Your complete guide to Google Cloud Web Hosting: Overview, tips, and FAQsBy Lawrence Dy
When it comes to creating websites that help your clients achieve their business goals, you need to ace both style and substance. Your website projects can’t only look good: to drive conversions, they also have to perform well consistently. Choosing a reliable web hosting provider is one of the most important decisions you can make for creating a website that satisfies the needs of today’s internet users. While there are lots of choices on the market, they’re not all created equal. Luckily, you don’t have to shop around too much: Google Cloud web hosting is more than up to the task.
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In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this leading web hosting provider, including how it works and why you might want to consider it over other options. We’ll also discuss some tips for the best way to integrate Google Cloud web hosting into your agency’s workflow and how to manage a growing portfolio of client websites easily. If you’re ready to scale your agency with faster, more secure websites, read on.
Table of Contents
- Why good web hosting matters
- What is Google Cloud web hosting?
- Google Cloud hosting vs. other providers
- Increased website speed and performance
- Improved website security and reliability
- Advanced tools and features for website management
- Lower costs compared to traditional hosting solutions
- Using Vendasta’s web builder for Google Cloud Platform web hosting
- Get to know Vendasta’s web builder
- Vendasta and Google Cloud integration
- Optimize your agency operations with Vendasta’s Website Pro
- Scale with white-label web design services
- Frequently asked questions
Why good web hosting matters
Parallax zoom scrolling, 3D design, navigation bar styles—there are so many design and UX elements to consider when building a website, it’s easy to overlook web hosting as an afterthought. When clients approach your agency with a project, they’re more likely to want to discuss how their website looks than the less exciting, but fundamentally critical, question of which hosting provider to use. But if a website doesn’t run properly, it doesn’t matter if it has a beautiful design: visitors will bounce, and the site won’t achieve the business’s goals.
So, why is it so important to have good website hosting?
Determines website performance
Web hosting providers are responsible for storing a website's data and serving it to web browsers as visitors navigate to the site. If a website is hosted on a slow server, it can significantly impact its loading speed, leading to a poor user experience.
Website visitors are a finicky bunch: nearly half of them expect webpages to load in 2 seconds or less (Vendasta). The longer a page takes to load, the more visitors will bounce. When this happens, it means that all the effort and resources put into getting that visitor to navigate to the website are wasted because the site didn’t perform well enough. SEO campaigns, PPC ads, and positive word-of-mouth can get visitors to a site, but once they arrive, the site performance has to be good enough to keep the visitors on their journey.
Web hosting is a critical layer of protection against cybersecurity attacks. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may not think of themselves as particularly at risk for cyberattacks, because attacks on big, well-known companies tend to make headlines. However, cybersecurity threats such as malware, hacking, and DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly common, and small businesses are the victims of about 43% of these attacks (Embroker).
These can result in financial and legal liabilities that are not only a massive headache for SMBs, but can even be serious enough to put them out of business. Needless to say, it's crucial to protect your client websites from these risks.
Web hosting providers offer different security features, such as SSL certificates, firewalls, and regular backups. These features can help protect your websites from potential threats and keep sensitive data secure. Choosing a web hosting provider with robust security features can give your clients—and you—peace of mind.
Your choice of web hosting provider will impact how effortlessly your clients can scale their businesses without disrupting their operations. For example, if a website experiences a sudden spike in traffic, using the right web hosting provider will ensure the site can handle the increased demand without affecting website performance.
Impacts the support you can access
Tech support is one of those things that doesn’t seem particularly important until you need it, then it becomes extremely important. Failing to pick a web hosting provider with 24/7 support means that if you run into any technical issues, they won’t impact your client’s business for long because you can get them resolved fast.
What is Google Cloud web hosting?
Google Cloud web hosting is a more efficient, secure, and reliable alternative to traditional hosting. With traditional hosting, websites are saved on individual servers. This means that all the files and data associated with a website are stored on that one server, which is responsible for delivering—serving—the content to visitors whenever they request it. Businesses can opt for the expensive option of having a dedicated server to themselves, or for more affordable options like shared servers.
