Showing posts from November, 2010

Google Sites Tip - Designing a Nice Background

Many sites, you will start to notice, have a main area with the navigation, body, etc, and a nice background that compliments the site. If you're designing in Photoshop I suggest using a page size of 1286x900. This gives you ample room to work with a site thats going to be center in the screen. Try saving at least 150 px, equal on both sides to allow yourself a good amount of space for a real creative background. Or you can try designing your main area with no more than a 700 px width. Anything more and you may want to increase that 900 px width to maybe 1200px. Just remember try and keep a min. of 150 px on both sides. So lets say that with your Side Menu and Main Content Area, you have a width of 900px. With your background being 150 on each side, you will make your over all image size 1200px wide. Just remember to add guide lines that are 900px apart to keep you from designing over your set area. go here for finish view You can use anything you like to make a really eye-catchi

Google Sites Tip - The File Cabinet Page

When you click create page in your Google Site you can choose from four primary types of pages.  One essential page is the 'File Cabinet' page. Try Out a File Cabinet, Your Behind the Scenes Storage! Rather than adding attachments at the bottom of your pages use File Cabinet.  Here's how: Create a File Cabinet Page Add Files Right Click the 'Download File' link and Copy Link Location Create a Link on your public web pages Paste your Link Add Your File then Right Click the Download to copy Link Location Now your visitors can easily click and view your uploaded files.  .PDF files should open automatically in the visitor's browsers.  .DOC files will be downloaded when the link is clicked, so inform your visitors accordingly. If you copy the link for 'View File' from your file cabinet Google will open a Google Doc, which is messier and less straightforward for visitors. Enjoy this little tip for your behind the scenes storage (I wouldn&

Google Sites Tip - Using JotForm Contact Forms

Many of us have come to realize that Google Sites doesn't offer a nice contact form to manage visitors comments and questions.  However, offers Google Site developers a fast and very creative way to make forms that are easy and simple to manage. Its a semi-free service, meaning it gives you a free amount of web storage, but you can upgrade for more space. Simply Make an account, (email, password) and start designing. You can use the templates offered by JotForm or you can start from scratch. I find working with a blank slate is the best. You have many different items to pick from to create your forms. Size, colors, fonts, there really isn't anything you can not custom design in these forms. Options you can work with include: FORM TOOLS, QUICK TOOLS, SURVEY TOOLS, POWER TOOLS, PAYMENT TOOLS. As you see, its some real powerful items that can be used to design your form. So play around and have fun! Hope this add some nice creative design to just having

Google Sites Tutorial - Background and Favicon Design

The latest video tutorial for Google Sites web design.  Learn how to design a background using GIMP, a free photoshop-like application that has been of tremendous use to me.  There was so much good information that I had to split this into two parts.  I had some mistakes while working with GIMP because I'm still a novice to be honest, but hey we all learn from mistakes. Part 1 Part 2

My Small Business - Website Improvements

I recently upgraded by business' website appearance to reflect professionalism and clean design.  A big part of web design is of course graphic design.  I am not a professional graphic designer so I use works that artists provide free to the web design community.  It is important to make sure any images, photos, etc are approved by the artist for commercial application.  This narrows the field quite significantly. Here are my favorite sources for free, commercial use graphics: (Note: Make sure the images you use are specifically approved for commercial use by author/artist) Take a look at the new site at .  Here's a screenshot for the timid. Pretty Nice Eh?  Google Sites can look good, I promise!

Google Sites Tip - Favicon

Definition : A favicon is the icon that is displayed in browser tabs, bookmarks, etc. Google Sites allows the uploading of a custom favicon.  The favicon will be displayed for all pages of the site and is one of the simple things that makes your site more credible. To make and upload a favicon is simple.  First of all, get the free graphics and photoshop-like program GIMP .  It is an essential program for web designers like myself.  I use it for all my graphics.  Open GIMP Create 'New' Specify a 32x32 pixel canvas Create your symbol/icon Save and name as favicon.ico, choose the 32 bpp option In your Google Site go to Manage Site > Attachments Click Upload and select your favicon.ico file It's that easy!  Enjoy your new favicon and differentiate yourself from the typical Google Sites crowd. That Favicon is Boring Anyway

Google Sites Tutorial - Pages and Navigation

I am posting here for your enlightenment a walkthrough tutorial for creating pages and setting up a navigation bar. The video is pretty self-explanatory so I needn't provide much of an introduction.  However, I make reference to this post on designing a background with the 'blank slate' theme. Please take note of the tips and tricks mentioned in the video, these may things even a Google Sites' users may have overlooked.

