7 Google Sites Features to Make Your Website Stand Out

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 […]

Google Sites Logo on a blue background

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.”

Social Links on the Insert tab

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.

Social Links setup box

Click “Insert” when you finish. You’ll see the Social Links section appear on your page along with a floating toolbar to customize it.

Social Links inserted on Google Sites

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.

Customized Social Links on Google Sites

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.

RELATED: How to Download Images From Google Image Search

Head to the page where you want the images and select “Image Carousel” on the Image tab on the right.

Image Carousel on the Insert tab

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.

Choose the carousel 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.

Settings for the Image Carousel

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.

Image Carousel toolbar

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.

Table of Contents on the Insert tab

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.

Format text as a heading

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.

Table of Contents and settings on Google Sites

Collapsible Groups

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.

Collapsible Group on the Insert tab

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.

Format the Collapsible Group font

When you preview your page, click the arrow on the right of the main section to expand it and reveal the bottom section.

Preview the Collapsible Group

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.)

Collapsible Group toggle

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.

RELATED: How to Add, Hide, and Remove Birthdays in Google Calendar

On the Insert tab on the right, pick “Calendar.”

Calendar on the Insert tab

You’ll then see a list of your Google Calendars in the sidebar. Select one or more calendars and click “Insert” at the bottom.

Google Calendar list in the sidebar

When the calendar appears on the page, you can customize its appearance and options using the gear icon.

Calendar toolbar on Google Sites

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.

Calendar display settings

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.

RELATED: How to Create a Website Contact Form With Google Forms

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.

Forms on the Insert tab

Pick the form you want to use in the sidebar that displays, select “Insert,” and it’ll pop right onto your page.

Google Forms list in the sidebar

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.

Google Form on Google Sites

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.

Custom Themes

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.”

Create Theme on the Themes tab

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.

Screens to create a theme on Google Sites

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.

RELATED: How to Design a Custom Theme on Google Sites

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.

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