Create a user Start Page

Before you begin creating your Start Page, ensure that Google Sites is enabled for your organization's Google Apps account. Learn more

Google Apps for Business and Education only:

  • Users who will use the Start Page must be in an organizational unit for which Google Sites is turned on. Learn more about organizational units
     
  • If you have users in different domains, users in non-primary domains need to sign in using their full email address. See Step 5 below.
Step 1: Create a new Start Page
  1. Sign in to Google Sites, using your administrator account.
  2. Click Create new site.
  3. Enter a name for the site. Because the name will appear at the top of users's Start Pages and in the URL for the site, you might want to choose a name like "Google Apps Start Page."
  4. Click the gear icon at the top of the page and select Manage site.
  5. Click Page templates and ensure that Start Page is selected.
  6. Click Return to site.
  7. Click Create page, and under Select a template to use, click Start Page.
  8. In the Name field, enter the name you want to use for the Start Page. Users will see this name at the top of their Start Page, so you might want to name it "Start" or "Start Page."
  9. Click Create Page.
Step 2: Add content to the Start Page
  1. On the Start Page you just created, click Edit page.
  2. In the area at the top of the page, add the content you want users to always see, such as text, images, and gadgets. This area is "locked," so users can't modify it. Below the locked area is where users can customize their page:

     

  3. To add gadgets, on click Insert > More gadgets, and then select the gadgets you want users to see on their Start Page.
  4. Once you are finished setting up the "locked" area of the page, click Save.
  5. Optionally, click Add personal gadgets to add suggested gadgets for users. Users can remove these gadgets if they like.
Step 3: Customize the Start Page design
  1. Create a design for your users' Start Pages by choosing a theme, colors, and fonts.
  2. Delete the Home page: In the navigation bar on the left, click Home. Then click the gear icon and select Delete page.
  3. Optionally, remove the page title for the Start Page: Click the gear icon and select Page settings. Uncheck Show page title, and then click Save.
  4. Optionally, remove the navigation bar on the left: Click Manage Site > Site layout > Change site layout. Under Sidebar, select No sidebar. Then click OK.
Step 4: Create a custom web address for the Start Page

To customize the web address (URL) for the Start Page, you'll need to update your domain's CNAME records.

  1. Click the gear icon and select Manage site > General.
  2. Under Landing Page, click Change, select the start page you created, and then click OK.
  3. Under Web Address Mapping, click Map this Site.
  4. In the Site Location field, replace the location of the site's home page with the location of the Start Page.
  5. In the Web Address field, enter the address by which you want users to access their Start Page. We recommend something easy to remember such as "start.yourdomain.com"
  6. Click Add mapping.
  7. Follow the instructions that appear to update your CNAME records with the new address.
Step 5: Share the Start Page with your users
  1. Once your CNAME records are updated, go back to the site you created for the Start Page.
  2. Share the site with your domain: Click the gear icon and select Manage site > Share this site. Ensure Anyone at your domain may view this site is selected. (Don't allow users to edit the site.)
  3. Tell your users they can access their new personal Start Page at the web address you specified.

If multiple domains are associated with your organization's Google Apps account (Google Apps for Business and Education only): Users whose accounts are not in your primary domain can't sign in to the Start Page using the default Sign In screen. Instead, on the Sign In screen, they'll need to click Sign in with a different account, and then provide their full email address:

Once users sign in to their new Start Page, they can click Add personal gadgets to customize their page.

 

Overview | Create Start Page