Google Sites offers a nice collection of features for making a website that gets attention. Whether your project is a portfolio of your work, an informative spot for your club, or a way to keep family in the loop, let’s look at these useful features.
Social Media Links
Added in August 2022, the social links feature lets you insert and customize buttons that link to your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Open your site and go to the page where you want the social media links. On the right, go to the Insert tab and select “Social Links.”
When the Social Media Links box appears, enter the URLs into the Link boxes. On the left side, you can use the Add Image icon to upload one of your own. If you leave those images blank, icons automatically appear in those spots for popular social media sites.
Click “Insert” when you finish. You’ll see the Social Links section appear on your page along with a floating toolbar to customize it.
Starting on the left side of the toolbar, use the drop-down boxes to customize the appearance of the icons or images. You can adjust the size, shape, outline, color, and alignment.
To edit the links or remove or add one, select the Edit Links icon (pencil) or to remove the Social Link block, select the Remove icon (a trash can). You can also move the block wherever you like on the page.
Easy Galleries With an Image Carousel
If you want to insert several images on your site, but condense them for space, consider using the image carousel. With it, you can add many photos or pictures and let your audience view them one at a time.
Head to the page where you want the images and select “Image Carousel” on the Image tab on the right.
Click the plus sign to upload an image from your device or select an image from Google Drive, Photos, via URL, or using Google Image Search. Note, you must include at least two images.
To customize the carousel with dots, captions, or have it automatically start and adjust the transition speed, select Settings (gear icon) on the top right.
When you finish, select “Insert” and you’ll see your image carousel. To edit it, select it and choose the gear icon in the floating toolbar. To delete it, select the trash can icon.
To see the carousel as your audience will, click the Preview button (device icon) at the top.
Automatic Table of Contents
Maybe you’re using Google Sites as a company intranet, informative wiki, or classroom reference. These are ideal situations for inserting a table of contents so that your audience can easily navigate to the section they need.
Go to the page where you want the table of contents and select it on the Insert tab on the right.
The table will appear at the top of the page, but you can drag to move it where you like. Then, format text as headings to automatically create the table of contents.
If you have existing headings that you don’t want to appear in the table of contents, select the Hide icon (eye) in the table. Use the Indent button or Remove option in the floating toolbar as needed.
Similar to the image carousel, collapsible groups let you save a bit of space with your text. You might use this feature for a list of commonly asked questions that expand to display the answers.
Select “Collapsible Group” on the Insert tab on the right.
The block automatically pops onto the page for you to drag where you like. Add your text to the main section of the group at the top. Then, add the next item, whether text or an image, to the bottom section. You can use the floating toolbar to customize the font, add a link, or align the text.
When you preview your page, click the arrow on the right of the main section to expand it and reveal the bottom section.
If you prefer to display all items in the group, select it and turn off the toggle for Collapsible. To remove the block, use the Remove button (trash can icon.)
Google Calendar Integration for Events
Because of Google Sites’ integration with Google Calendar, you can display events for your club, occasions for your family, or practice sessions for your team.
On the Insert tab on the right, pick “Calendar.”
You’ll then see a list of your Google Calendars in the sidebar. Select one or more calendars and click “Insert” at the bottom.
When the calendar appears on the page, you can customize its appearance and options using the gear icon.
Use the toggles to display the title, date, navigation buttons, time zone, viewer’s time zone, and the calendar view selection. You can also pick the View Mode with the drop-down box. Click “Done” when you finish.
To open the calendar in a new tab or remove it from the page, use the other two buttons in the floating toolbar.
Feedback or Contact Forms
Another handy integration is with Google Forms. Insert a form directly on your site for feedback, a contact form, a signup form, or an application.
Visit Google Forms and create your form. This allows it to display as an option in Google Sites when you select Forms on the right side.
Pick the form you want to use in the sidebar that displays, select “Insert,” and it’ll pop right onto your page.
When you select the form on the page, you have options to open it in a new tab or remove it with the floating toolbar.
To make edits to the form itself, you’ll do so on the Google Forms site. Responses you receive to your form can also be viewed on the Google Forms Responses tab.
Although Google Sites offers several built-in themes that you can customize, you may want to create a theme of your own. Using the custom theme feature, you can choose colors, fonts, and accents that carry across each page.
Go to the Themes tab on the right and expand the Custom section at the top if necessary. Choose “Create Theme.”
You’ll then see prompts to walk you through creating the theme. Give it a name, add a logo, include a banner image, choose the colors, and select the font styles.
Click “Create Theme” and you’ll see it as an option in the Custom section on the Themes tab. For full details on creating your own Google Sites theme, check out our how-to.
Depending on what you’re using Google Sites for, a professional website, team or club page, or family site, these features should help you create a standout website.