Just found out that you can use your own, custom domain names with Google sites. So I went ahead and created one for myself – mysite.shubhspace.co.cc. This feature is currently available for users of Google Apps. You need to get yourself a Google Apps account and create a Google sites through it.
Login as an Admin and activate Google sites for your domain if not done it already. Once activated, you could create a subdomain from where users must login in and create their sites.
By default, it would be site.example.com. I changed the subdomain to s.shubhspace.co.cc. You will then be asked to add a CNAME entry for the same.
Login to your DNS service account and add a CNAME entry for s.shubhspace.co.cc [same as above] pointing to ghs.google.com.
Once this step is completed it could take around 24-48 hours for the sub-domain to be accessible [safe assumption – I found it accessible in a couple of hours].
With the subdomain for Google sites for your domain now accessible, login and create a new site.
Play around to learn how you can jazz it up with the features provided. Once done with the site designing you may log out. You now need to associate the site with the desired subdomain. Else, as the picture above shows, the sites homepage address would be http://sites.google.com/shubhspace.co.cc/shubhspace duhh WTF !!!
Log back to your Administrator control panel and access the sites link. Click on the Web address mapping link to map the site to a subdomain.
Add the name of the site which you want to map [green] and select the subdomain you wish to map it to [blue].
Once done, click on Add mapping [red]. You will then be asked to add a CNAME record pointing mysite.shubhspace.co.cc to ghs.google.com in the DNS records.
Wait for around 24-48 hours and you will find your newly created Google sites accessible as a proper subdomain. Any page on that site will also have the same subdomain as an address like this.
If you have a number of online entities – a blog, a mico-blog, a tumblog, Flickr stream etc, then it would be a cool idea to have a nicely designed Google sites with www.example.com as your homepage and that page it could contain the links and latest updates from all those other sites on it.
The fact that Google intends to develop Google sites as a full fledged platform of online presence can be guaged from the fact that it also allows you to use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster tools with these sites.
Google sites also allows you to choose the path name for a given page, independent of the page title.