The service - which requires a Gmail account before being able to log in - provides a simple template with heading, subhead and body. Google has also provided 41 different background styles to choose from. Alongside the main page, Google offers a number of tools to enable the site builder to include links, images, three different kinds of headings and six different fonts. It is also possible to introduce styles such as bold or italic text or lists.
As part of the package, Google is also offering a free web hosting facility. Once the page is published it becomes available at yourdomain.googlepages.comand Google offers a one click button to 'tell your friends'. Creator assumes no knowledge of HTML and even explains how to find a URL (through a search engine of course!).
Google is following Microsoft's move in building an end to end set of online services that will allow retailers of any size around the world to advertise, offer goods and services and fulfil orders through the Internet. Thus, the Page Creator matches a similar initiative from Redmond that recently launched Office Live, a set of online applications aimed at providing small to medium sized business with an online presence.
However, whereas Microsoft launched all the applications including web pages and personalised email in one go, Google is introducing the elements piecemeal, for example launching the personalised email service earlier this month.
Presumably at some stage, Google will tie the 'Pages' service into Google Analytics to allow subscribers to monitor the traffic to their web pages either from Google Base or AdWords. However, there is no sign yet that Google is planning Premium services along the lines of Live Collaboration.