Teacher Tech blog with Alice Keeler

Paperless Is Not a Pedagogy

Alice Keeler

9 Google Sites Tips

9 Tips for Google Sites
9 Google Sites Tips

9 Tips for Google Sites

Use New Google Sites

The new Google Sites is so easy to use. I love to use them for tutorials because of how easy it is to integrate multi-media.


1. Double Click

This is the magic of Google Sites, no need to drag your mouse over to the side panel, just double click to reveal a menu to quickly insert content.
Double Click to insert content

2. Resize Embeds

When you add a file from Google Drive, such as a Google Doc, it only shows the top part of the document. Grab the resizing handles to make it skinnier and longer. Tip: Use Control Minus to zoom out to make it easier to resize the Google Doc longer.
Resize Google Doc in Google Sites

Note that Google Sites does NOT update sharing permissions of embedded elements. If a document is private it will look great to you since you own the document. Sharing the website, visitors will see a “needs permission” screen instead of the Google Doc. Be sure to set document permissions. Notice the toolbar when the embedded document is selected. There is an option to “pop out” or delete the embed. Choose the pop out icon to view the Google Doc and press the blue Share button to change sharing permissions. 

3. Uncrop

For pictures, no need to double click, just DRAG the picture right onto the site. I’m not sure why, but Google Sites crops your picture for you (who wants that?!). It can honestly be maddening at first. Once you discover this trick to uncrop it makes using Google Sites a happy endeavor. Insert your picture and set the desired width. Then in the toolbar, click the uncrop tool. Perfect picture placement.
uncrop pictures

4. Embed a Website

There are 2 ways to insert a website, a preview image and link or to embed the whole page in an iframe. Choose to insert a URL and if the website is supported you will have 2 choices for how to embed the site. Note: you are still unable to add your own embed codes to Google Sites. 
Embed a website

5. Add a Sub page

On the sidebar, choose the “Pages” tab. To create a sub page, click on the 3 dots on a page and choose “Create sub page.”
Pages tab

This will display as a drop down in the navigation.
Display as a drop down

You can also DRAG the page tile in the sidebar to snap to another page tile to create the sub page.

6. Add a Logo

In the upper left of the site, hover near the corner to reveal a button to “Add logo.”
Add logo

7. Vertical Navigation

Also in the upper left hand corner of the site, when you hover is a settings cog. This gives the option to change from “Top navigation” to “Side navigation.” This moves the page links from the top to the side.
Change navigation

8. Stack Elements

Drag elements from the page to snap together vertically.
Stack text and picture

This creates a single block. Make one element wider, the stacked elements also widen. Clicking on the stacked group selects the entire group. Click again on individual elements to edit, move, or delete.

9. Add Your Webcam

I have been using the Webcam Record Chrome extension a lot. It’s so easy to quickly create videos and insert into Google Sites. The best part is it cuts me off at 30 seconds. No one wants to see your face for more than 30 seconds. Make another video if you need more time 🙂 The video automatically saves to Google Drive which makes it super easy to add to your Google Site. Simply double click and choose to add from Drive. Make sure you change the Webcam Record folder sharing permissions in Google Drive. This ensures all of your videos are visible.
Record a webcam to Google Drive

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