Google - Creating and Editing a Google Site with the VT Project Sites Template


Google - Creating and Editing a Google Site with the VT Project Site Template


Background

Google is upgrading Google Sites. We recommend and provide instructions for using Google Classic Sites until the new Google Sites is fully functional and officially released. For questions and help, fill out an incident report with 4Help.


Table of Contents


Creating a Site - Background

Virginia Tech's Project Site Template

This article is about creating a Google Site using the Virginia Tech Project Site Template. Sites created with the template automatically include subpages with useful apps. You can add and remove pages and apps from your site, and you can modify the apps to include information relevant to your project. 

Table: VT Project Site Template Pages, Apps, and Functions

Page in Template Page Type  Google App Function in Sites Created with the VT Project Site Template
Home Start Page None Landing Page
Announcements Announcements None Similar to a blog; recent announcement posts appear at the top of the page
Calendar Web Page Google Calendar Embed your Google Calendar 
Files File Cabinet Google Drive Access your Google Drive 
Google Groups Email Start Page Google Groups Access your email to site members 
List List None Allows you to list project tasks
Template Customization Web Page None A page with instructions on modifying sites created with the template

Site ownership

Google site ownership cannot be transferred to another VT affiliate. So, if the owner of the site leaves Virginia Tech, the site may no longer be accessible. However,  individuals, groups, and departments can apply for a common VT Gmail account, called a Google Auxiliary Email (GAE) account. That account can be shared and does not disappear if an individual changes departments or leaves Virginia Tech. 



Before Creating a Google Site

Set up site ownership

Data in Google Sites is owned by the VT Gmail account holder who creates the site. There are two types of VT Gmail accounts: individual accounts and Google Auxiliary Email (GAE) accounts that can have multiple owners. If the site is created by an individual, the site might not be accessible if the individual changes departments or leaves Virginia Tech. If the site is created with a GAE account, all owners of the GAE account will have access to it.

  1. Decide who will own the Google Site. 
    • If you want to create the site as an individual, go to the next step. 
    • If you want to create the site using a GAE account, see GAE (Google Auxiliary Email) Accounts to set one up. 

Set up Google Groups for group email

We recommend you create any Google Groups for group email before you create your Google Site because doing so makes adding users to the site much easier. 

  1. Create the Google Group. See Using VT Google Groups - Creating a VT Google Group.
  2. To add users to a Google Group, see Using VT Google Groups - Inviting or Adding Members or Subscribers


Creating a Google Site with the VT Project Site Template

  1. Use a browser other than Windows 10's built-in browser, Edge. The process will fail at step 7 of the procedure if you use the Edge browser.

  2. Go to the VT Google Workspace for Education Portal and click the Sites link.



  3. Log in with your VT Gmail (pid@vt.edu) account. You will go to the Google Sites webpage. 



  4. Click the Create button and choose in classic Sites from the drop-down list. You will go to the Select Template page.  
    1. You may notice that when you click the Create button, you see two options: in classic Sites and in new Sites.  
    2. Choose in classic Sites

       

  5. In the Select Templates page, click Browse the gallery for more. The Select a Site Template window will pop up. 



  6. In the Select a Site Template window, click VT to view Virginia Tech's templates. Scroll down until you see VT Project Site (with Image Slider) and VT Project Site (without Image Slider). An image slider lets you choose images to display at the top of all the site's pages. Click the links below to PREVIEW (not install) the two templates. 
  7. Click on the template you want, then click Select at the bottom of the window.  If nothing happens when you click the Select button, make sure you are not using Windows 10's built in browser, Edge. This is a known problem with the Edge browser.

  8. Type your site name in the Name your site text box. It will be automatically copied into the Site location text box. If you choose a name that's already been taken, you will get an error when you create the site.



  9. Click Select a theme and theme options will be displayed. Choose the theme with your preferred color scheme and background image.

  10. You need not choose any items under More options.

  11. Click Create to create the site. It take Google a few minutes to create the site.



  12. Your Google Site is now created.  

 

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Editing and Using a Site - Background

Google Sites created with the VT Project Site Template have different page types. The page type determines how that page functions, either as a regular web page for text photos and gadgets or as page for integrating a Google App. See Guide to Different Page Types for more information on the page types. 

Google periodically saves versions of your pages as you edit them, so it’s easy to view changes, undo changes, and roll back to prior versions. 

Table: VT Project Site Template Pages, Apps, and Functions

Page in Template Page Type  Google App Function in Sites Created with the VT Project Site Template
Home  Start Page None Landing Page
Announcements  Announcements None Similar to a blog; recent announcement posts appear at the top of the page
Calendar  Web Page Google Calendar Embed your Google Calendar 
Files  File Cabinet Google Drive Access your Google Drive 
Google Groups Email  Start Page Google Groups Access your email to site members 
List  List None Allows you to list project tasks
Template Customization  Web Page None A page with instructions on modifying sites created with the template

Instructions on how to set up and use pages and apps are in the following sections of this article, as well as on the respective pages in sites created with the template.

