Google Sites known issues

Creating a new Site and Copy Site hangs

posted 6 Jan 2013, 03:00 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 2 Apr 2013, 12:06 ]

This issue has been reported to the Google Sites team.
The underlying issue is that the copy Site mechanism (which is used when creating a Site using a template) is not working. The Google engineers are aware that this is a big issue and are working hard to fix.
For creating a new Site, the workaround is to use the blank template.
'Star' this issue to be notified of updates

Unable to remove [untitled] sidebar item

posted 4 Jun 2012, 07:32 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 4 Jun 2012, 07:32 by Philip Ridout ]

Sometimes when you delete a page a link to it possibly labeled "Untitled" remains in your navigation bar and you can't remove it.

Try this method:
Go to 'Edit sidebar', edit Navigation. Put a check in  'Automatically organize my navigation'. Save. The link will (we hope) disappear. Edit navigation and remove tick from 'Automatically organize my navigation'. Save Changes. The 'Untitled' link will be gone.

For a similar situation in the horizontal menu, More actions, Manage site, Site layout, Change site layout, remove the check mark for horizontal navigation, save everything, go back in and put the check in for horizontal navigation and rebuild it.

Unable to link Adsense account to Google Site

posted 31 May 2012, 02:30 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 31 May 2012, 02:30 by Philip Ridout ]

What steps will reproduce the problem?
1. Go to configure adsense page in Google Site
2. Enter adsense account details
3. Press next

What is the expected output? What do you see instead?
See butter bar with "There was an error while associating your account"
This problem has been escalated to the Google Sites team

Embedded Google Docs video problem

posted 28 May 2012, 03:42 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 31 May 2012, 02:31 by Philip Ridout ]

There are reports from people having issues with embedded videos giving the message  "An error occurred. Try again later" when they try to play them. This problem has been reported to the Google Sites team.

Subscribe to Posts on announcements page not working

posted 16 May 2012, 08:13 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 19 May 2012, 04:57 by Philip Ridout ]

There have been several reports that clicking on Subscribe to Posts on Announcement pages brings up a page not found error. Google are aware of the issue.

Please also report it yourself:
  • click the More button
  • select Report an issue.
  • The more people that report the issue, the better.

"An error has occurred"

posted 30 Apr 2012, 08:17 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 30 Apr 2012, 08:17 by Philip Ridout ]

Occassionally we get reports from users that they are seeing the message

An error has occurred

We are sorry, a system error has occurred. Please try again later.

A possible workaround is to construct the URL for the pagelisting admin page
  • For a Google Apps site >
  • For a non Google Apps site >
- Find the affected page and click on the revisions links (the number of revisions)
- Go back through the revision history to find the last save without the error and revert to that if possible

A useful tool to generate system urls is

Upload Server Error

posted 17 Apr 2012, 09:02 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 18 Sept 2012, 07:58 ]

There have been a number of reports of users getting the message ' Upload server error; please try again later ' when trying to upload attachments.
This occurs when you exceed the 100MB space allocation of a consumer Google Site. So the first thing to check - if you are using a consumer Site (i.e. not a Google Apps Site) is are you close to the space allocation limit of your site. Go to More>Manage Site>General and look under Site Storage. If you are close to the limit, try clearing out some files and try again. Remember that deleting an attachment 'soft' deletes it and it will continue to occupy space for 30 days or until you 'hard' delete it by going to deleted items and selecting 'permanently delete. (Which could explain why some users have found this an intermittent problem - deleted items being removed after 30 days frees up space for the user to now be able to upload more files.

Two other suggestions which some users have reported as sometimes working are :

In the meantime there are two things users can try that may help.
  • Try clearing cache and cookies in your web browser:

    (your computer may have cached something faulty and clearing your cookies and cache will force your computer to download a corrected copy)

  • Try using a different account to do the upload

Google Sites Sharing Issue

posted 27 Mar 2012, 04:27 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 16 Jun 2017, 01:12 ]

The Issue

The Google Sites help page states that: "anyone you set as "Can view," "Can edit," or "Is owner" must have a Google Account or Google Apps Account to share your site".  What it doesn't tell you is that if you send a 'can view' or 'can edit' site sharing invitation to an email address that doesn't have an associated Google Account, the link that is sent to that email address can be used by ANYONE who gets access to it who has a Google account to gain access to your site. (It is not possible to send a 'Is owner' invite to a non-Google account).
Accounts that have been added in this way are denoted by an 'envelope' icon which shows the message below when you hover over it.

What this means

A user, Alice, has two email addresses: which is not associated with a Google account and which is associated with a Google account.

I send a site sharing invitation to

If I have not checked the "notify people by email" box, I will see a message that tells me:
You are trying to invite Since there is no Google account associated with this email address, you must check the "Notify people via email" box to invite this recipient.

If I check the "notify people by email" box, a share link will be sent to Alice by email and I will see a message that tells me:
You are sending an invitation to Anyone holding this invitation will have access.

Alice receives the email. She clicks on the link in the sharing invitation.
  • If she is not signed in to any Google account, she will see a Google sign-in screen.
  • If she signs in to (or is already signed in to) her Google account she may see:

  • If she clicks on 'Accept Invitation' (or the Site owners are already in her Google contact list) her email address will be added to the access control list with the level of access (edit or view) you specified when issuing the share invitation. Note that this is NOT the email address that the original invitation was sent to. That email address will still also appear in the site sharing list.

The really big issue

  • If she then forwards that link to someone else, if they have a google account they can also add themselves to the access control list using that link.

How to revoke the link

If you do invite someone to share using this option, you can invalidated the link that was sent by removing the user(s) (denoted by an 'envelope' icon) the link was sent to. Although this will revoke the link, you may still need to manually remove any users who have already added themselves using this link.

My recommendation to avoid this issue

Unless and until Google change the way this works, my recommendation is NEVER to check the 'Notify people via email' box when you add people UNLESS the email addresses you have selected have associated Google accounts (you will get an information message about this - see above). Instead, uncheck that box and send them a link to the site in a separate email.

Why might this be useful?

If you want to give access to a number of people without having to explicitly add them the either the site share list (or a Google group that you are using to control access to the site - see Control Access with Groups) you can send a share invitation to a non-Google account email address and then forward that link to the people you want to give access to. Just be aware that there is nothing to stop them forwarding the link to anyone else.

Embed Form bug

posted 9 Mar 2012, 08:37 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 9 Mar 2012, 12:59 by Philip Ridout ]

There is a bug which causes the parent spreadsheet to be inserted when you try to insert a form. Google is aware of the problem and is working on a fix. Until it is fixed you can use this workaround:

  • Open the spreadsheet with the form
  • Select Form > Embed form in a web page
  • Copy the 'embed code' (starts <iframe src="")
  • Open the Sites page where you want to insert the form
  • Open the editor and then open the HTML editor
  • Paste the embed code copied above
  • Click Update
  • Click Save

Unable to create Site in Google Apps domain

posted 8 Feb 2012, 09:33 by Philip Ridout   [ updated 8 Feb 2012, 09:33 by Philip Ridout ]

From reports made it appears that the create site screen does not have everything displayed (some have had the Site location, Select a theme and More actions missing - specifically see ) and using theCreate button does nothing.

Google engineers are investigating

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