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Host your domain with Google Apps – you@yourcompany.com

For those who have never done it, and those who are paying too much for it, there is an easy and inexpensive way to get your own registered domain name hosted for email so that you have an email address like bob@hiscompany.com

The trick to this is to use Google Apps and a domain registrar (I use godaddy.com as registrar in this example as it’s cheap and they’re one of the biggest on the internet).

First things first.  You need to decide on a domain name you want.

Go to godaddy.com, search for the domain name you want and follow the prompts to checkout and purchase. There should be sufficient instruction on their website on how to purchase.

Once that has been accomplished, you will be able to login and configure the domain so that email is hosted by Google Apps. This allows you to access your email from anywhere without any further concern for backups or uptime.

Sound good?  Then let’s get started.

In the godaddy interface, you login so that you can see your account (link to “My Account” in top right of screen on their current website layout).  This will show you your newly registered domain in a list.  Click on the “Advanced details” next to your domain name e.g. yourcompany.com.

On this screen, it is the “Total DNS” section you need to change.  Click on “Total DNS Control” to bring up the screen to edit these values.

There will be two settings shown under the MX section. These relate to email and need to be deleted by clicking on the red cross to the right.  Then we add three new ones in this MX section to point us to Google Apps email.

Click on “Add New MX Record” and enter these values (Note there is a period/fullstop after each of the names below.  TTL value is left at default of 1 hour)

Host Name – Goes to Address – Priority

@ – aspmx.l.google.com. – 10

@ – alt1.aspmx.l.google.com. – 20

@ – alt2.aspmx.l.google.com. – 30

@ – aspmx2.googlemail.com. – 40

@ – aspmx3.googlemail.com. – 50

Next we want to alter the CNAMES section so that mail.yourcompany.com points to the Google Apps email website.  To do this we, delete the current CNAME Alias called “mail” and create a new one of the same name with these settings…

Alias Name – Points to Hostname

mail – ghs.google.com

This should be it for setting up the domain, now we need to configure the Google Apps side to accept these emails for us.

Click on http://www.google.com/a

Click on the “Apps Editions” and choose the “Standard” which is free and allows up to 50 email addresses to be created.

Click on the “Get Started” button.

Now you can enter an existing domain name (bought from godaddy above) e.g. “yourcompany.com”.

Choose Administrator, as you control the domain, and then “Get Started”.

Next complete the screens with your personal details to register with Google Apps and you will eventually get to a page that talks about how you can confirm to Google Apps that you really own the domain.  You have 7 days to confirm this or this Google Apps account will be deleted.

To confirm ownership,  login to Google Apps and it will prompt you to verify ownership.

Choose  the first option “Add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration” and choose godaddy.com (assuming that’s who you registered with) from the drop down list .

Step-by-step instructions will be displayed on what is required.  You will need to login to godaddy.com and go to the “Domain Manager” (from the left-hand menu) and create a TXT record for the domain by clicking on “Total DNS Control”.

There is a button half-way down the screen on the right hand side called “Add New TXT Record”.  Click that and add the details that Google Apps indicated for the TXT Value and leave the TXT Name blank.

Finally, click on the “Verify” button at the bottom of the Google Apps page and you’re done!!!

There are options to create user email accounts but that is outside the scope of this little setup exercise and should hopefully be self-explanatory if you follow the on-screen instructions.

Also, it is worth noting that any editing of the domain settings through the godaddy.com site takes some time to be replicated around the internet. Don’t be dismayed immediately if you cannot see the fruits of your labour. If it is still not working a couple of days later, you have my permission to be dismayed.

NOTE: Once you are configuring your Google Apps account, you should enable the SSL checkbox under “Domain Settings”.  This makes your email communications encrypted even if you use http://mail.yourcompany.com

Good Luck 🙂

  1. January 18, 2011 at 07:10

    Hi Unkie G,
    I was looking at Google Sites and Google Apps just yesterday to see whether I could use it for publishing our first book and representing our publishing company. Thanks for these instructions, if we go in that direction I’ll be back here following your words, step-by-step!
    Sar et Chris

    • gurrier
      January 18, 2011 at 07:19

      For hosting your mail with a small number of email addresses, it’s free and not too difficult.
      If you can register with one of big internet domain registries like Godaddy, you’ll save a packet compared to having the email hosted by another web-hosting company.

      I’ve had a quick look at Google sites and you can get something reasonable cobbled together without too much hassle. The price is definitely right.



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