Integrate Google Apps and Blogger.

Google Apps is a service from Google which provides Gmail, Google Docs, Google Sites, Google Calendar, Google Talk and Google Video to domain registrants. It comes in three flavors : Standard (free), Premier (50$ US/year) and Education (free). Using this service you can have email for your domain like myname@mydomain.com.

Blogger is a Google owned blog-publishing tool which enables you to create a free blog on their blogspot.com domain. Recently Blogger introduced Custom Domains which enable you to point your own registered domain name to your blogspot blog. Once you do that you have a blog/site : www.mysite.com. The next step is to have your email associated with your site. Here are the steps to follow to integrate Google Apps with Blogger :

1. BUY A DOMAIN NAME.

Before buying a domain name you have to choose one by researching keywords for your blog. These are important from the view of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO ensures that your blog appears in the first few pages of the search results.

After ensuring that the domain name you want is available, you have to buy it. You can buy it directly from Blogger if you have a credit card. For 10$ US Blogger gives you Google Apps, privacy protection, DNS autoconfigure and DNS management services.

If you do not have a credit card you can buy it from any domain registrar using your Paypal account. Different registrars have different pricing plans. Many offer free domain name if you choose a hosting plan. If you do not want to opt for hosting you can buy a domain name from Zoneedit. Privacy protection is extra but DNS management services are free (25-40$ value).

2. CHANGE NAMESERVERS.

The next step is to change the nameservers. Login at Zoneedit.com and click on "Manage Domain Registration link". It will go to :

https://secure.registerapi.com/account/mydomain.php

Check the box for your domain and in the drop down box under "Select Domain Management Task" choose "Modify Nameservers". Add the following nameservers :

ns18.zoneedit.com.

ns13.zoneedit.com.

It may take 2/3 days for the change to take effect. It is only then that you can move to the next step.

3. CHANGE A RECORDS.

To change the A record login at Zoneedit.com. Under "Zones" you will see the domain name if bought from Zoneedit.com. If bought from another domain registrar click "Add Zones" link at top and add the domain. Then you have to change the nameservers as shown in Step 2 above. After the nameserver change is effective, click the zone name to edit it. Then click "IP Addresses (A)" link above. Add the A records as below :

mydomain.com 64.233.179.121

mydomain.com 66.249.81.121

mydomain.com 72.14.207.121

NOTE : A records to be changed only for 'mydomain.com' and not for 'www.mydomain.com'.

4. CREATE A STANDARD GOOGLE APPS ACCOUNT

Next step is to Create a Standard Google Apps account. A Standard account is free and gives the same amount of email storage space as a normal GMail account. Create one for your domain by going to :

http://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new

Check the Administrator box and enter your domain name and click "Get Started" button. Enter all your info. and click Continue. You will have to verify you are the Admin by creating a CNAME record which we will do later.

5. CREATE MX RECORDS

Before creating MX records you have to delete any web forwards. Login at zoneedit.com and click on Mail Forwards link and delete any existing mail forwards. Then click the "Mail Servers(MX)" link at top. Follow these steps :

First Delete the current entries :
Select all checkboxes in the delete column.
Press the Delete button.
Click Yes to verify.

Next MX records should be added one at a time :


In MailServer, add ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM
Select 1st priority for the rank.
Add the name of your domain.
Click Add New Mail Server.
You will be asked to confirm the operation. Press Yes.
Repeat for the following entries :


ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM handles mail 3rd for your domain
ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM handles mail 3rd for your domain
ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM handles mail 5th for your domain
ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM handles mail 5th for your domain
ASPMX4.GOOGLEMAIL.COM handles mail 5th for your domain
ASPMX5.GOOGLEMAIL.COM handles mail 5th for your domain

Go back to your Google Apps Dashboard :

https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/MYDOMAIN.com/Dashboard

Replace 'MYDOMAIN' with your domain name.

6. CHANGE CNAME RECORD.

Login at Zoneedit.com and click 'Aliases (CNAME)' link at top

Change CNAME records to point to ghs.google.com for :

start.MYDOMAIN.COM

mail.MYDOMAIN.COM

docs.MYDOMAIN.COM

sites.MYDOMAIN.COM

calendar.MYDOMAIN.COM

www.MYDOMAIN.COM

Note : CNAME record to be changed only for 'www.mydomain.com' and not for 'mydomain.com'.

7. CREATE A GOOGLE ACCOUNT.

Go to :

https://www.google.com/accounts/NewAccount

and create a Google Account which you will need to login at Blogger.com to create a Blog.

8. CREATE A BLOG.

Login at Blogger.com with your newly created Google Account. Click "Create a Blog" link on Dashboard and follow the arrows to create your blog. Go to Settings----->Publishing for your blog Click the Advanced link and type in your domain name and redirect blog to it. Below put a check in the box to "Redirect MYDOMAIN.com to www.MYDOMAIN.com"

Using the above steps I have this blogspot blog : http://zamure.blogspot.com directed to http://www.zamure.com/. You can use this tool to check A records for any domain name.

A Records :

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zamure.com. IN A
;; ANSWER SECTION:
zamure.com. 7000 IN A 64.233.179.121
zamure.com. 7000 IN A 66.249.81.121
zamure.com. 7000 IN A 72.14.207.121

CNAME Record :

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;www.zamure.com. IN CNAME
;; ANSWER SECTION:
www.zamure.com. 7200 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.

MX Records :

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;zamure.com. IN MX
;; ANSWER SECTION:
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 20 ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 20 ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 20 ASPMX4.GOOGLEMAIL.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 20 ASPMX5.GOOGLEMAIL.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 0 ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 10 ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.
zamure.com. 7200 IN MX 10 ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.com.

To check there is a proper 301 Redirect from blogspot blog to your domain use this tool.

After redirecting your blogspot blog successfully paste the blogspot link in text box and check for the correct response :

Response

Checked link: http://zamure.blogspot.com
Type of redirect: 301 Moved Permanently

Redirected to: http://www.zamure.com/

9. INTEGRATE WITH GOOGLE APPS.

In Step 4 above we created a Google Apps account. Here we can create a site http://sites.zamure.com/ and a Start page. The Start page is actually a personalized Google (iGoogle) page where the content is customized by users. We can also customize the Mail Page, the Documents Page and the Calendar Page. Then add the links as shown across the top of this blog in a navigation bar for easier access.

No comments: