As I was working on building and designing a Google Site for my 12 Days of EdTech Cheer, I knew I wanted to build a site that was engaging and interactive in addition to being informative. As I was building the site, I found there were many things I wanted to add to my site, but were not easily incorporated from the standard features provided in Google Sites. This prompted me to spend more time than I would have liked researching different options and methods for including these features.
In the time I have spent exploring how to work around some of Google Sites' limitations, I have learned many new things, so I thought I would share what I have learned about adding some advanced features to your site (and hopefully save someone else time in designing a dynamic Google Site!).
Adding Social Media/Sharing Buttons
I have found the Social Bookmark Share Configurator from Opti365 to be useful in adding social media/sharing buttons to a Google Site. I have created a how-to on utilizing this tool on a Google Site.
Embedding Content that Doesn't Have Embed Code
I have found the iFrame Wrapper gadget from Mori79's web site to be useful in adding content from sites such as TourWrist to a Google Site. He lists a how-to on his page for using the gadget on a Google Site.
HTML Image: http://www.openclipart.org/image/800px/svg_to_png/GS_html.png
Sharing Content via E-Mail Subscriptions
I have found that using Feedburner to be useful in creating a customized RSS feed or enabling people to subscribe to e-mail notifications when you add content to your site. I have created a how-to in using Feedburner on a Google Site.
Feedburner Image: http://chrisbaskind.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/feedburner-logo-350.jpg?9d7bd4
Adding Blog-Like Discussion Functionality
I have found the Comment Form and Comment Board gadgets from Mori79's web site to be useful in adding content from sites such as TourWrist to a Google Site. He lists a how-to on his page for using the gadgets on a Google Site. I will admit, this is a little time intensive setting up and requires a little more technical knowledge, but the end result is definitely worth it!
Conversation Image: http://www.openclipart.org/image/800px/svg_to_png/bubbles_normal.png