As I am in the process of starting up a new enterprise I have recently acquired a domain for the business. In order to host it and set up business specific email accounts (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org and webpage would cost a bit.
However the rise of Microsoft Office Live and Google Apps means one can now do this for FREE. More organisations should be taking advantages of this as they are packaged with other very useful features as well. This includes multiple email inboxes, document creation, storage and sharing, calendar, website creators, project managers etc . This last feature is ideal for young start up companies as it enables easy management of the teams progress.
Advant & Disadvant
Microsoft Office Live
-credit card required, not available in NZ , free domain, alot more aesthetic, they have a project manager
– feels like still in beta , security has been an issue, 3 packages available , dull looking, no credit card required
Because Microsoft Office Live is not available down here i proceeded with Google Apps
Below is how I went about setting this up.
Procedure to set up
1: Seem my domain host – 1st Domains – does not allow significant access to your DNS records I had to change over to a host that did. On Rod Drury’s Blog he suggested iServe.
2: Registered with Google Apps and read about how to verify my domain name with googel – basically create a new CNAME and point it to google.com , search for it on a CNAME look up site and then proceed with the verification- yes this was quite foreign to me at the time as well. Further research on my behalf cleared it up a little.
3:Even though I sifted around in the ‘managing domain’ parts of the management console, specifically ‘edit zone file’ for a few days I was left confused. I could not find how to carry out step 2.
4: After consulting with the iServe support staff it was finally set up
5: This was followed up by completing the verification process on Google – after which you have to wait up to 48 hours for it all to go through
6: Now all I have to sort out is my email hosting i.e. changing of my MX records on iServe apparently – will update you when that gets sorted.
Upate – 18.3.08: I have since deleted my google apps account – It is not as good as I first thought. And for the inconvience of managing another separate email inbox, working out the technical side to setting it up initially and then activating your emails it just wasnt worth. Especially considering there is no project manager currently integrated. With my current email host I get emails redirected to my main email accounts which get filtered off into sub folders – alot easier. I will also transfer back to 1st domains as the iServe site navigation and help menus are not that great. However I will be keeping a close eye on office alive.