Do you have your own Web site? If so, why don’t you Googlefy it?! Even if you only have a domain name and not a real Web site set up yet, you can still get a free e-mail address tailored to your domain (for example, firstname.lastname@example.org) in the Gmail interface, Google Calendar, Google Docs and so on, all for free. You can even get your own e-mail address (such as email@example.com) if you want. Let’s check out Google Apps!
To get started, head on over to http://www.google.com/a/. All you need is a domain name and a Web host (if you don’t have a host, try this Web site: http://www.nfshost.com. It has a lot of options for “pay-what-you-use” Web hosting).
1.) Once you’re on the site, click on the Sign Up button.
2.) The average personal user will probably need the Standard Edition (the free one). Select that by clicking on Sign Up.
3.) If you already have a domain name, simply enter it in (without the www). If you don’t, you’ll have to get one before you can continue on with this tip. When you’re all set, click Get Started.
4.) Next, enter in your details and then just follow the prompts.
5.) Now, you’re going to have to prove to Google that you’re the legitimate owner of the domain name, but don’t worry, it’s easy!
6.) Upload a Web page with the text Google specifies for your site. You might have to wait a bit for it, but you’ll be ready to go after you receive it.
Once you’ve confirmed your account, the possibilities are endless! You can even have a start page so that your Web site visitors can begin their own Google Apps session as well. Enjoy!
~ Brandon Zubek