Project Wikis Using Google Sites

5 Easy Steps to Create Your Own Project Wiki

Creating a project wiki using Google Sites is an easy process. As a web application, Google Sites has customizable templates for quick setup.

Why choose a wiki?

Wikis are simple web pages for everyone to edit, with permissions, as well as the ability to link new pages. You may want to choose a wiki for several reasons:

  • Share a workspace online
  • Share files on a research project
  • Collaborate around a fun project and activities
  • Build a knowledge base of resources
  • Use an easy wiki tool for community project

Why use Google Sites?

Google users. If you are already using Google Apps, you will have access to Google Sites.

Free products. If you're not using Google Apps and you're a small team of up to 10 people, then it is free. Academic usage is free for under 3000 people. For everyone else, the price is relatively inexpensive.

Before you start building a wiki:

Prepare a checklist or worksheet of wiki elements and decide what is needed to build an informative and functional wiki site. Suggested items may include plan outline, images, video, page topics, and file storage you will need for the project.

Let's get started.

1
Use Template

Use Template
Google Inc.

Let's use the wiki template that Google Sites has available - select Use Template (click to view image). A predesigned template will accelerate your wiki launch. You may personalize the wiki to represent your team with pictures, fonts, and color schemes, as you build the wiki or afterwards.

2
Name the Site

Football Party Recipes. Screen capture/Ann Augustine. Name the Site, Football Party Recipes. Screen capture/Ann Augustine

For this example, let's create Football Party Recipes, which is entered for the site name (click to view image). Click Create, then save your work.

Technically, you have completed the initial set up for a project wiki! But these next few steps will give you more understanding how to make changes and add to the wiki.

Note: Google automatically saves pages every few minutes but it is a good practice to save your work. Revisions are saved so you can roll back if needed, which you can get to from the More page actions menu.

3
Create a Page

Create a Page, Half Time Wings. Screen capture/Ann Augustine. Create a Wiki Page, Half Time Wings. Screen capture/Ann Augustine

To understand how to work with pages, let's create one. Select New page. You'll see there are different page types (page, list, file cabinet, etc.). Type in the name and check off placement of the page, either at top level or under Home. Then, click Create (see screen image). You'll notice placeholders on the page for text, images, gadgets and so on, which you can insert. Also, notice at the bottom, the page enables Comments, a feature that you can customize further as time permits. Save your work.

4
Edit/Add Page Elements

Add a Google Calendar gadget. Screen capture/Ann Augustine. Add a Google Calendar gadget. Screen capture/Ann Augustine

The wiki template has many elements to work with - for this example, let's customize a couple of items.

Edit Page. At any time, you can click on Edit page, then on the page area you want to work with. An edit menu/tool bar will become visible to make changes, for example, changing the home page image. Save your work.

Add to Navigation. Let's add the page we created in the previous step. At the bottom of the sidebar, select Edit sidebar. Under the sidebar label, click Edit, then Add page. Move pages up and down on the navigation. Then select Ok. Save your work.

Add a Gadget. Let's step through adding a gadget, which are objects that perform a dynamic function, like a calendar. Select Edit page, then Insert/Gadgets. Scroll through the list and select Google Calendar (click to view image). You can customize the appearance as desired. Save your work.

5
Control Access to Your Site

Project Wiki - Football Party Recipes. © Ann Augustine. Project Wiki - Football Party Recipes. © Ann Augustine

On the More Actions menu, you can control access to your site. Select Sharing and Permissions. Here are a couple of options for public or private access:

Public - If your site is already public, you can add access for people to edit on your site. Choose More Actions and then Share this Site. (Click to view screen image.)

Private - Sharing access to your site will require you to add people and choose the level of site access: is owner, can edit, or can view. You can also share access to your site with a group of people via Google Groups. Non-public users upon receiving an invitation to access the site will have to sign in with their Google account.

Send out invitations via email through Sharing and Permissions. You're good to go.