In November of 2012, Google announced a new Google Drive feature. Essentially, this feature allows you to become your own web host. Sadly, Google’s “easy to follow” instructions were less than simple. Thankfully, these steps make the process a whole lot easier. Here’s how to host your web pages using Google Drive.
1. Begin by logging in to your Google Drive account. You’ll see a “Create” button: click it, and choose “Folder” in the sub-menu. A dialogue box will pop up allowing you to name the folder.
2. Your new folder will be listed in your drive. Click the checkbox next to your new folder, then the “Sharing Settings” icon. You need to change the settings from private to public by clicking “Change,” then selecting “Public on the Web.”
3. Now, you need to add some files to the folder. Click on the folder title, and then click on the upload icon. Select “Files” from the dropdown menu.
4. If you have an index.html file, you’ll want to select it from your hard drive, then click “Upload and Share.” This is your site’s home page.
If you do not have an index.html file, your site’s home page will instead be a directory listing of the files contained in that folder. Also, assure you do not allow Google Drive to convert the HTML files to GoogleDocs files.
5. Now, it’s time to determine what your site’s web address is. This is a little tedious, as there’s a bit of cut and paste work involved. (This is one factor to consider before choosing this method of web hosting rather than going with one of the top hosting companies: do you have the time for this project?)
Start by copying the string of characters that follow “#folders/” in the web address. Type “http://googledrive.com/host/” and paste the copied characters directly after it. That is your new web address.
That’s it! You now have the home page all set up. What are the best applications for this type of web hosting? It certainly isn’t the best hosting option for everyone, but there are some practical uses.
Who Should Use This Hosting Method
This method lends itself well to a simple online resume. Or, fill it with images, and you’ve just made your own photo gallery. Small businesses (less than 20 people) will get the most of of this hosting method.
Or, groups like baseball teams, coworkers putting together a project, and college students working on group materials. Users can control who is allowed access and view material on the site, as well as those who have editing privileges. So, this really is a great group collaboration tool — kind of like Dropbox.
The service is $5/user/month, or $50/user/year, and comes with 10GB of storage, along with 500MB of storage for each group user. Google Drive has been around for a long time, and this relatively new feature just puts Drive one step above the rest. Other collaboration services to check out include Dropbox (a similar service) and Basecamp.
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Google drive is stable, cheap and easy to use making it a good solution for small businesses. It is so stable that even small outage cause agitation and it has less vulnerabilities. Most important feature is hosting a web page for free. The basic steps of Google drive are:-
- Uploading an HTML file to Google drive.
- Finding the file’s document ID from the sharing button.
- Inserting that into the address “googledrive.com/host/ID/” where ID is the document ID.
Benefits and Drawbacks:
The benefits of Google Drive are:
- It saves the difficulty of relying on an unknown company’s policies and having to renew user’s domain.
- It is a good solution for those who need to host a company bracket or get a portfolio site.
- The Privacy of user can be controlled using Google Drive’s sharing features.
The Drawbacks of Google Drive are:
- User can navigate to the site with a 60 character URL but once anyone arrives at the site it displays about 100 characters.
- It is difficult to remember an address that is long.
- The one who has less technical knowledge won’t know how to use TinyURL to put that in a tweet.
- There are gTLD services which provide a shorter URL to redirect to the Google Drive site’s landing page but can affect the site’s trustworthiness.
- Using webmaster tools user can’t set level domain settings, so few tools may not be accessible.
- For professional business paying for site hosting with high traffic is costly.