By Steve MacDonald, Founder of Practical Social Media



If you missed the first part of this series, please check yesterday’s post.

Introducing Google Sites

This is a great new choice for entrepreneurs who want to start with a clean sheet of paper and end up with a website that places you in the content driver’s seat.  This is a completely free tool that allows users to include all the latest Web 2.0 features (videos, polls, slide shows, calendars, news feeds, MP3 players, etc) while maintaining 100% control of the content and how it looks.  And it costs nothing to host!  Google provides this all for free.  All you need to do is register a URL, or point one that you already own over to your new Google Site.

And here’s the best part…it requires no coding or technology knowledge.  However, , there are some tricks that make it a lot easier to use once you know about them.  I would suggest reading our tips and watching the two tutorial videos that were specially created for showcasing the tricks that you need to know to truly use Google Sites with ease. The videos ensure that you won’t have to go through the learning process we did in creating the Practical Social Media website!

If you still have any questions, we highly recommend a true Google Sites expert, Tami Smith.  She created her company, to teach entrepreneurs all about using Google technologies to promote their businesses.

Google Sites Tips & Tricks Support That Will Save You a Lot of Time & Frustration

Together with the videos, this is a complete tips and tricks guide to overcoming all the obstacles to get a web presence up and running through Google Sites.

1. Inserting Tables

HTML Style Code – This is the piece of HTML code used in the simple, “copy and paste” manner recommended in the first video (no previous experience required).

<table style=”border-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); border-width: 0px; border-collapse: collapse;” border=”0″ bordercolor=”#888888″ cellspacing=”0″>

2. Naming Images

Never place a symbol into the name of your image file.  Examples are the use of “&”, “%” or “#”.  Google Sites doesn’t like this and will not want to insert the file into the site.

3. Cool Text

In order to create really great looking buttons that can be inserted into your Google Site, and then used in everything from the main navigation on, please go to a resource online at .  This is a website that allows you to create really great buttons, again with no previous experience.  And the service is free!

4. Inserting Images

This is a reminder from what was already covered in the video.  It is easy to highlight an entire page of work on Google Sites and literally copy and paste it into another page.  This works well when copying and pasting things like a main navigation set of images from one page to another.  The only tip that you need to remember is that each graphical image that is copied and pasted over has not been officially inserted into that new page.  It is helpful to use the copy and paste functions to bring over the tables, formatting, text, etc.  However, each graphical image on the new page will need to be removed and re-inserted through the “Insert-Image” process shown in the video.  If you do this once the correct way, then it will work for you from then on out!

5. Registering For A Google Sites Account

There are two ways to register with Google Sites and create a new website.  The first is to simply register a Gmail account with Google and then proceed to while logged in under that new email account.  There will be a big blue button directing you to create your new site.  The downside of this method is that you will not have a unique URL like  It will be a long… looking URL.  You can still get the URL changed, but it is a more difficult process.  BUT CERTAINLY ACHIEVABLE and easy to do if you know and understand what to do!  So no worries.

The second method is to register a new domain/URL through Google.  Then your new Google Site will automatically contain your customized URL.  To explore this route, please go to Tami Smith’s website for easy to understand and follow instruction in this area.


Practical Social Media Special Offer – Valid through July 14th 2009: For anyone you wants to learn how to use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, Google Apps and more to grow their business, the Practical Social Media Magazine is being offered with a special bonus feature package.  With any new trial subscription, you will also receive a five part video series on “How to Start Using Social Media to Grow Your Business”, an MP3 interview on “Why Branding is the Foundation for all Social Media” and one issue of the Practical Social Media Magazine absolutely free.   



Steve MacDonald is the founder of Practical Social Media, a monthly online magazine that simplifies the overwhelming amounts of social media information and tools available for entrepreneurs.  He and his experts analyze daily trends and emerging tools that are then reviewed through a business-minded, return on investment perspective.  The result is an easy entry into the world of social media for business owners that can make a huge difference with no previous experience and little to no budget.  The practical social media blog can be found at Practical Social Media.