February 25th, 2007

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Google Apps for Your Domain (http://www.google.com/a/)

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.

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