Control your Google Sites with page-level permissions

Date: 31-05-2012
Author: Bit Software

Part of Google Apps, Google Sites makes creating a team site as easy as editing a document. With Google Sites you can build any website (intranet, corporate website, team, project, department, wikis and more) and share rich content (documents, spreadsheets, presentations, video documents, forms, images, etc) without having to write code. But you don't want that everything you displayed on those sites to be seen by everyone. Or you want that certain people in your company have access to a limited number of documents posted on the Google Sites, but not all. With page-level permissions, you will be able to control who can view and edit your Google Site on a page by page basis.

Who can set the page permissions?

Sites owners are the only ones which have the ability to enable this feature, which is turned off by default for new and existing sites. To „turn on” page-level permissions, you must go to „More Actions > Sharing and Permissions” and click „Enable page-level” permissions. Then, in the dialog box, click „Turn on page-level permissions”.

Once permissions is enabled, you’ll have three options to choose from:

  1. allow a page to inherit all of your site-level permissions
  2. elect to include future site-level changes to a page
  3. prevent a page from inheriting any future changes made at the site-level

Why to use page-level permissions

Page-level permissions allow you to set different levels of access for different people on different pages. For example, you could allow all your colleagues to see one set of pages, to company`s management to see and edit another set of pages, and keep another set of pages private only to yourself. In order for a person to be able to view or edit a specific page, you'll first need to add that person at the site level. You can then change which pages he can view or edit. Once you've turned on permissions and added people to your site, you can control people's permissions for each page. By default, your page is set to use the same permissions as your site. To have this page use different permissions, click „change” next to „Use same permissions as the Site” and choose if you would like for this page to be visible to people you add to your site or if this page will only show to new people if you also specifically give them permission. Or, if you don't want a person to be able to see the page at all, you can click the icon on the right side of their name. This will also prevent them from seeing any pages below this page.

Permissions to Groups and public

If you grant access to a Google Group for a specific page, all the current members of that group will have access to that page at the level you specify. That will not apply to people who already have access to your site or page at a higher level. So, if you give someone edit access individually, then give only view access to a Google Group to which that person belong, the person will still have edit access. Also, if some members are later added to a group that has access to your site, those members will have access to the site at the level of access given to that group.

If you make your site public, the visitors to your site will always be granted the highest level of access available to them. Because making your site public can essentially override your page-level permissions.

A few things to remember:

  • page-level permissions are turned off by default for new and existing sites
  • Sites owners are the only ones which have the ability to enable page-level permissions
  • you can set different levels of access for different people on different pages
  • if your site is public, page-level permissions are overridden



Sources: Google Official Blog, Google Enterprise, Computer World