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Google Cloud Pricing: How Much Will It Cost You in July 2022?

Ryan Jones Ryan JonesWeb Hosting Expert

Google Cloud provides high-end cloud computing services that can serve your website with some of the best performance currently available. But how much will this cost you? Will you get lower prices than its top competitors, such as Amazon Web Services? The answer isn’t easy to find.

After all, Google Cloud uses a notoriously complex pricing system, filled with multiple combinable discount plans and a ton of attachable premium add-ons, all billed by the second. In fact, it’s common for many to accidentally overpay for Google Cloud, simply due to its sheer complexity.

That’s why I decided to work all this out. I tested Google Cloud’s services and researched overall costs, comparing them with the competition. I found that Google Cloud is actually pretty competitively priced – but only if you’re careful and take full advantage of its various discounts. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Short on Time? These Are Google Cloud’s Best Cloud Instances in July 2022:

  1. e2-small ($12.23/mo) – Cheap starting point for a low-traffic site with enough resources to grow and develop
  2. e2-standard-2 ($48.91/mo) – Customizability and scalability at an affordable price
  3. n2-standard-8 ($226.87/mo) – Impressively fast processors suited to enterprise traffic

See My Recommendations | Top Vendor Alternatives | FAQ

Google Cloud’s Features and Pricing Overview

Complex Pricing, but Cheaper Than the Average

Google Cloud tends to offer better prices than the competition, especially if you take advantage of its discount plans. As a cloud computing service, it offers over 100 products. For web hosting, Google Cloud’s Compute Engine virtual machines (VMs) are the best fit.

You’re charged by the second, which offers the benefit of only ever paying for what you use. That said, it certainly makes things more confusing if you’re not used to this method of billing. Furthermore, each VM may be eligible for certain discounts.

For the best deal, you’ll be expected to commit to a one- or three-year term. This will get you a heavy discount over paying on-demand, but be forewarned – you cannot cancel a commitment. On-demand instances can easily be cancelled at any time.

Google Cloud accepts major credit or debit cards, PayPal, bank account transfers, and even checks. You can also sign up for a free trial of Google Cloud’s services for 90 days with $300 credit.

Keep in mind that Google Cloud’s platform is not suited to beginners. Technical support is expensive, and you’ll need significant know-how to run an unmanaged cloud instance.

Shared-Core Virtual Machines

e2-micro e2-small e2-medium
Initial term starting price Free as part of the free tier, otherwise $6.11/mo ($0.008 hourly) $12.23/mo ($0.016 hourly) $24.46 ($0.033 hourly)
Price on renewal Same as above Same as above Same as above
vCPU cores 0.25 cores, can be bursted to 2 cores for 30s 0.5 cores, can be bursted to 2 cores for 60s 1 core, can be bursted up to 2 cores for 120s
RAM 1GB 2GB 4GB
Storage 30GB HDD persistent disk included with free tier None included None included
Bandwidth 1gbp/s (1GB free network egress per month to all regions besides China and Australia) 1gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB 2gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB
Static IPs Costs a small hourly fee Costs a small hourly fee Costs a small hourly fee
Data center locations 69 data centers covering all major continents and a total of 200+ countries and territories
Support Only billing support is available for free. Available through chat and tickets from Sunday, 5PM, to Friday, 5PM.

Google Cloud’s shared-core VMs are the cheapest on offer. With these instances, you’ll be sharing CPU power with other customers. While this may result in less robust performance at times, you can enjoy budget prices.

Don’t get me wrong – performance is strong compared to similar virtual servers from many other hosts, but the limited resources mean these instances are best for small projects.

Description of Google Cloud's pricing and free trial
As far as free trials go, Google Cloud is pretty darned generous

Notably, the e2-micro is available completely free as part of Google Cloud’s free tier. This is because Google Cloud offers free usage for the e2-micro equal to the total hours in the current month – meaning if you run only a single instance of this type, you’ll never have to pay for it. With multiple instances, you can exceed this limit, so be aware.

