I am an IT professional with over 30 years experience. I have used many site builders and have created many sites from scratch using everything from pure HTML/CSS/Javascript to advanced tools like jBuilder, Adobe PageMaker, Visual Studio (ASP, ASP.net, ASP.net MVC), PHP, etc. I have built solutions in Mambo, Joomla, OpenRealty, OSCommerce, SharePoint, and others. I do both LAMPS and Microsoft platforms (IIS, SQL Server).This site is here to help me determine just what it is I can do with Google Sites given that I have my own domain and control of DNS. I also wanted to insure that mail sent to me at my own domain goes into my Gmail Inbox. Both required a bit of setup at my DNS provider and from Google Apps, itself. See how I configured my DNS

Now What ...
Now that you have all your DNS pointers setup you can start creating sites with Google Sites. For this test I mapped this site (KSI) to www.kiplandiles.com. My naked domain (kiplandiles.com) was mapped to sites.kiplandiles.com. You dont have to do it this way (normally you would map your naked domain to www) but I wanted to see just how flexible this was. It turns out to work any way you desire. For now just going to kiplandiles.com will bring you to sites.kiplandiles.com where folks can see all sites that I might make available to the public.

As far as creating sites and pages the process is pretty straight-forward. You can create sites based on templates (yours or others) and you can format your sites with a given number of predefined styles. You don't ever see the CSS so formatting is all done via the GUI. You can upload assets (images,media, etc.) as attachments and use them on your site. You can also insert assets from Google Drive. You can also insert a number of "Gadgets" available from Google and others. These gadgets add predefined apps to your page. Scripting is also available but I have just begun to scratch the surface on what can be done (looks like pretty much anything). Custom web app scripts can be developed, published, then inserted on to the site.

NOTE: This site was started as a "Blank Site" and I am using the Terra:Sand Theme. A word of caution! I was unable to properly edit Google Gadgets in IE9. It only worked well using Chrome. I thought that I could just modify the back-end HTML easily but after the gadget code gets inserted and saved on a page Google adds a bunch more to the gadget making it more difficult to modify using the raw HTML editor.