Google Page Creator: WYSIWYG websites from Google

Today, Google released the “Google Page Creator“, a simple way of creating small websites with a yourname.googlepages.com URI. There are a number of templates you can choose from, which you can change on a whim, and basic styling tools when you’re editing or creating pages. You can opt for one, two or three column versions of each template. You can upload files (such as images), link to your other pages, URIs, files, or email addresses. They’re currently giving 100Mb of space for you to play about with.

I’ve just tested it and created a small “homepage” (it contains nothing of worth, and won’t be updated!):

Tom's Google Page

The templates aren’t exactly awe-inspiring, but it’s a start.

Google does stress when you sign up (you’ll need a Gmail account), that the service is an early public release (beta), and that there may be problems along the way. And they’re not wrong. In the 10 minutes or so that I used it (in Firefox – Safari on the Mac isn’t supported, of course), I kept getting ‘locking’ messages politely informing me that another user was editing the page, with the option to unlock it and publish anyway. Or being informed that someone else had terminated my editing session:

Google Page Creator Locking Error

Creating new pages can be a bit slow, and with no visual feedback once you’ve pressed that “New Page” button, it’s easy to think that you didn’t click the button properly, so you click it again. Nothing seems to happen. Then you find the system catching up, getting confused, and creating two (or more) new pages with the same name…
These things aside – it looks like a handy too for creating small websites with very little technical know-how. I hope that Google incorporate a Blogger (or generic RSS) sidebar, allowing you to knit your ‘homepage’ containing all of your static content, with your chronological blog (sort of like WordPress Pages).

Try it out at http://pages.google.com/

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