Google (news, site) has added more features to its services page for web hosts to help site owners create better sites and provide better features for users. Let's have a quick look at what's new for you.
Google Expands its Services Offerings
Google's Services for Websites was launched earlier this year to offer the ever-growing raft of Google tools to site builders via their hosters.
Among a number of recently added new features are Web Elements. These allow site makers to add calendars, chat, custom searches, maps, news links, data from Google Docs and even videos from YouTube into a site using just a few lines of code. Apart from the YouTube feature, all the others tie into existing Google services.
Add a range of features to a site
Assuming your host has signed up for the services, adding new features to your site is easy. To create a new element for a site, visit the Web Elements store, choose one to add and then pick the required elements.
For example, to add a map, choose the size you want, type of map, pick the location and then copy the automatically created code into your site text. It can take less than a minute to do.
Add features to sites in seconds
Another, more practical, feature is the Page Speed monitor. This helps site owners (well Firefox/Firebug users) measure site speed via an add-on. It can produce a set of scores and list of recommendations to help a site run faster.
Finally, the new Tips page offers information to help hosters use Google products to improve their processes.
A Little Something for Everyone
Existing features in the service include helping sign up for AdSense, search and other Google back-end features. If your host doesn't use Google's Services yet, there's even a helpful page you can send them to encourage them to join in.
Given that it's all free and that there is something for everyone, this growing collection has a lot to recommend it, but the all-Google feel might make your sites look rather clone-like and lose some of its personality.