The Google Sites blog is moving

Friday, April 03, 2009


Starting today, the Google Sites team will be posting our updates on the Google Apps Blog, at, so please check this new location for news about Google Sites. You can also get content from the Google Apps Blog as email updates or subscribe to the RSS feed.

As we strive to create easier and more integrated experiences for our users to move between different Google applications, we think that in addition to providing application-specific updates, it is also important to communicate the bigger picture of how we are making applications work better together. Google Sites already has features built in from other Google applications, like when you insert Picasa web albums, YouTube videos, gadgets, and Google Docs into web pages, and we believe that improvements in these related services will be useful to Google Sites users. Through the Google Apps blog, we can give you all the news we normally would about Google Sites as well as related tips and updates from other Google applications that would also be helpful to you.

This will be our last post on this blog, but we have plenty of cool things in store for Google Sites, so be sure to get the latest news at the Google Apps blog.

Scott Johnston, Senior Product Manager

Doing more with gadgets

Friday, March 20, 2009

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Gadgets allow you to easily add dynamic content to your Google Sites web pages, and are available from the “Insert” menu when you are editing a page. Some of the more basic gadgets, like the “Recent posts” or “Recent files” gadgets give you a quick view from a central location of content being updated on other pages. Gadgets can be tools like a clock or to-do list, informative like recent news headlines or stock quotes, or even fun games or a virtual aquarium. Clicking on the “More…” option in the “Insert” menu brings up a directory of gadgets that you can check out and try on your pages. If you want to get started building your own gadgets, check out the Gadget Developers Guide.

We have also made some improvements to the way gadgets work for users of the Premier Edition of Google Apps:

  • Gadgets can be made to be private to a specific domain.
  • Gadgets will match the security and encryption level of the site.
  • There is a new start page template that lets each user personalize the gadgets that are display specifically for them.
Please check out our post on the Google Enterprise blog for more information on these updates.

Posted by Jeffrey Harris, Associate Product Manager

Check out the improved Sites Help Forum

Tuesday, February 03, 2009


We hope that by now you've found the Google Sites Help Forum to be the best place to ask questions and share tips with other Sites users. We've been listening to your feedback about features you'd like to see in the forum, and we're excited to announce that we've upgraded the English Sites Help Forum.

Now you can more easily find the information you need by searching across the Google Sites Help Forum, Help Center, and blog. We have the same categories as the Help Center, so you can transition from one category to the other. We even have some extra things we hope you'll really like. There is a system of levels to reward your contributions to the Forum, and the ability to add a picture next to your name in the profiles. You can also subscribe to the Forum (or to individual discussions) by RSS feed, post a question and receive your answer by email, and even vote on which response best answers the question and mark a best answer to a question you asked.

We hope you'll come take a look, and we hope you'll stay a while, sign into your Google Account, and ask and answer questions.

Posted by Michael Perry, Google Sites Support Lead

Sharing the holiday spirit on Google Sites

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Whether you are sharing best wishes and memories with friends and family or organizing winter activities, Google Sites can help you enjoy your holidays more. We love seeing how people are using Google Sites over the holidays, and wanted to share a few fun things we noticed.

If you are looking to spruce up your site or blog with some holiday imagery, take a look at karlaslayouts. Or perhaps you’d like to bring friends together for ice skating or sledding like the FCCC club site does. Going to a cool (no pun intended) winter festival? Share your experience online like this site does for the Harbin international ice and snow sculpture festival.

There are many ways to get into the holiday spirit, and we liked the tips from the Sweet Autumn project on ways to give back during the holidays. If singing is your thing, the TCCC Youth Group site has lyrics and videos of popular Christmas carols. And don’t forget all the great holiday foods out there, like the deserts and fun treats in Christmas gift baskets on these sites.

We hope all our users have a great holiday season, and if you haven’t finished your holiday shopping yet, make sure to check out these popular gift ideas and special discounts from Google Product Search and Google Checkout.

Posted by: Brian Hutchins, Marketing Manager

Migrate your JotSpot wiki to Google Sites

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


I'm excited to announce an easy migration option from JotSpot wikis to Google Sites. Users new to Google Sites can look forward to better performance and improved ease of use. Sites is tightly integrated with products like Google Docs, has much better wysiwyg editing tools, and is available in 38 languages. JotSpot customers should have received an email last week about this migration, and can read more about it here:

The migration is an opt-in process which is initiated by the JotSpot wiki administrator. Wiki owners not wishing to migrate to Sites can export their data for import into another system. The JotSpot data center will be shut down on January 15th, 2009.

Posted by Michael Nestler, Software Engineer

Sites goes international

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today we added support for 37 more languages. Google Sites will use your browser settings to determine the language to display, and if you would like to override this setting, go to the "User settings" page linked from your "My sites" page.

In addition to the new languages, we have made a few improvements to the service. We moved the toolbar for creating and editing pages to the top of the page to make it easier to differentiate site content from application functionality, and we shifted site settings into this navigation bar. The list page now offers a default sort option via the "customize list" dialog, and the recent list items gadget has more sort options. We also added the ability to opt out of change notifications for changes you make on the "User settings" page.

We feel it is important to thank all of you for using Google Sites. In the first four months since our full launch, over one million Sites were created, and we look forward to the millions more to come.

Here are the 38 languages we are supporting with this release: Bulgarian, Catalan, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (UK), Filipino, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese (Portugal), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

September search improvements

Friday, October 03, 2008


Here are a few of the changes we made to Google Sites in September.

Stemming and Synonyms in search

Search is near and dear to our hearts (for obvious reasons), so we recently added stemming and synonym support to Google sites search. Stemming helps improve search results by expanding the results of a query to include other popular forms of the words searched. For example, if you search for "car racing" we would also return documents related to "car race." Taking into account synonyms also helps make it easy to find information on your site, like if you search for "auto insurance" we would also return results for "car insurance."

Search in "my sites"

Your "my sites" list includes all the sites where you are explicitly named as an owner, collaborator, or viewer. Previously the search box on this page searched public sites from everyone using Google Sites (or all sites within the domain for Google Apps users), but we have added an option in a drop down list next to the search box for times you may just want to search sites in which you are a participant.

Searching site names

When you search from the "my sites" page we now include site names and descriptions in that search. At the top of your search results, links are highlighted for sites with matching site names or site descriptions. As before, results below this "one-box" are for pages or attachments with content that matched your search.

Finding that page you want to link to

Linking between pages is a critical part of building and maintaining a wiki or website. We recently redesigned our link picker to make it easier to find a page. By default we return the most recent pages you updated or created. You will be amazed with how often this returns the page you want. There is a second tab that lists the most recent site changes. If the page you are looking for wasn't recently changed, there is a new quick search that helps you find the page you are hunting for.

While we were at it, we also added an option to open the link in a new window.

Description meta tag

Your site description is now automatically included as a description meta-tag. For public sites, the text from a description meta-tag may be used by some search engines in the search result snippets. Having a good description for your site can make it easier for people to understand what your site if it appears in search results.

Posted by: Michael Tildahl, Software Engineer