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How to Setup Google Apps For Your Domain ?

Google have released the Google Apps to let the Website owners avail maximum google services under their own domain name. It starts like using google email, calendar, documents and so on with your own domain name. Configuring google apps is so easy, and any website administrator can do it. Without delaying, let me start the steps to guide you one getting google apps set up for your domain name in less than 2 minutes.

Even though microsoft and yahoo provides similar service for webmasters we still use google for its awesome anti-spam protection and quick access to many more services.

Step 1: Visit Google Apps Official Homepage to Signup

Navigate your browser URL to Google Apps home page, if you are planning to go for a free account, select Non Profit organization during signup, you may also enter “google apps signup” in google or in your firefox, chrome address bar to take you to the free account signup page directly. If its for business account then you will be charged 50$ per user per year. You can signup through the google apps homepage.

Step 2:Access Dashboard and Create new accounts

Once completed the signup process, access your dashboard to create new accounts.

You must verify your account by confirming your domain name. The verification can be done either by uploading an html to your server or by modifying the CNAME record.

Step 3: Upload an HTML file or Modify CNAME Record and MX Record

HTML File Uploading can be done to verify the domain ownership and thereafter you can proceed creating and managing the google apps account completely.

How to upload the HTML file:

  1. Log into your Google Apps control panel at https://www.google.com/a/your_domain.com. Be sure to replace ‘your_domain.com’ with your actual domain name.
  2. Out of the two verification options, choose HTML upload. Google will generate a string of text that is unique to your account. Copy the string of text from your Google Apps control panel.
  3. Open your HTML editor (the application or service you usually use for editing web pages).
  4. Create a new blank HTML file and paste the string of text you just copied into your HTML file.
  5. Save the file as googlehostedservice.html.
  6. Upload googlehostedservice.html to the root directory of your website. Remember to add the file to the root directory and not the sub-folder.

How to make sure it worked:

  1. Open a new browser window.
  2. Go to your website address and include the new file name: http://your_domain_name.com/googlehostedservice.html. (Be sure to replace ‘your_domain_name.com‘ with your actual domain name.)

You should be able to see the string of characters that you uploaded on your page displayed in your browser.

How to verify:

  1. Return to your Google Apps account control panel.
  2. Click Verify. This will prompt Google to check for this HTML file on your domain.

CNAME RECORD Modification

  1. Sign in to your hosting account, and go to the DNS management page.
    CNAME records may be in sections such as DNS Management or Name Server Management. You may have to enable advanced settings to create a CNAME record. Please contact your domain host directly if you can’t locate the CNAME management options.
  2. (If applicable) Delete the existing CNAME entry for the alias or unique string.
    For example, if you’re creating a CNAME record for ‘mail,’ be sure to delete any existing CNAME records for ‘mail.’
  3. Use the information in this table when you create your CNAME record. Terms used to create CNAME records vary by host. Always use google.com for verification and ghs.google.com for custom urls.
Host Name/Alias Value/Destination
Custom URL: www ghs.google.com
Verification: googlefffggghhh12345 (your unique string) google.com.

Your CNAME record is now configured to point to Google. Keep in mind that changes to your DNS settings may take up to 48 hours to propagate throughout the Internet.

After completing domain ownership verification, you can remove the CNAME record. However, for custom URLs, you must leave the CNAME record intact.

MX RECORD Modification

Based on the control panel installed in your web hosting server you can modify the MX Record to start sending / receiving the emails. Usually the MX Record is some thing that looks like ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM as a default. Click here to check out the list of hosting providers and their way of modifying the control panel. Set the priority to 10, in many control panel it sets by default.

Step 4: Verify the settings and Set sub domain for easy access

Verify the settings done once again manually. You may use the tool called mx entry lookup to verify whether the mx entry modified has taken effect or not. That is it. You are done setting up Google Apps for your Domain Name. Enjoy serving email accounts to your employees, friends or customers. Ofcourse, you have some limitations in creating total number of accounts. Google have limited the total number of accounts creation possibility to 50 and each account can have 7 GB and still counting space.

– Using Sub Domain to access Google Apps

By setting up a sub domain you can access the Google Apps easier than default. That means, accessing “http://mail.example.com” is easier than “https://mail.google.com/a/example.com” everytime that you or your friend try to access email. Remember to use https than http, as google made all the http transaction secure few months back.

You can use Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Talk, Google Contacts, Google Sites and so on. Google apps team is constantly working to bring more services like iGoogle etc., to Google Apps users as well.

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About the Author: Robin C

Security Consultant, Engineer, Technology Enthusiast and Blogger.

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  1. thanks for your comment @arafat. i thought to simply it at my level best ๐Ÿ™‚ if you end up in any problem do let me know.. just add the piece of code generated in your header or footer of the script you use.

    Possibly wordpress footer.php . Have fun !


    1. Your domain name sounds good. All the very best for your success in blogging. I too register my domains with name.com as they provide good support.

      You have made a good theme selection too. Cheers.


  2. beautifully written Robin! I wish I had seen this before!! i was stuck doing the setup myself… frustrated with it..
    then got the services of a company to do the setup and also got my mail migrated to my Google Apps account. but then their services were pretty economical.. so no regrets. in fact i do recommend them – http://www.searceapps.com is their site.

    Anyways 5 stars to your article!


    1. Thanks for the appreciation and i am very glad that you like this article. please subscribe for our free newsletter to get more web related tutorials @Jay.

      – Robin

  3. Excellent overview of configuring Google Apps after the initial domain setup. Don’t forget to add a custom graphic and layout. Helps differentiate the Google Apps from normal Google stuff. Especially in an office where people might use Google Apps as well as a normal Gmail account for personal stuff.

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