In this guide, you’ll learn how to host a free website on Google Cloud Platform. This is possible on the free tier of Google Cloud Platform.
By the end of this tutorial, you will have a complete WordPress website running on the Nginx web server. Let’s get started.
- Create a Google Cloud Platform account
First of all. Create a Google Cloud Platform (GCP) account. This video will walk you through the process of setting up a GCP account if you don’t already have one.
- Create a Compute Engine virtual machine on the free tier
In the GCP dashboard, click Compute Engine. Create a virtual machine instance.
To create a virtual machine instance in the free tier, you must configure your virtual machine with the following restrictions:
An instance of the f1-micro virtual machine without the possibility of displacement
US regions: Oregon (us-west1), Iowa (us-central1) or South Carolina (us-east1)
Hard disk up to 30 GB per month
Notice how it says “Your first 744 hours of using an f1-micro instance this month are free.” This number will change depending on the number of days in the current month. For example, this screenshot is taken for October, which has 31 days.
Feel free to choose any operating systems for the boot disk. In this guide I have chosen Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.
- Connect your domain name (optional)
Additionally, you can associate a domain name with your IP address. If you don’t have a domain name, you can skip to the next step.
Otherwise, you can create a DNS A record at your domain registrar with the IP address of your Google Cloud Platform VM instance.
For example, in Google Domains, you can add DNS A records for your domain name. The screenshot assumes that the IP address of your virtual machine instance is 18.104.22.168.
It can take up to 48 hours for your domain name to be associated with your IP address, but it usually happens within minutes.
- Login to your server
You have several different options for logging into a virtual machine instance. The easiest way is to select “Open in a browser window” to log in to the virtual machine instance without having to provide credentials.
Also, depending on what version of PHP was installed, you may need to update line 2 to the actual version of PHP that is installed on your server.