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Restrict access to content

Until late 2011, Google sites did not provide page level permissions. Even with the advent of page level permissions, there are some other techniques you can use depending on what content you are trying to share to a restricted audience and what restrictions you want to have.

Link to second, restricted, Google Site

One option is to create a second site.  Do not make it public and then invite people as viewers, collaborators or owners as appropriate. Then link to this site from your main site.

For example, if you look at the first navigation gadget headed 'Restricted pages' in the side panel on the left, the link provided is to a copy of this side that is only accessible to collaborators.

The disadvantage of this approach is that users may find it confusing to be switching between sites.

Controlling access to the restricted site

Essentially you have two ways of controlling access to the second site. Manually adding people to the level of access you want them to have or by using Google Groups. Either way they have to have a google account! The second option is much more flexible and is the one I would recommend.

To allow people to register, you could set up a registration form to collect the email addresses of people wishing to register - similar to the comment forms discussed hereIf you use the group option you can still collect email addresses as above and manually add them or you could allow them to apply for group membership and control group membership that way - this would be the least effort option for you.
Example - this is the first page of a group I have created - note the 'Apply for membership of this group' link on the right.

Embedded Google Document

Another option is to create a Google document containing the restricted content, share it with the people you want to have access (this could be a Google group) and then embed the document in a Google Sites page (as explained by Mori79). There are two ways of doing this each having slightly different results.

Embed using Iframe Gadget

The document below has been published to the web and embedded using an iframe gadget (see Mori79's guide). Note that it is visible to everyone that visits this page but the content is not directly editable from Google Sites. However, there is a link at the bottom to enable those to whom you have given edit access to edit the original Google Docs document.

Embed using Insert..Document

A similar document (not published) has been embedded below using the Insert..Document option. In this case, the content of the document will only appear to anyone who is logged in and is a member of a list of people with whom the document is shared. This document has been shared with a Google group - if you are a member of that group you will see it. If not, you won't

Sample Embedded Document - Restricted, unpublished

Link to 3rd party Web Service

UPDATE: will cease to exist after December 15th

Yet another option is to embed a third party web service that has controlled access such as (I'm sure there are other similar services). Below I have embedded a drop using an iframe gadget (guest password 'testdropio').

Dropio embedded page