Google Wants Your WordPress Site

The biggest web company in the world has finally announced its support for the most widely used programming language.

At its I/O developer event last week, Google announced PHP is now supported in its platform-as-a-service offering, Google App Engine.

It’s fantastic news for WordPress users – it means Google can now host WordPress sites in its cloud and developers can take advantage of App Engine’s auto-scaling, reliability and security.

According to Google, 75 per cent of the web runs on PHP and this announcement opens the web giant to a greater slice of the web pie, while also making it more comparable in terms of services offered to Amazon Web Services’ PHP offering Elastic Beanstalk.

The announcement marks the first time App Engine has supported a non-Google programming language. App Engine, which launched in 2008, already supports Python, Java and Google’s own programming language Go. Google Product Manager Andrew Jessup says PHP has been the most requested in the history of App Engine.

On the Google Cloud Platform blog, Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President for Technical Infrastructure at Google, wrote on May 15: “We’re bringing one of the most popular web programming languages to App Engine so that you can run open source apps like WordPress.”

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PHP powers a whopping 75 per cent of the world’s website, including Facebook and Yahoo.

All I can say is it’s about time. With WordPress set to celebrate its 10th birthday next week, it’s taken Google long enough to cotton on to the popularity of WordPress – and the fact it now powers more than 20 per cent of  the world’s websites and a lot of folks might want to use WordPress with App Engine.

Meanwhile, the announcement means little, old WordPress-powered blogs featuring photos of cats and angsty existential rants will be able to run alongside the websites of major companies taking up real estate on Google’s infrastructure, which is also home to services like Gmail and Maps.

For now, PHP support is in experimental status in App Engine.

What Does This Move Mean For Smaller Web Hosts?

App Engine offers a low cost web hosting solution as its free up to a certain level of consumed resources, which isn’t exactly great news for hosting companies.

Many businesses will be tempted to shift their WordPress sites over to Google where they can benefit from App Engine’s auto-scalability, giving smaller companies the ability to handle huge surges in traffic, which smaller hosting providers may not be able to manage.

For a guide on how to install WordPress, test it with App Engine on your local development environment and deploy a simple WordPress, installation on the cloud platform, check out the Google Developers website.

Do you think you’ll check out App Engine for your site? Tell us below.

Credits: Wikimedia CommonsKinologikSpencer E Holtaway