How To Host Your Personal Website On Google’s Servers For Free

At the present time, everyone is hosting a personal or portfolio website to showcase his information on the Web. If you wish to host your own personal website but don’t really have to budget for it, this post is right up your alley.

This simple tutorial will show you how you can host a basic website (built using HTML & CSS) on Google’s servers, for free. And you can easily complete this between 1 and 3 hours.

Technically, Google does not provide free hosting solutions, but they do provide a Platform As A Service (PAAS) known as Google App Engine (GAE). This tutorial uses App Engine’s ‘Static files’ feature to host a static HTML-CSS website on GAE’s servers.

At the end of this tutorial you will be getting your own personal website at a customized sub-domain address like so: <your-custom-name>.appspot.com. You can make it your contact page, to connect with potential clients or to expand

I have one at akapribot.appspot.com, hosted on GAE. It just takes 7 tasks:

  1. Make a personal website using a free HTML-CSS website template
  2. Download and Install Python and GAE SDK
  3. Sign up for Google App Engine
  4. Create app at Google App Engine
  5. Develop app using GAE Python SDK
  6. Deploy/upload your custom app to GAE servers

Let’s get to it.

Task 1: Make a Personal Website

Building a website from scratch can be hard and tricky, especially if you are not a hardcore web designer or an expert with writing tagged elements in html. However you can always work on a web template and customize it into your own version. Here are just a few good, easy-to-edit, and Creative Commons licensed website templates:

To make the website template your own, download the templat from the given links above, unzip the files and edit the index.html or other .html files. You can use any text editor to edit these files like Notepad or WordPad, but Notepad++ is easier and highly recommended. Add your information, e.g., name, skills, work, portfolio, contact information, etc. and save the file.

Alternatively, if you want to do more on your website, you can try learning HTML5 & CSS. We have plenty of HTML5/CSS tutorials to learn from. Do check them out.

Task 2: Get Python and GAE SDK

Next, download and install the following software for editing and deploying apps to GAE servers.

Note: Please install the software with their default options and settings, otherwise you may face problems with the tutorial.

Task 3: Sign up for Google App Engine

Third in line, sign up for an account at Google App Engine. If you already have a Gmail account, it’s just a matter of signing in.

Task 4: Create App at Google App Engine

Now, you need to create an application at GAE.

Task 5: Develop app using GAE Python SDK

It’s time to develop your GAE app on your system using Python and App Engine Python SDK.

To edit your local GAE app’s settings:

application: <your-app-name-here> version: 1 runtime: python27 api_version: 1 threadsafe: yes handlers:

– url: / static_files: www/index.html upload: www/index.html

– url: / static_dir: www libraries:

– name: webapp2 version: "2.5.2"

To add your personal website’s files to your local GAE app:

If everything goes well, then your app’s directory will have two files (app.yaml and index.yaml) and a sub-directory (www). The sub-directory ‘www’ will have your website’s files and folders.

Task 6: Deploy/Upload your custom app to GAE servers

You have created your local GAE app and now, you need to check and deploy/upload your app to GAE servers.

To check your local GAE app:

To deploy your GAE app:

All done!

If you followed the whole procedure precisely, then by this time, you must be having your own website hosted on the web. You can check your website at <your-app-name>.appspot.com If you successfully hosted your website at Google App Engine, don’t forget to share your App Engine’s website address through comments.