Sunday, March 29, 2015

Google Sites Web Address Mapping to Multiple Domains, Secondary Domains.

In Google Apps for Work, in the past, you could only web address map a Google Sites to a subdomain of the primary domain. Let me explain:
  • You run Google Apps for the Primary Domain:
  • You want to launch a new site on your Alias/Secondary Domain:
This was impossible unless you moved your Google Site off of Google Apps completely and into the free Google Sites/Gmail world. You lose the security, extra hosting space, and other benefits.

Here's what Google had to say in a very recently update:

Complex businesses can require multiple Google Apps domain instances to meet their needs. Previously, certain domain management functionality was restricted to primary domains only, making managing multiple domains a bit cumbersome. With today’s launch, we’re extending several key features to secondary domains to make managing multiple domain instances more seamless:

Web address mapping―have your Google Sites appear under custom URLs for all of your domains, such as, or

So yay!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Creating a Mobile Friendly or Responsive Google Site

About Mobile and Responsive Web Design in Google Sites
Google has produced a Mobile Friendly Test where Google will Analyze your site and determine if it is "mobile friendly" or not. This is somewhat subjective in the age now of Phablets (tablet sized phones) and ever increasing screen sizes (think iPhone 6 plus).

Two Approaches
1. Design for Google Sites Automatic Mobile Adjustment (located in Settings > General > Adjust Site for Mobile)
Example: (see Mobile Ready Material Design template)

The only way for a Google Site to "pass" the Mobile Friendly test is with this approach. However, the test does not care about how things actually look on your site. All it notices to whether you have the "Automatically adjust" setting on. Be Careful! Sometimes this can make your site look much worse on a mobile phone.

2. Design for scaling to a smaller screen size.

Sometimes you are better off using big clear text, images and buttons. The Site will scale to the device and maintain the full website look & feel. I've been to websites where I hate their mobile site and just want to view the real deal.

Buy a Theme
We made a new Google Sites template based on Google's Material Design. It is available here for purchase:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Change is Coming to Google Sites

The New Google Sites Icon
It is no mystery that Google Inc. has a new material design direction. The first revised icon I noticed was Google Maps, but now Google Sites, my favorite application has received some love.

Google Material Design Example - Could this be an upcoming Sites UX?

What can we glean from this new treatment? This is really a game of comparison. Take a look at the old Google Sites icon below.

The first thing I noticed is a full browser experience. Web building platforms like Squarespace has been flaunting this for years. A contemporary, full width, ultimately response experience. Could this be the new future of Google Sites? Obviously there is a lot of speculation that can be done.

I can't wait for the Google Apps for Work site to be refreshed and maybe we'll learn even more.

What do you think?

The Google Sites Icon used to be this.

Monday, September 15, 2014

gCon - The Google Apps for Work Event

Date: 9/22 - 9/25

The Gooru, the number one resource site for Google Apps, announced gCON, an online event giving Google Apps administrators and end users the information they need to make day to day tasks in Google Apps easier.

Held over four days exclusively through Hangouts on Air, gCON will bring together experienced IT professionals, power users and third-party experts for in-depth training covering a range of topics from optimizing Google Drive to getting the most out of Gmail.

The Gooru is partnering with leading third-party solution providers in the ecosystem including FlashPanel, Esna, AODocs, Virtru, Spanning, Insightly, Smartsheet and Zendesk to bring gCON to Google Apps users around the world.

gCON attendees will receive a free gCON t-shirt, a chance to become gCON Certified for Google Apps and will be registered to win giveaways including Nexus 5, Moto 360, Bose Headphones, Samsung Chromebook 2 and more.

