How to Setup WordPress on Google Cloud

How to Setup WordPress on Google Cloud

How to Setup WordPress on Google Cloud

Today we have many hosting solutions available for WordPress hosting. For this reason, it might be hard to decide what’s the best option for your website. We can classify hosting in a few categories shared, dedicated, managed, VPS ( Virtual private server ), and cloud hosting. In this article, we are looking at Google Cloud hosting. But before we set up WordPress on Google Cloud let’s see if it’s the right choice for your website. To do that first, we are going to see what cloud computing is. Then we are going to see what are the advantages of running WordPress websites on the Google Cloud Platform (Compute Engine).

What is cloud computing?

Cloud computing or simply the cloud refers to servers that are accessed over the internet. Those servers are located in data centers all over the world.

So how does cloud computing work? Two things make the cloud work so well. First is many servers working together as one unit. The second thing is virtualization technology. When you use Google Cloud you are going to create virtual machines. Virtual machines share server resources and there can be many virtual machines running on one server at the time. For us, the end-users of those virtual machines act just like real servers. We can install an operating system of our choice and any applications we want.

There are a few cloud hosting providers that you can use. The most popular ones are:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Google Cloud: Cloud Computing
  • Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing Services
  • DigitalOcean: The developer cloud

Today we are going to show you how to host the website with Google Cloud: Cloud Computing. That said you should check other platforms to see what is a better option for your business.

Advantages of running WordPress websites on The Cloud

The main advantage of using cloud computing is that you don’t have to manage physical servers yourself. Instead, you are just renting server space from big cloud companies. Setting up and maintaining WordPress installation on the cloud requires a bit of knowledge and work. So it might not be for everyone.

When using cloud computing you are paying only for the resources you use. And in many cases, it’s going to be less expensive than other types of hosting. That makes sense since you are cutting out the middlemen. There is a good chance that if you get shared or managed hosting that your site is actually on some cloud. This is because hosting companies also use the cloud. So you are paying for cloud plus all the expenses of the hosting provider managing your WordPress website. If you have the technical knowledge to set up everything it’s probably worth going this route. It’s also worth mentioning that Google gives $300 free credit that you can use for one year for their cloud.

The performance of the cloud is much better and you have more control over it. Dedicated hosting might be better in some cases but still, the cloud is one of the best options for bigger sites.

Installing WordPress on Google Cloud

If you did not create Google Cloud account so far you should do so. The nice thing is that when you sign up you get $300 to spend on Google Cloud Platform over the next 12 months. Also, there is no auto-charge after the trial ends. So you can test Google Cloud WordPress to see if it is the right choice for your website. This also means that you can run your WordPress site on google for one year for free. However, this will depend on how much traffic you get to your website. If you get a lot of traffic you might use up free credit in less than one year.

Page showing how to get $300 free credit for Google Cloud platform

1. Launching a WordPress Instance

Before we can make WordPress Instance we need to create a project. Access your Google Cloud Console and from the drop-down menu make a new project. You will need to fill in all the information name, billing account, and app engine location and so on. Accept terms and conditions and click create.

Google Cloud Console How to Create Project

Go to API Manager > Library, then under the Google Cloud APIs section click on Cloud Deployment Manager API. And then finally, click Enable.

Enable Cloud Deployment Manager API

Next, go to cloud.google.com then click the CONSOLE button in the upper right corner of the screen click.

How to open Google Cloud Console

Then click on the Marketplace link in the left-hand of the screen. In the past, this option was called a cloud launcher.

How to open Google Cloud Marketplace

On the next page under Virtual machines select WordPress Google Click to Deploy. In case, that you don’t see this virtual machine you can use the search bar at the top of the page. Just type WordPress Google Click to Deploy into the box and you should see WordPress as an option.

For this tutorial, we are using the Click to Deploy a version of WordPress. However, you have other options like Bitnami WordPress. You can even set up WordPress by hand instead of using WordPress deployer. That process is a bit more complicated but you have more control over how everything is set up.

Selecting WordPress Click to Deploy from Google Cloud Marketplace

Then just click on the LAUNCH button.

