Friday, August 7, 2009

Cub Scout site using Google Sites

Just [re]launched the web site for my son's Cub Scout pack, using Google Sites:


The Cub Scout Pack 22 web site is fairly modest containing information about the pack, rosters, and events that change year-over-year, and some more frequently updated items like the calendar.

Google sites made it really easy. I use Microsoft SharePoint Server at work, and have setup small business or non-profits sites in the past either with custom work on on content management systems (CMS) such as phpWebSite and DotNetNuke. Usually with the idea (based in reality or otherwise) that non-technical people would maintain the site, focusing on content, and not infrastructure. Google sites is probably my first experience where I really see that being possible. (I could see a SharePoint Server also, but I haven't yet came across a hosted solution that is really economical without a bunch of limitations)

The Google branding is extremely unobtrusive - the persistent search box uses Google search as one might expect, and a few legalese links at the bottom of the page. The price - $0.00. If we choose to spring for a domain name, i would feel completely comfortable pointing it to that host (something that in years past, hosting companies would hit you over the head with their logo next to yours)

To create a google site from an existing google account, you simply create the site, enter the title and a few site-wide settings and you are almost immediately editing your first page. The title bar and 'sidebar' (for links to the pages) are fixed, but very customizable. Images are added while editing a page, then can be edited from the page, or from a central 'attachments' link on the site.

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