 

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Editing a Site

You can change the layout of the site's header, footer and side bars, the site URL, and sharing and permissions. 

  1. Click the More Actions (c) gear at the top right of the screen. A drop-down list of more page and site actions will appear.

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Editing Pages

To edit a page

  1. Navigate to the page you want to edit by adding and removing text, links, images, and more. 
  2. Click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page you want to edit. You will go to the edit page screen for that page. 



  3. At the top of the screen is the editing menu with the following options:
    • Insert - Add images, links, gadgets, and Google Workspace for Education (Drive, Calendar, YouTube, etc)
    • Format - Basic formatting options
    • Table - Add and edit tables
    • Layout - Decide the basic layout of the page
  4. Click Save to save your changes. 

For more information on editing Google Pages, see Edit your site from Google Help. 

To add a page

  1. Click the Create Page (c) icon an the top right of the page in your Google Site. You'll go to the Create a new page in Site screen. 



  2. Enter a name for the page.
  3. From the Select a template to use drop-down list, choose the page type. See Guide to Different Page Types for more information on page types. 
  4. Under Select a location, choose where in your menu and site structure you want the page to appear.
  5. Click Create. The page will be created and added to the site location you chose. 

More page actions

  1. To perform more page actions, click the More Actions (c) gear at the top right of the screen. A drop-down list of more page and site actions will appear.



  2. Select from among the additional page actions: 
    • Revision History to view and roll back page versions.
    • Subscribe to page changes to be notified when someone edits the page.
    • Page settings to show page title, show links to sub-pages, and allow comments.
    • Print, Copy, Delete and Preview.

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Using Announcements

The Announcements page is an Announcement page type displaying announcement posts. Announcements can be used to post meeting notes and other information that evolves over time. The page includes instructions and one sample announcement. 

To post a new announcement

  1. Click New post at the bottom right of the Announcement page. You'll go to the page where you create the announcement. 
  2. Enter a title and text for the announcement. Add attachments by clicking Add files
  3. Click Save Draft at the top right of the page to save but not post the announcement. Click Save to save and post the announcement. 

To edit/delete an announcement post

You can use these instructions to delete the sample "New Announcement Post."

  1. Click Edit post at the bottom left of any announcement post. 
  2. Change text in the title and body of the announcement. Add attachments by clicking Add Files
  3. Click Save at the top right of the screen. 

To subscribe to Announcements

If you subscribe to Announcements, you will get notifications when an announcement is added.  

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Using Calendars

The Calendar page is a web page type, the simplest page type, where you can write and format text, add gadgets, add images, attach documents, and allow comments. 

To delete the template's calendar

  1. Click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page. The page will change to edit mode. 

    .

  2. Click the blue Save button in the top right-hand corner to save the page. 

To create and share a Google Calendar

  1. Create a Google Calendar in your VT Google Workspace for Education account. Go to the Google Calendar Help Center for information on creating, modifying, and sharing Google Calendars.
  2. Calendars must be shared with your collaborators to be visible to them in the site. See Share your calendar with someone, subsection Share or unshare your calendar.

To add your Calendar to your Google Site

  1. Go to your Google Site's Calendar page and click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page. The page will change to edit mode. 
  2. In the top left of the page, click Insert and choose Calendar. The Insert... window will pop up and list the calendars in your VT Google Workspace for Education account. 



  3. Place a check in the box next to the calendar you wish to include in your Google Site.
  4. Click Select. The Insert Google Calendar window will appear with calendar display options.
  5. Select your options and click Save. The new calendar will be added to the Calendar page.
  6. Click Save at the top right of the page.

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Using Files

The Files page in your Google Site is a File cabinet page type that lets you store, organize, and share files from your computer’s hard drive via Google Drive. Anyone subscribed to the page will be notified when files are added, changed, or removed.

To set up Google Drive

  1. Log into VT Google Workspace for Education and go to Google Drive.
  2. Upload files anywhere on your Google Drive to be added to the site. See Upload Files and Folders to Google Drive.
  3. Share the files with site users. See Share files from Google Help. If the files aren't shared with your collaborators, they won't be able to see them. 

To add Google Drive items

  1. Go to the project site's Files page. 
  2. Click Add from Drive and navigate your docs, sheets, etc. to select items to include on the site. 



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Using Google Groups to Make a Listserv

The Google Groups Email page in the VT Project Site Template lets you set up an email listserv to send email to all site collaborators. It's a Start page type that has two sections: one that all users can customize with their own gadgets, and one that only site collaborators can customize to show content to all users. Start pages are only included in Google Workspace for Education for work. 

