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Google Sites - Visitor Comments - Google Spreadsheet Form

posted 16 Mar 2009, 05:09 by Stephen Hind   [ updated 10 Apr 2014, 04:27 by Stephen Hind ]

Google Sites - Visitor Comments - Google Form

One of the most frequent questions I ask in the Google Sites Help Forum is "how can I get viewer or visitor comments"?  Google Sites has restricted the commenting facility to just editors and owners, so you have to look to some other way of doing so.

Note: Google Sites now provides Viewer Commenting for Google Apps based sites, so you may want to look at those instructions instead.


What we describe in these instructions is how to use a Google Spreadsheet Form, which integrates nicely with Google Sites, and other free tools to easily setup visitor comments for your Google Site.  It can even give pseudo moderation as you can delete comments if necessary, but it will not give you the ability to vet comments before they are made (however you could do this using two Google Spreadsheets, one feeding off the other but only showing approved comments).

Instructions

  1. Make a Google Spreadsheet Form

    If you're using Google Apps then use its Google Docs to make a Google Spreadsheet Form.  If you're not using Apps use Google Docs to make one.  Google Docs provides instructions on how to make a form in the Google Docs Help Centre or you can watch our video on the sub-page.
  2. Add a Second Sheet to sort the Comments

    The form will add the data to the spreadsheet it creates with the latest entry in the next available row of the spreadsheet (furthest down the spreadsheet).  Most of us will want to display the newest comment first, so make a new sheet and add the headings from the original sheet: and then in the next row use the SORT() function to display the columns in descending date order (in this example we used

    =Sort(Sheet1!A2:C,1,FALSE)

    to sort the sheet).  You will want to move the new sheet to the left of the form sheet so when you embed the spreadsheet in your site it will show the sorted comments first.  You need to publish this spreadsheet to the world if it's a public site (see our video on the sub-page).
  3. Embed the Form in the Site

    Go to the page where you would like the form to appear and use the Insert button then Drive and Form and either select the form from your list of Forms or enter its URL (see our video on the sub-page).
  4. Embed the Spreadsheet in the Site

    At the same page embed the Spreadsheet either above or below the form, depending on how you want it to look (if you want it to be like Blogger embed the spreadsheet above), use the Insert menu and then Drive and Spreadsheet: either select the spreadsheet from your list of spreadsheets (see our video on the sub-page) or enter its URL (make sure you use the public URL if published).

You're done!  Test the form and you should see the comment you made.

Peter Walsh has also written a how-to on using a formula for formatting the displayed comments: to see it in action go to http://sites.google.com/site/pgwalsh/feedback; and Peter has provided instructions on how to use his formula.

Google Sites - Visitor Comments - Video How-to

I have also produced a video tutorial to accompany these written instructions.

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Visitor Comments Article


Visitor Comments Article