How to Add Google Apps to Your Business
Website hosting and business applications are particularly important to small organizations that don’t have in-house information technology (IT) staff. Google has created a set of similar services, called Google Apps.
Google Apps for Business costs $5 per user per month or $50 per user per year. For that price, you get 25GB of storage space for Gmail and 5GB of space for files. If you need more space, you can buy more.
How to become master of a domain
Like Yahoo! Small Business and other hosting services, Google gives small businesses the ability to register a domain name. Google offer services in a wide variety of names, including the .com, .org, .biz, and .info domains. This is a somewhat wider range of options than other services offer.
You don’t have to obtain a brand-new domain to take advantage of Google Apps. If you already own a domain, you can associate Google Apps with it. The following steps illustrate how to get started with Business edition:
Go to the Google Apps for Business Welcome page and click the Get Started Now button.
The first signup page appears.
Enter your personal information and click Next.
A domain name signup page appears.
Enter the domain you want to use with Google Apps or purchase a new one.
If you don’t already own a domain name, click the I would like to Buy a new Domain now link on the right half of the page, select the domain from the drop-down list, and then click Check Availability. When you have a domain, your browser displays a page stating that your domain is available, and you can register a .com name with Google for one year for $12.
Enter information about your organization and click Continue.
Create a username and password to create your Google Apps account, and type the characters seen in the box to prove you’re not an automated indexing program called a “robot.”
Review the terms of service, and then click the Accept and signup button.
A page appears, asking you to verify your account.
How to verify ownership
After you obtain a domain and sign up for the service, you need to verify that you own the site. After you complete verification, one option you have is to identify your domain name registrar. You choose the registrar from a list and sign in to it with your username and password for that company. Then follow the steps provided.
Create a web page HTML file and name the file googlehostedservice.html.
You have to insert a string of characters, which Google gives you.
Upload the file to your website.
Make sure the file is in the same directory as your home page.
Click the I’ve Completed the Steps Above button.
Google Apps offers you the chance to launch its Setup guide. If you click Skip this Guide, the Dashboard page appears.
When you first sign up for Google Apps, you go to your Dashboard page. You use this page to access all the apps for which you signed up.
The details on creating a web page and uploading it to the server that hosts your site vary, depending on the type of software you use to create web pages. Creating a web page is as simple as opening a text editor (such as Notepad), adding the <html>, <head>, <title>, and <body> tags that define a web page, and saving the document with the .htm or .html file extension.
If you use a program such as Dreamweaver to create your web pages, the process is even easier. You can upload the file using a file transfer program, such as WS FTP or CuteFTP, or a web editor that has FTP capabilities.
The Dashboard page allows you to add new services to your domain. You also use the Dashboard page to create new user accounts for your colleagues.
After verifying ownership and accessing your Dashboard, you’ll want to create a Start page for your Google Apps domain. The Start page is where you and your small business co-workers can check your Gmail inboxes, see shared calendars, and view links that you provide for them. Your Start page takes the form http://partnerpage.google.com/domain. For example, if your domain were gregholden.com, your Start page would be http://partnerpage.google.com/gregholden.com.
How to create user accounts
Google Apps isn’t really intended for a lone user working in isolation. If you’re a one-person shop, you can obtain a Gmail account for yourself and create your web pages through the web page creation service or application of your choice.
To allow others into your Google Apps–powered domain, create user accounts. You have room for 50 separate accounts in your domain in the Standard Edition of Google Apps, so there’s plenty of room to grow.
To add user accounts, follow these steps:
From your Google Apps Dashboard page, click the Create a New User link.
On the next page, enter the username of the new user.
The username takes the form of username@domainname. You’re assigned a temporary password; when the user logs in with this password, he or she can create a new one.
Click Create New User to create the account.
When you’re done, click the Create Another User button and repeat Steps 2 and 3 to create accounts for everyone in your workgroup.
Click the User Accounts link to view the list of all the accounts in your domain and to track when users logged in most recently.
Send an announcement to all users in your workgroup, telling them that the Google Apps service has been added to your domain.
On the Dashboard page, click the Create Email List link and assign the mailing list with its own e-mail address, such as email@example.com. Then add users in your domain to a domain mailing list.