Tweet Any web developer will tell you setting up email for a client can be the bane of their life. I know when I ran my own company and was providing all hosting services, 90% of the support queries we took were in regards to email. In the last 2 years I’ve moved completely away [...]
Any web developer will tell you setting up email for a client can be the bane of their life. I know when I ran my own company and was providing all hosting services, 90% of the support queries we took were in regards to email.
In the last 2 years I’ve moved completely away from this aspect of business, however because I work in the online industry, everyone asks me for advice. Now I simply say “Google Apps” and point them at this fantastic solution. I’m going to guess that almost 60% of businesses could get away with using Google Apps for their entire online presence. Here in NZ almost 65% of businesses don’t even have a website – Google Apps could solve that.
So why do I recommend Google Apps?
- Gmail gives you online, pop & imap access to your account
- You can use your own domain & branding
- Shared calendar, private, public or within your business
- Shared documents, private or within your business
- FREE (oh and it’s as easy as 1 2 3 to set up)
Another fantastic thing is Google Apps are flexible, you can use one or all of the features. For example here at Studiowhiz I use Google Apps for my email, while my website sits on Media Temple.
I’m about to set this up for the church I attend too. Why? Because most of them already use Gmail so are familiar with the interface, we need to share PowerPoint files with each other, and there are a collection of Doc files that need to be contributed to by a number of people. Google Apps does this easily, and on top of that the staff can have their own calendar, with Busy or Free status public. The office can share the public calendar and everyone knows – did I mention it was FREE (and as easy as 1 2 3).
Google have continued to improve this service. I recently spotted they had massively expanded their help content. It now contains step by step tutorials tailored for many of the most popular domain registrars. As you go through the steps to point your domain to Google Apps the help gives you the exact steps to click on.
Now that I’ve set up a couple of domains on Google Apps, I’ve got the entire process down to 30 mins. I then spend maybe an hour showing someone the dashboard – and I walk away. Job done.
Now there are some draw backs. Google Pages – the web page application is simplistic at best. (I should know, I have created 2 businesses based on this model) However sometimes simple is best, and for our church it’ll be fine as a first phase to the online initiative.
For small business, organisations and communities – Google Apps is my choice for all of these, it provides a great base, and allows growth with the business.