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How to Host Website on Google App Engine (Appspot) for Free

You can use Google App Engine to host your website for free. Your website will be given a sub-domain of App Engine which you can change with your custom domain if you want to do so. But if wish to use App Engine for absolutely free than stick using the sub-domain (for example - hackersthiefstwo.appspot.com). Some of plus point of using Google App Engine for hosting your website and app with GAE is that it will be served using Google's own servers and data centers.Yes, it is free with very few limitations. You will get 1 GB of storage space for your images and web-page files and 1 GB of bandwidth per day. If you think that you will not use more than 1 GB of storage space and you don't receive daily visitors which will use your bandwidth more than 1 GB per day than you can use this for free. If you will exceed that quota than you can pay a little for more space.

How to Host Website on Google App Engine Appspot for Free

With a web hosting company, you actually buy or rent some space on their server for your web-pages and files. You will use FTP to upload your files to the server. You know Google App Engine also works in similar manner. For getting started you will need to download Python and Google App-Engine SDK that I will provide you a little later in this post. If you wish to use Google App Engine to host your CSS files and Web-pages than follow some simple steps to create an app.
  • At first visit GAE and fill the required fields.
  • You will be asked to write a Unique Application Identifier. Just enter a unique name of your choice. Let's say you give a name such as hackersthiefstwo than your site will be given a sub-domain name of hackersthiefstwo.appspot.com. Just choose a name and follow the next step.
  • Now you will have to write an Application Title. The title should be more than 6 character.
  • Choose Open to all Google account users and than click on "Create Application" button.
  • Now to begin uploading your web pages and other files you will not to download Python and Google App Engine SDK.
  • You can download the Python MSI installer from here. Download the latest version of Python to ensure proper functioning of this app.
  • Now download the Google App Engine SDK from here.
  • Now download some demo web page files from here. We will test these web pages to see if your website is up and working. You will need to modify app.yaml. To modify app.yaml open it with Notepad and change hackersthiefstwo with the unique Application Identifier name that you were writing in Step 2.
  • After downloading both the application you will need to install them. After installing open Google App Engine.
  • Open App Engine and Navigate to files > Add Existing Application and than browse to the folder where you unzipped or extracted the web page file you downloaded in step 8.
  • After that click on deploy button to start the uploading precesses. You will be asked to enter email address and password. Just enter it and click ok.
  • Great! You web pages and the files will be uploaded to Google App Engine. Check your web-page working live at Unique-Application-Identifier.appspot.com where Unique-Application-Identifier will be your unique application name that you created in step 2 of this post.
If you wish to update the website than modify the files and folders on that folder (folder in which you have kept the web-pages and files and the folder which you selected to use in Google App Engine).
That's All! As you know that your website will be give a sub-domain of appspot.com but you can register a custom domain name from Google Apps. Some users faces difficulties on updating after modification. Those errors can be caused by the following ways.
  1. Canceled the uploading process while uploading.
  2. Wrong username and password combination.
  3. Too slow Internet Connection.
If you have canceled the uploading process in the middle of uploading and you are getting problems like below than follow the steps which is described below.
See the error message below to know if your problem is like this issue.

2013-01-01 01:00:00 Running command: "['C:\\Python27\\pythonw.exe', '-u', 'C:\\Program Files\\Google\\google_appengine\\appcfg.py', '--no_cookies', u'--email=your.mail@gmail.com', '--passin', 'update', 'C:\\your-app-container-parent\\your-app-container']" 04:03 PM Host: appengine.google.com 04:03 PM Application: your-app-name; version: 1 04:03 PM Starting update of app: your-app-name, version: 1 04:03 PM Getting current resource limits. Password for your-email@gmail.com: 04:03 PM Scanning files on local disk. Error 409: --- begin server output --- Another transaction by user your-email is already in progress for app: s~your-app-name, version: 1. That user can undo the transaction with "appcfg rollback". --- end server output --- 2013-03-13 16:03:30 (Process exited with code 1) You can close this window now.

Now to solve this issue on Google App Engine follow some simple steps shown below. Follow these steps only if you are having problem on uploading.
  • Open Command Prompt. You can open Command Prompt by searching "cmd" in Run.
  • Now paste the text given below in the Command Prompt.
CD C:/Program Files (x86)/Google/google_appengine

Note: To paste in Command Prompt you can click on the Menu located in the top-left corner and than select Edit > Paste. After that you will be on App Engine
  • Again, paste the the texts given below on your command prompt.
appcfg.py rollback D:/Folder-Path/Way to App Engine/Your-application.

Just replace "D:/Folder-Path/Way to App Engine/Your-application" in the above text/code with the way to your folder path where the web page files exists.
  • Now you will be asked to enter your email address and password. An important thing to note is that the password that you will enter will not be visible to you, note even the star sign and it will appear that you are not able to write your password but don't worry about this, keep entering your password and after writing the password click enter.
  • If everything works fine than your files will updated and uploaded to Google App Engine.
If the above trick worked for you than keep a bookmark of this page so that you can follow these steps to upload your files to App Engine. Their is an alternative to upload and update the web page files to Google App Engine. Just follow this easy steps to upload your files to GAE.
  • First of all open Notepad and paste the few lines of text/code given below on the Notepad.
CD C:/Program Files (x86)/Google/google_appengine>appcfg.py rollback D:/Folder-Path/Way to App Engine/Your-application

Don't forget to replace "D:/Folder-Path/Way to App Engine/Your-application" with your actual folder path.
  • After modification on the Notepad with your actual folder path save it as .bat extension (for example app.bat).
  • To save it as .bat extension click on File > Save as and than click on "All Files" from the drop-down menu and give it the name app.bat (you can replace app with any name but make sure to give .bat extension).
  • Save the file.
  • When next time you will wish to update your files and web-page to Google App Engine just double click this file and write your email and password that follows.
Finished for today. This is all about hosting your website on Google App Engine on the sub-domain of appspot.com and some common problems that may arise while using Google App Engine. You would also like read some interesting Google tricks. If you need help than feel free to drop a comment below.

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