i'm in the cloud

welcome to the cloud!

i decided to move my website hosting to GCP (Google Cloud Platform) back in November. “Where was the blog post?“ you may ask. Well unfortunately, sitting in my drafts folder, collecting digital dust. I’ll mention now, this post is not a *”how to”*, rather a generalized overview of my experience.

the decision to go with GCP was based on a couple of factors: pricing, existing familiarity with Google’s products and general curiosity. And after visiting Google’s Chicago Headquarters in the West Loop last Fall, to speak with them further on cloud rendering support, I was very confident in their platform.

let’s start with pricing. GCP offers so many different products and price tiers for webhosting. For my needs, a storage bucket was more than adequate. The pros of a storage bucket are low maintenance and cost. With a bucket, you only pay for storage (per GB) and network access to the bucket. This means if you’re not hosting Gigabytes of data and have very few visitors per month, it’s practically free. One downside is there is no SSL support, which is a bummer now entering 2018 with Google’s announcement late last year regarding non-SSL sites. The other downside is that buckets only support static sites using only HTML, CSS, Javascript. This didn’t really pertain to my situation, but I felt was worth noting.

the documentation for GCP is very comprehensive but it also got to be overwhelming with the shear amount of information. Especially when trying to figure out what is relevant to the project’s goal. Though, once I was familiar with the lingo, it got way easier to navigate and search for relevant information. On top of the documentation, there is a slew of blog posts and Youtube videos available out there of fellow cloud enthusiast who speak more about hosting websites with GCP.

naked domains!

one of the minor issues I ran into was the naked domain not resolving the host. The bucket I had was only setup with the triple-w for SEO optimization Google recommends in their SEO documentation. I really wanted to avoid having to create another bucket to do a redirect. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my DNS provider, Namesilo provides a DNS WWW-redirect template for this exact purpose.


now that everything is in the cloud, and somewhat working, the next steps are to get setup with an SSL certificate for HTTPS and find a way (hopefully utilizing python) to automate a lot of the site generation. But that is a post for another day…