Tag Archives: Google Sites

New features for Google Sites: Templates, announcement banners, and access for children with Google Accounts

What’s changing 

We’re adding three features in new Google Sites (sites.google.com/new):

  • Site templates - Quickly and easily create high-quality sites optimized for common uses. 
  • Announcement banners - Highlight important information to make sure site visitors see time-sensitive updates. 
  • Access for Family Link accounts - Enable users with Google Accounts managed by Family Link to view and edit sites. 

See more details below, or see our Cloud Blog to post to see how Sites can support remote work and learning.

Who’s impacted 


  • Templates and announcement banners: All site owners and editors. 
  • Access for Family Link accounts: Site editors and viewers with Family Link accounts. 

Why it matters 

We hope these new features make it easier to create and use sites, especially as our customers deal with the impact of COVID-19. For example, announcement banners can help businesses quickly communicate important information to customers. Using templates to create high-quality sites without requiring design or coding skills can help educational institutions and businesses enable remote learning and workings. Overall, we hope the enhancements make Sites a more useful tool to share information across dispersed audiences.

See our Cloud Blog to post to learn more about how Sites can support remote work and learning

Additional details 


Site templates 
For this launch, we’ve built 10 templates for common site uses, available in 16 languages. With one click, you can start a site suited for a specific purpose with a professional look and feel. Then, you can customize the site to make it your own. Examples of sites that templates will make it easier to create include:

  • Help centers: Help users learn how to use new tools and resources, for example tools to enable a remote workforce or remote learning for students. 
  • Project sites: Help colleagues or classmates collaborate on a project remotely. 
  • Class or team sites: Have a centralized place for team resources and information. 
  • Club sites: Enable students to continue club activities while remote learning. 
  • Small business sites: Keep customers informed about your business, like your restaurant or design services, while they’re social distancing. 

We’re building more templates and working to make templates available in more languages. You’ll see more templates for common business sites added to the available options in the next several weeks. Use our Help Center to find more information about using templates in Google Sites.

Announcement banners 
Created based on customer feedback, announcement banners help site owners communicate timely, important messages to visitors. They display information in a banner at the top of the site, grabbing viewers’ attention when they land on the page. Ways that customers can use banners include:

  • A business administrator at a large company can add a banner to an employee resource site to highlight newly added pages and information in the larger site. 
  • A small business owner can add a banner to alert customers of changing operating hours or business practices. 
  • A teacher can add a banner to a class site to notify students that a new assignment has been posted. 

Use the Help Center to learn more about how to add an announcement banner to a site.



Access for accounts managed with Family Link 

Until now, users with personal Google Accounts managed with Family Link have not been able to view or edit sites. To help increase access to valuable resources, we’ve made it possible for Google Accounts managed with Family Link to view public sites, and view and edit sites that are shared with them.

While personal Google accounts managed by Family Link can now access Sites, students with G Suite for Education accounts should continue to use their school accounts to log in and complete schoolwork in Sites and other G Suite services.

Important note:  This only applies to sites created with new Sites. Personal accounts managed by Family Link will still not be able to view or edit sites managed with classic Sites. Use our Help Center to learn more about using Google Sites with Accounts managed with Family Link.

Getting started 

Admins: These features will be ON by default. There are no admin controls for them.

End users:  These features will be ON by default. Visit the Help Center to learn more about how to create a website from a template or add an announcement banner to a site. Note that parents can use Family Link to restrict websites or permissions if their child is using Chrome on an Android device or a Chromebook, and may have to allow their child to see your site.

Rollout pace 

Site templates: 


Announcement banners: 


Access for Family Link accounts:

  • Already available to all users. 

Availability 


  • Available to all G Suite customers 

Resources 



Roadmap 


Edit your new Google Sites faster with a revamped Settings menu

Quick launch summary 

We’ve made some improvements to the “Settings” menu in new Google Sites. Specifically, we’ve consolidated the location of several settings into one place, making it easier for site editors to access and configure different options for their sites.

For example, you can now now add a favicon to your site by going to Settings > Brand images. Or, to add Google Analytics tracking to your site, go to Settings > Analytics.



We’ve also given site editors the new option to hide anchor links from site viewers on a published site. Currently, anchor links appear by default when site viewers hover over headings on a page. With this new setting, found in Settings > Viewer tools, site editors now have even more control over how a published site looks. Visit the Help Center to learn more about using anchor links in new Google Sites.