For more information and to register for training sessions, please visit

Day 1 - Best Practices for Administering & Securing Your Google Apps for Work Domain

Google Apps Administrator Certification Exam Training
Assessing your Google Apps Domain’s Health
Protecting Google Apps Data with Cloud-to-Cloud Backup

Day 2 - Tips & Tools for Mastering Google Drive

Tips for Leveraging Google Drive in an Enterprise Environment
Using Google Drive in the Enterprise
Project Management in a Google World

Day 3 - Working Together with Google for Work

The New Digital Enterprise and How it Gets Work Done
Get More Done Google Apps: Communications
How the Changing Nature of IT is Pulling Support & Operations Out of the Basement

Day 4 - Take Back Control of Your Gmail Inbox

How to Hate your Gmail Inbox a Little Bit Less
Stop the Leak: An Admin's Guide to Encryption for Gmail & Google Apps
Make your Customers your BFF with Limited Resources

Monday, September 1, 2014

New Hangout Buttons on Google Sites

How it works

For the Hangout Web Conference there are two fields:

  • Emails
  • Profile IDs
Email: Self-explanatory, your Google Email account.
Profile ID: Check your Google + URL. Mine is KyleHorst, because my Profile on Google Plus URL is .  The + symbol is not needed in the field.

For the Phone Call Button
  • Just your phone number, no spaces, dashes, parentheses, etc.

Have fun with this new Google Sites update! Love it!

Monday, June 30, 2014

New Google Sites - Analytics, Responsive Menu, Headings and more

I'm still testing out these Google Sites updates. However, in the interest of keeping you all informed on the current build of Google Sites, I am posting the updates for you now.

Improved accessibility, editing and ease of use in Google Sites
Several accessibility improvements have been made to Google Sites, ranging from new keyboard shortcuts for editors (like Alt+Shift+F for opening the editor toolbar) to better viewing experiences for readers. Editors can now also set image width to 100% of the screen width and easily customize the font, color, and size of lower-level headers (H2, H3, and H4 tags).*


Enhanced integration between Google Sites and other products
Today we launched several features aimed at improving integration between Google Sites and other products. When sharing on social media sites, Google Sites now will showcase images in posts. You’ll see this change when you share Sites links on Google+ and other sites. Google Analytics support on Sites has been improved to support Universal analytics. Finally, Sites can now embed Google Maps Engine Lite, so custom maps you have created can be shared side-by-side with your content.


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Google Sites Viewer Comments System


Google Sites commenting has been a nice feature since it started using a Google Plus type format. The commenting feature, however, was restricted to Google Site owners and editors. It was a feature for viewers to use and for more general comments to be given. This, in effect, made it an awkward feature since the purpose was muddled.

Anyways, people developed work arounds using Disqus and other Google Apps Script solutions. Now, let me introduce new and improved viewer commenting capability.

Please note, viewer commenting does not mean public commenting. It is still the case the you cannot enable commenting for the random visitor to leave a comment on your page (leave that to your blog).

Please note, this feature is only available for Google Apps customers.

Enabling Viewer Commenting

As a Google Apps administrator, you can allow authenticated viewers in your domain to comment on your Google Apps Sites to make your sites more social. Viewer commenting is disabled by default, and when you enable this feature, each individual site owner can decide whether they want to turn on viewer commenting for their sites.

Viewer commenting is enabled or disabled at two levels:The domain administrator allows site owners to enable or disable viewer commenting for their sites.
The individual site owners turn viewer commenting on or off for their site.

Step 1: Configuration for domain administrators
  • The domain administrator can enable or disable viewer commenting for the entire organization, or for an individual organizational unit by following these steps:
  • Sign in to the Google Admin console. 
  • Click Google Apps > Sites > Sharing settings.
  • In the Organizations section, select the organizational unit for which you want to enable or disable viewer commenting.
  • In the Viewer commenting section, select whether to enable or disable viewer commenting.

Click Save changes.

Step 2: Configuration for site owners
  • Once viewer commenting has been enabled at the administrator level, a site owner can enable or disable viewer comments through their site settings:
  • Click the gear icon at the top of the page and select Manage site.
  • In the General tab check or uncheck Allow page viewers to comment.

When the box is checked, authenticated users who have viewer access to the site can add their comments.


Why is this important? This greatly helps intranets to be more social. People can leave their comments on Announcements and there can be more of an engaging atmosphere that allows for feedback and commendation. It is an overall morale boost to Google Sites.

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