Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Writing Your Own Websites With Google Drive


Google Sites are great and let you easily create and maintain rich websites.  But what if you want your very own look and feel, don't want to be limited to Google's themes, or need to demonstrate skills for a class?  

You can use Google Drive to host a site, you just have to set up a couple of items.  First, you will need a folder in Google Drive that you make fully publicly available through Sharing.

Next you will need to place your HTML files into that folder.  You can not do this using the Google Docs online editor as that will always make a “docs” formatted file.  You need to create your HTML files with some other tools, either PC resident, or an online service which can create raw text documents.  When you have your HTML files (named [something].html), upload them into the folder you created and shared above.  The uploaded files will take on the access attributes of the online folder automatically.

Make sure to name the start page of your website “index.html”.  This will make sure that the site loads properly and not just a s list of files.

Once you have the index.html file in the folder, right click on the file name and choose “Open with” => “Google Drive Viewer”.  In this view you will see a “Preview” option on the menu bar.  Choose that and the main page of your new website will open.  Select and copy the address in the address bar.  It is not pretty, but it works.  To get a nicer URL, go to either goo.gl or tinyurl.com.

For an example site that I just put together, take a look here: