Saturday, August 20, 2011

Better control in Google Sites with page-level permissions

I've been waiting for this for a while!

Today Google is introducing page-level permissions, a new feature that will allow you to control who can view and edit your Google Site on a page by page basis.

Using page-level permissions, you can make some pages private for certain users while keeping other pages public for everyone to see. For instance, let’s say you have a Google Site that you’ve shared with your team and your manager. You can allow your team to see one set of pages, let your manager edit another set of pages, and keep yet another set of pages private for only you.

Only site owners have the ability to enable this feature, which is turned off by default for new and existing sites. To turn on page-level permissions, go to More Actions > Sharing and Permissions.

From there, click Enable page-level permissions. Then, in the dialog box, click Turn on page-level permissions.

Once page-level permissions is enabled, you’ll have three options to choose from:
  • allow a page to inherit all of your site-level permissions
  • elect to include future site-level changes to a page
  • prevent a page from inheriting any future changes made at the site-level

Using page-level permissions should give you greater control over who can edit and access your Google site. 

Example of page-level permissions in action

Let's say you are the owner of a website with a Home page at the top and two pages -- called Private Page and Public Page -- underneath it. You want to share this site with your coworkers and allow them to edit both the Home and Public Page. However, your interns aren't allowed to see the financial data you keep on Private Page, and only accountants are allowed to edit that data. Everyone else can only view the Private Page.
To set this up:
  1. From the More actions menu, select Sharing and Permissions.
  2. In the top right, click Enable page-level permissions.
  3. In the dialog box, click Turn on page-level permissions.
  4. Once you have page-level permissions on, you'll see the hierarchy of your site on the left side of the "Sharing and Permissions" page. At the top, click on the name of your site to set your site's permissions.
  5. In the dialog box that appears for your site, add everyone in your company and set their access level to Can edit.
  6. Find your Private page in your site's hierarchy and click on it.
  7. In the dialog box that appears for your Private Page, select either Link iconStart with the list below and include any future changes to Name of page above or Broken link iconStart with the list below but ignore any future changes to Name of page above.
  8. While in the dialog box for your Private Page, delete your interns from your page.
  9. While in the dialog box for your Private Page, set everyone who isn't an accountant or an intern to Can view.
This will make your Private page editable by accountants, restricted for interns, and viewable by everyone else. In addition, everyone will be able to edit the rest of your site.