Google Sites

Overview

Google Sites can be used to present information and collaborate on projects by adding content, file attachments, and information from other Google applications (like Google Docs, Google Calendar, YouTube and Picasa).  “Creating a site together is as easy as editing a document, and you always control who has access, whether it's just yourself, your team, or your whole organization. You can even publish Sites to the world.” (source: http://www.google.com/sites/overview.html) Since a Google Site can be shared with the world, it may be considered a website.

Google Training

 

Recommended Use

Google Sites are appropriate for some uses, while our web content management systems (Drupal and phpWebSite) are appropriate for others.  Here is a quick summary of which is appropriate for some various cases:

Use

Drupal

phpWebSite

Google Sites

Official Websites

Yes

Yes

No

Personal Websites

No

No

Yes or W2A Space

Student Organization Web Sites

No

Yes or AppSync

Yes or AsULearn

Student or Faculty Projects

No

No

Yes or AsULearn

Personal Business or Political Campaigning

None - use a commercial provider (see Appalachian Policy on the Use of Computers and Data Communications)

Collection or release of sensitive personally identifiable information (e.g., credit card or other financial information, social security number, passwords)

None
(see http://policy.appstate.edu/General_Web_Standards)

 

Best Practices on a Google Site

  • Identify the author of the Google Site and provide contact information

  • Link to the university disclaimer (http://www.appstate.edu/disclaimer.php) to be clear that this is not an official university website. The link can be placed in a footer.  

  • Make the Site accessible to users who may have functional impairments.  Quick tips: set heading levels between levels 2 and 4 through the user interface (or higher by using HTML), and provide alternative text on all images.   For accessibility guidelines, visit https://webservices.appstate.edu/standards/accessibility/ada-guidelines.

  • Set Site Sharing permissions appropriately.  Options include: Public on the Web, Anyone with the link, everyone with an appstate.edu account, anyone with an appstate.edu account and the link to the site, and specific people.  Choose wisely!

  • Organizations and Clubs: your site may be accessible by users of all ages -- include the organization's purpose, educational relationship to the university, and an appreciation of a pluralistic community.

 

Definitions and References

  • A website is a directory containing documents on a computer server connected to the Internet with its own unique address (URL).

  • Official websites are websites created, maintained, or sponsored by colleges, departments, programs, administrative units, faculty, or staff, as part of their official university functions.  (See, http://policy.appstate.edu/Web_Accessibility_Standards, http://policy.appstate.edu/General_Web_Standards)

  • Personal Web sites are websites published by students, faculty or staff to showcase personal and professional interests. Requirements for personal websites are covered in the Appalachian Policy on the Use of Computers and Data Communications.