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Google Sites Tutorials

Tutorials for using google sites

Create site from existing template


To go to Sites, or to view a list of sites that you own or can edit:

From your browser, go to sites.google.com.

Or, if you're signed in to your Google Apps account, at the top right, click <reformat image> and select Sites.

To work from an existing site template, click Browse the gallery for more. Here you can find templates created by your organization, or search public templates such as work portfolios, training sites, and club pages.

To create a new site, click .



Create site from scratch


To design your own site from scratch, select Blank template instead of an existing template when creating the site.


Signing in to edit your site


If you are not already signed in you will be prompted to do so upon navigating to sites.google.com


Adding pages to your site


After creating your site, you will be redirected to the home page of your new site. To create a new page, click the Create Page button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen (or press B on your keyboard).


You will be presented with a new page that asks which type of page you would like. There are several options, but the most common page template is the web page. The web page template allows you to write text, embed gadgets, add images, and arrange the page to your liking.


After you select your template, the next step is to name your page. Once you have done that, it is time to select where your page will go. You are presented with three options:

Top level pages are at the top of the hierarchy of your site and exist next to your homepage as the main "categories of your site.

Put page under will put the page as a subpage of the page you were on when you created the new page.

Choose a different location to place your page under any other page in the site. Where you put the new page is up to you and how you are organizing your site.


When finished, click create page and start editing your new page!


Working in Edit Mode


To edit a page, click on the Edit Page button (or press E on your keyboard) to open the site editor. Below is a screen capture of a page in edit mode. The dotted lines indicate editable areas of the page. Any changes you make within the dotted lines are able to be previewed.  



Once you are in editing mode, the rich text editor will appear at the top of the page. This allows you to easily add or modify text, insert links, and edit in HTML. 




When an object (link, image, or gadget) is inserted in to the page, you can modify its settings by clicking on the object and the settings tooltip that appears. From here you can align the object to the left/right, wrap text around the object, change the width and height (may distort object), etc.


Inserting content


Inserting images

Adding Images to your Google Site can improve the visual appeal of your site and draw the interest of the viewer.


  1. First, begin editing the page you want the image on
  2. Next, click on the Insert menu and select Image
  3. Select Upload Image and select the image to upload and click OK

Once an image has been inserted, a menu will pop up any time you select that image. This menu will allow you to change the alignment, size, and text wrapping of the image, as well as adding a link to the image.


Inserting links

For text:

  1. Click Edit page (or press E on your keyboard)
  2. Find the text that you want to hold the link and highlight that text. (Highlight text by holding down a left click and then dragging)
  3. Next, click the 'link' button in the editing bar on the upper half of the screen.
  4. To link to a web page in your site, make sure 'Existing Page' is selected and choose the page on your site to which you want to link.
  5. To link to a web page outside of your Google Site, make sure 'web address' is selected and type or paste the URL for the page to which you want to link.

For an image:

  1. Click Edit page (or press E on your keyboard)
  2. Insert the image on the page 
  3. Click on the image while in editing mode, which brings up the editing options for that image.
  4. To change the URL, click Change
  5. Type or paste the URL for the web page to which you want your image to link.

Add an external URL or Email to the navigation


To add an outside URL to the navigation menu, you must first know how to manually edit the sidebar or navigation bar.


To add a URL to a domain outside of your Google Site, you must:

  1. Click More on the top right of a page, then Edit Site Layout
  2. Click on the navigation bar to bring up an editing window
  3. Next, uncheck Automatically organize my navigation
  4. Now, click Add URL and type in the page title where it says 'text to display'. Add the page's URL or Email underneath
  5. Press Okay to save

Note: If you remove automatic organization you will need to manually set up your navigation to make it appear as it did when it was automatically organized.


Attach files to a page

You can attach files within the Attachments section at the bottom of any page or within a File Cabinet-type page.


To attach a document to a standard page, click Add File at the bottom of the page. If Add File is not available, then you will need to add the ability to attach files for that page


File Cabinet page-types work as a normal page with additional features for attaching and organizing files located at the bottom of the page.

Add File allows you to attach files from your hard drive. Add Link will allow you to use a URL to link to a file on the web, or to link to a webpage. Add from Drive allows you to attach files from your Google Drive.

