Google Sites: Website Creation

This documentation covers information on the Google Application for “Sites”, Google’s website creation application. To access Google Sites:

  • Log-in to CatMail at
  • Then, click the Google apps link in the upper, right corner and choose “Sites”.

Creating a New Google Site

After clicking “Sites” in CatMail, a new tab or window will open to display sites you have created through Google Sites (connected to your UA CatMail acct.). Click the “Create” button to get started, and choose “in classic Sites”.

This is also the page where you can access your other saved google sites at any time. Simply click on any of the sites you want to look at.


Getting Started with Basic Settings

When creating a new Google site, you will be prompted to make several selections. Remember you can always make changes to these settings later.


Choosing a Template

First, you have the option to use a “Blank template” or “Browse the gallery for more.”

  • Choosing a blank template means that you’ll have a basic web layout, with a title at the top, links along the left column, and a large space to the center and right for you to add content (text and/or pictures). An advantage to a blank template is simplicity and ease of use.
  • If you choose to “Browse the gallery for more,” a window will pop open that will show you a number of layout types for website templates. Many of these layouts are more complex, which can be beneficial for the “wow factor” but can also be challenging to manipulate at times. Please note that the gallery templates are pre-filled to show you what they look like, but you can change and customize them as you’d like.


Naming Your Site

Once you’ve chosen a template, blank or one from the gallery, you should “Name your Site.” This is the name that will appear at the top of each page in your website, so choose wisely. For instance, if you are creating a professional website for yourself, you may simply choose to use your full name.


Choosing a URL

When naming your site, Google automatically fills in what it thinks you might want your URL to look like. Double-check this; you may want your title to be different from your URL. Good practice URLs is to keep your letters all lower-case, do not use spaces, if you need to separate words use an underscore_ , and shorter is better. You will notice that Google fills in the first part of the URL for you:


Choosing a Theme

Google offers a number of color schemes and themes for you to select from. This is an option, not a requirement. If you would like to browse the themes, click the arrow sign next to “Select a theme” and click on the one you like.

Click the orange, “Create site” button, and you will be brought to your website.


Editing Your New Site

Once you’ve created your site, you can customize it and add content. First, notice in the upper, right corner the buttons to “Create page” (marked with a “page” sign), “Edit page” (marked with a “pencil” sign), and “More actions” (marked with a “wheel” sign).


Use the “Edit page” button to begin making changes to your home page. You’ll notice when you click the “Edit page” button, several editable regions become available, i.e. you can type in boxes to add content. You’ll also notice a tool bar at the top of your website that has buttons that are similar to formatting buttons in MS Word. Use these buttons to format your font, alignment, etc.

Adding and Updating Sidebar Links

On many templates, you’ll see an option to “Edit sidebar.” Clicking this allows you to add new links for pages or parts of your website. Another way to add new links/pages is to use the “Create Page” link. Give the New page a name and then hit “Create page.” You’ll notice the sidebar automatically updates. Now, you can click on different pages to make updates.


Saving Your Work

As you make changes, you’ll notice the buttons in the upper, right corner change, giving you a “Save” button instead. Be sure to save your work often.


Uploading an Image

To upload an image to your website, first make sure you have the image saved on your computer. Then, click “Edit page” on the page you want the picture to appear. Then, go to “Insert” an “Image.” You can choose 'Upload Images” to find the file you want to upload. Click the file-name and then click “OK.” This will insert your picture onto that page. Notice some of the options in the blue box at the top of your picture: L C R (Left, Right, or Center), S M L (Small, Med., or Large), Wrap On or Off (affects where text appears next to your image), and also Remove.

Changing Settings and Going Public

Use the “More Actions” drop-down menu in the upper, right corner to change your settings.

  • Go to “Manage Site” and you will have access to the following:
    • Select the “General” option under “Site Settings.” Here, you can change the name of your website, delete your site (NOTE: it will be gone forever if you select this option), copy your site, etc.
    • Go to “Sharing and Permissions” to change your settings to share your site with others or to go public. You can invite people, or provided people you want to see the site with a sharable link.
    • Go to links under “Site Appearance” to change colors and fonts.
    • Go to “Page Templates” to change templates.
    • Go to “Pages” to remove certain pages from your website.
    • Go to “Attachments” to upload and manage all attachments on your website.
    • Go to “Recent site activity” to see all the recent activity on the website.
  • Go to “Preview Page as a viewer” to see how your website looks like.
  • Go to “Sites help” to get any help with your website.

Contact the Research and Instructional Computing staff ( if you would like to set up your Google site to redirect to your U-dot (U of Arizona) web address.

November, 2016