To set up your Google Group

  1. If you haven't already, create a Google Group and choose the default Email list group type. See Using VT Google Groups - Creating a VT Google Group for creating the group and adding members. 
  2. Get your Google Group URL:
    1. Go to Google Groups and My Groups. Click on the group you want to add to the site.  
    2. Click the Settings (gear) icon in the top right corner and choose Group Settings from the drop-down list. 
    3. Next to Group email address is a box that shows the group's email address. Under that box is the group's URL. 



To add a Google Group to the site

  1. Go to your Google Site's Google Groups - Email page and click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page. The page will change to edit mode.
  2. Click on the Google Group Gadget, the white box at the top of the page that says Google Gadget "Google Group." A menu will appear under the gadget.
  3. Click the Properties (gear) icon. The Set up your gadget window will pop up.
  4. In the Google Group URL box, delete the URL and paste in the one for your Google Group.
  5. Select your display options and click OK. The Set up your gadget window will close, and your Google Group will appear on the page. 
  6. Click Save at the top right to save page changes.

To use the Google Group to email members

Once set up, your Google Group will be embedded on the Google Groups - Email page. 

 

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Using the List Page

The List page in sites with the VT Project Site Template lets you create and organize lists of action items, issues, and task statuses. You can add list viewers, and list subscribers are notified of changes. It's a list page type specifically designed for item tracking.

About list options

The VT Project Site Template has three specific list options, as well as the option to create your own list.

The list options have the following fields for list items. Fields are either text for text entry, check box, or a drop-down list. 

List type   Field 1 Field 2 Field 3 Field 4 Field 5
Action Items Owner (text, responsible party) Description (text, desc. of the item) Resolution (text, how it was resolved) Complete (check box, yes/no)  
Issue List  Raised by (text, person with issue) Owner (text, responsible party) Priority (drop-down, levels P1-P4) Issue (text, des. of issue) Resolution (text, how it was resolved)
Unit Status  Status (text, status if item) Owner (text, responsible party) Design (text, design details) URL/Web Address (text) URL/Display Text (text)

To sort a list alphabetically by any of the fields, click Sort under the field and choose Ascending or Descending

To choose a list option

To customize any list

  1. Click Customize this list at the top of the list. The customize your list pop-up will appear.

           

    • You can change the name and type of any field and enter values for drop-down menus. 
    • You can add or remove fields. 
  2. Click Save.

To add an item to a list

To add an item to an Action Items list (other list types follow the same procedure):

  1. Click Add Item. The Add Item window will pop up. 



    • Enter text and/or use drop-down menus and check boxes to input information in the list fields. 
  2. Click Save

 

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Deleting Instructions from any Page

The VT Project Site Template pages include instructions on how to set up and use the pages' tools. Delete the instructions before launching your site. To delete text from a page: 

  1. Click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page. The page will shift to edit mode. 
  2. Select and delete the instructions from the page's text. 
  3. Add any relevant information. 
  4. Click Save

 

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Disabling Comments on any Page

The VT Project Site Template has comments enabled for all pages. To disable comments:

  1. Click the Edit page (e) pencil icon in the top right of the page. The page will shift to edit mode. 
  2. Select and delete the instructions from the page's text. 
  3. Add any relevant information. 
  4. Click Save

 

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Customizing the Site

You can customize your site's backgrounds, fonts, layouts, and more using Google Sites' tools. 

To change the site title and pop-up notice

  1. Click the More Actions gear in the top right of the screen, then click Manage Site. You'll go to the General tab of the Manage Site area. 




    • In the General tab, you can change the Site name and Site notice and hide the site name. You can also access site analytics.

To change fonts

  1. Click the More Actions gear in the top right of the screen, then click Manage Site. You'll go to the General tab of the Manage Site area.
  2. Click Themes, Colors, and Fonts on the left-hand menu. You'll go to the theme management area.



    • To change the fonts for the entire site, click Entire page, then Text.
    • To change the font of any of the site headers, click Site header, then Title.
    • To change the fonts of any site headers, click Content area, then Page title or any of the headers.
    • Similarly modify text in Content area gadgetsSidebar gadgets, and Horizontal navigation

To change background colors and images

  1. Click the More Actions gear in the top right of the screen, then click Manage Site. You'll go to the General tab of the Manage Site area. 
  2. Click Themes, Colors, and Fonts on the left-hand menu. You'll go to the theme management area.

     

    • To change the theme, choose a theme from the drop-down menu under Base Theme.
    • To change the background color or image of the entire page, click Entire page, then Background
    • To change the background color or image of any other site elements, click the element, then Background

 

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