How To Share Files with Your Website Designer using Google Drive

Picture of Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC
Jackie Barker - Website Designer Wilmington, NC

In the design process, you will often be asked to share files and folders with outside parties. This can create a lot of back and forth as you try to figure out the best way to share all of the folders and files. If you frequently find yourself in this situation, it’s important that you and your designer have the same file storage system. You both need to be using Google Drive so that there is one place where all of your shared documents are stored. Once you start using Google Drive, sharing files becomes much easier. Here is how to use Google Drive with your designer and only give them access to the files they need to see on their end.

What is Google Drive?

Google Drive is a cloud-based file storage and sharing service. It allows users to store files online and access them on a variety of devices. Users can also create and share folders with others. The great thing about Google Drive is that anyone can be invited to look at and share the same files. No matter which computer your collaborators are on, they will see the most updated version of a document. Google Drive is free for individuals and businesses.

What are the different permission levels in Google Drive?

As with all online documents, it is important to keep your files as secure as possible. Google Drive lets us choose from three different permission levels when sharing files. They are viewer, commenter, and editor as outlined below:

  • Viewer: Anyone with the link can view the files in the folder. They cannot modify or share the file with other people.
  • Commenter: Anyone with the link can view and comment on the files in the folder, but still have no ability to modify or share the file with other people with this permission level
  • Editor: Anyone with the link can view, comment, organize files, add new files, and edit existing files in the folder. They can also accept or reject suggestions, and share the file with others.

How to share your files with a web designer using Google DriveLaptop screen with google drive logo

If you have never used Google Drive before:

  • First, create a folder for you and your designer to share.
  • Click the New button in the upper left-hand corner of Google Drive and select Folder.
  • Give your folder a name and click Create.
  • Next, right-click on the folder you just created and select Share.
  • Then add your designer’s email address to the folder.
  • To the right of that pop-up box, you select the permissions you would like to give the designer for the folder; choose viewer, commenter, or editor.
  • Before sharing the folder you can add a message to the designer that will be included in the email they receive with your Share notification.

How to share a single file using Google Drive

If you only need to share a single file with your designer, right-click on the file and select Share.

Add Documents to the Shared Folder

The next step is to add the files you want to share to your shared folder. Open the folder where you want to store your files. If you’re creating a new file from scratch click the New button in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Select the type of file you’ll be creating (usually a Google Document or Google Sheet). You can also select New Folder to create a folder to store your files. Use a naming convention that makes it easy to identify the purpose of each file and folder within. For example, you could create a folder for ‘Images (this could be stock images you have licensed as well as brand photoshoot images)’, one for “Branding (for your logo versions and branding guidelines)” and “Content (for written content).”

To upload files from your computer to these folders:

  • Click on New again and choose file (or folder) upload. You can then upload one or multiple files quickly.
  • To upload multiple files hold down the CTRL key and click each individual file until the ones you want to upload are selected.
  • Then click Open.
  • This will copy the files from your Computer to the Drive folder.
  • Tip: If you know your designer will need all of the files in that folder you can click on one file and then hold CTRL and A – this will select all of the files.

What Files Should You Share with Your Website Designer?

When you are deciding what files to share with your designer, think about the most relevant documents. You want to share only the files that your designer needs to complete their tasks. Do not share more than that as this will make the process more difficult for your designer.

There are some documents that you definitely want to share with your designer. These include:

  • Website content – You will need to share all written content with your designer unless you are working with their copywriter. This includes product and services descriptions, your bio, marketing copy, etc.
  • Visual assets – If your designer needs images for your website or marketing collateral, you will want to share them. This would include your branding assets and at least one headshot of yourself for your about page.
  • Login credentials – You will also need to share your login credentials for your various accounts, but we will use a more secure method to share the logins, like a Password Manager such as LastPass.

Tips for Working with a Design Agency

Here are some tips for working with a web design agency. Most agencies will have a specific project management tool that you and your designer will use, like Asana or Quire. Your designer or the project manager will add you to their tool (we use Asana) and assign tasks to you and the rest of the team to ensure a smoothly run project. You will have various calls throughout the project that will allow you and your designer to talk through the project and voice any concerns or questions that you have. For the best website design experience, keep track of all project updates. You and your designer should both be logging each task as they work on the project and tracking their progress.

Wrapping up

Throughout the design process, you will need to share files and folders with your web designer. Using Google Drive as your central file storage system will make it much easier to share files with your designer. Simply create a shared folder and invite your designer to the folder. Once your designer is invited, share your Google Drive files as needed. There are some files that you will want to share with your designer and others that you should not. Communicate with your designer and keep up with project updates to make sure your project stays on track!


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