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Friday, June 24, 2011

Accessing Google's Free Hidden Apps

For those of you who have or are contemplating purchasing a domain name through Blogger, there may be a few free hidden apps you're entitled to that you don't know about. I call them hidden because Google doesn't advertise them or make them well known. If you do a general search--even on their technical support forums--you will mostly find links to their "paid" apps for businesses.

Want an email that has your name@domain.com? 
It's available, right now, without having to pay for it if you've purchased your domain through Blogger. They don't tell you about this feature when you register your domain. If you do a general search for domain emails, one of the first options that comes up is Google Business Apps, a paid service that you can try for free for the first 30 days.

Here's what it looks like:
















What you want to do is be sure to search for "Free Google Apps". The paid Google Business App will still come up first, but keep scrolling down to where it says, "Google Apps helps groups build communities". I know it "sounds" like you'll be taken to some group forum discussion page, but you won't, so click this link. It will actually take you to the Google Free Apps that you want.

Here's what it looks like:
















Click the "Get Started" button and you'll be taken to a login page with the option to buy a new domain or to enter a domain name that you already own. Now comes the tricky part. If you type in your domain name, you may see a red X and bold red letters that say "This domain name has already been registered with Google Apps. Please contact your domain administrator for instructions on using Google Apps with this domain." Duh! You own it. This is where you may have to "prove" you own your domain. Please be aware that if you try and pay for an email with your domain through Google Business Apps, you will still have to "prove" domain ownership. You won't get out of this just because you're "paying".


Here's what it looks like:
















If you purchase(d) your domain from Blogger, it could only be hosted by two companies, Godaddy.com or enom.com. If you have not yet purchased your domain name through Blogger and plan to do so, I recommend going through this process so you can get your emails and Google Free Apps set up all at once. Don't go to Blogger's main page and purchase your domain, unless you don't plan to use the Google Free Apps and access the name@domain.com email options.

Now you need to find out which one is hosting your domain. You can do this through a "Whois domain" search. Do this through Godaddy.com. Type in your domain name in the big option box. You may have to type in a code to prove you aren't a computer automated system trying to pull up this info. Once you've done that, A page will pop up showing that your domain is purchased with several NameMatch Recommendations on the right-hand side. This is to try and entice you to purchase domain name options. Ignore them. This page still doesn't tell you if GoDaddy.com or enom.com is hosting your domain. They hide it very well. So scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on "See Underlying Registery Data".

It looks like this:















Now it will say Registrar: GoDaddy or Enom. In my case it's Enom.Inc. You can do a search for contact info on these companies. I was able to call Enom.com and get a person on the phone immediately. He didn't even try to sell me email, but told me about the Google Free Apps. I already knew about the Google Free Apps, but I was impressed that he didn't try to "sell" me something additional. When I told him how I wasn't getting anywhere on the Google Forums, he gave me two email addresses that were not posted ANYWHERE on the Forums. If these email addresses are posted, they are well-hidden and I've yet to find them.

The bottom line is this: Google automatically assigns you a user name such as bloggeradmin@domain.com, but they don't TELL you this. You'll have to choose the "Reset Password" option. You'll be denied because you won't know the correct user name, which is "bloggeradmin". Instead, they send you around in circles to all these links and eventually you'll end up on a page asking if you would like help resetting your CNAME for your domain. This isn't necessary, but if you click "yes", you'll be taken to a list of links to several companies who will be happy to assist you for a "fee".

Hopefully, today's navigation process will help you avoid these headaches without paying for additional services that you shouldn't have to pay.

Don't Give UP!

8 comments:

Martha Ramirez said...

Very interesting, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing:)

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

You're welcome, Martha!

Hafis said...

I luv to read your blog... :)

Jeanette Levellie said...

Jennifer: I bought my domain name through Yahoo. Do they also have free apps I can take advantage of?

Thanks for your help,
Jen

Tina said...

Jennifer,
Where have you been my whole writing life? WOW! I read your article with my mouth wide open. I LOVE FREE!
Thanks,
Tina Roberts

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Jeanette, I haven't used Yahoo so I don't know as much about them. I sorry.

Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor said...

Tina, You are a trip! Thank you. Hope the info is helpful.

Domain India said...

What a good application? This application has good features. Great work. Thanks for sharing.