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Hosting Your Website on Google Cloud: How To & Price Breakdown

Posted by QuoteColo on December 11, 2014

Tired of hosting your website through a standard web hosting provider like Linode, VPS.net or DigitalOcean? No worries. With a little technical expertise, you can easily host your website using the Google Cloud platform. 

Technically known as the Google App Engine, your ability to host your website through the Google Cloud platform takes its lead from web developers utilizing the Google App Engine to host custom build web application in the Cloud. The practice of web developers utilizing the Google App Engine to host their web applications is well defined. We mention this because one of the benefits of hosting your website via the Google Cloud is the stability of the platform.

Before we get into how to host your website using the Google Cloud, here are some of the major benefits:

  • Reliability: Utilizing the Google Cloud platform to host your website means you are utilizing Google data centers. Being served through Google data centers means constant stable performance in a highly controlled IT environment.
  • Hosting Hardware: Speaking again to hosting a website within a Google data center, the computing hardware you will have access to will be top of the line. Unlike other providers who might fall down in generational hardware due to budgetary concerns, Google is constantly pushing for the best.
  • Cost: We say this all the time – when it comes down to it, web hosting choices are typically decided in the account ledger. For this reason, deciding the use the Google Cloud to host your website should be a simple choice. As you get 1 GB of free storage for hosting your website files (images, HTML, CSS etc.) and you receive 1 GB of free bandwidth per day – hosting a small size static website will cost you pennies. Once your need rises, the cost of Google Cloud hosting runs on a pay-per-use scale. More on this below.

With the benefits out of the way, let’s discuss the how to of hosting your website using the Google Cloud.

Host Your Website on the Google App Engine

The first thing you need to know about how you hosting your website using the Google Cloud is that the process is pretty similar to using any other web hosting provider with the one exception of file transferring. Don’t worry though, the process isn’t hard.

1) To begin hosting your website via the Google App Engine, visit appengine.google.com. Once there, create a new application. If you have never created a new application, Google is going to ask you to verify your human existence through a mobile phone code. Provide you phone number, enter the code and proceed.

google app engine application

2) Name your application. Like a password, your application name should be unique. Unlike a password, Google only allows your application to be named using lowercase letters and digits. An example: “quotecoloamazingapplication22”.

If you are the non-technical type, the two following steps might scare you. Don’t let them.

3) Visit python.org. Download and install Python.

4) Visit code.google.com. Download and install the App Engine SDK. If you are curious, SDK stands for Software Development Kit.

Again, if you aren’t technical, these two steps might scare you. If you don’t code or aren’t a programmer, the idea of downloading and – yikes – using Python might scare the daylights out of you. Don’t worry though, download Python and the App Engine SDK. You will be just fine.

5) Next step is downloading and installing the website.zip file. To do this visit img.labnol.org/files/18801/website.zip. Save the file to your desktop and unzip it. The file contains the basic construct of your website you will host on the Google Cloud. The construct includes images, CSS, HTML and all the other need data.

6) Getting a bit more technical and bureaucratic here. Open the app.yaml file using notepad (PC) or text editor (Mac). After the file opens, replace “labnol” with the application name you created in step two. Again, in our case, we would replace “labnol” with “quotecoloamazingapplication22”.

7) Almost done. Open the Google App Engine from your start menu (PC) or application bar (Mac). Once open, select “File” followed by “Add Existing Application”. Once selected, search through the folder where you unzipped your website.

8) Once you find the unzipped website, hit the deploy button. After hitting deploy, Google will ask you to input your Google account login data. After inputted correctly, your website will become live. Your website can be viewed through unique_website_name.appspot.com. As you might have guessed, you need to replace “unique_website_name” with your actual unique website name. Much like a free WordPress site which categorized websites as subdomains (Fake example: quotecolo45.wordpress.com), the Google App Engine uses the same path.

9) Once uploaded, if you need to add, change, edit etc. any web page within your website, you need to make the edits and press deploy again. Every time you hit deploy, your added/edited content will be uploaded to the Google App Engine and will be live at your .appsot.com URL. This is where the file transfer system is a bit different from your standard web hosting provider. With most providers, to change your website, you rent space in a web server and make edits to your site using FTP or a website mainframe like cPanel or Plesk. The process is different yet both are very simple.

The next two steps are optional yet highly recommended.

10) Register your web domain with Google Apps. Registering your web domain with Google Apps will allow you to remove the subdomain URL you are currently using. See, .appspot.com.

11) Connect (map), your web domain to the Google App Engine website. This will complete the process of upgrading your .appspot.com subdomain to your chosen www. unique_website_name.com.

 

Now that you know how to host your website using the Google Cloud, let’s quickly discuss monthly payment options.

Google Cloud Web Hosting Cost

As mentioned above, if you are hosting a static website with a small amount of traffic, your Google Cloud website hosting will cost you anywhere from nothing per month to pennies per month.

To get a better look at that plan, below if the Google App Engine pricing model which will keep you free of charge:

Instances: 28 instance hours

Cloud Datastore (NoSQL Database): 50k read/write/small. 1 GB storage.

Outgoing Network Traffic: 1 GB

Incoming Network Traffic: 1 GB

Cloud Storage: 5 GB

Memcache: Free Usage of Shared Pool. No free quota for Dedicated Pool.

Search: 1,000 basic operations. 0.01 GB indexing documents. 0.25 GB document storage. 100 searches.

Email API: 100 recipients

Logs API: 100 MB

Task Queue and Logs Storage: 1 GB

SSL Virtual IPs: No free quota

Bundled Services: Cron, Files API, Image Manipulation, Pagespeed, SNI SSL Certificates, Socket API, Task Queue API, URLFetch, Users API

If you can keep your website to these specifications, the Google App Engine will not cost you a cent. This said, if you grow your website and traffic picks up – which we are betting you want it to – the Google Cloud platform will cost you the following:

Instances: $0.05 / instance / hour

Cloud Datastore (NoSQL Database): $0.06 / 100k read or write ops. Small operations free*.  Small datastore operations include calls to allocate datastore ids or keys-only queries $0.18 / GB / month.

Outgoing Network Traffic: $0.12 / GB

Incoming Network Traffic: Free

Cloud Storage: $0.026 / GB / month

Memcache: Free Usage of Shared Pool. Dedicated Pool: $0.06 / GB / hour.

Search: $0.50 / 10k searches. $2.00 / GB indexing documents. $0.18 / GB / month Storage.

Email API: Contact Sales

Logs API: $0.12 per GB

Task Queue and Logs Storage: $0.026 / GB / month

SSL Virtual IPs: $39 / virtual IP / month

Bundled Services: Cron, Files API, Image Manipulation, Pagespeed, SNI SSL Certificates, Socket API, Task Queue API, URLFetch, Users API

To determine how much hosting your website using the Google Cloud will run you per month, do some quick math. Once computed, figure out how much you want to spend per month and cross reference that cost with how much a similar setup will cost using a competitor service.

If at the end of the day, the price point is negligible, weigh the benefits of hosting a website using Google data centers and hardware with the benefits of using competitor data centers and hardware.

Once determined, make your choice and choose your host.

Categories: Cloud

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