Move to offers the ability to create new folders or to move selected files to existing folders.

The file cabinet also allows for descriptions to be added to attached files. To use this feature, hover the move between the file name and file size. Then click on the highlighted box that appears to input your description.


Page management


Add/remove comments, attachments, links from bottom of page


To add/remove the links to subpages of a given page, you must make sure that this function is enabled/disabled for that page. To do this:

  1. Go to the page where you want to add or remove comment/attachments
  2. Click More (or M on your keyboard) in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Select Page Settings (or U)
  4. In the small window, check/uncheck the boxes next to Allow Attachments and/or Allow Comments
  5. Click Save when you are done

Unfortunately, you must do this for each page. There is no way to globally manage all of the pages of your site at once.


View page as viewer (preview page)

  1. Open the More Actions menu on the top right (or press M on your keyboard)
  2. Click preview page as viewer (or press G then P on your keyboard)


Move pages

  1. Click on the page you want to move.
  2. Click More (or M on your keyboard) in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click Move Page (or Shift + M).
  4. A window will appear, showing your site's page structure. Select which new page or section you would like your current page to fall under.
  5. Click Move to save.

Save a page as a template

Saving pages as templates makes it convenient when you have multiple pages of a similar style. To save a page as a template:

  1. Click on the page you want to save as a template.
  2. Click More (or M on your keyboard) in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click Save page as template.
  4. Enter the name, description and default location of your template.
  5. Click Save when you are done. 

Delete pages

To delete a page:

  1. Click on the page you want to delete
  2. Click More (or M on your keyboard) in the top-right corner of the page.
  3. Click Delete page (or Shift + 3).
  4. Click Delete to confirm. 


Recover a deleted page

  1. Open the Manage Site menu on the top right (or press M on your keyboard)
  2. Click on Deleted Items on the navigation bar to the left
  3. Check the box next to the page you would like to recover
  4. Click Recover


Linking text to the middle of a page (create an HTML anchor)

Creating links to anchors makes it so that you can link to a specific point on a web page. This is especially helpful for pages with an index referring to a long list of content.


To link text to the middle of a page:

  1. Click on the page where you want to drop an anchor and click Edit Page.
  2. Click HTML on the formatting menu.
  3. In the window that appears, locate where you want your anchor held.
  4. Copy and paste the HTML code as follows: <a name="AnchorName" />
  5. Replace AnchorName with a name that reflects this link's destination.
  6. Update and save your changes

You have two options when it comes to linking to your anchor: either linking it from the same page or a from different page. Either way, the process is the same.

  1. Follow the steps you would to insert a link
  2. Paste the page URL followed by #AnchorName
  3. The URL for your anchor will look something like this: http://sites.google.com/a/mst.edu/YourSite/Page#AnchorName  YourSite is the name of your site, Page is the page that contains the destination of your link, and AnchorName is the name you used to mark the destination of your anchor link.
  4. Click OK


Editing site information


Change site URL?

Technically you cannot change your URL in Google Sites. As an alternative, you can copy your existing site to a new URL. To do this:

  1. Open the More Actions menu on the top right (or press M on your keyboard)
  2. Click Manage Site (or press G then M on your keyboard)
  3. Towards the middle of the page click Copy this Site
  4. Enter your new site name where it says Site Name
  5. Click Copy


Changing site layout


Change site background?

  1. Open the More Actions menu on the top right (or press M on your keyboard)
  2. Click onto Manage Site (or G then M on your keyboard)
  3. On the bottom of the left sidebar, click on Themes, Colors, and Fonts
  4. Click Entire Page in the custom window
  5. Click on Background
  6. The right of the menu gives you options for the background color, image, and wrapper image. You can choose the theme's default colors, or customize your own background


Editing sidebar or navigation


Manually editing the ‘Sidebar’ or ‘Navigation bar’ in your Google Site comes in handy when you want to change the order of pages. Most likely if you look at the order of the pages, you’ll see that they are placed in alphabetical order automatically by Google sites.


To change this: make sure you are outside of editing mode, and click More at the top right corner of the page. Then click on Edit Site Layout. Scroll over anywhere on your sidebar until the ‘Edit Sidebar Item’ tag appears. Click on the sidebar, then a pop up window will appear.


