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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

How can I use Google to host my domain?

Gina Trapani has written an excellent set of articles that explains a Google service that can help small business and organizations set up a shared office infrastructure.  What do I mean?  Lets say, for example, that you have a business idea for creating a community for people who love to collect comic books.  In a surge of excitement, you pop over to and grab  Now what?  You know you want to share this idea with various people to see if the notion can gain some traction.  That means e-mails, meetings, wikis, public facing web sites, etc.  It turns out that Google has something called Google Apps that allows you to hide some of its cloud-based office suite behind your domain.  For example, instead of the usual you can use  The pedestrian becomes  You get the idea.  The list of Google services you can rename in this manner continues to grow and currently includes:

  • e-mail
  • calendar
  • chat
  • docs
  • sites
Very convenient and, best of all, its free -- at least until you grow to beyond 50 people.  After that, you have to start paying.  As you add people to your Google Apps based domain, everything in the domain is shared with others within the group -- contact lists, documents, calendars, etc.  This makes it convenient because you can skip the step of sending out an e-mail invite so that you can share something -- it is already taken care of for you.

I've been using Google Apps for a short time now and I like it.  It was fairly painless to set up -- which is even less painful if you go through one of Google's partners, such as GoDaddy, when you buy your domain.  I think it makes sense to set up a domain even for families.  It is easier to get grandpa Joe's email working if everybody is using the same tools.  I encourage you to take a peek at Google Apps.  Who knows, maybe you'll come up with the next Twitter and tell the tale to your friends and family about how you started out with nothing but an idea and a domain name?

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