How do I host my WordPress site for free on Google Cloud?

Saturday, October 31, 2020

For website owners, or people looking to start a website, finding the right hosting plan can be a bit of a nightmare. There are a lot of factors to consider when finding the right host, including your own technical skill, budget, and resource demand that your website will have. Understanding exactly what your requirements are is vital to finding a solution that keeps your site performing properly and is also viable financially.

Recently, there has been a lot of talk about the google free tier of cloud hosting. You might be wondering, ‘how do I host my WordPress site for free on Google Cloud?’ Which is a question that’s becoming more and more frequently asked. So if you’d like to explore this option of website hosting, read on below to find out if it’s the right choice for you.

How do I host my WordPress site for free on Google Cloud?

Hosting a website on the free tier of Google Cloud is possible, however, you will need a certain level of technical knowledge to make the operation a success. That being said, it’s not an extremely difficult task, but one that beginners will have to approach carefully. 

It should be noted that even though the hosting on Google’s free tier is certainly cost effective, there are limitations, and should probably be considered as a short term, rather than long term solution. This is because a site that is looking to grow and scale will ultimately expand beyond the limited resources available and site performance will be impacted.

Alongside this, you would have to do all the maintenance and technical aspects associated with keeping a site online by yourself. In the critical stages of getting a website live and bringing in more traffic you need to ask yourself, where is your time best spent? To grow a website, it has to work properly, but if you spend all your time on the back end, how are you going to get it out to an audience? While it is definitely possible, you should make a list of priorities and try to plan your website activity around them.

However, this option is a great idea for people with a small budget that are willing to learn and test how to make a site perform properly.

What actions are needed?

Below are the top level steps needed to host your site on Google Cloud for free. It’s important that you have enough knowledge to research these points yourself and understand what each action is trying to achieve.

  • Create a virtual machine (VM) in Google Cloud
  • Install and configure Apache web server, MySQL, and PHP
  • Install and configure WordPress

What other hosting options are there?

In case hosting your website on the Google Cloud free tier doesn’t meet your requirements, there are other options to keep your website live. Below we’ve listed the three most popular which are shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated servers.

Shared Hosting

Shared hosting is one of the cheapest forms of hosting. Multiple websites are stored on one server, where the resources are shared amongst the sites and each site has access to what’s available. Shared hosting is a great option for new sites or sites with little demand on resources. One of the downsides is that performance can sometimes be impacted by the amount of resources other websites are requiring from the server, meaning there is less available for your own website.

VPS Hosting

VPS hosting is the middle ground between shared hosting and larger dedicated servers. VPS stands for virtual private server. It means that a server has been divided up, with each section of the server allocated its own specific resources that other websites don’t have access to.

Dedicated Servers

Dedicated servers are for when a website requires a lot of resources to perform properly. In this instance, the entire server is for the sole use of one website. This means the most available resources and best performance. The downside is that it requires more technical knowledge to implement correctly and is also the most expensive.

Finding the right hosting for your WordPress site can take a long time. It’s important to know exactly what your site requires at the moment and what you aim for it to require further into the future. With this information you can judge what is the best package for your needs. Using the Google Cloud free tier can be a worthwhile approach, particularly as you are just starting out or have low demand. If you are looking to grow your site, then it’s important to understand that the free tier won’t be the best option for you forever.