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Page Templates

7 May 2011

Google Sites: 4 Default Page Templates

Every Google Sites comes with 4 Default Page Templates:

I tend to use the Web Page template the most, but with some modifications.

The default Web Page template (as well as the default Announcement, and List template) has an "Attachment" feature at the end of the page when saved.  This, I believe allows visitors to attach and upload files.  While it may at times be suitable, generally I find that I don't want that feature for any of my pages.

Page's Attachment Feature

Method I
You can also remove this feature (or the Comments feature) after a page has been saved by:
More Actions (top right) > Page Settings > a window pops up > uncheck "Allow attachments"

But if you have to do this for every page you create (and to remember to have to do it), it can get very tedious.

I don't know if allowing visitors to upload images actually eats into your allowed storage space (100MB) but I suspect it does.

Method II
We need to create a new template that we can use that automatically, by default, does not have an "Attachements" feature appended to the end of each saved page.

Creating a New Google Site Page Template

I think these steps are identical whether you are creating a new Web Page template or an Accouncment, List, or File Cabinet template.  Here I will just document the Web Page template as a means of illustration.

To create a new page template, you are actually making a copy of the type of template you want and then modifying it.  Our example here illustrates the Web Page template. 

Here, we will:
  • create a new Web Page template
  • modify it 
  • set our new template as default.

1) Find a template we can copy
More Actions > Manage site > Site Content > Page templates >  Create page template (button)

On the next page, you can name your template and choose what kind of template you want to start out with:

Here, I am choose "Web Page" as the template I want to start with and I have named my new template as "Web Page-No Attachment" (so I can easily recognize the kinds of templates I can use with pages should I need to).

When done, click "Create template" button.

This will create your new template and you will be on that new template page:

You can "Insert" various objects, format, and otherwise layout the new page template as you like.  When used (as the template while creating your Google Site pages), this format/layout that you set here will be the default that you will see (which you can still delete/change in the web page itself).  Templates act like a starting template just to make things easier as you start a new page.

Here, the only difference I want to make is that my page template will NOT have that "Attachements" at the end of each of my pages.

Click the "Save" button (top right) to save the new template as is.
After it has been saved, to remove that "Attachment" feature, click "More Actions" > Template Settings

The "Template Settings" window will pop up.  Uncheck the "Allow Attachements" > Save

You will then see that your new page template no longer has the "Attachments" feature. And any page that you create using this template as base will also, by default, not have this "Attachements" feature.

For any page for which you do want the attachments feature but which you have based on this template, you can still add that feature for any specific page via that page's:
More > Actions > Page Settings > Allow Attachments

Make a Page Template as Default template

Let's say that you want the page template that you just created as your default template - meaning that when you create a new page in your Google Site, that will be the base template that will automatically be used unless you manually specify otherwise.

If you are still on the Page Template page, you need to return to the list page templates:
(click) View Template listing (top left)
which will return to your full list of templates (including your new one).

If you are anywhere else in your Google Site:
More Actions > Manage Site > Site Content > Page templates

Find the template you want as default > check the box next to it > click "Set as default" button


Other Things for your Template page

There may be other things/objects that you would like to have added to your page by default.  You can set them in your template page either at the time of creation (of the template) or even later by going to modify it.

Any object that you add can also be modified/deleted from any specific page without affecting either the base template itself nor any of other page that may be using the template.

And if you add objects to a template after it is already being used by other pages, it will not retro-fit - i.e. it will not affect the pre-existing pages.

So say, I (almost) always want an AdSense object (250x250 Square) in the top left of my pages.  Instead of adding that object each time I start a new page, I can just go modify my default template (i.e. the template that I have set as the default base for most of my pages).

So let's go an get my default template:
More Actions > Manage Site > Page templates > find and click on the template I want to change > Edit page template

I then insert the object where I want it and when satisfied > Save.

Now whenever you use this template as the base for any new page(s), the objects will already be in place.