Description

This page is intended as a guide for modifying and managing this website template, but is not intended to include any and all features of google sites. If you are not familiar with Google sites I recommend starting with the google sites beginners guide HERE>> 
There are also some basic videos at the bottom of this page to get you started.





Why use "Google Sites"

  1. It's free
  2. Anyone that has a basic understanding of PowerPoint or common document editing can do a website in Google Sites.
  3. Automatic integration of other Google tools like Google Drive, Google Calendar, Picasa, Youtube, etc
  4. In the past, every time a webminister quits, the group is forced to start from scratch. With Google Sites, editing and administration can be shared across multiple users. So if your webminsiter gets hit by a bus, you can still run the website.
  5. While google sites does not leverage a lot of cutting edge technology, with strong content you can build a valuable website. Quality Content is more important that "Wow Factor".
  6. It's free

List of tools


  1. Snagit from Techsmith   http://www.techsmith.com/snagit-gslp.html?gclid=COzTmpKd564CFYcUKgodABocfw 
    1. Snagit is far more powerful than MS Paint, But not as hard to learn as photo shop. They offer a free 30 day trial. You can use this to crop and edit photos.  
  2. Youtube downloader  http://download.cnet.com/YouTube-Downloader/3000-2071_4-10647340.html
    1. While it's easier to link an existing Youtube video. YouTube downloader has an excellent ability to convert video file formats.  So if you have a video you shot with a camera phone and want to convert it to .avi or .wmv or others, this offers an easy way to do the conversions.
  3. Codex pack for Window media player  http://download.cnet.com/Windows-Essentials-Media-Codec-Pack/3000-13632_4-10662709.html
      1. If you are using Windows Media player, this lets you view .mov and .3gp cell phone videos without having to convert them first. Very handy
  4. Google Drive All of the paperwork, files, images, etc are keeps on Google Drive.  You will need a gmail address/ Google ID in order to access them.  The best approach is to have the forgottensea@gmail.com account "Own" the files. Then share them with your gmail account so you can access them easily.  

Helpful links and tips


  1. A note on photographs and personal images: FOLLOW THE RULES. You must have both Photographer and model releases on file for any photos you have on your site. See the webministers' guide below
  2. Link to SCA Webminister handbook  http://www.sca.org/officers/webminister/WebministerHandbook.pdf
  3. A useful site for "How To" information http://www.steegle.com/websites/google-sites-howtos/googlesites-frequentlyaskedquestionsfaq
  4. Google Sites Tip: use shortcuts. you can just hit "e" on your keyboard to edit a page, rather than mouse clicking the button. You can hit "g + m" to get to the manage page section.
  5. List of color codes http://www.99colors.net/name/old-lace
  6. The BFS webstes is Based pm the Google sites Theme is "Garden"
     

Customization for this template


First Steps

There is a test page for you to work out concepts before you try them on one of your main pages. You can find it by searching for "Test-Page" in the search box in the site. Or find it on the site map.
 
Remove Webminister link from sidebar. Click Edit Sidebar and Click Delete next to "Text" in the side bar menu. From now on you will get to this page by using the site map or the search box.

Welcome

  1. Replace device "logo" in Header using 125 x 128 .png with transparent background. You can replace the logo by going to More > Manage Site > Site Layout > Change Logo

  2. Edit the footer. Click Edit Footer Content and change all the text to match your group's name. Example "...Welcome to the (Shire /Barony) of (Your group name" would be changed to "....Welcome to the Barony of Forgotten Sea..."  Also fill out other local specific information, remove the brackets, Save your changes.
  3. To edit the text on this page click the edit page button at the top.
    edit button
    As a short cut you can hit "e" on the keyboard.  Then personalize the text to be specific to your group.
  1. Replace the photograph with one that properly represents your group,  Could be a group photo, or a photo of your Baron and Baroness. Avoid using bandwidth consuming flash or content that would be hard for someone on a slow internet connection to view. Use Snagit to edit the picture to be 676 px wide. Then in Google Sites Click the photo and then click on the X to remove it.  Then upload a new image by going Insert > Image > Choose File.  Once the image is finished uploading, select it and click OK.  Once back on your welcome page click the Wrap On to have the text wrap around the image.
  2. Generate a favicon for your site.  Find a favicon generator on-line,  http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/favicon/ for example.  Upload  your image, like your groups shield device, and generate the favicon and save it to your desktop. Then add it to your site by going  More > Manage Site > Attachments.  Find the existing Favicon.ico file and check the box, then click Replace. Go back to your site and you should see your image in the tab or address line in place of the stock favicon.

