How to Host a Website on Google Drive for Free – Process Street

How to Host a Website on Google Drive for Free

How to Host a Website on Google Drive for Free

We’re a big fan of cloud services on this blog, and Vinay has written on Process Street about Dropbox vs Google Drive in the past as well as a great guide on how to migrate to the cloud.

If you’re wondering how to host a website on Google Drive for free, well, I just did (and it took me 2 minutes!) so I’ll tell you all about it.

Even though the new Google Drive has made it harder to host websites, there’s still a pretty easy workaround I came across. It comes in the form of a Google Script written by an expert in the field, Amit Agarwal. First I’ll show you this way — the easy way — then I’ll explain how you can do it without the script.

How to Host a Website on Google Drive using a Google Script

1. Put all your website files in a .zip file (.rar doesn’t work, I tried). I made a sample website in a .zip file by modifying Amit’s content, you can download it here if you don’t have any zipped webpages kicking around.

2. Open the Google Script page and upload your .zip file.
host website with google drive script

3. Hit upload file, and you should see this:

Host a website using Drive width=

4. Enjoy your free web hosting!

hosted website on Google DriveThe Hard(er) Way

If you’re learning to host a site on Google Drive out of curiosity, you probably aren’t satisfied with having all the work done for you with a script. Unfortunately for you, it’s not particularly techy or in-depth, it just has more steps.

1. Create a new folder in Google Drive

2. Upload the contents of your website’s .zip file and move them to the folder.

3. Right click the folder and choose ‘share’, then ‘advanced’ at the bottom of the popup.

Hosting a website in Google Drive Sharing

4. Choose ‘Public on the web’ and save.

Make hosted website public on Google Drive

5. After hitting save, you’ll be given a public link but it will be a link to the folder your .html files are stored in on Drive, not an actual website.

How to host a website on Google Drive Sharing Link

6. So the next thing we need to do is to change the link. Cut out the string of letters and numbers between id= and &usp, and paste it at the end of https://googledrive.com/host/

How to host a website on Google Drive Link

7. Navigate to your new link, and you should see your web page!

For a video tutorial on how to host a website on Google Drive see below:

Bonus tip:

If you’re not a fan of your huge and ruthlessly forgettable URL, there’s always gweb.io, a service for people serious about hosting with Google Drive that allows you to use your own URL, unlimited sites and free SSL. Other options for using your own domain are impractical, hacky or unprofessional, such as frame forwarding or using a shortening service like GDrives. For now, it seems like gweb.io is the best option we’ve got.

To learn more about Google Drive, check out 25 Google Drive Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard Before. Google Drive is a great way to host simple sites, but if you’re looking to build a blog for your company, you should see this post.

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Benjamin Brandall

Benjamin Brandall is a content marketer at Process Street, and runs Secret Cave on the side. Find him on Twitter here.


4 Comments

Excuse me for my ignorance, but what are the benefits of hosting a website on Google Drive than opposed to using Google Sites, where they give free web templates?

Secondly, what I’m honestly failing to understand is the website already created in the zip file prior to upload? If so, how is created beforehand?

Thanks,
Pietro

Hi Pietro,

The difference is mostly the customizability of a self-hosted website on Drive vs. one made with templates on Sites.

With Google Drive you can upload your own zip file with whatever you like inside, but with Sites you’re restricted to a number of premade options.

While Sites is great for basic functionality, you can host any working website imaginable on Drive if you know how to write it.

The zip file used for Drive is made up of HTML, CSS and images — the basic requirement is a page called index.html, but other than that you can make as much or as little as you like. If you’re interested in learning web design, this site offers a great starting point:

https://www.codecademy.com/tracks/web

I hope this helped!


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