Google Sites: Permissions for Folders and Documents

 Create by Monika Kern @BeLchick1, with many thanks to Fiona Grant for the idea and for sharing of her resources.

Why - How

If you have made a decision to use a Google Site as class site, resource collection, digital portfolio etc., you might want to embed documents or folders from your Google Drive. If your site is visible to others and you want the embedded objects to be visible also, you need to ensure that these are shared with suitable permissions. Here is one way to achieve this.


First consider who you want to be able to view your site: A certain person / persons (e.g. digital portfolio), everyone within your organisation (resource collection), anyone who has the link to your site (class site) or public on the web (school website)? In most cases, the chosen audience only require permission to view.

Now create a Folder in your Google Drive for the content you want to share on your Google Site (I tend to call it by the same name, e.g. ‘Taonga / Active Ferns Class Site’). Share this folder with your audience. This will be the default permission for any document and folder contained.Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 12.08.11 pm.png

What pages does your site contain? E.g. Reading, Writing, Maths, Cybersafety etc. Create corresponding subfolders within your folder to organise your content. You will note that these subfolders inherit the permissions you set up for the top level folder which saves you time. Note: No folder content will be visible if it isn’t linked or embedded from your site.Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 12.10.34 pm.png

Place content within your folders (create right there, drag & drop, or add to the folder as below), then insert items into your site pages. Your audience can now view all embedded documents and folders on your site.

Adding files to folders (rather than moving into a folder)

A file in Google Drive can appear in more than one folder, and if you update this file in one folder, it will automatically update in the other places as well. This can come in handy e.g. when want to have a particular file in a folder with your Maths Resources, but also display it on your class site under Maths.Screen Shot 2016-11-01 at 12.00.33 pm.png

In your Chrome browser, go to your Google Drive. Select the file(s) you want to add (not move) to a folder by left-clicking on it. Now press Shift + Z and you get a new little menu pop up which allows you to select where to add the item to. (You can find a more comprehensive tutorial here.)