Does Google offer web hosting?
Well, not really. But in a way, they actually do, and it’s free to use. Simply visit http://sites.google.com and signup for an account.
We actually created one just to test it out using their “Project Wiki” pre-made theme:
It took all of about 5 seconds to pick the website and theme we wanted. We could even map a domain to it in order to use our own domain name if we wanted. The best part is, it’s probably hosted on a pretty robust server given Google’s reputation for uptime.
This service is perfect to use if you know nothing about web design, and you want to create a simple website for your club, small business, or organization. It’s easy to edit the pages and “widgets” you can add into the site, some of which have some pretty neat functionality.
Based on our experience with Google, it probably integrates well into their other products like analytics and adsense as well.
What are the drawbacks though?
- No control over server software or settings like you would have with a dedicated server. So forget this if you want to install a script or run something database driven.
- Space limitations: 100 mb per site (as of time this was posted)
- Max attachment size: 20 mb
- A long list of unsupported file types
What are some paid alternatives to Google Web Hosting?
My experience with imSMB has been exceptional. They have far exceeded my expectations so far. In a desperate attempt to get some of our websites off of Mediatemple’s terrible Grid service, I signed up for an unlimited shared hosting account at imSMB, for around $8 / month, and started monitoring the service’s uptime using Pingdom. For a couple of months now those sites have been running problem free with no downtime. imSMB’s support has also been exceptional the few times we needed to call, by answering the phone quickly and having a knowledgeable tech on the line.
- WiredHub.net’s Shared Accounts
WiredHub has long been our favorite web host, and their support has been consistently excellent since we signed up with them years ago. They offer shared hosting that is competitive in price to Mediatemple’s.
What about FREE alternatives to Google Web Hosting?
I don’t have any experience in dealing with the following free hosts, but here’s a list to start with. It would be prudent to Google some reviews on them and see what kind of limitations they have. Most often in the past, free web hosts like Geocities would pay for their service by framing your site with an ad banner that they got the revenue from.