How to host your own website using Google Drive (for free!)

Purchasing your own domain and having web hosting isn’t all too expensive these days, but not much can be better than free. And if you are web developer, having a way to create free websites is very appealing.

Yesterday I came across this LabNol post on how to host a website using Google Drive, and I was intrigued. How is this possible I thought? Google has web hosting? Well in fact, it turns out it’s totally possible, and totally awesome too.

Amit Agarwal (who runs the LabNol website) wrote up the great article on just how to host your own website using Google Drive. Oh, and one of the perks is that it’s FREE, so you don’t have to pay any web hosting fees. You are limited to 15GB of space though on Google Drive.

Following Amit’s instructions, I created my own website so I could play with Google Drive and see how it functions for web development. It turns out you can do quite a lot as Drive files accept HTML, CSS, and Javascript. Server-side scripting is a no-go, but for the most part unless you are doing some really crazy development, it’s not needed. Amit even created a neat tool that lets you load zipped files to Google Drive to make the process easier.

However, I found it much easier for myself to just use the Google App ShiftEdit, which allowed me to add, edit, manage and copy files which syncs directly to Google Drive.

Here is the website I created, called BitShare Drives.

Click around and check it out. As you can see, it’s quite versatile. The biggest negative is just the URL, which is a Google Drive URL, which can’t be changed. Other than that, you can do almost anything. This makes Google Drive a great place to test code and have a playground, have client-demo’s, have a side project (all under one login too), or even use it as your main website. There are many options.

If you have any questions on how to implement this, or run into problems, just let me know in the comments below.

Update: In response to Quantum Visionary’s comment in the notes below about Google blocking files from too much traffic – good point! I didn’t think about that, but after further research, it doesn’t seem to be a big issue. From what I read online, a Google employee responded to this very question, answering (emphasis mine):

Yes Google Drive website publishing feature does have quotas in place.

While we can’t share the actual numbers, please note that websites hosted on Google Drive will be able to handle large loads which should meet the needs of most users publishing personal content.

However this is not intended for serving resources for very-high traffic websites (e.g. millions visits a day). Also there is currently no way to increase your quota.