My Small Business - A History

I submitted to Google Sites at, the history of my little business to date.  Here is that story. Kirksville Web Design - A small business in a rural town of Missouri (Kirksville, MO) that has succeeded in creating professional-looking websites, using the Google Sites engine, for businesses and organizations. We, I mean I (we sounds better in the business world I think), first made a website for a local friend plumber starting up a business.  It was more like I commissioned him than he commissioned me to do his website.  I started making what is now .  It was my first domain buying, analytics processing, search engine optimization experience.  I also took advantage of Google Places and registered the business there.  Year to date it has received 440 visits. Then I made a website for a more prominent business run by a friend, Foreman Heating and Air Conditioning.  I started to get more into graphic design, teaching myself to use

Google Sites News - Share Settings

Google Sites, and really Google Apps, has been improved in terms of making it easier to share your website.  The share settings used to be part of the Manage Site contents, but now it has been moved to the More Options drop down menu next to Create and Edit Page. Sharing has never been something I've used very much.  I always make my sites public and I limit collaborator privileges (call me a control freak).  Nevertheless, it is always great to be able to do something more easily.  Google Sites sharing is now similar to that in other Google Apps like Google Docs. Remember your options: Anyone can see your site (public) *will be indexed eventually and then not very well Only those with a link can see your site (semi-private) *will not be indexed Only those given permission can see your site (mostly-private) *will not be indexed   For Google's post on website sharing see

Google Sites Tutorial - Horizontal Navigation and Drop Down Boxes

Google Sites released the option for horizontal navigation not too long ago.  This new features greatly enhances the professional look of websites, and I have used it on all my new sites.  Please refer to my post on background layout for easy integration of horizontal navigation into your web design. Horizontal Navigation is more appealing because we process information best that way.  It makes sense, we read from left to right.  Another benefit from this feature is that it eliminates the need for a sidebar.  While sidebars have their place in web design it is better to implement it on your terms, not because you have to for navigation purposes. Also, horizontal navigation enables the use of dropdown boxes.  These are links that appear when the category is hovered over.  For instance, in my bakery website example.  I have a page called Baked Goods, the sub-pages of which will be scones, muffins, cupcakes, etc.  Those sub-pages, which you designate in Manage Site > Site Layout &g

Google Sites Tip - Background Layout

When you making a background for your Google Site make sure you use "Blank Slate" as your theme.  This is the only theme I know of that support transparency. First of all, take note of your header's height in 'Site Layout.'  If it is 125 pixels high, make a header that is exactly 125 pixels high. Here's a great tip for horizontal navigation: The horizontal navigation bar is 25 pixels high.  So, in this scenario where you have a 125 pixel header, create a background that incorporates your horizontal navigation bar starting at 125 to 160.  That will give you some space above and below your bar. If you don't want any space above and below make it snug 130 to 155. Click on and save this background and use on your website.  Just make sure your header height is 125px.   Here's what it looks like on your Google Site Here an example of a finished product using good background layout and design.

Google Sites Tutorials - Creating a Website

I have a youtube channel to which I am posting videos of how to use Google Sites to create your own professional looking free websites.  Here's a little introduction to my video. First of all, I wanted to start from the beginning of using Google Sites to create a website.  Anyone can build a website with Google Sites with a little know how and some guidance.  I have been making websites for many months now, selling them and giving them away.  I use Google Apps all the time, and what makes Google Sites great is that it's free!  You can reap 100% profit here, well besides buying a lil' domain name for $10 a year.  So, please join me on this tutorial for creating your site with tips and tricks from a web designer. Please subscribe to my youtube channel: if you want to be notified of my next upload!  Have fun.

Kirksville E-Commerce with Google Checkout

Kirksville Web Design has been using an excellent tool to help our patrons sell their products and services online.  That tool is Google Checkout! Google Checkout is allows customers to use all major credit cards for payment. Google takes a small commission of 2-3% and $0.30 per transaction. We've been happy to implement this user-friendly tool on many of our websites. For instance, the Missouri Association of Public Purchasing (MAPP) is interested in collecting member dues and conference registration payments.  Google Checkout and Kirksville Web Design worked to make this idea a reality.