Working with Google sites

Why work with Google sites?

Google is a leading web technology company and one of the world's largest providers of web development and online services. Since 1998, Google has served billions of customers around the world, offering both free and paid services and a wide range of comprehensive solutions, plus all the tools that small and large businesses need to succeed online. Additionally, all services are backed by an award-winning global development and support team. 

Why does every business need a website?

First a little background history.
The first known use of mass communication was in China, from about 250 BC, when seals were printed on official documents, private letters and works of art. The Chinese figured out how to print on paper with wood and other materials. Seals (stamps printed on wood or other materials) appear to be the first form of printing, and Marco Polo possibly brought the knowledge of printing from China to Europe sometime in the early 1290s.

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with movable type in about 1450, he started a process that would revolutionise the world over the next hundred years, first taking European nations and eventually the entire world down a path toward industrialisation and technological development. Which has in turn brought us to where we are today.

The early days of the Internet began in the United Kingdom in the late 1950s. The ARPANET project in the United States followed, then other related projects around the world also began. The work of British computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee in 1989-90 eventually led to the development of the World Wide Web and the introduction of websites.

Websites are the printing presses of today, and each website page is downloaded through the Internet and reproduced on a receiving device, such as a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Plus, other devices will come into use into common use in the years ahead.

In earlier times, businesses commissioned printed brochures and leaflets, plus inserted advertisements in printed newspapers and magazines at considerable cost in order to promote their businesses, or produced and transmitted video advertisements through radio or television. These are also expensive to produce.

Today, however, business and other types of websites can be accessed by millions of people around the world at any time of day or night, at minimal cost to users and business operators, and can include text, audio, photos and video, plus can through the use of a database, also provide instant access to information about all of the goods and services offered by the business. Businesses that use websites to help market their goods and services range from a single operator such as a plumber or bricklayer, to a multi-billion-dollar company that develops, builds and launches satellites.

Should I use a website builder application or hire a website designer?
Time and money are the main issues here. Logically, this is the choice that a business owner would make if they had limited time but had access to sufficient finances to hire an expert to design and create their website. Although, small businesses or startups with limited funds can easily learn how to create their first website, or can even develop a complex site themselves if they so choose. Also, any competent website developer should be capable of adding advanced features to a Google Sites website. Or failing that, your preliminary site could be upgraded to a Google Enterprise website. More information here

What is a domain name and why do I need one?
A domain name is simply a direction sign that helps potential customers find your business website and ultimately access your business. Choose an available and relevant name using letters and possibly even numbers that ideally describe your business and its services.

Domain names have extensions such as .com and .net. Originally, in the early days of the Internet, the .com extension was intended for commercial enterprises, while the .net extension was intended for use by internet service businesses. The purpose of the .org extension is for use by non-profit organisations, although the lines between some of the different types of extensions have blurred over the years and are now all but abandoned, with a few notable exceptions such as .gov. Further extensions such as .au or .nz ideally indicate the relevant country in which the business or service is located, although some countries such as Tonga (.to) allow non-residents to use their unique country extensions.

Behind the simple domain name system with which most people are familiar, lies a whole complexity of technical terms that can be fully understood only by individuals who are actively involved in the day-to-day organisation and management of the Internet.

Why do businesses use the web for digital marketing?
Businesses use the Internet for marketing purposes because it is cost-effective and efficient, especially when used correctly. Done wrong however, it can be expensive and ineffective, which is why education and awareness about how the correct creation and promotion of websites is essential.

There are many web developers and marketers online who are ready and eager to serve you, some are expert at what they do although others are not yet as experienced. By gaining even a little knowledge and experience yourself, you will be in a good position when you need to engage the services of a professional developer. Additionally, the knowledge you gain will help you understand what can be achieved in a website, even if you have little intention of doing the detailed development work yourself. Also, your increased knowledge and experience will help web developers as they work with you to receive, interpret, and apply your instructions. A little knowledge can go a long way, and sometimes it can go a very long way.

How can I keep my website safe online?
To keep your website safe, study the accessible information available in video and text format through this site. It is always wise to remain informed about the latest Internet security threats, and learn how to keep yourself and your website and family safe from hackers. As new security systems are developed and implemented, hackers begin working to figure out how to break these systems, so it is important to stay up-to-date. Someone may one day develop an unbreakable online security system, but until that day comes everyone needs to remain educated, informed, and actively vigilant.

How do we help small businesses?
The purpose of this website is to provide business owners and others with information on how to create, operate and further develop their own websites, and provide access to information that will continue to help with website development activities even if the site owner chooses to engage professional website developers.

If a business owner or other individual wishes to access information not currently available through links on this site, they can simply request more information through the email address shown at the bottom of the home page. We will then conduct research to determine relevant information and add links on this site to display the results of that research. This helps other visitors as much as it helps the individuals requesting the information, and we also learn by conducting the research.

About me
I began creating websites in the mid 1990s when teaching multimedia at a Technical and Further Education College in Perth, Western Australia between 1996 and 2005, and gradually progressed from writing html code in Microsoft Notepad to using a variety of website development applications such as Dreamweaver etc. I had prior experience in creating technical publications for print since 1977, and so transition to the use of electronic media was gradual from 1986 onward.

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