The retirement of free web hosting options from Dropbox and Google Drive has sent a lot of folks scrambling to find a good replacement. Many folks have followed Tom Kuhlmann’s instructions for moving their elearning courses and portfolios over to Amazon S3.

I’d like to introduce you to another great option: Google Cloud Platform.

The free tier gives you 5GB of storage with additional space available at a minimal cost.

We’ll walk through these steps for setting everything up and sharing your courses and portfolios on the Google Cloud Platform:

  • Create an account
  • Create a bucket
  • Upload your files
  • Share your files

Creating Your Account

  1. Sign-up for a free Google Cloud Platform account at https://cloud.google.com/free/
  2. Create a Cloud Platform project on the Manage Resources page: https://console.cloud.google.com/cloud-resource-manager
  3. Enable billing for your project.
    https://support.google.com/cloud/answer/6293499#enable-billing

Creating a bucket

To create a bucket:

  1. Open the Cloud Storage browser in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser
  2. Click Create bucket.
  3. In the Create bucket dialog, specify:
    • The Name of your bucket.
    • The Storage class for your bucket: Multi-Regional.
    • The Location of your bucket: United States.
  4. Click Create.
  5. If successful, you are taken to the bucket’s page with the text “There are no objects in this bucket.”

Make your bucket public

You can change access settings on a file by file basis but for e-learning courses comprised of hundreds of individual files, setting the bucket to be public by default is a worthwhile time-saver.

  1. Open the Cloud Storage browser in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser
  2. Click the drop-down menu associated with the bucket that you want to make public.
  3. The drop-down menu appears as three vertical dots to the far right of the bucket’s row.
  4. Choose Edit bucket permissions.
  5. In the Add members field, enter allUsers.
  6. In the Select a role drop down, select the Storage sub-menu, and click the Storage Object Viewer option.
  7. Click Add.

Uploading your course files

The next step is uploading the course files to your bucket:

  1. Open the Cloud Storage browser in the Google Cloud Platform Console.
    https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser
  2. In the list of buckets, click on the bucket you created.You may want to organize your bucket by creating folders for each separate course.
  3. Click Upload files.
    (Alternatively, you can drag your files into this window)
  4. In the file dialog, browse to the desired file and select it.

After the upload completes, you should see the file name, size, type, and last modified date in the bucket.

When you’re all done you can use your public link to share your project:

https://storage.googleapis.com/miketaylor/IDtheft/story.html

Additional supporting information

Costs

Free tier info: https://cloud.google.com/free/

See the Monitoring your storage charges tip for details on what charges may be incurred when hosting a static website, and see the Pricing page for details on Cloud Storage costs.

FAQs

https://cloud.google.com/free/docs/frequently-asked-questions

Sharing individual files

To share publicly the files that you want to serve:

  1. Open the Cloud Storage browser.
    https://console.cloud.google.com/storage/browser
  2. In the list of buckets, click on the bucket that contains the objects you uploaded.
  3. For each object you want to share publicly, click the checkbox in the Share publicly column.

If successful, a link titled Public link appears next to the checkbox. This is the link you click to view your content. For example, for a storyline course, you’ll click the public link for story.html.

Migrating from Amazon S3

https://cloud.google.com/storage/docs/migrating