How to Set Up WordPress on Google Cloud Platform’s Free Tier: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Mojo April 7, 2024

How to Set Up WordPress on Google Cloud Platform’s Free Tier: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Setting Up WordPress on Google Cloud Platform’s Free Tier: A Comprehensive Guide

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WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) for building websites and blogs, known for its flexibility, ease of use, and vast ecosystem of plugins and themes. Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a free tier that allows you to host a WordPress site without incurring any costs, making it an attractive option for individuals and small businesses looking to establish an online presence. In this step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up WordPress on Google Cloud Platform’s free tier.

Step 1: Create a Google Cloud Platform Account

If you don’t already have one, you’ll need to create one. Go to the Google Cloud Platform website ( and sign in or create a new account. Google offers a $300 credit for new accounts, which you can use for a wide range of services, including hosting your WordPress site.

Step 2: Create a New Project

Once you’re logged in to your Google Cloud Platform account, navigate to the Cloud Console. In the top left corner, click on the project selector and then click “New Project.” Enter a name for your project and click “Create.” This project will contain all the resources related to your WordPress site.

Step 3: Enable Billing (if necessary)

You’ll need to enable billing to use Google Cloud Platform’s free tier. Don’t worry—Google won’t charge you unless you explicitly upgrade to a paid plan or exceed the free tier limits. Go to the billing section in the Cloud Console, select your project, and follow the prompts to enable billing.

Step 4: Set Up a WordPress Instance

Now that your project is set up and billing is enabled creating a WordPress instance is time. In the Cloud Console, navigate to Compute Engine > VM Instances. Click “Create” to set up a new virtual machine (VM) instance.

  • Name: Enter a name for your instance, such as “WordPress-VM.”
  • Region and Zone: Choose the region and zone where you want to deploy your VM. The free tier includes limited options, so choose accordingly.
  • Machine Type: Select a machine type. The f1-micro instance is included in the free tier and should be sufficient for low-traffic WordPress sites.
  • Boot Disk: Choose a boot disk. Select “Ubuntu” as the operating system and set the size to at least 10GB.
  • Firewall: Allow HTTP and HTTPS traffic to your VM by checking the appropriate boxes under “Firewall.”
  • Click “Create” to create your WordPress instance.

Step 5: Connect to Your WordPress Instance

Once your instance is created, click on the SSH button next to your instance name to open a terminal window and connect to your VM. This will allow you to run commands and configure your WordPress installation.

Step 6: Install LAMP Stack

Before installing WordPress, you must set up a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) stack on your VM. Run the following commands in the terminal window to install Apache, MySQL, and PHP:

  1. Update package list:
   sudo apt update
  1. Install Apache:
   sudo apt install apache2
  1. Install MySQL (MariaDB):
   sudo apt install mariadb-server
  1. Secure MySQL installation (set root password, remove test database, etc.):
   sudo mysql_secure_installation
  1. Install PHP and required modules:
   sudo apt install php libapache2-mod-php php-mysql
  1. Restart Apache for changes to take effect:
   sudo systemctl restart apache2

Step 7: Download and Configure WordPress

Next, download the latest version of WordPress to your VM and configure it for installation:

  1. Download WordPress:
   cd /var/www/html
   sudo wget
   sudo tar -xvzf latest.tar.gz
   sudo mv wordpress/* .
   sudo rm -rf wordpress latest.tar.gz
  1. Set permissions:
   sudo chown -R www-data:www-data /var/www/html/
   sudo chmod -R 755 /var/www/html/
  1. Create a MySQL database and user for WordPress:
   sudo mysql -u root -p
   CREATE DATABASE wordpress;
   CREATE USER 'wordpressuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'your_password';
   GRANT ALL PRIVILEGES ON wordpress.* TO 'wordpressuser'@'localhost';
  1. Rename the WordPress configuration file and update database details:
   cp /var/www/html/wp-config-sample.php /var/www/html/wp-config.php
   sudo nano /var/www/html/wp-config.php

Update the database name, username, password, and other details as per your MySQL configuration.

Step 8: Complete WordPress Installation

Finally, open your web browser and navigate to your VM’s IP address or domain name. You should see the WordPress installation wizard. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation, including setting up your admin account, site title, and other settings.

Step 9: Secure Your WordPress Installation

After installing WordPress, it’s crucial to secure your site to prevent unauthorized access and potential security breaches. Some essential security measures include:

  • Install a Security Plugin: Use a WordPress security plugin to enhance security, monitor for suspicious activity, and implement firewall rules.
  • Keep WordPress Updated: Regularly update WordPress core, themes, and plugins to patch security vulnerabilities.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Use strong, unique passwords for your WordPress admin account, database, and SSH login.
  • Limit Login Attempts: Implement measures to limit the number of login attempts and protect against brute force attacks.
  • Enable HTTPS: Secure your site with HTTPS by installing an SSL certificate.

Step 10: Monitor and Maintain Your WordPress Site

Once your WordPress site is up and running, monitoring its performance, conducting regular backups, and performing maintenance tasks to ensure optimal functionality and security are essential. Consider streamlining these tasks using monitoring tools, backup plugins, and automated maintenance scripts.


Setting up WordPress on Google Cloud Platform’s free tier is a cost-effective way to host your website or blog with the flexibility and scalability of cloud infrastructure. By following this step-by-step guide and implementing best practices for security and maintenance, you can create a reliable and secure WordPress site that meets your needs without breaking the bank.