Enhanced Sharing Settings on New Google Sites

As soon as it came out, I thought the New Google Sites made a pretty awesome Digital Portfolio tool.  However, there was one important feature missing – sharing settings that allow you to choose to not make student work public.  Well, it’s there now!

First up, a quick overview of this in Animated GIF form, followed by detailed information about the options.

Sharing Settings in New Google Sites

You have a few publishing options with New Google Sites, assuming you’re on a gSuite for Education domain.  Here they are:

  • Anyone can find and view the published version – you can also select “Request public search engines to not display my site” to limit who finds your public site.  (Note: the “Request…” option only shows up if you’ve made your site Public.
  • Anyone in your domain (with the same @domain.org as you) can find and view the published version – if you’re using an @gmail.com account, you will not see this option.
  • Specific people can view when published – setting who these people are will feel familiar – it’s similar to sharing in Google Docs.  You’ll have two options when you add someone – Can Edit and Can View when Published.
New Google Sites Publishing Settings
New Google Sites Publishing Settings
New Google Sites Hide from Search Results
For Public Sites, you can request they be left out of Search Results

That last bullet above is the special one for use with Digital Portfolios.  If you don’t want the portfolios seen by the general public, your students can select “Specific people can view when published,” then share with those specific people (Mom & Dad, Teachers, etc. . . . as long as they have Google accounts) and set them all as “Can View when Published.”  This way, their stuff is completely private except for with those few people.

You also have a few options for who can see your “draft” changes (or if your site is unpublished).  Beware that if they can see your draft changes, they can also edit the site itself.  These require that the viewer be signed into a Google Account.  They’re the same settings that you see in Google Docs.  You can see them in the 2nd screenshot below.

New Google Sites Sharing Menu
When you go to the sharing menu, you have the option of changing who can see the PUBLISHED version of the site as well as who can see the DRAFTS to the site (and edit the site).
New Google Sites Draft Sharing Options
In this menu, you can select who can see the DRAFT changes to the site. This lets them see your page if it is not published, but also lets them edit the site.

Published by

Jake Miller

Jake is the host of the Educational Duct Tape podcast, the #EduGIF Guy, a Tech Integration Coach, speaker, Former STEM, Math & Science Teacher, and a presenter.