Google Cloud web hosting and other cloud hosting providers differ from this traditional model by using a network of servers to host each website. This network is also referred to as a cloud, and it’s effectively used to store data for a single site across a range of locations. This solves many of the problems websites can run into with traditional hosting:
- Speed: since a website can be stored on multiple servers at once, users can be served from the closest server to them. If one web server on Google Cloud goes down or is experiencing high demand, the “cloud” can quickly serve the website from another server.
- Scalability: When using a traditional dedicated or shared server, a surge in traffic—even from other websites sharing the same server—can impact performance. With cloud hosting, it’s possible to scale to meet demand in real-time.
- Security: A server going down or being attacked by malware could compromise the security of a website using traditional hosting. With cloud hosting, the problem can be contained to the single server and a website can still run safely and securely since other servers are available.
With Google Cloud Platform web hosting, users can access a suite of solutions for hosting their websites, depending on the complexity of their site. These solutions are delivered through Google’s global network infrastructure and provide fast, reliable, secure, and affordable hosting to businesses of all sizes.
So, what’s so special about Google Cloud web hosting, and why should you consider it over other cloud hosting providers for your client websites? Let’s take a look.
Google Cloud hosting vs. other providers
Google Cloud web hosting isn’t the only provider in town. Other major tech companies, including Amazon and Microsoft, also offer similar services through AWS and Microsoft Azure, respectively. However, Google stands out in important ways that go beyond geeky technical details that don’t matter to your clients.
1. Increased website speed and performance
We mentioned that when you host a website on Google Cloud, hosting services are delivered through their global network. For cloud hosting to work, the provider needs a vast network of interconnected servers to make the magic happen for visitors all over the world. Google’s state-of-the-art infrastructure of servers is the most up-to-date globally, and is continually growing, giving users tangible benefits when it comes to website speed and performance.
A globally distributed network translates into faster websites because the physical distance between a user and the nearest cloud computing region impacts the speed and performance of the site they're trying to reach. Plus, more data centers mean that each website or application can be stored in multiple places at once, further improving the user’s experience of a site’s speed and performance.
For your SMB clients, these aren’t just a matter of convenience: they directly translate into better conversion rates. Since 40 percent of customers will abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, each extra fraction of a second in speed can materially impact their SEO and overall bottom line (Vendasta).
2. Improved website security and reliability
Given the serious risk SMBs face when it comes to cyberattacks, it’s essential to choose a web hosting provider that takes security seriously. Google is constantly working on maintaining and improving the security of its products in an ever-changing digital landscape, and its stellar reputation in this domain is well-earned. Here are some of the ways Google Cloud web hosting ensures security and reliability for businesses using the platform and users accessing sites hosted by Google:
It takes a multi-layered approach
The Google Cloud Platform takes a multi-layered approach to security which includes physical (infrastructure) security, network security, application security, supply chain security, and data security.
Physical security includes measures such as 24/7 surveillance, biometric authentication, and access controls. Network security comprises features like firewalls, encryption of data in transit, and cloud load balancing which helps to prevent distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. Application and data security covers more familiar features like SSL certificates, encryption, and regular security audits.
All of these layers working in tandem mean that businesses can be confident they have the best available protection in the event of an attack.
It uses global data centers
The infrastructure discussed above isn’t just helpful in terms of speed and performance: it also impacts the reliability of the hosting service, ensuring that even in the event of a significant outage in a region, like what might be caused by a natural disaster, websites will still remain online.
Patches and updates are frequent
Cybersecurity risks aren’t static, and neither is the Google Cloud Platform web hosting approach to handling them. Security updates, performance improvements, and bug fixes are very regular, giving users peace of mind that their hosting provider is staying one step ahead of malicious actors.
3. Advanced tools and features for website management
From clients with basic requirements to those who require the most advanced solutions on the market, Google Cloud web hosting can meet their needs. Here are some of the tools and features for website management that are available when you host a website on Google Cloud:
- Uptime monitoring: Website owners can receive an alert if there is ever an issue impacting their website being live.
- Easy setup: Preconfigured click-to-deploy solutions enable website owners to set up their hosting instantly, and configure it to further meet their needs later.
- Cloud Console: A web-based management console that provides a user-friendly interface for managing cloud resources.
