Working in I.T. for many years the biggest energy among all users is email. From my desktop support background I can assure you that I have had my share of email problems and solutions. My favorite email solution has to be Google Apps. Google Apps is a step just above your normal Gmail email. Both are free, but Apps allows you to use a domain name that you own or gives you the option to purchase one during setup for $10 a year. Included with Google Apps is Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sites, and much much more… I will go into more detail about the other services Google apps has to offer in later posts. Right now we’ll just be concerned with the initial setup of your domain and email.

You can sign up for Google Apps using the domain or website you already own, or purchase a new domain from one of Googles registration partners.

Lets get started?

  1. Go to Google Apps (for free) and click the big blue button to begin. If you are purchasing a domain you must first setup a Google Apps free account, even if you are trying to setup a Google Business Account. Google makes you get a free Apps account then you can upgrade to a free trial for Google Business. Google Business is also a great pay for service that allows you to use Outlook exchange services. $5 a year per user.
  2. Follow the instructions that appear to sign up your domain and create your Google Apps account, it is very self explanatory. The instructions are easy to follow, but there are a few things:
    • If you are setting up your own domain, you have to prove to Google that you own the domain or website. This requires that you have access to any one of the following: the domain’s or website’s DNS records (managed by your domain host or registrar), the server that hosts your domain’s web site (via FTP or SSH), or a Google Analytics account for your domain. For more details Verifying your Domain.
    • Next you need to create an email address at your domain where you’ll send and receive mail ( You are going to use this email and password to log in to your Google Apps account and manage the domain to add users, as well as access your own Google Apps services.
    • You have to provide an alternate email address that’s not in your Google Apps domain. I used a gmail address that you can easily setup fro free. This is incase you forget you password  and Google needs to send you new login credentials. This should continue to be a valid address.

After you sign up, we’ll take you to your Google Apps administrator control panel. Now you can log in to your new account, verify domain ownership (if you signed up an existing domain), and continue setting up services for your users. click on the Setup link in the navigation bar and you can use the setup wizard to add users and services.

If you’d like to see more details after that, please leave a comment, and I will consider updating this post with more detailed steps.