Google App Engine

GAE Logo

At the start of 2013, Human Made were invited by Google to be part of the Trusted Tester program for PHP on Google App Engine.

When it came to choosing a PHP application to showcase on the upcoming new App Engine language, WordPress seemed like the obvious choice given that it was running on over 18% of the internet and over 57% of the content management systems. Over the years we have had the chance to use WordPress on many different hosting environments so it was exciting to be able test a variety of different WordPress sites on yet to be announced PHP for App Engine.

During the testing process we found that running WordPress on Google’s infrastructure has many benefits, as you can take advantage of their world class infrastructure that will scale up and down based on your traffic demands.

Not long after this, Google asked us to develop of a plugin that would make App Engine and WordPress work together with zero click configuration. This was definitely an exciting opportunity as it allowed us to look at parts of WordPress that can often be taken for granted.

GAE iMac


The initial plugin was developed to allow WordPress to work with 2 main areas of App Engine:

Uploads – When you upload media through WordPress it will be uploaded directly to your Google Cloud Storage bucket. GCS allows for multiple layers of redundancy as all data replicated to multiple data centers. This infrastructure is based on Google’s own internal infrastructure for hosting and serving images.

Mail – When mail notifications are sent out through WordPress (such as user sign up, password resets, comment moderation etc) they will now be sent out through Google’s mail servers as opposed to mail{} on most servers. This mail infrastructure is also used by other Google services and is trusted by most email providers, ensuring higher deliverability rates.

The Announcement

Of course an exciting project is not without a deadline, our deadline was that that PHP for App Engine would be announced and demoed at Google I/O 2013 in San Francisco, Google’s biggest event of the year. Below is a video of the announcement:

Our biggest challenge during development was to ensure that we could integrate WordPress seamlessly without requiring any core modifications, such a thing would be a deal breaker in the WordPress community.

Overall it was an exciting project and we are glad we could be a part of bringing WordPress to a whole new platform and a whole new range of users.

* Work with Google was done under Sennza Pty Ltd prior to joining Human Made Ltd