Monday, April 14, 2014

85 Excellent Reviews for Google Sites Design Service

We reached a new goal in the Google Apps Marketplace as +Kirksville Web Design . We are the most reviewed, highly rated Google Sites designer on the entire Marketplace. As our title mentions, we have 85 positive reviews for our design services using just Google Sites.

Here are our three most recent reviews from April, 2014:

Will Use Again by Ismael Amado with Flagship Inc.
April 09, 2014

Kirksville Web Design was able to help us realize our goal of using google sites as a replacement for our aging sharepoint system. The designs were clean, elegant, and easy to use.

Will not hesitate to engage Kyle and his team again if/when the need arises.


Great Experience by Dane Deutsch with DCS Netlink
April 08, 2014

Very satisfied with our experience with Kirksville Web Design! Great service, and outstanding ability to understand the customer needs, from the planning to the design and content aspects of their web page. Kyle is a team player who works in a very relaxed and confident manner. He delivers on what he promises. Tough to find a company in this day and age that does what they promise to do. Great Job Kyle and the whole Kirksville Web Design Team!


Excellent outcome by Kurt Weideling with Monash University
April 01, 2014

Really happy with the service provided by the Kirksville team. Managed to achieve all of our desired outcomes in a very prompt time frame and as a sign of what a globalised world we live in the fact that we're based on opposite sides of the world wasn't a problem!
View All our Reviews on the Google Apps Marketplace

Thank you for supporting us as the Best Google Sites Designer!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Google Sites Updates - More Button & Pop-up

More Button
Just a simple change of user experience. The More Button, as we all called it, is now a more commonly seen gear or cog icon. Therefore it gives the impression of Global Settings.



Pop-up Disclaimer
You've probably seen this initial website load-up shadow boxes. Well now Google Sites has one. Right now it is text only and is optional.



There you go, just two quick updates that I've seen come through. Is this a weekly thing now? Thanks Google Sites team.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Google Sites Updates - New Organization, SEO & Social Features

Intro
We love to see Google Sites updates come along, don't we? I am happy to report of three updates to Google Sites:

  1. File Cabinet Sorting & Collapse Folders Ability
  2. Canonical Web Addresses
  3. Embed a Google Plus post

These have each rolled out individually over the past month or two (sorry for not updating you sooner!) Let's discuss each update, how it impacts Google Sites and why you should care.

File Cabinet Sorting & Collapse Folders Ability
This feature is the newest and can be useful for those of you still using the File Cabinet page template, as opposed to embedding multiple Google Drive Folders. Essentially here's what you do:

Go to More
Page Settings
There you will see:
  • Collapse folders by default
  • Show column headers
This is only available on File Cabinet type pages. To setup as a File Cabinet (webpage template is the default). Do this:
  • More
  • Change Page Template
  • Choose File Cabinet
This is a nice feature, but I question as to the degree to which it was needed. Don't get me wrong, it's nice. If you have a lot of files and want to organize them better, this is an excellent option for you, take advantage of it.



Canonical Web Address
I don't expect everyone to know what this means, so I will spell it out. The canonical web address is the preferred web address for Google or other search engines to rank. Think about it, your Google Site really has two locations:
  • http://sites.google.com/a/example.com/website-title
  • www.example.com
In most cases, you want www.example.com to be the better ranking location and not the long Google Sites URL. Also, this tells search engines not to demerit your website for having duplicate information on the web. This is assigned, by default, to the www.example.com as canonical if you add it as a Web Address. This is beneficial for having Google Sites be on equal SEO playing field with other Web Building platforms.


Embed Google Plus Post
It makes sense that Google Sites should have a relationship for using Google Plus. First was the commenting system in Sites (still in need of public comments!) and then came the embed a Google Plus post ability. Basically, grab the link to your post and plug it into Google's homegrown gadget. Voila. A novel widget.



Conclusion
It's nice that the Google Sites team is pumping out steady updates to the Platform. It seems that public-facing and private-facing are both favorably updated. I can't wait to see what's next.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Google Sites Partnership: Appirio & Kirksville Web Design


Interviewer: +Kyle Horst, Owner, Kirksville Web Design
Interviewee: +David Spangler, Google Apps Solutions Architect, Appirio

How is Appirio offering Google Sites?
Appirio has partnered with Kirksville Web Design for a number of Google Sites projects, ranging from Corporate Intranet design to POC (Proof of Concept) demo sites. In addition, we’ve been working on solutions to assist customers with moving away from heavy, premised-based intranet systems (like SharePoint) by leveraging the Google Enterprise suite focused on a combination of Google Sites and Google Drive capabilities. The designers at Kirksville Web Design are able to deliver an exciting product that fits within the frameworks of Google Sites.


Can you describe some of your Sites projects? What were the results?
In our work with a large, multi-national pharmaceutical organization, we partnered with Kirksville to provide a revamp of their Google Apps launch site. The site was a rebuild/rethink away from their legacy delivery framework. In less than five weeks, we were able to provide the design, corrections and launch with no additional purchases of hardware or software.


How can organizations make the most of Sites?
When you have already invested in Google Apps for your business, it makes sense to explore the abilities of Google Sites to enhance (and possible replace) existing, expensive systems and infrastructure. Google Sites is already part of the enterprise suite that you can access with your Google Apps license and is completely integrated into the Google Apps framework.


