Google Drive Can Host Websites For Free But You Only Have One Year Left To Use The Service

Google Drive Can Host Websites For Free But You Only Have One Year Left To Use The Service

By Aug. 31, 2016, Google will discontinue the free website hosting service available for Drive users. If you just found out about this tool, you only have a year to avail of the service.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan | Getty Images)

Google Drive has a little known feature, the ability to host websites, which is free of charge.

By Aug. 31, 2016, however, Google will discontinue the service. Users who just found out about this tool only have a year to avail of the service.

"Beginning August 31, 2015, web hosting in Google Drive for users and developers will be deprecated. Google Apps customers can continue to use this feature for a period of one year until August 31, 2016, when serving content via googledrive.com/host/doc id will be discontinued," announced Google in a blog post.

Google Drive's free web hosting tool has been around since 2012. However, Google has now decided to pull the plug on the tool due to increased competition. The company revealed that users have better options available to them now, given the fact that several web content hosting tools and services already exist compared to the time Google launched the tool.

Because of this, Google is now looking to discontinue offering the said tool and will instead channel its energy on the core Drive and Google apps experience.

While it can be argued that Google could have made the web hosting tool a paid service and incorporated additional features to make it commercially viable and appealing, it seems the company is happier taking the exit route.

However, with a year to go before the Google Drive web hosting tool becomes defunct, one can still deploy it to host sites that require only basic JavaScript. The tool also has API support for developers.

Those who are currently making use of Drive's free web hosting service can look at shifting to other services such as Amazon's S3 cloud storage or even Dropbox since these offer basic site hosting functionality.

Alternatively, Google Domains will also be able to refer users of Drive to third-party sites that offer website hosting services.