Launch Click to Deploy WordPress instance

2. Configuring WordPress Instance

On the next page, we are going to configure our WordPress installation. First, fill in the Deployment name this can be anything you want. Then select a zone you should select the zone based on where your audience is located. For Machine Type, we are going to use a micro instance for this tutorial. This cloud VM is the smallest instance that you can create. It can be used for testing or smaller websites.

Configuring WordPress Instance 1

Scroll down a bit and fill in the rest of the information. Add your Administrator Email. Check install phpMyAdmin. For disk type, it’s much better if you select SSD. Make sure to check Allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic under Firewall. And finally, click on Deploy.

Configuring WordPress Instance 2

Once the instance is created you can do a quick test. Copy site address and paste it to a new tab you should see the WordPress blog home page.

Testing WordPress instance

You can also login to the WordPress dashboard. First, copy the admin password.

How to get WordPress admin password

Then add /wordpress/wp-admin/ after IP address. Type admin as username and the password you copied from Google Cloud.

WordPress admin login page

WordPress Dashboard

Congratulations you have installed WordPress on Google Cloud. But there are still more things to do. Next, we are going to install phpMyAdmin.

3. Install phpMyAdmin

First, we need to change the password for MySQL. To do this first copy the command mysqladmin -u root -p password from the black box under Change your MySQL root password.

Copy CMD command for changing MySQL password

Then click on the SSH dropdown menu and click on View gcloud command.

How to open gcloud command window

The gcloud command-line popup will appear next click on RUN IN CLOUD SHELL.

Run in cloud shell

Paste the command you copied in the previous step to the shell.

Paste MySQL command in to CMD window

Copy MySQL password and paste it in to shall then enter the new password.

Copy MySQL Password and-paste in to command window

Open phpMyAdmin and enter root as user name and the new password you just created as a password.

phpMyAdmin page - wordpress google cloud

Ok, now you have an essential setup.

4. Setting up Static IP

First, go to VPC network/External IP addresses.

How to Open VPC network/External IP addresses - wordpress google cloud

Then from the Type drop-down menu select Static IP.

How to select static IP - wordpress google cloud

Setting up Google Cloud DNS and using your Domain Name

Go to Networking and select cloud DNS.

From Networking menu open Cloud DNS page

Create a DNS zone. Add a name and make a DNS name.

How to create a DNS zone - wordpress google cloud

Next, go to the domain registrant and edit your name server info. Also, you need to add A/AAAA record and a CNAME record

How to add AAAAA record and a CNAME record -wordpress google cloud

Conclusion

Congratulations you have set up a WordPress site on Google Cloud. However, that are more things you can do. We have a few bonus tips that you might want to do.

Bonus tips

Migrating WordPress installation to Google Cloud.

If you already have an existing WordPress website you can use a migration plugin for WordPress. This is an easy way to transfer your website to Google Cloud.

Enable Google Cloud Monitoring

You might want to enable monitoring so you can follow your website performance. This way you can see if your website load is too high and you need to upgrade your VM.

Improving performance for larger websites

If you have a larger website you might want to look into Google Cloud CDN and load balancer to improve load times. Google Cloud can handle anything but you need to take extra steps. If you optimize your WordPress installation your site will perform well even if there are large traffic spikes.

Configure SSL Certificates

You don’t have to set up SSL but it is a good idea. If you set up SSL certificates your site will use HTTPS a secure version of the HTTP protocol. Keeping your website secure is important so it is worth an extra effort.

Get an email address for your website

In case, you were wondering if you can get an email with Google Cloud you can. There are two options you can set up a mail server on VM or get G Suite. Setting up a mail server is a bit more involved if you want easier options G Suite is perfect. Not only that you get mail you also get access to all Google apps.

Hosting WordPress on Google App Engine

As an alternative to creating virtual machines on Google Cloud, you can use the Google App Engine. The setup process is a bit more involved and requires knowledge of Linux terminal commands. That said it’s a flexible way of hosting WordPress that might be good in some cases.

For more WordPress tutorials check the rest of our blog. If you have further questions write them in the comment section below. Have a great day!