full page image for Google Sites on a laptop
Image/Photo: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic

In May 2022, Google added the ability to embed content as a full page in Google Sites rather than limiting it to a section of a page. With this, you may fill a Google Site page with embedded Google Maps, YouTube videos, documents, forms or presentations from Google Drive. A full-page embed lets you feature your selected content surrounded only by minimal Google Site navigation elements.

To embed full-page content, sign in to your Google account and open a Google Site to which you have edit privileges, then follow the steps below.

Create your page

First, you need to add a new page designated to serve as a full-page embed to your site. With your site open, select the Pages tab, then the + button near the bottom of the column and then choose Full Page Embed, as shown in Figure A. Enter a name for the page, then select Done.

a page with indicators to show how to embed content as a full page in Google Sites
Figure A: With the Page tab selected, choose the + button at the bottom of the page, then choose the Full Page Embed option.

Insert embed URL, code or content from Google Drive

Next, you’ll select the content to embed. There are two ways to do this. The first option, available immediately after you’ve created your new page, is to select either Add Embed or Add From Drive. Alternatively, at any time when you have your page open, select the Insert tab, then either the Embed or Drive options immediately below it or one of the options displayed in the list: YouTube, Calendar, Map, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms or Charts, as shown in Figure B.

an example site view with indicators showing different embed options
Figure B: On a Google Site page added as a full page embed, choose Embed to add a URL or embed code, or select Drive to select an item from Google Drive. Alternatively, you may directly choose to embed any of the items from the menu: YouTube, Calendar, Map, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms or Charts. (Note: The dotted red lines indicate these options are equivalent, offering two different ways to access the same embed task.)

When you insert either a video from YouTube or an item from Google Drive, Sites adjusts the content to fill the screen. Specifically, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files all fit the site display size. Items that may be multi-page, such as PDFs, Docs, Word and PowerPoint files, display so you may scroll down through the document. Google Slides presentations, for example, fill the screen (Figure C, right), in contrast to a standard embed (Figure C, left), which displays the content much smaller.

side-by-side comparison of embedded content in a section of a page versus the full page
Figure C: The Google Sites full page embed option emphasizes your embedded content (right image), in contrast to a standard embed, which restricts your content to a section of a page (left image).

If you choose to embed a Google Map, you may either enter an address or select from a previously saved map. An entered address will display in the upper left of the embedded map, along with a link that offers people directions. Organizations may find this an especially useful way to guide people to locations.

Full page embedded Google Calendar content includes view controls, which let site visitors select week, month or agenda display options. Visitors may also navigate to different dates, as usual, with any embedded Google calendar.

If you choose Insert > Embed, you may enter a URL. For example, if you use an edition of Google Workspace that supports bookable appointment schedule calendars, you may embed these as a full page on your Google Site.

SEE: How to use Google Calendar appointment schedules (TechRepublic)

Navigate to your bookable appointment schedule calendar; copy the URL; and then in Google Sites, choose Insert > Embed > URL and paste the URL. If options display, add the Whole Page, not the Preview.

The bookable appointment schedule now displays as a full-page embed on your site, as shown in Figure D, and adapts to display properly on various screen sizes. Many third-party sites may be added as a full page embed to your Google Site with this method, although not all sites or services support embedding.

a successful full-page embed of a bookable appointment schedule
Figure D: If your Google Workspace edition allows you to create bookable appointment schedules, you may embed a schedule as a full page in a Google Site.

Alternatively, you also may select Insert > Embed and paste an embed code obtained elsewhere. For example, you might go through the steps at Twitter Publish to obtain the necessary code to embed a Tweet, a Twitter list or a Twitter hashtag search. While this embed previously placed third-party content in a particular portion of a Google Site page, it now may be embedded as a full page.

SEE: How to embed content from the web to your Google Site (TechRepublic)

However, not all content works well when embedded this way. In this case, embedded Twitter streams display as expected on smartphone and tablet screen sizes, but leave a gap of blank space to the right side of the screen when viewed on a wide-format laptop. Make sure to test any third-party content embedded this way to understand how well it works.

What’s your experience?

If you use Google Sites, what sort of content do you embed on your pages? How does the ability to embed content as a full page affect the design of your Google Site? What do you think of how your embedded Google Map or YouTube video looks on your site? If you use bookable appointment schedules, has the full-page embed option made it easier for people to sign up for time with you?

Mention or message me on Twitter (@awolber) to let me know how you use the Google Sites full-page embed feature.

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