible yearly expenses in case you are interested in using your own domain and web hotel for your personal or hobby website and you probably want to own your own domain longer than just one year): Ammuu.com: 34 €/year (50 USD/year), Arkku.net: 10 €/year (15 USD/year) (Kotisivutila) or 61 €/year (89 USD/year) (Kotisivutila++), LanWorld.fi: 54 €/year (79 USD/year) (for business customers only), Louhi.fi: 35 €/year (51 USD/year), MMD.Net: 72 €/year (106 USD/year), Nebula.fi: 180 €/year (264 USD/year), Saitti.net: 159 €/year (233 USD/year), Sonera.fi: 241 €/year (353 USD/year), Tokavuh.com: 63 €/year (92 USD/year). The prices have been converted to US dollars with the Google Web Search money conversion functionality in August 2008. Keep in mind that the aforementioned services have different features and that a service provider may have more than one package and may offer other services for additional prices (more than one email address for your domain, more site storage, bigger monthly traffic limit, SSH, PHP, CGI, etc.) to suite your needs. You can get much more exact prices from the service providers themselves.
Last modified: May 18th, 2013
Author: Tomi Häsä (email@example.com)