After I got into learning about the Google Cloud AI offering, I saw that they had a lot more things I could take advantage of.  I always wanted to create my own website after I’ve done it for others several times already and I thought I could take my learning and experimentation to the next level by building it from the ground up. 

I’ll talk about the things I did at a high level, but if you are interested in trying this yourself I’ve found that there are many tutorials out there as well as Google even offering a “One Click” type of service.  Google’s service is like many others out there, but you have to pay more than I did!  I estimate that hosting my little site is going to only cost me a few bucks a year and that’s just to cover the cost of the static IP.  Why is this?  Google gives you quite a bit for free under their Google Free Tier.

So because I was interested in trying and fiddling around with stuff, I went about the “build from scratch” path.  This was fun and there were lots of things I learned along the way, but know that if you do this you are responsible for all of the things a paid service provides you, like backups, updates, recovering from critical problems, scaling, etc. 

If I wanted to create a commercial website I would not be doing it this way.  One of my favorite hosting partners has been Siteground. While there are lower cost alternatives out there, Siteground offered a lot of tools, reliability and great support whenever I’ve used them.  Enough with the commercial, what did I do?

  1. Create Google Cloud Account and Add in new Virtual Machine
  2. Install Debian 10 Linux
  3. Configure Memory allocated and added a Swap File as the basic Google Cloud VM is pretty low on RAM
  4. Install Webmin
  5. Add a new domain with Google Domains and set it to my website and email
  6. Install the rest of the LAMP stack with is Apache 2, MariaDB (MySQL clone) and PHP 7.3
  7. Setup Maria DB
  8. Install WordPress and configure
  9. Add in Let’s Encrypt SSL
  10. Security Setup and Tuning
  11. Resolve permissions issues
  12. Install Divi onto WordPress
  13. Start working!

As you can see, there are a lot of steps here and it took several hours to do as I was learning and trying stuff along the way.  It was good to brush off my administration and Linux knowledge and just plain fun to build something technical.  The next things I plan to do is build out this website and hopefully get into some interesting data visualization items. 

If you have any questions about the above or want some links to resources I used, please Contact Me.  If you are like me and wanted to learn something new, please try this out.  You can do this on other VM platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft’s Azure as well.  LMK your experiences with these platforms!