Google Page Creator beta debuted in Google Labs on 23 February, 2006. The free tool allows any user (with a Google account), especially novices, to create simple web sites. Multiple pages can be created with no knowledge of HTML or any other markup languages, similar to its competitors such as Sandvox, Drag Drop Site Creator and iWeb. The pages are created in the browser with no need for additional software. It is now replaced with Google Sites.
Soon after Google launched Google Page Creator, like many other Google releases, it was swamped with millions of users. This caused them to temporarily block users from downloading their software due to server overload. For those who managed to get accounts early enough, the service was running extremely slow as of February 26, 2006. Additional accounts were released to holders of Google accounts in March 2006.
The pages are hosted by Google on subdomains of googlepages.com. Each user receives 100 MB of free web hosting space. Originally, the subdomain name had to be the same as the user's Google account username, and the same as their gmail address. In November 2006, users were allowed to make additional sites under any name that was not already a registered Google account. Names must be between 6 and 30 characters. Dots and numbers are allowed, which can lead to misleading subdomains. For example, page.edward.googlepages would not be a subdomain of edward.googlepages but a completely separate site that happened to be called page.edward.
Google states that Googlepages.com sites will be crawled within a few hours of publication but will not receive any preferential treatment in its search results.
- By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through Google services... you grant Google a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license to reproduce, adapt and publish such Content on Google services solely for the purpose of displaying, distributing and promoting Google services.
- A choice of themes is available to change the look of the pages.
- Autosave - the user's work is automatically saved at regular intervals, as in Gmail.
- Recent changes - Although not all the features of a wiki's recent changes are present, Google Page Creator does show a list of pages with the time they were last edited and details on whether they have been published yet.
- A site settings option lets users mark their pages as having "adult content".
Many new features were launched in November 2006, including:
- Image editing: add effects and resize photos.
- Create up to 5 additional sites with their own names.
- Pages automatically optimized for cellphones
- Official Google Page Creator website
- About page
- Help pages
- Official group on Google Groups
- Google search for all pages within the googlepages.com domain to see examples of sites using this service.
- Slashdot story: "Google Pages launches", March 23, 2006
- Google Blog: new features added, November 2006
- What's new at Google Pages?
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