- Website domains: Website owners can register and manage domain names directly through Google.
- Integration with Google Workspace: Users can enjoy built-in email forwarding to custom alias emails and other benefits of integration with the rest of the Google Workspace suite of solutions. Google Workspace resellers will especially benefit from this integration.
- Robust developer tools: Developers seeking tools for software development can access solutions like Cloud SDK through Google Cloud Platform web hosting.
- Storage and database services: Users can access secure and scalable storage and database solutions through Google Cloud web hosting.
- Cloud identity: Business owners and administrators can have granular control over access management and authentication to control user access to Google Cloud resources.
4. Lower costs compared to traditional hosting solutions
Google Cloud web hosting can offer lower costs compared to traditional hosting solutions for several reasons. Let’s check out a few of the ways that using web hosting in Google Cloud can reduce hosting costs over all:
Google Cloud web hosting enables users to pay only for what they actually use. Users can get an idea of what their cloud hosting will cost by checking out Google Cloud’s price list and using their pricing calculator. Pay-as-you-Go can be more cost-effective than traditional hosting solutions, which generally require customers to pay for a set amount of resources, regardless of whether they use them all at the end of each month.
Resources can be added or removed on-demand, depending on website traffic. This ensures that websites have enough resources to handle traffic spikes, and customers can be confident they are getting adequate hosting and maintenance services without being over-charged or having to micromanage their hosting solution.
Network service tiers
Google was the first cloud hosting provider to offer network service tiers. This enabled users to choose the tier that is best for them while providing a less expensive—though still excellent—option for those who don’t need the most high-performance network.
No hardware costs
Google Cloud web hosting eliminates the need for customers to purchase, maintain, or rent hardware like servers and networking equipment.
When it comes to cloud hosting, redundancy is a good thing. It refers to the duplication of data across the network of servers. While traditional hosting solutions require customers to purchase more hardware to enable redundancy, it’s all included with Google Cloud web hosting.
Using Vendasta’s web builder for Google Cloud Platform web hosting
Becoming a web hosting business and delivering incredible websites to your clients requires both a best-in-class hosting solution like the Google Cloud Platform, and a website builder that enables you to bring your website designs to life. Ideally, these two should work together. With Vendasta’s Website Pro, you can get exactly that.
Get to know Vendasta’s web builder
Vendasta's web builder, Website Pro, makes it easy to create pixel-perfect website builds of your clients’ briefs, even if you have little to no coding experience. This makes it possible to deliver professional, beautiful websites at scale because each individual project can be completed efficiently. Here’s what to know about Website Pro:
It’s a drag-and-drop builder
Website Pro offers a simple drag-and-drop builder that allows users to create their WordPress website just by dragging and placing different elements into the design interface. Even skilled coders and web developers will prefer the speed and ease with which they can create websites to spec. Custom code can also be incorporated where needed to create fully customized sections, but for most website projects, the elements built into Website Pro are more than enough for the job.
It makes responsive design easy
Nowadays, responsive websites aren’t just a nice-to-have: they’re essential. Within Website Pro, it’s easy to see how a website will appear on different screen sizes, making it easy to ensure that every website project looks great regardless of which device it’s being accessed from.
It includes customizable templates
Users can start from a completely blank template, or speed up the web design process by using one of the customizable, vertical-specific templates available for free with the website builder. There are templates for any kind of business, and these can easily be customized to match your clients' branding and needs.
One-click ecommerce integration
Turning a WordPress website into an online store powered by WooCommerce can be done in a single click using Vendasta’s website builder. One WooCommerce is activated, users can enter their product catalog data and start selling. Even clients who aren’t primarily ecommerce businesses may want some kind of retail element to their site, and with Website Pro, you can easily offer this solution.
Users can optimize their on-page like meta tags, alt text, and heading tags to improve their chances of appearing at the top of their desired search engine results pages (SERPs). Thanks to the mobile-friendliness and fast speed of Website Pro sites, they can also improve their technical SEO performance, further improving the likelihood of meeting their SEO goals. Cloud brokers can boost their profits—and improve their client’s bottom line—by selling SEO cloud solutions in addition to website services.