Activities

  1. Image banner.  Remove the stock image banner by going to edit mode (e) and them clicking the X on the image.   Then upload a new image by going to  Insert > Image > Choose File.   Once the image is finished uploading, select it and click OK.  Once back on your Activities page click the Wrap On to have the text wrap around the image.
    1. Tip: remember when you adding images to put in "alt text".  A simple phrase to describing what the picture.
    2. Tip: Remember to remove the link to the source image. Or replace it with a link that goes somewhere.
    3. Tip: Again with the releases....gotta have them.
  2. Twitter box.  F
    1. First step is to create a twitter account for your SCA group.  If you don't want to use the twitter box you can always just delete it from the page.
    2. To create your twitter box from scratch. Here is a handy walk through on how to create the twitter box.  Go to the twitter resource page  https://twitter.com/about/resources/widgets/widget_profile to create your twitter box.   Enter your groups twitter user name, then click on "Appearance" To match the template use the following color combinations. Shell Background = #948b94; Shell Text= #ffffff; Tweet Backgrount= #f7f7ef;  Tweet Text= #9ca8a8; Links= #c20b23. Follow the steps in the guide to create your .xml file and upload it to google sites. It's not hard, just read the walk through.
    3. An easier way to do it just change the existing twitterfeed.xml file.  Go to More > Manage Site > Attachments. Find the existing twitterfeed.xml file and download it to your desktop.  Open the file with notepad and change the value outlined in red to be your SCA groups twitter user name:

      The username is at the bottom of the file.  Save your changes, then in Google Sites go back to 
      More > Manage Site > Attachments and check the box next to the existing twitterfeed.xml file.  Click the Replace button, select your modified twitterfeed.xml file from your desktop, and then click Replace again. Go back and look at your Activities page and you should now be seeing your groups tweets in the twitterbox.

  1. Facebook plugin.  The facebook comments box is nearly the same concept.  you are creating an xml document to link to. 
    1. Go to More > Manage Site > Attachments. Find the existing facebook.xml file and download it to your desktop.  Open the file with notepad and change the value outlined in red to be your local SCA groups facebook page URL:
      facebook settings

       Save your changes, then in Google Sites go back to 
       More > Manage Site > Attachments and check the box next to the existing facebook.xml file.  Click the Replace button, select your modified facebook.xml file from your desktop, and then click Replace again. Go back and look at your Activities page. The box should allow users to post to your site using their facebook profile (or others). It will also give them an option to cross post their comments to their own wall.
    2. Second step is to edit the URL in the iframe.  Go to the facebook comments box on the Activities page. Hit  Edit and Properties on the iframe. Edit the URL to point to your new website. 
  2. Google Calendar: There are several ways to do this, but the easiest to to create a google calendar for your SCA group.  Then in Google Sites go to Edit > Insert > Calendar and select your SCA google calendar from the list.
  3. Text Boxes Click Edit Then on the text box you wish to edit click the Gear symbol or Properties.  Google will open a light text editor so you can customize your verbiage and fonts. Text can be set back to the default font by clicking the "Remove Formatting" button. 
    remove formating
    You can add new text boxes by going Edit > Insert > Text Box
  4. Google Maps:  
    1. To add a map click Edit > Insert > Map.  Use the search box to search for your location, and click Select
    2. To edit an existing map Click Edit > Properties on the Map module and click the Change button.  Search for you new location. 

Officers

  1. This is really a bunch of text boxes. Click Edit > Properties for each box and fill in the contact information for your officers.  If an officer does not wish to list a phone number or some other piece of information it may be deleted, but you will need to add spaces to make the formatting work. 
You now have used every module at least once in customizing this template. Google sites offers much more functionality, but this give you a basic Local SCA site so you can get up and running quickly. After you have accomplished the basics you should invest some time in learning about:
  1. Registering a custom domain/URL or using one you all ready own  http://support.google.com/sites/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=99448
  2. Using Google Analytic And Webmaster tools  http://support.google.com/sites/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=97459

Videos


Here are some basic Youtube videos done by "Radford University" on how to use google sites.

Basics

How to use Google Sites Step 1



Pre-made templates

Look for the "SCA Local Website" template.  

YouTube Video


How to Edit

Editing Google Sites Step 2


Changing appearance 

Using Google Sites Step 3


Sharing

How to share your site with other members of your SCA group so they can edit or own

Using Google Sites step 4