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Google unleashes Web page building system for Gmail members

Apr 03, 20063 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Getting religious about Google Page Creator

Today we have yet another step in Google’s relentless march towards total Web domination. This foray is in the form of a Web page building system called Google Page Creator and in common with many other Google experiments (Googiments? Experigles? … no matter) it is free.

Like so many Google projects this is yet another non-beta beta (I write that because Google’s betas are way too polished to really be betas – they probably qualify as Version 1 releases by the standards of certain other large computer software companies – but I digress).

If you have a Gmail account, you can open a Page Creator account and the Web pages you build will be available when you publish them at your custom URL. For example, a page I created with Google Page Creator can be seen at

While a single Gmail account can only, at present, have a single Page Creator site there’s no limit to the number of pages you can create and you have 100M bytes of storage to play with.

Page Creator uses an AJAX client side to provide a WYSIWYG browser-based editing environment and includes a large number of page templates, which you can switch between at any time. The templates control look and feel (colors, fonts, etc.) and you can select any of four layouts. All layouts have a header and the choices are a single wide body; a narrow left column with a wide body; a narrow right column with a wide body; and three columns of equal width.

The templates are well designed and look pretty good for a template system. A nice feature is that Page Creator attempts to save all changes dynamically so in the case of a Web browser crash you shouldn’t lose anything.

You can upload images and other content and then link them into your Page Creator pages. You can preview your pages at any time and once you are happy with them, you can publish them so they are visible to the world – until you do the content remains private.

An interesting aspect of Page Creator content is that according to Google: “The pages you create can be crawled by Google within a few hours of publication.” What if you create a page that links to all of your Web content that’s hosted elsewhere? Would this get your non-Google content indexed faster?

This is a really impressive content editing system that is also a great example of how to build a slick AJAX application. It also shows how to make an application interface accessible and useable by novice user while still making it useful for those with greater skill levels. As you can tell, I’m really impressed – I feel religion coming on: “Our Creator, which art on Google, Hallow’d be the content …”


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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