How to Set Up a Google Site

For your ePortfolio, we highly recommend using Google Sites because it:

  • has all the tools you need to fulfill the requirements of the ePortfolio
  • displays no adds
  • is easy to set up even if you’ve never made a website before: it’s a visual editor so you don’t need to know web coding
  • is integrated with Google Docs, Forms, and other web apps so you can easily display work and other documents
  • has a modern design
  • has great privacy features
  • easily connects to Google Analytics so you can track usage/visits
  • can be linked to a custom domain name when you graduate if you want to use it professionally

Here is a guide to walk you through setting up your first website with Google Sites.

How-To Guide


Step 1: Sign into Google Sites or create an account

  1. Navigate to http://sites.google.com/
  2. Sign in or create a free account

Step 2: Create the Google Site

Once you’re signed in, you are taken to the “dashboard” where you can see and access all the sites you’ve made (it’ll be empty if this is your first time). Click the plus sign in the bottom righthand corner of the dashboard window to begin creating your first website.



Step 3: Take the “Tour”

A basic new webpage will be generated for you. Google will prompt you with a “tour” to show you around the toolbox. Click “Next” to take the tour (don’t skip if you’re new to this!).



Step 4: Initial Set Up

  1. Give your site a title in the top left header area.
  2. Change the header text on the homepage to whatever you like (ex. Jose’s Portfolio)
  3. Add a custom header image by clicking on the hover menu that’s over the banner
  4. Click the Gear Icon in the top menu towards the right. Change these settings as you desire (you can choose what kind of navigation menu you’d like here, connect to Google Analytics, link to a custom domain name you own, edit your logo, etc.).
  5. Decide on your privacy settings:
    1. Click the Sharing Icon to the left of the Gear to access your privacy settings.
    2. You can make your site public or private/viewable to the EHP community only.
      • To make it EHP-only, add the EHP Google group email as a collaborator to share with: ehp-gg-all@colorado.edu. Change the view/edit option to “View Only.”


Step 5: Using the Tool Menu

On the right side of the site maker, you’ll see a toolbox with 3 panes.

Here’s how to use each:

  • Insert
    • This pane is where you will add all your content. Content is added in “block form.” You choose the type of content you’d like to add in the pane, and then a corresponding block will be added. When you click on this block on the page design area, you will also see a small menu on the right appear that shows you your options for that block if you’d like to further customize it.
    • To organize your site, drag content blocks where you want it.
  • Pages
    • This is where you will add pages to your site that will automatically be added to the navigation menu. You can also add subpages by dragging new pages over the page you’d like to be the parent page.
      • Click the plus (+) button to add a new page (or direct link to an external site) to your menu.
      • Once you’ve created a page, you’ll see it in the Pages pane. Notice there are 3 dots to the side of the new page title. If you click this, you will see further options.
      • Reorder links in your navigation menu by rearranging the pages in this pane.
  • Themes
    • These are your “look and feel” options. You can pick an overall theme, pick a custom font, and choose what color you’d like for your titles and links.

Step 6: Preview and Publish

You can preview your site by clicking the icon to the right of the Undo and Redo arrows on the top menu.

When you’re satisfied, click the big blue “Publish” button in the top right corner.


Appendix A: Setting up Google Analytics

If you’d like to track usage, visits and other statistics, you can use Google’s free analytics service. Here’s how to set it up:

  • Make sure you’re signed into the Google account that you’re building your website on.
  • Navigate to: https://analytics.google.com
  • Follow the prompts to sign up to start tracking your site. You’ll need to put in your sites URL (which can be found by viewing the published version of your site and copying and pasting the URL from your browser). You’ll also need to decide what permissions you want to grant Google and what features you want to use. (You can opt out of all of them if you like.)
  • Once you’re done signing up, look for your Tracking ID in the dashboard area. Copy the ID.
  • Go back to your site editor and click on the settings Gear Icon in the top right corner.
  • Click on Analytics in the menu.
  • Paste in your Tracking ID.