So you’ve decided to create a Google Apps domain? The good news is that in less than an hour you can have a professional-level suite of email and office productivity tools up and running for dozens or even hundreds of users. That said, the choices you make in setting up your initial Google Apps domain can have some serious consequences down the line, so it’s important to get it right the first time. Today’s post will help you do just that.
In today’s post we will focus in on the Google Apps Domain Setup Wizard. We included links to all of the best Google resources - so you’ll have the absolute most up-to-date instructions on how to deploy and fine-tune your Google Apps domain. Let’s get started!
The Google Apps Domain Setup Wizard
GOOGLE TUTORIAL LINK: The Google Apps Domain Setup Wizard
If you’re a first-time Google Apps administrator, the smartest thing you can do is use the Google Apps Domain Setup Wizard. The Wizard will walk you through the basic steps of rolling out a domain to 50 or fewer users. If you want a little more personal hand-holding before you roll out a Google App domain, you can sign up for a Google Apps Setup Webinar, and a trained Google support tech will answer your questions.
During the course of the Setup Wizard, you’ll be asked if you want to add users immediately, or wait. It’s often easier to use the Setup Wizard to create the domain with just one user – the primary administrator – and then circle back to create the rest of your users once your domain is configured to your liking.
At whatever point you decide to add users, you’ll have three methods at your disposal to add them:
- Manually, wherein you create users one at a time by completing a web form
- In bulk, where you upload a CSV file to create a large number of user accounts all at once
- Via invitation, where an email is sent to a potential user and he or she can opt to join your domain
The Google Apps Setup Wizard moves from users to activating Apps. There are four core Google Apps: Gmail (which includes Google Contacts), Google Drive, Google Calendar and Google Sites. Just select the services you want to include and move forward.
Sign Up for Google Apps
GOOGLE TUTORIAL LINK: Sign Up for Google Apps
The first step in creating a Google Apps domain is choosing the domain name, and it’s not an idle choice. The URL you choose for your Google Apps domain cannot be changed, ever. If you’ve already got a domain name for your business – like the one you use for your company website – you’ll need to perform some very basic web server work to prove to Google that you own the URL. If you don’t have a URL, you can purchase one from any domain provider (like GoDaddy or Namecheap, etc.) and then prove your ownership.
Alternately, you can purchase a domain directly through Google and save yourself a few technical steps. Google domains are generally a little more expensive than URLs from other providers, but having Google manage your annual domain renewals and DNS hosting does simplify matters a bit.
While the Google Apps domain setup wizard makes it easy to get started; there are a host of more advanced setup best practices you should also be following. For more details on everything you need to know to get setup correctly, download The Guide to Google Apps Training: Part One - Setting Up Your Google Domain here: