If you are looking for a place to quickly host your websites but don’t have access to any web server, Google Drive is a great alternative. You can use Google Drive to host basic websites or even complex JavaScript based web apps. You may upload and publish any kind of static content* on your website including HTML pages, images, CSS, icons, audio & video files including podcasts.

Free Web Hosting with Google Drive

If you are using the old Google Drive, you can easily host websites on Drive. First upload your website files to a folder inside Google Drive, set the sharing permissions of that folder as public, open the index.html file in the Google Docs viewer and then click the “Preview” link to get the URL of your website.

However if you have migrated to the new Google Drive, you’ll be disappointed to learn that Google has dropped the web hosting feature. You can still create public folders inside Drive but the option to publish that folder as a website is gone.

No worries as there’s still an easy workaround that will let you publish your websites on to Google Drive in a single step.

Also see: Host your Website on Google App Engine

From Desktop to Google Drive in one step

Just put all your website file in a zip file – or you may use this zip file – and then click here to upload that zip file to your Google Drive. Once the file has uploaded, the tool will generate the public URL of your website in the same step.

If you are using the tool for the first time, you may have to click the “Authorize” button since the script needs permission to upload that zip file to your Google Drive.

Internally, this little Google Script is doing all the hard work for you. When you click upload, the app creates a folder inside your Google Drive, changes the sharing permissions to public (anyone can view, you can edit) and then generates the googledrive.com URL using the ID of the new folder.

There are a few things you need to know before hosting websites on Google Drive. One, you need to have an index.html as that file will be served when someone tries to access the homepage of your site. Second, Google Drive websites have a URL structure like googledrive.com/host/ and there’s no way to change the default URL.

Google Drive Websites on Custom Web Domain

If you are hosting a website on Google Drive but wish to serve it under your own custom domain, that’s not possible yet but you can follow a workaround.

I’ll show an example here. This website is hosted on Google Drive and here’s the same website but hosted on a different web domain. The trick is easy – you just have to wrap your Google Drive website URL inside an IFRAME tag as shown in the following snippet:

<html>
 <head>
  <style>
    body { margin:0; padding:0; }
    iframe { position: absolute; height: 100%; width: 100%; }
  </style>
  <title>Google Drive Website</title>
 </head>    
 <body>
   <iframe src="https://googledrive.com/host/ABCD/" frameborder="0"></iframe>
 </body>
</html>

The height and width attributes of the IFRAME tag should be set to 100% for the Google Drive website to occupy the entire screen. The only downside is that the URL in the address bar won’t change if you open a different page of the website since you are now browsing inside an embedded page. ?

Google Drives serves your website over HTTPS and thus can also be used for hosting custom Facebook Pages since Facebook requires that custom pages are only served over secure HTTP.

[*] Google Drive cannot be used for serving dynamic pages like those generated through PHP scripts on a WordPress website.