Navigation refers to how one moves around the pages of your site. With Google Sites, you have the option to use vertical navigation (if using a sidebar) or horizontal navigation or both.

Vertical Navigation

As the title implies, vertical navigation is when you have a vertical list of the pages a visitor can access when visiting your site. With many of the themes that Google provides, vertical navigation is a default option. This is accomplished through the use of the Navigation sidebar gadget. The defaults are shown at the right. Notice that these include only 2 levels of pages but it does automagically organize your navigation. This means that pages are listed in alpha order and that all newly created pages are automagically added to the nav.

If you disable the automagic organization of your nav, then you must manually add your own pages to create your structure. Some reasons you might want to 

consider this include:
  • you gain complete control over the order of the nav items
  • you can add URLs to other sites, not just pages in your own site
  • you can build pages in secret until they are ready to be unveiled.

Caution: There is a downside to this, however, in that YOU must manually manage your site navigation.

Horizontal Navigation

As the name implies, horizontal navigation is when there is a horizontal list of links, buttons, or tabs that provide visitors a means to walk through your site's pages. Additionally, horizontal navigation with Google sites provides the ability to have one level of pull-down options as part of the navigation. The key to remember with horizontal navigation is that it is completely manual. Because of the flexibility it provides in structuring your navigation, it must be manually updated with new pages once you create them.

Although disabled by default, horizontal navigation can be turned on as you saw in our overview of site layout. This site is an example of a site that uses this feature. The properties of the horizontal navigation bar are show on the

Text Box

left. Here's some brief explanation:

Top Section

This is where you can configure the actual structure of your horizontal nav bar by adding pages, adding URLs, and nesting pages beneath others. The ordering of your items are accomplished using the arrows on the right. Keep in mind:
  • Moving an item UP in your list actually moves it LEFT on the nav bar and conversely, moving an item DOWN moves it to the RIGHT
  • Moving an item RIGHT nests it BELOW the item above it while moving an item LEFT elevates it to a top level position on your nav bar
Lower Section

Google Sites horizontal navigation provide 3 styles for your to use:

One last option for creating site navigation to mention briefly is the use of the Subpage Listing page gadget combined with a custom page template to streamline your processes. Should you choose to not use a Site Sidebar and yet want to include vertical navigation on your site (or for specific pages), you may elect to change a pages's layout to include a sidebar and use the aforementioned gadget to add a vertical navigation component. We'll look more at this gadget in the lesson on Page Gadgets. For a quick peak at what this looks like, click here.