Hosting Your Courses for Pennies with Google Cloud Storage

posted in: "How To" Guides | 4

*Updated 9/28/21*

The easiest way to share your courses with your reviewers and with learners is via web hosting. Being able to just hand over a link is simply the best, especially for your learner. Whether you’re using Captivate, Storyline, or some other software, the published files can be large and clunky to share with others via email or other manual transfers.

Google Cloud Storage is a wonderful way to share your learning objects! You just have to share a link – that’s it!

Use this method when you don’t need to track learners. For instance, this is great for building your portfolio! You can create a free website on Wix or Weebly or similar and then link to your objects that are hosted on Google Cloud Storage. See more on building your portfolio.

I pay for web hosting myself from GoDaddy so that I can have this fabulous website that you’re viewing right now and so I can store whatever I want on my hosting, but Google Cloud Storage is a very low-cost option to host your objects. I pay about six cents a month for Google Cloud Storage and I have a ton of stuff on there. I use it mostly for student examples for my courses. Monthly pricing is based on how much stuff you store and how many people visit it.

Here we go!

Create Your Google Cloud Storage Account and Upload Files and Folders

Go to Google Cloud Storage to create your account. You will need a credit card to create your account. You will have free access to Google Cloud Storage for the duration of your free trial, which is ninety days (it’s a 300 dollar credit, which means free if you’re just popping up a few things!). After the free trial, if you just use this to host a few projects for a portfolio, you will only pay pennies a month (I average about 6 cents a month for serving courses to my students for teaching, and I have a ton of stuff on there).

You can manually upload files and folders from within Google Cloud Storage in your browser window.

In this video, I demonstrate how to upload entire folders that contain published Storyline and Captivate projects to Google Cloud Storage. Once they are hosted, I show you how to set permissions and share a link that will open the project.

Uploading Your Projects to Google Cloud Storage (And Sharing the Links!)

Setting Bucket Permissions

Follow these steps to grant public access to your learning objects. Be sure not to store any sensitive information in your bucket, including your full name or contact information or copyrighted content you want to keep private!

  1. Enter your bucket
  2. Click on the Permissions tab
  3. Select “Remove Public Access Prevention”
  4. Select “Confirm” on the pop-up confirmation window
  5. Below, select “Add” in the permissions panel
  6. Type “allUsers”
  7. Select role: Cloud Storage -> Storage Object Viewer
  8. Click Save
  9. Select “Allow Public Access” on the pop-up confirmation window
  10. All done! Upload folders and files to your bucket.

What link do I share to give access to my learning object?

  • Storyline: Give out the link to the story.html file
  • Captivate: Give out the link to the index.html file

Be sure to test your link in a private/incognito window! If it works for you, it will work for your user.

Publishing a Learning Object in Captivate and Storyline
for Hosting on Google Cloud Storage

Watch this video to see how to publish for the web in Captivate and Storyline, and then upload to Google Cloud Storage. In Storyline, you need to publish to the Web. Do not zip your files in either software!




4 Responses

  1. Peter

    Hi Lindsay, thanks for your post. I really find it useful.

    Can you track completion status with the google cloud storage?… If yes, please how?

    Thanks for your response.

  2. Lindsay

    Hi Peter,
    No, it’s not possible to track completion status using Google Cloud Storage. You’d have to use a Learning Management System for that.