5-Minute Tech Tip: Free Website Hosting from Google

How to Get Free Web Hosting From Google

Alright, so let me preface, this isn't website hosting like you'd need for a website like this one, but if you have to host a simple page or an image or file, this trick works beautifully.

  • First, you need a Google Drive account. Create a folder in it, and upload an image or an HTML file or a whole handful of HTML files and images and javascripts that all work together to make a website.
  • Share the folder. When the "Share with others" dialog box comes up, click Advanced.
  • In the "Who has access" area, for "Specific people can access" click Change.
  • Click On - Public on the web. Make sure that "Access: Anyone (no sign-in required) is set to Can view.
  • Once you hit Save you'll get a "Link to share" dialog box, this URL is what you need. Copy and paste it into Notepad or something so you can break it down and edit it.

I got this:

  • https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B9lXVz76Ck_1fmZTRXJvYnQ3Vy1LUHZuOGxUUTQyRzZOOGdpanF6YThsdXl5ZVFTSmhldzQ&usp=sharing

See that long string of characters after the "id=" and before the &usp=sharing at the end? Copy that part.

  • Paste it to the end of this: http://googledrive.com/host/

So in my example, you'll end up with this, go ahead and click on it!

Yes yes, nothing fancy, that's not the point! Now if you need to host something online for free you can remember this trick.

Of course, you can do this for individual files as well. The URL dissection is a little different, there is no "id=...." but you can quickly see the string of characters you should grab. Try it!  Click on a file and look at the sharing info, grab the URL and dissect and reassemble using the http://googledrive.com/host/ URL.

This image is hosted this way.

In a day or two I'll show you how to use this trick to set up a rich signature in Google Mail.