Stephen Jacob (mavjop) wrote,
Stephen Jacob
mavjop

Google Apps for Your Domain

So, it started with "gmail for your domain". It was (and is) pretty awesome. There've always been a few minor annoyances/lacking features[1], but, really, it blew the lid off using my useless frickin' hosting provider for e-mail. You all know gmail[2], I'm sure.

What's more, though ... there's basically three things that you need if you have a domain: (1) DNS, (2) e-mail service, (3) web hosting.
  1. You still need DNS hosting[3]. DNS is basically the phone book of the Internet. You have to put your domain in the DNS in order for web browsers to know where to find your web site and e-mail servers to know where to deliver mail. This, Google does not provide (yet?).

  2. Google have been providing this for some time, as 'gmail for your domain'.

  3. Google created "Google Pages", which let you create a web site with WYSIWYG tools (suitable for most people) and have <yourname>.googlepages.com. I couldn't understand why they didn't provide a way to point a domain at it instead. Well, guess what? Now you can[4]. Awesome!
This means that you can use Google (free) to host e-mail and web service for your domain, and all you need is DNS.

I have to wonder how long it will be until they plug that particular hole and have Google DNS. I know somewhere they could buy some really nice, extremely fast, highly configurable (on the fly, no stupid restarts) DNS servers that would really work well for them.

Aaaaaaaaanyhow... it will be interesting to see what they do with this, and the service is bloody useful as it is.

Footnotes:

[1] They just recently (I don't know when, but I discovered it a day or so ago) added one of the features I'd been clamouring for. You can now have multiple domains set up as "aliases" on one account. That is, if you have example1.com, and you set up an e-mail account for fred@example1.com, then you can say example1.net and example3.tv are aliases, and then any e-mail for fred@example3.tv will just go to the same user, fred@example1.com. I had wanted this, and asked for this, a long time ago, as I have multiple domains, most of which from an e-mail perspective would ideally just work the same as my main domain.

[2] The first webmail which I've ever liked, and they provide free (secure) POP access so you can use it that way or do what I do and use POP simply to maintain a backup of all your mail. Well, gmail for your domain is precisely the same thing, but without the @gmail.com suffix.

[3] DNS is no problem for me (though it may be a bit of a pain for others ... but I think there's some free DNS hosting services out there--sounds like maybe DynDNS have such a service, but I haven't investigated).

[4] You simply go to the "Google Apps for Your Domain" (which is what it's called now that it's no longer just gmail-for-your-domain) "Dashboard" and 'add the "web pages" service'. Then you can set up a site for www.<yourdomain>.<tld> (e.g. www.example1.com, if you own example1.com).
Tags: cool, free, geeky, useful
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