One week from today Google will be changing the maximum number of users for Google Apps. If you want to create more then 10 users after that time you'll have to upgrade to a Business account. The good news is that the big 'G' will grandfather accounts created before that day and honor the 50 users that it currently allows. There is no better time to make some time to setup Google apps on all of your own domains. Here is a quick walk through to help you get it done a little quicker, good luck!
1. Get a domain. (if your reading this, chances are you already have one)
2. Go to Google Apps (sign out of any Gmail accounts first...)
3. Click Get Started
4. Enter your domain (ex. BradSmells.com) (Thanks to my niece for this one)
5. Fill in all the needed info.... (step 2 of 3)
6. Create an Administrator Account (step 3 of 3)
7. You should now be taken to a Google Apps Setup Wizard for your domain
8. There are a couple of Next to press at this point, Do so until it asks you to verify your domain.
9. I personally prefer to select 'upload a HTML to your server' to verify but other options include
b. Add a DNS record to your domain's configuration
c. Link to your Google Analytics account
d. Add a meta tag to your sites home page
10. I selected to upload the HTML, when you press the radio button next to that option the page unfolds and there is a file you and download. Upload this to the requested location and visit the URL listed to confirm that it has worked. The page that you visit will just have a bit of text on top of the page, if you see the text you have done this step correctly. Press the 'Verify' button.
Note: I use Filezilla to access my sites.
Were almost there now.... you will soon send emails from a domain that is your own!!!
11. In the Google Apps setup press on 'Activate email' below the email icon towards the end of the page.
12. OK, for me this was the most confusing part... but really its not bad at all. You need to change your domains MX records to point towards Google's servers. If your internet hosts offers a Cpanel access you are likely to find this option there (hint: look under mail settings). Google offers instructions for many hosts.
There are a list of MX servers to add on the bottom of the Google App page but in my experience all you really need is
Destination: ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM Priorty: 10
Destination: ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM Priority: 20
(Delete any that are there currently)
13. Click the 'I've done this' button.
That's it.... Now you just need to wait a day for Google to verify things and you're set to go.
Tip: I setup an add-on domain like mail.bradsmells.com and forward that to URL to check email once all is said and done. That way it really feels custom... You can also add custom logos and stuff but that's another post.