You’ll only be getting 1GB of RAM, which might not be enough to run a content management system (CMSs) such as WordPress reliably if you get a lot of traffic.

Additionally, you’ll only get 0.25 vCPU cores to work with. While you can burst up to 2vCPUs periodically for free, this isn’t guaranteed and only lasts a short time.

Also included in the free tier is a persistent 30GB HDD disk, 5GB snapshot storage, and 1GB free network egress (outbound traffic) to all regions besides China and Australia. While I wouldn’t recommend putting a mission-critical project on this instance, it can work for prototypes, static sites, or even to try out a WordPress blog until it starts generating traffic.

e2-small

Description of the CPU burstability in Google Cloud's shared-core instances
Google Cloud’s shared-core VM bursts are short-lived, but useful

If you wish to run a WordPress-based site, I’d recommend the e2-small instance, at minimum. Costing $12.23 per month, this instance offers 2GB of RAM and 0.5 vCPU cores outside of scaling. This should help you run a basic CMS site that gets occasional heavy traffic.

While the above price isn’t bad at all, you can bring it down further by committing to using these resources for one or three years. A three-year commitment will net you a discount of more than 50%, without the need to pay upfront – you can just pay monthly as usual.

Google Cloud’s shared-core machines offer stronger baseline CPU performance than similarly-priced Amazon Lightsail instances, while offering a lower price if you commit.

That said, Kamatera offers burstable instances for a similar on-demand price without the need to share CPU power. If you need to meet surges in traffic, you’ll get those resources guaranteed.

e2-medium

List of Google Cloud's shared-core instances overall CPU power
e2-medium provides the best performance of Google Cloud’s shared-core instances

The e2-medium instance offers 4GB of RAM and a single CPU core. This offers much more flexibility, but you will have to pay the price – the e2-medium costs double that of the previous instance.

Along with the increased resources, the e2-medium can burst at 100% CPU for a total of 120s, which is twice as long as the e2-small. This may not sound like much time, but keep in mind this only applies to 100% CPU usage – scaling requiring less CPU can sustain longer.

Again, this server offers pretty good value. While you’ll never have top-end performance on a shared-core VM, the guaranteed CPU core helps immensely. Not many of Google Cloud’s competitors offer a comparable set of resources at this price.

Are Shared-Core Virtual Machines Right For You?

The shared-core instances are best for basic websites or apps with low traffic – you can save plenty of money if this is all you’re looking to host. If you wish to build a static HTML site, or perhaps a very simple WordPress blog, you could even use the e2-micro for free.

However, I’d recommend the e2-small, especially if you wish to use a CMS. It’s a good price compared to the competition, and delivers enough resources to support a new site finding its feet. However, if you’re seeing a consistently high volume of traffic, you may require the dedicated resources offered by Google Cloud’s general-purpose VMs.

General-Purpose Virtual Machines

e2-standard-2 e2-standard-4 n2-standard-8 n2-standard-16
Initial term starting price $48.91/mo ($0.067 hourly) $97.83/mo ($0.134 hourly) $226.87/mo ($0.388 hourly) $453.74/mo ($0.776 hourly)
Price on renewal Same as above Same as above Same as above Same as above
vCPU cores 2 cores 4 cores 8 cores 16 cores
RAM 8GB 16GB 32GB 64GB
Storage None included None included None included None included
Bandwidth 4gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB 8gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB 16gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB 32gbp/s, network egress is charged per GB
Static IPs Costs a small hourly fee Costs a small hourly fee Costs a small hourly fee Costs a small hourly fee
Data center locations 69 data centers covering all major continents and a total of 200+ countries and territories
Support Only billing support is available for free. Available through chat and tickets from Sunday, 5PM, to Friday, 5PM.

