Google Update: Google Page Creator

Google has pushed out a new web application called, appropriately enough, Google Page Creator.  The object is to make it possible for anyone to create a styled web site in very little time.  The pages are then hosted on Google servers for free.  Each user gets 100MB of server space and can create as many pages as they like.

Start by creating an account.  If you already have a Gmail account, you’re already set to go.  Just enter your Gmail’s login information and you can start building your site.

First you will need to choose a template design.  As of this morning, Google offers 41 different styles.  That number will only grow from there.  Future version will likely offer a way to add 3rd party design templates.

Once you have a style selected, you can choose from 4 basic layouts.  A traditional layout offers the body of the page as one large text area.  The other layouts let users break the body area into columns for content separation.  Though all pages share the same template design, each page can have a different column layout.

Once you have those simple tasks out of the way, you’re ready to start adding content to the page.  You can enter text right into the page.  There is no need to upload files and you will never have to use FTP.  The interface also makes it easy to do simple formatting and makes it easy to add images and create links.  Images and files can also be stored on the Google servers.  Just make sure you entire site doesn’t exceeded 100MB.

Even after you have created a multiple page site, it is easy to change the design template at any time.  When you do, the entire sites look will change in one swift action.

Once your site is published, users have easy access.  The pages are made available at a logical and easy to remember URL: http://username.googlepages.com.  If you want to check out my quick and dirty test page, visit http://smanke.googlepages.com.

In my tests, the web app worked great in Firefox on the Mac.  I didn’t have a chance to test Safari, as I have been using that browser less and less.

Keep in mind that Google Page Creator is yet another Beta service from Google.  And, being a product of Google, some of the site templates leave a little to be desired.  It is my hope that Google will soon allow third party developers to added templates as Google’s never been know for overly creative web design.

All things considered, I am very impresses with the new service.  It might not be well suited for experienced web publishers, but it does make it possible for just about anyone to create a nice looking and functional web site in very little time.  Though, it should be noted that anyone interested in used Google Page Creator should also consider Apple’s newly released iWeb application.  It’s part of iLife 06 and it offers greater flexibility and functionality without sacrificing easy of use.

Play around with Google Page Creator and see what you think.  The service is free, so you can’t go wrong!

Update: 2/23/06 11:40am
Well, it looks like Google has decided to limit access to the Page Creator.  Apparently the demand for the services was so great that they could not handle the initial surge.  The following message has been posted on the sign-up page:

Due to heavy demand, we are unable to offer new accounts for today. If you’d like to be added to our waiting list, please enter your email address.

Check back soon for more information!


Steve

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