Getting started 

End users:

  • Settings menu: The new Settings menu will be available by default. In the “Resources” section below, you’ll find a list of features that can now be accessed in the Settings menu.
  • Anchor links: Use our Help Center to learn more about adding or disabling anchor links in new Google Sites

Rollout pace 




Availability 


  • Available to all G Suite customers 


Resources 


Review the latest changes to a new Google Site before publishing

What’s changing


Before publishing changes to your new Google Sites, you can now compare the currently published site with the soon-to-be-published draft site in an annotated, side-by-side view.

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

When a site has multiple collaborators or many pages of content, it's sometimes difficult to track what changes have been made and to review and evaluate updated content. With ’Review changes and publish’, you can easily examine changes made to a draft site since it was last published.
 
Changes are displayed in an annotated, side-by-side visual comparison.  For example, you’ll see:

  • Who most recently changed each page and when
  • Pages that have been added, moved, or deleted
  • Page content and layouts that have been changed
  • Other site-wide changes such as footer and title, theme, and navigation changes 

With more complete information, you can confidently publish your content, or return to your draft site to make further revisions before publishing.

How to get started

Additional details

You’ll automatically be prompted to “Review changes and publish” on every subsequent publish after a site is initially published. You can turn this feature off on a per-site basis; use our Help Center to learn more.

Helpful links

Availability

Rollout details
  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on January 14, 2019
G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be ON by default and can be disabled on a per site basis.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Embed Cloud Search in your new Google Sites

Quick launch summary

We’re adding a Cloud Search integration in new Google Sites. Site editors can now replace in-site search with Cloud Search, or add an always-open Cloud Search box to the header, body, or footer of the site itself.




Adding Cloud Search to your new Google Sites will give site viewers more powerful search, allowing them to find content across other Google Sites as well as other G Suite content. Search results are available to the site viewers directly from within the new Google Site itself.



Site editors can use our Help Center to learn more about using Cloud Search in new Google Sites.

Admins will be able to configure what data sources they want Cloud Search to search over using the “Google Sites Search Application”. The Google Sites Search Application will become available from within the Admin Console in late January. We’ll update this blog post once it begins rolling out.


 Availability

Rollout details

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions who have Cloud Search enabled.


On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default for users with Cloud Search permissions enabled.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

View the version history of a new Google Site

What’s changing

We’re starting to add version history for sites created in new Google Sites, a highly requested feature from our site owners and editors. 

Version history will roll out over the course of 2020 for both users creating new sites as well as for previously existing sites. Version history will be gradually enabled on a user-by-user basis for newly created sites, while a separate rollout will enable version history for previously existing sites. We anticipate:

  • By March 2020, all users will have version history enabled for newly created sites
  • By the end of 2020, most existing sites will have version history enabled


Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use it

Version history allows site editors to easily:

  • Revert to previous versions of a site
  • Restore deleted site content
  • View the history of who has made changes to a site

How to get started


  • Admins: No action is required, as this feature will be available by default for newly-created sites once it rolls out to a user. Rollout will not be on a domain basis — it will roll out to newly created sites on a user-by-user basis and to existing sites on a site-by-site basis. Not all of your users will get access to the feature at the same time. 




Additional details

How can I tell if version history is available for my site?
You’ll see “Version History” as an option when you click the overflow (three-dot) menu when editing a site or when you select “All changes saved in Drive” from the top menu bar.


Will version history be available for existing sites?
We’re introducing version history gradually for existing sites over the course of 2020, and we anticipate most existing sites will have version history by the end of the year. 

Because of changes required to bring users this feature, version history will become available site by site for existing sites and per user for newly created sites. So, until this feature is fully rolled out, users may have version history for some sites, but not others. 


If a user who has version history enabled creates a new site, will other editors have access to version history on that site?
Yes, once a site has been created by a user with version history enabled, other users who are editing that site will be able to access the version history of that site.


When does version history start collecting and storing site content changes? 
Any changes made before version history is available will not be stored. Changes are only logged once the feature is available for that specific site.


What qualifies as a “newly created” site?
Any site created from the Sites home screen, Google Drive, or sites.new is considered a newly created site and will have version history once the feature is available to the site creator.

Converting a site from classic Google Sites to new Google Sites or creating a copy of an existing new Google Site does not qualify as a newly created site.

Helpful links



Availability

Rollout details

Newly created sites:
  • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
  • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 4, 2019
We’ll update this post when the rollout for newly created sites is complete.

Existing sites:

  • We anticipate that most existing sites will have version history by the end of 2020. We’ll update this post once rollout begins and once rollout is complete. 

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Improvements to image carousels, table of contents, and buttons in new Google Sites

What’s changing

We’re adding new options to recently released features in new Google Sites. You’ll now be able to:

  • Add captions to images in an image carousel
  • Set a transition speed for an image carousel
  • Hide headings from a table of contents
  • Choose between different styling options for buttons

Who’s impacted

End users

Why you’d use them

We recently launched the ability to insert image carousels, table of contents, and buttons in new Google Sites. Based on user feedback, we’re introducing several highly requested options to these features, to help you better customize your sites.

