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How to publish a simple HTML website using Google Drive

Google recently announced a new feature to Google Drive: the ability to host a static web content from a Google drive folder. This now makes it easy to host a simple HTML website from a shared folder in your Google drive account. All you need to do is upload the contents of your website (e.g., images, CSS and even JavaScript) to publicly shared folder, then share the link generated by the Google Drive API with your users.

The Google Developers website has more instructions on using this method to publish content using the built-in API but it’s easy to follow if you are not savvy with the Google SDK and APIs. So with a bit of reading and experimenting i figured it out and decided to write a little tutorial on how to do it.

So here goes:

Requirements:

A webpage or any other HTML content

The HTML can be a simple landing page or a multi-paged site. You are able to link to resources with the root directory. This means you can use CSS and JavaScript to add features such as slideshows and widgets.

A Google Drive account

You really should go get an account if you don’t have on. It provides you with 5GB of online storage, it is free, it’s stored in the “cloud” so you can access from any PC with internet access. You can’t ask for more (besides more space).

A URL shortening service

This is optional but it makes sharing your webpage’s URL easier. Personally i use goo.gl because it ‘really’ shortens URLs but i suggest you use tinyurl, as it allows you to use an ‘alias’. Or you could use your favorite URL shortening service.

Now that you have all above squared-away, let’s begin!

  1. Create a folder in your Google Drive account and share it with the public. This will be the root of your website, and then upload the contents of your website to this folder. You do this either with the Google Drive application or go online and login to your account and use the “upload” button.
  2. Go back to the “Share” dialogue box and copy the link provided in the “Link to share” box. Paste this URL in a notepad, it’s very important and we will need it in the next step.
  3. First, copy and paste this URL “https://googledrive.com/host/” in your notepad also. Second, copy the weird part of the URL (i.e., 0B4b22fkhT6YbSjhFYl11dXYoRW8)you got from Google Drive. Third, append the string you just copied to the URL i gave you in the previous step. When you are finished, your final URL should look like this https://googledrive.com/host/0B4b22fkhT6YbSjhFYl11dXYoRW8
  4. Copy and paste this link in your favorite browser and you should see your website and its contents. You can stop here if you are comfortable with using that long and difficult URL. If not, usegoo.glor tinyurlto get a shorter, friendlier URL.

Caveats

This is not meant to be a webhosting service.

This is not meant to replace dedicated webhosting services such as GoDaddy or JustHost, so don’t go expecting you can use it for a high bandwidth/high traffic website. Instead you can use it for posting your vCard, online resume or a sample of your work.

Coding is limited

Again, because it’s not meant as a dedicated webhosting services, the support programming language is limited. This means you can only use HTML for markup, CSS for styling and JavaScript for programming. So no PHP, Java, Phyton, Ruby or .NET.

You can’t customize your domain name

The reasoning for this is the same, as with others. Your URL is limited to one provided or the one you got from the link shortening service. However, as a work around you can register your domain name with a registrar such GoDaddy and link it to the one you got from Google Drive.

That’s, it! If you need a solution with more options, i suggest you buy a dedicated webhosting package.

Here is a sample of a simple webpage I created using this method

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 How to publish a simple HTML website using Google Drive
Kemory Grubb - is a freelance graphic/web developer from the "country" of Hanover, Jamaica. His friends gave him the name "weezy", because of his expertise in anything computer related. He spends his days experimenting with HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, LAMP, WAMP,Py, MySQL, .NET, SDKs, APIs Ps, Ai, Dw, Id, Ae, Fl, Me, etc, etc... and then there is his collection of avi, mkv, mp4, wmv. mp3, jpg, png, doc, docx, txt, exe, msi, etc, etc... You would be here for a while if i were to list all of them. You can check out his website @ wzymedia.com
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