Google has hidden navigation editing by automatically checking ‘Automatically organize my navigation.’


Uncheck that box- you will open a world of possibilities.


It’s not that graceful but you can move the pages to the order that you prefer.


To change the page order, click on a page title. Then click on the up or down arrows to the right.


Also notice the left and right arrows. These make an indent or outdent in the sidebar, which is great for organizing subpages.


When you’re happy with your navigation organization, click Okay.


Finally, as always, remember to save your changes.


Great, it’s in the order that I want. Well that seemed easy. It’s all smooth sailing from here. Or is it?


Let’s say you want to create another page now, one that holds a list of all the books that you’ve read in my classes.


I’m going to call this page Bibliography, which just means, roughly, written list of books.


I create the page and it isn’t in my navigation menu! Let’s back up here.


When you unchecked “Automatically organize my navigation,” Google Sites interpreted that as “Don’t do anything to the navigation at all.”


So, now, every time you create a new page, you have to add it manually to the navigation. How do you do that?


Go back to the sidebar navigation window.


On the bottom left, simply click Add Page. Once the site map appears, select the page you wish to add.


Adjust the navigation as you want. Click okay... save changes and you are all set.


Unfortunately, every time you create a new page, you have to manually add it as we just did.



Customizing color and themes

  1. In your portfolio, click on More, then Manage Site
  2. In the left navigation menu, click on Themes, Colors, and Fonts at the bottom of the menu
  3. You can change your portfolio's base theme by clicking on the drop-down menu at the top and choosing one of many themes.
  4. By selecting a base theme, you can then customize each individual element of your portfolio with the options underneath the base theme drop-down menu.

Themes are a set of pre-defined colors and images that have been selected to match a certain persona or style. With themes, you can easily change the look of your website without having to make changes to every detail and thus saves you time. You can select from existing themes or build your own.


Managing attached files

  1. On your page, click on More (or M on your keyboard) in the top-right corner of the page.
  2. In the drop-down menu, select Manage Site
  3. In the left sidebar menu, click on Attachments
  4. Here, in your file repository, you will be able to Replace, Move, Rename, or Delete files. Check the box next each file you want to manage and then select the action you want to perform at the top. 

When working on your site you may have attached files on many different pages. Google Sites includes a central attachment manager that allows you to see all attachments on every page in your site and manage them without having to go to each individual page where the file is attached.


While logged in to your site, click on the More button at the top right corner of the page and select Manage Site from the drop down menu. On the left menu bar, select the Attachments page. This page will bring up all files that have been uploaded to your site.


From this central repository, details for each of the attachments will be listed next to the file such as the location of the file, the size, when it was last edited, and links to previous versions of the file which you can download. You can easily move attachments from one page to another page, rename files, update an existing file with a newer version, or delete files within this page. We will go over each of these options.


Moving Files

To move files, select the checkbox next to the files that you want to move and click on the Move button at the top row. This will bring up a directory of your site where you can select where to move the file(s). To move the file to a page, simply select the page from the directory and click Move.


Renaming a File

To rename a file, select the checkbox next to a file that you want to rename and click the Rename button at the top row. You can then type in a new name for the file.


Replacing or Updating a File

Replacing a file simply overwrites a new file over the existing file. This is useful for updating documents that have changed since when you first attached them to a page. To do this, simply select the checkbox next to a file that you want to replace and click the Replace button. You will be prompted to select a file from your computer with which to replace the current file.


If you want to download a previous version of a file, click on the number under the revisions column. This number represents the number of changes that were made to the file.


Deleting Files

If you want to remove files from your site, simply select the checkboxes next to the files that you want to delete and click on the Delete button. This removes the files from your site. If you accidentally delete a file, there is a limited time window for you to recover deleted files before they are permanently erased. You can recover deleted files by selecting the Deleted Items page from the left menu bar.


Sharing a site

Click Here for our info on site sharing.




Keywords:google sites, tutorials, how to, how to use google sites   Doc ID:60098
Owner:Connie G.Group:Missouri University of Science and Technology
Created:2016-01-26 13:36 CSTUpdated:2017-08-18 07:52 CST
Sites:Missouri University of Science and Technology
Feedback:  0   0