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.
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.
However, In the case of migration, you should add your existing users immediately. The Google Apps Setup Wizard will allow you to manually create up to 10 users. If you need to migrate more than that, you’ll need to step out of the Setup Wizard and do a manual setup via the Google Apps Admin Panel.
Google Apps Domain Verification
Verifying your domain involves about 10 minutes of work in the control panel of the web domain you purchased previously, and proves you have technical access and ownership of the URL where you’re setting up Google Apps. From there, you’ll also need to modify the MX records of your domain to allow Google Apps to handle email traffic directed at your website.
Once these verification steps are complete, Google will “ping” your domain to ensure that the settings have been modified correctly. While this process normally takes only a few minutes, in some cases Google may require up to an hour to verify that your domain is properly configured to run Google Apps. If you purchase a new domain through a Google partner, some of these steps may be done for you, or at least rendered simpler.
Activate Your Google Apps
Once Google has confirmed you own your web domain, the Setup Wizard moves on to activating individual Google 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.
The Setup Wizard will next ask if you want to enable mobile access for your domain users, and for which mobile operating systems. If you decline to enable mobile access, your users can still use their Google Apps accounts on mobile devices, but you will forego the ability to deploy and enforce mobile security policies on those smartphones and tablets. For novice administrators, it is best to skip this step. If you’d like guidance on the best way to lock down mobile devices that access your Google Apps data, try Backupify’s Advanced Google Apps Security Guide.
We’ve only taken a simple walk through of the basic process of setting up a Google Apps domain. For even more information and a deeper dive, download our eBook: How To Set Up A Google Apps Domain.