Google Cloud’s general-purpose VMs offer dedicated vCPU cores – you won’t have to share them with anyone else. This should offer more reliable performance than shared cores. These VMs are also more customizable than the shared-core instances.

The dedicated CPU power allows you to take advantage of Google Cloud’s top-notch infrastructure.

e2-standard-2

Feature list for Google Cloud's general purpose VMs
Google Cloud offers both predefined VMs and the ability to build your own

Google Cloud’s cheapest general-purpose VM offers 2 vCPU cores and 8GB of RAM for $48.91 per month. Despite being the most affordable choice, this instance still offers more than enough resources to run multiple sites or apps with a significant amount of traffic.

Like the shared-core instances, you can bring the price down by committing to one or three years. Additionally, these instances are highly customizable – you can upgrade or downgrade any resource independent of the others. If you just need an extra 4 gigabytes of RAM, for example, you can easily add this without resizing the entire instance.

These servers are outside the realm of budget pricing, but Google Cloud still has an edge over its competitors’ similar products.

e2-standard-4

Specifications of Google Cloud's e2 instances
Google Cloud’s e2 instances can scale to impressive heights

With the e2-standard-4, you’ll be getting the benefits of 4 vCPU cores and 16GB RAM, which will cost you double the price of the previous configuration. This instance should be able to run a handful of high-traffic sites without breaking a sweat.

As these are virtual server instances, you’re unable to choose the processor you get, but it will be one of a variety of Intel processors (Skylake, Haswell, or Broadwell) or an AMD EPYC Rome. While Kamatera offers more powerful Cascade Lake processors, it tends to charge more than Google Cloud does for the e2 line.

Overall, the e2-standard-4 manages to strike a nice balance between value and computing power.

n2-standard-8

Description of Google Cloud's n2 line processors
Google Cloud’s n2 instances are well-suited to extreme traffic loads

If you need to serve enterprise-level traffic, I’d recommend looking at instances in the n2 line. The n2-standard-8 is a good place to start, with a mighty 8 vCPUs and 32GB of RAM.

While you could get the same resource limits with an e2 instance, the n2 line offers Cascade Lake processors for better performance per CPU core.

However, to get the best value out of the n2 line, you’ll need to attain 100% usage each month. These instances are subject to a sustained-use discount – the more usage per month, the better the discount. With 100% usage, you’ll get a 20% discount overall.

n2-standard-16

Google Cloud Pricing: How Much Will It Cost You in 2022?
Google Cloud’s n2 instances offer good network speed

If you’re looking for a cloud instance that can handle almost anything you can throw at it, the n2-standard-16 is certainly worth a look. In total, this option offers 16 vCPUs and 64GB of RAM.

Of course, you can scale even higher than this if necessary, and it’s worth noting that n2 instances also support attaching local SSD storage. This can give you impressive performance and ultra-low latency, perfect for critical databases.

This server is less expensive than the competition’s, if you anticipate near-100% CPU usage per month. If not, you may actually get a better price from Kamatera, which offers the same powerful Cascade Lake processors without the need to fulfill any conditions.

Are General-Purpose Virtual Machines Right For You?

If you’re dealing with a high volume of traffic and require a highly customizable environment, the general-purpose instances will likely be a good fit for you. These instances can handle large workloads at a lower price than competing providers.

If you’re unsure about which instance to choose, I’d recommend starting with the e2-standard-2. It offers a comfortable amount of resources at an affordable price. You can always scale up as necessary.

While Google Cloud offers many advantages, it may not be for you. I’d recommend taking a look through our top-rated alternatives below to see if they may prove a better fit.

Starting Price Main Pro Main Con
Google Cloud $6.11 Competitive pricing with discount options and impressive global performance Lack of reasonably-priced tech support
Kamatera $4.00 Very high customizability More expensive as there are no term discounts
Liquid Web $15.00 Managed service available for a low price, guaranteed rapid response times from support Few data centers, no coverage in Asia-Pacific, Africa
Cloudways $10.00 Management and technical support for Google Cloud instances No root access, and many server configuration changes must go through support
Render $7.00 Extensive Git integration, flexible environment to build a static site for free No uptime guarantee, fewer options than Google Cloud
Amazon Web Services $3.50 Beginner-friendly Amazon Lightsail service for entry-level instances Not as cost-effective as Google Cloud

Kamatera

Kamatera’s entry-level instances offer better value. While Google Cloud is limited to just three burstable entry-level instances, Kamatera allows you to custom-build your own. These instances also do not share a CPU core with other customers – traffic surges will thus be served more reliably.

All Kamatera instances benefit from Cascade Lake processors, offering stronger performance per core than Google Cloud’s entire e2 line. Additionally, Kamatera doesn’t require you to fulfill multiple restrictive conditions for the best prices.

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Liquid Web

If you’re looking for quality managed service and support, Liquid Web offers a better deal. While Google Cloud charges a huge fee for rapid technical support and some minor management services, Liquid Web offers managed hosting as part of the package.

Additionally, Liquid Web’s technical support aims to reply in under a minute to any queries, or you can request compensation.

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Cloudways

Rather than offer its own web hosting services, Cloudways acts as a third-party management service on third-party cloud infrastructure. This includes Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services, DigitalOcean, and others.

Cloudways simplifies use of Google Cloud’s hosting service with its own hosting software stack and affordable technical support. Your server is configured and managed via Cloudways’ proprietary platform.

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Render

Render is a developer-oriented cloud service that aims to keep your workflow streamlined. Developers can take advantage of efficient Git integration to rapidly push new code straight into production.

It’s particularly good for static sites – you can host a static site for free and still take advantage of access to Render’s global CDN and 100GB free monthly bandwidth. This is a much better offer than Google Cloud’s free tier.

Amazon Web Services

While AWS tends to be the more expensive option, it’s still worth considering. The user-friendly Amazon Lightsail service offers predefined cloud instances with simple monthly billing, with networking and security managed for you. It’s an easier starting point for those new to cloud hosting.

Is Google Cloud a Good Deal?

All in all, Google Cloud offers competitive prices across the board. And its discount plans will save you a significant amount of money over competing hosts.

However, if you’re looking for managed service and technical support, you can get a much better deal elsewhere. And to take full advantage of Google Cloud’s low prices, you’ll need technical know-how, or the budget to hire someone who can fulfill this requirement.

If you’re still unsure which instance is best for you, here’s my recommendations.

For a prototype or a simple static site, I’d recommend Google Cloud’s e2-micro. It’s free, and while resources are limited, it could still work for lightweight projects.

If you’re looking to host a dynamic, low-traffic site, I’d instead recommend Kamatera. Unlike Google Cloud’s e2-small, you’re not forced to share CPU power. Extra resources will be more reliably available during traffic surges – and it doesn’t cost much more.

For more serious projects, I’d choose the e2-standard-2. It offers dedicated CPU performance with a lower starting price than Google’s competition.

FAQ

Is Google Cloud free?Google Cloud offers limited access to some basic services as part of its free tier. This includes Compute Engine virtual machines: every user gets access to one e2-micro instance for free.How much does Google Cloud cost per month?It depends on the level of computing power, your bandwidth and storage consumption, and whether you’ve enabled any other active services. Have a look at our pricing breakdown to get a sense of Google Cloud’s prices for a range of requirements.Is Google Cloud cheaper than AWS?Google Cloud tends to offer lower base prices for both shared-core and general-purpose instances, despite both hosts offering similar discount plans. If you’re new to web hosting, you should have a look at our step-by-step guide to building and launching a website.How does Google Cloud pricing work?Google Cloud charges by the second, so you only pay for what you use – if you add or remove a service, or resize your server, this will be reflected in the price instantly. If you’re looking for a more straightforward billing structure for web hosting, check out our list of the top-rated web hosts in 2022.

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