How to get started


  • Admins: No action required.
  • End users: See below for more information on getting started with these features. Or, use our Help Center to learn more about customizing image carousels, table of contents, and buttons.

Additional details

Add captions to carousel images and set transition speed:
To add a caption, hover over any image, click the “Add text” button, and select “Add caption”.


To specify a transition speed for image carousels that auto-start, go to Settings > Transition speed and select an option from the dropdown menu.


Hide a heading from a table of contents:
To hide a heading from a Table of Contents, hover over a heading and click the Hide button. The heading will be hidden from view on your published site.


More styling options for buttons:
Buttons now have three styling options: filled, outlined, and text. By default, a newly added button will be filled, but you can can change the button’s style using the dropdown in its toolbar.


Helpful links



Availability


Rollout details



G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions


On/off by default?

  • These features will be available by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Allow site viewers to provide feedback on your new Google Sites

What’s changing 

Site viewers can now provide feedback or ask a question about a site directly from the published site itself. The feedback will be sent to the site owner by email, but site viewers will not see the owner's email address directly.

Who’s impacted 

End users

Why you’d use it 

Sites can be a useful way to share information within your organization. Sometimes, site viewers may want to contact the site owner to provide feedback or ask a question, but it’s not always clear who the site viewer should contact or how to do so. With this feature, site viewers can provide feedback and ask their questions quickly and easily, without needing to leave the page or know the right point of contact.

For example, site viewers could:

  • Request changes or additional site content
  • Highlight out-of-date content
  • Flag broken links or other errors
  • Identify particularly helpful content or give more general praise
  • Ask questions when they don’t understand something 

How to get started

Note: This feature is only available for G Suite domain-owned sites; it is not available for consumers and non G Suite organizations.

  • Site owners and editors: 
    • For newly created sites, this feature will be ON by default.
    • For existing sites, this feature will be OFF by default.
    • To enable or disable this feature, go to More > Site Info Settings > Show Contact Form. Then, at the top right select “Publish”.
    • Use our Help Center to learn more about adding a contact form to your site.


  • Site viewers: 
    • When this feature is enabled for a G Suite domain-owned site, site viewers must be logged in to a Google account to share feedback.
    • Click the site info icon (bottom left corner) and select “Contact”. Then, feedback can be entered in the dialog box and submitted.
    • Once feedback is submitted, the site owner will be notified via email.

Additional details

When feedback is submitted, the site owner will receive an email containing:

  • The page of the site where feedback was submitted from
  • The message
  • The email address of the person who submitted the feedback

This email will be received by the site owner (whomever owns the draft site stored in Drive). For files in a Shared Drive, the email will be sent to all organizers of that specific Shared Drive.

From that email, a site owner has the option to reply and start a conversation with the feedback provider. When site owners click “reply”, the email response will be addressed to the feedback provider.


Helpful links



Availability

Rollout details


G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions


On/off by default?

  • For newly created sites, this feature will be ON by default.
  • For existing sites, this feature will be OFF by default.

Note: This feature is only available for G Suite domain-owned sites.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Right-to-left language support available for new Google Sites

Quick launch summary

We’ve added right-to-left language support in new Google Sites for the following languages:
  • Arabic
  • Farsi
  • Hebrew
  • Urdu
When a site editor has their language set to one of the above, the site editing experience will adjust to place the editing sidebars and menus on the left-hand side of the screen.



Similarly, once a site is published, site viewers who have their default language set to one of the above will see navigation elements like menus reversed to match the right-to-left language.

Availability

Rollout details

G Suite editions
  • Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Insert collapsible text boxes into new Google Sites

Quick launch summary

Site editors can now insert collapsible text boxes into a new Google Site, which site viewers can click to expand. Collapsible text boxes can help condense large blocks of text, like content on FAQ or Help Center pages, allowing site viewers to quickly navigate to the most relevant information.


To learn more about using collapsible text boxes in Google Sites, visit our Help Center.

Availability

Rollout details


G Suite editions
Available to all G Suite editions

On/off by default?
This feature will be available by default.

Stay up to date with G Suite launches

Instantly create new docs, events, spreadsheets and more from your browser

Quick launch summary

You can quickly create new files directly from your browser with “.new” domains for several Google products. For example, you can type “Cal.new” into your browser to create a new Google Calendar event.



The current “.new” domains are:

Availability

Rollout details



G Suite editions

  • Available to all G Suite editions


On/off by default?
  • This feature will be available by default.


Stay up to date with G Suite launches