Migrating My Blog to Google Cloud Platform

Since I am now working for Google, and specifically the Google Cloud Platform, I took the opportunity to test out our Cloud Launcher offerings to migrate this blog over to the Cloud Platform as quickly as possible.

This site runs on WordPress, mainly because I found it the easiest to migrate all the content I have written from 2004 onwards, and since then, it’s been a stable and easy to use platform.

There are several options for running WordPress on Google Cloud Platform, including, as I recently found out, running on App Engine, but the Cloud Launchers let you create an instance on Google Compute Engine, which is our Infrastructure as a Service offering.  I didn’t need to install any SDK tools to get WordPress installed and running, as well as implement my specific customisations, I could do it all through the Developer Console in the browser.

Going to the Cloud Launcher page, and typing in “Wordpress”, results in several results, including two separate providers for a single WordPress install.  I ended up choosing the Bitnami solution for the following reasons:

WordPress Launcher

It is worth noting that this install does have the following caveats:

The installation screen of the WordPress Launcher is fairly straight forward, including automatically opening network ports for HTTP and HTTPS traffic.

If you want to have a static IP (which I know I did), make sure to open up the Management, disk, networking, access & security options, and select Networking. If you look at the drop down forExternal IP, you are able to create a new static IP right then and there.

Network Configuration

After clicking the Create VM button and waiting a few minutes for the virtual machine to be initialised, I had a brand new WordPress install with a temporary admin password and some sample WordPress plugins installed, ready to go.

My next task was to migrate across the custom theme that my blog uses, which means SSH’ing into the server.  Personally, I hate having to worry about managing all the security keys I have for various servers.  The developer console makes this ridiculously simple: click the SSH button on the console, and it starts up a bash console in your VM.

Bash in the browser

From here it was very easy to transfer my skin across to this new machine and install it in the appropriate WordPress directory.

I used the WordPress Import/Export Tool to port across all my content, which included comments and images, and it worked perfectly.  I did manually re-install my WordPress Plugins, such as Akismet, Crayon Syntax Highlighter and W3 Total Cache, but it only took me 10 minutes to copy paste the configurations across from one browser window to another.

That is really it. Moving my blog to Google Cloud Platform was very simple, and I didn’t have to install a single SDK or download any SSH keys.

Some fun things to do once you have your WordPress install up and running:

It’s worth noting, that if WordPress is not your thing, you can also check out our other Cloud Launcher options for blogs, of which we have a few, including Ghost and Publify.

If you are interested in trying this out, sign up for a free trial. You get up to 60 days to play around with Google Cloud Platform, and this is an easy way to test out the platform with no risk.

Leave a Comment

Comments

  • Vincent | November 14, 2015

    Hi, thanks for the clear write down of your experience. I do have a question; What if for some reason Bitnami stops offering their service, does this render the install useless or is it from the moment it is installed a stand alone deal and not connected with Bitnami anymore whatsover?

    Thanks, Vincent

  • Mark Mandel | November 14, 2015

    @VIncent – if Bitnami stops offering their service, nothing really happens – my install is my install, and they can’t touch that.

  • DW | November 1, 2016

    Hi, I really appreciate this tutorial. I have begun the process of transferring to the Google Cloud Platform, but I need help. Are you for hire?

  • DW | December 20, 2016

    HI Mark, I have most of the slugging done (I think)… but I’d really appreciate it if you could answer some questions relevant to my install. I’ve contacted Google multiple times and haven’t heard back.

    My new WP install on GCP wouldn’t upload because it’s too large. I’d also like a hand with importing my SQL database from my old server, and connecting it to my wordpress install.
    Sorry, I’m not overly technical… this is likely apparent by now.

    dw

  • pask | July 27, 2017

    Hello,
    I’m having the same issue, basically and would be great to hear from someone who have done this.

    Did you solve your issue? Did someone contact the you for support?

    Thanks a lot for your attention

    Pask

  • Dev | August 19, 2017

    I’m new to cloud platform. The minimum disk size is 10Gb. That is not the amount of space anyone would use for a simple blog. So is there a way to store multiple websites in that space?