Just today only, I have set up my domain with Google Apps. It is a great service by Google which lets us to use many features like
- Our own Email at our own domain [like firstname.lastname@example.org]
- Other Google services like Google Calendar, Docs, sites at your own domain [Like mine is now, http://calendar.intechgrity.com, http://docs.intechgrity.com etc.]
But in order to take advantages of this feature we first need to setup our domain to point towards Google apps and there comes the difficulty! Many users [especially who are new to this web-hosting world] find doing all the DNS stuff really painful! So after setting up my domain with Google Apps, I though of writing a full tutorial on it, of course with proper screenshots! So lets not waste any time and get into the action…
Step 1: Registering with Google Apps and verifying your domain:
- Go to Google Apps home page. It will lead you to the Business page of Google Page. Just click on the Standard Edition.
- Click on the “Get Started” Button and this should lead you to the add a new domain page! Enter the base URL of your domain (without www). Like mine is intechgrity.com. Enter it and click on Get Started.
- Now fill in the form as shown below. Hit the “Continue” button when done!
- On the next step it should ask you to make your first account on your domain. Enter your desirable username [“admin” sounds good 😛 ]. Once done click on “I accept. Continue with setup”.
- Now you should be redirected to the default Google Apps Dashboard. Everything will be inactive now as you have not verified your domain yet! Follow the instruction below to verify
Verifying your Domain:
For this I prefer the CName method. Pretty fast and no errors.
- Click on the Verify Domain Owner ship link at the top right and select CName method from the dropdown menu.
- It should generate you a unique string for your CName. Like mine was googlea980dcc974[…]. Now we need to create a CName record to point towards Google Apps.
- For this Login to your Domain Hosting Provider. [Like Godaddy or name.com]. I have been using Name.com so the screenshot will contain name.com only! Click on DNS Management or Total DNS Control.
- Now add a CName record just as shown on the image below. Basically the record should be CName. Host will be the unique string Google has generated for you and Record Answer will be google.com. Leave the TTL to the default setting. Click on Submit when done…
- Click on “Verify” button on the Google Apps tab. If you have done things correctly then everything should be fine by this point and you should have your Verification complete! If you are facing any problem try revising your steps. Also wait for a few minutes before Resubmitting. Or you may contact me or Comment for any further help!
Wait for sometime until verification process completes. When done you will be having full access to your Google Apps Dashboard. Now mov
e to the Step2 for further customizing other Apps Services.
Step 2: Customize Google Apps mail & other Services:
When you have your Domain Ownership verified, then you should see your Dashboard to a state similar to this:
Now its time to Activate Mail Services and Change the URL of other Google Apps services to your unique brand
Activate Mail Service:
Just below the “Email” click on Activate mail. On the next page, you will get detailed information on Making the necessary MX records for your Hosts. Enter them one by one and the result should look similar to this [Taking screenshots from name.com]
Once done click on the “I have completed this step”. If you have done things correctly then it should lead you to the “Email Settings” page.
Congrats for your new Email from Google Apps. Now you can feel the brand giving your admin@yourdomain email to your friends…
You can also give some of the emails to your friends using the “User and Groups” tab [up to 50].
Changing the URL of the Google Apps Services:
By default, all the services are accessible from some complex urls like
You can also change this to your own Sub-domain like mail.yourdomain.com. This is pretty simple! I will show you the way to do this through Email Settings. You can do the same steps for other Services like Docs, Site etc…
- Under Email Settings > Web URL click on Change URL and this should lead you to a page like this
- Now select the Custom URL and hit Continue [you can change mail to any other keyword you want]
- On the next page it should ask you to make the necessary CName configuration. Do the same as illustrated before to add mail[or the keyword you have entered] CName Record host pointing towards ghs.google.com
- Now on the the Google Apps window click on “I’ve completed these steps”.
Voila! Now enjoy your own mail service at your domain! Check inTechgrity Mail for example!
Do the same for each service and you will be having your own brand for every services. A well configured MX and CName control may look like this:
And the Google Apps Dashboard will look like this!
So that was a complete tutorial on adding Google Apps to your domain with proper DNS settings. If you face any problem then feel free to ask us through your comments. Also if you have liked this then do share it with your friends and give your precious feedback… Also if you wish to learn more on CName and NameServers then you may check this post of mine at devilsworkshop.