Where would you like to see Sites head in the next couple years?
It would be great to see Sites continue to provide framework enhancements building on what’s already available, especially around Google Drive and the requirements for enterprise level CMS (Content Management Systems). Also, a continued focus on specialized mobile access controls.


What else does Appirio offer?
Appirio is a global services provider who uses crowdsourcing and cloud, social and mobile technology to help enterprises reimagine their business and become more agile. Appirio brings together technology expertise with a deep understanding of the way people work, and the development, design and analytics skills of a 600,000 person global crowdsourcing community.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Talk to the Google Sites Team

Hello Everyone. This is just a quick reminder of the importance of user feedback and input on surveys. If you have a suggestion, concern or gripe with Google Sites, the "Take our survey!" option is the best way you've got to do so. It's your way to talk to the Google Sites team.

Therefore, please take the survey. Suggest something amazing like adding a tagging system to Google Sites, more usable themes or viewer commenting / login function.

I'm not sure if this link will work for long or for everyone, but here's a shot: https://survey.googleratings.com/wix/p3925964.aspx

Click on this image to take a survey now.
Thanks!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

New Google Sites Update - Copy Page, Open Nav Link in New Tab

Hello Everybody! +Kyle Horst here with a great new set of updates to Google Sites. 2014 won't be the year Sites is left in the lurch. So let's cover these two new features.

1. Copy Page
Creating a Page Template using the "Save as Page Template" feature was alright, but Copy Page makes the process that much easier and less of an investment. Copying a page is right in the More dropdown menu next to Move Page and Print Page.




2. Open Navigation Link in a New Window
The navigation gadget received an upgrade with the new "open this link in a new window" checkbox option. It is part of the Add URL (not add page) option in the configure navigation windows. This is great for opening external website in a new tab or window, since you don't always want visitor to navigate away from your site. Great for intranet usage!





That wraps this episode up of Google Sites' new features. Let me know if I missed anything of course.

Thanks!


Monday, January 13, 2014

Google Sites Case Study - America's Best Cleaners Intranet








Interview with Chris White, Executive Director at America’s Best Cleaners by Kyle Horst, Kirksville Web Design

Tell us a bit about America’s Best Cleaners and its Going Google.
America’s Best Cleaners is a nationally recognized independent certification mark for the drycleaning industry. Affiliates are certified on an annual basis and once certified work together to share the best business practices in the industry. Our affiliates make up the best of the best in the industry and represent over 92 million dollars in gross revenue. The affiliation is spread throughout the United States with several international affiliates and industry experts sharing information and in depth discussions.

With over 60 individual users at any one time and constantly growing we needed a platform that was universally accepted and easy to implement to share sensitive business data, discussions, images and all other forms of collaboration outlets with our affiliates


How is America’s Best Cleaners using Google Sites?
We previously used Windows SharePoint Servers which allowed us the document sharing, discussion threads and image catalogs but the cost to maintain this service continued to rise along with the change is user behaviors and software usage. Google Sites allowed us to reduce the overall cost to operate, ease the cost of support and allowed a much easier login and user interface. 

Since most of our users already had a Google accounts, implementation was very easy. The integration of all of the Google services offered such as Calendars, Drive, Groups, and Hangouts has allowed us great reach to our affiliates and drastically lowered our overall cost to maintain such a platform. We have witnessed a major uptick in user participation and collaboration. This platform has also allowed as the ability to make better graphically appealing postings that allows us to stand out from other messages in the end users in box.

"The integration of all of the Google services offered such as Calendars, Drive, Groups, and Hangouts...lowered our overall cost to maintain such a platform."
The administration aspect is terrific as we are able to manage and modify our site on the fly without any major support. We are now completely centralized with all of our internal management tools in Google as well external usage with our client base. We now simply create individual drive folders for each account, control all access to to the folders and files and simply drag and drop from our desktops to the end users drive folder and they have it as soon as they are synced. Its that easy.


How has your Google Sites intranet helped your organization? What has been the impact of the Intranet?
Our users love it. First off they love that they can simply reply to discussion through gmail without having to log in. This has increased the participation level and allowed for more timely replies to time sensitive materials as well more robust discussions. 

The integration of Drive has been profound, we no longer need to worry about large email attachments not being accepted by various mail services along with the collaboration tools paired with Google Hangout has allowed instant value to our clients that was just too clunky in SharePoint. Once a project is done it is safely housed on drive easy to access at any point. Our ability to customize the Site layout at anytime has allowed us to place current projects front page on the site where the information that is needed is easily accessed instead of being buried under layers of fixed templates.


Would you recommend other organizations consider leveraging Google Sites? Why?
Absolutely! We deal with Small Business and the offering Google Provides at such a reasonable price cannot be matched. Many of our clients are now seeing the benefit of how we use Google and are building similar systems for themselves. With all of the tools available the need for individual software licenses from the Windows is not necessary. 

If you are running a business that needs to communicate with your team in a centralized easy to use platform with a robust suite of tools you will be hard pressed to find a better solution than Google Sites. Sites is an easy to use, easy to implement business tool that is continually improving. Its a very smart business investment.
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