It has built-in analytics and reporting
Google Analytics is already built into Website Pro, so no extra steps have to be taken to access valuable, actionable analytics and reports. These can help your clients track their website performance and identity the most impactful areas for improvement, helping them spend resources where they’re most likely to make an impact.
Vendasta and Google Cloud integration
Thanks to the integration of Website Pro with Google Cloud web hosting, you don’t have to worry about complicated setups and DIY integrations. With Vendasta’s web builder, it’s all already set up the minute you start working on a site. This means every website created on the platform can benefit from the speed, security, scalability, and affordability of Google’s cloud hosting solution.
You don’t have to separately log into the Google Cloud Platform to manage your client’s hosting solution. Instead, Website Pro offers a user-friendly, low-maintenance interface with all the developer tools you need available right there in the dashboard. phpMyAdmin, cache management, and backup management are all accessible from the Website Pro overview dashboard. You can also automatically toggle on the use of a content delivery network (CDN) from the dashboard, offering a further boost in site speed and performance with just a click.
Thanks to Website Pro’s integration with Google Cloud web hosting, your client websites will also come with a free, automatically activated secure sockets layer (SSL) certificate. These ensure that your web clients can protect themselves and their customers from data breaches by encrypting sensitive information such as credit card numbers and passwords. They’re also important from an SEO perspective, with Google using SSL certificates as a direct ranking factor.
Optimize your agency operations with Vendasta’s Website Pro
So far, we’ve focused on the benefits of Website Pro for creating beautiful websites, hosted on the best cloud network in the world, for your clients. But as a digital agency, Website Pro offers a suite of benefits that make it easier for you to do your job, even as your client roster grows.
Managing websites can be a time-consuming job, especially when you’re responsible for a long list of them. Just logging into the WordPress dashboard for each client and manually checking with WordPress version, template version, and plugin updates is a tedious task. However, skipping it is a poor practice when it comes to web management: leaving those plugins out of date can create vulnerabilities that scammers can exploit, putting their data at risk.
By using Website Pro, you can optimize your workflow and manage even a lengthy list of websites with ease.
Your secret weapon? The Website Admin dashboard:
This dashboard gives you a birds-eye view of all your websites and makes it possible to make important regular updates with a click, without ever having to navigate to each site. From the dashboard, you’ll be able to see each account name, URL, WordPress version, theme version, and more.
If you have a long list of managed websites, you can filter to see just those that require updates, so you can act quickly and efficiently to get everything up to speed.
Plus, if you do need to head into your client’s WordPress dashboard, you can just click the link in your Admin dashboard to open it up—no login required. When you’re done, head back to the dashboard with another click.
Scale with white-label web design services
The Website Admin dashboard makes things pretty easy, but if you want to scale your agency, Vendasta’s white-label web design services can make it happen. White-label experts will work directly with your clients under your agency’s brand to design websites that meet their briefs.
This means you don’t have to worry about selling more than you can reasonably deliver. Instead, you can focus on landing your clients with the confidence that you have a team behind the scenes who will make it possible to scale effortlessly.
Using white-label design services saves you the difficulty, cost, and potential risk of hiring design talent in-house to build and manage websites. By using white-label services, you’ll only pay when you have a project for the team to work on, instead of being on the hook for salaries regardless of the number of projects you have coming in. You can even resell Website Pro as a DIY white-label solution, giving you the ability to sell to a range of client budgets and needs.
Between the Website Admin dashboard and white-label design services, the only limit to how much your web design agency can scale is how much you can sell.
Frequently asked questions
Is Google Cloud good for web hosting?
Google Cloud is an excellent provider for web hosting. Google Cloud offers a range of cloud hosting options that can offer better performance, scalability, security, and affordability compared to traditional hosting solutions. With features like automatic scaling, load balancing, and a global network of data centers, it can provide reliable and secure hosting for websites of all sizes and types. Plus, Google Cloud has a range of developer tools that make it a great choice even for advanced hosting needs.
How much is Google Cloud web hosting?
Your Google Cloud web hosting price will depend on which network service tier you use, which hosting solution you sign up for, and how many hosting resources you use. Since Google Cloud web hosting uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model, the amount that users pay can vary depending on how much traffic they get and their monthly usage of other resources.