With the recent announcement of the long-awaited IMAP functionality available from Google, we’ve had a lot of customers asking how to go about setting up Google Apps to work with Slamdot. So, let’s get this party started, shall we?
Step 1: Sign up for Google Apps
If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to first sign up for Google Apps. There is a free plan that will work well for most people.
Assuming you already have a Slamdot account, you’ll already have a domain name to use with Google Apps. So, on the first step of the signup process, make sure that you enter the domain name that you’re using with Slamdot into the existing domain field. The rest is pretty self-explanatory.
Step 2: Verify domain ownership
Once your account has been created, you’ll receive your login information and instructions for verifying your domain ownership. We recommend that you simply upload the HTML file that Google Apps generates to your public_html folder. This is by far the quickest and easiest option to get up and rockin’ right away.
Step 3: Enable services for your domain
Now that your account has been created, you’ll need to turn on the services that you wish to use from Google Apps. For example, you might choose to enable Gmail, Calendar, and Docs & Spreadsheets for your domain.
You probably won’t need to enable Google Page Creator since your Slamdot account includes web hosting space for your web site, including more powerful features like PHP, Perl, and Ruby on Rails to give your site a dynamic backend.
You should setup custom web addresses so that URLs like http://mail.yourdomain.com and http://calendar.yourdomain.com redirect to your Google Apps hosted applications.
If you’re going to allow Google Apps to handle your email hosting, go ahead and setup email accounts for any users that you created under Slamdot. In the next step, you’ll be routing your email to Google Apps, so you’ll want to make sure it’s ready to accept your mail.
Step 4: Modify your DNS settings at Slamdot
At this point, you’ve enabled the services that you want to use from Google Apps. Now you need to configure Slamdot to allow Google to take over email hosting, as well as setup any custom web addresses you created.
First, log into your Slamdot account with your email address and password (or OpenID). Click on your hosting plan from the Dashboard to access its Control Panel. Next, click on the Advanced tab and proceed to the DNS link.
Here, you’ll need to remove any existing DNS records that may conflict with your custom web addresses that you created. For instance, Slamdot automatically created an MX record and an A record, called mail, by default when you signed up. If you’re going to be hosting your email with Google Apps, you’ll need to remove the existing MX record first by clicking on the trash can icon next to the record. If you used mail for your custom web address, you’ll also need to remove the existing A record for mail.
If you’re allowing Google Apps to take over your email hosting, then you need tell Slamdot not to worry about it any more. To do that, simply click on the Email tab and then click on the Edit Email Settings button on the right-hand side.
Toggle the radio button next to the word No and you’ll be all set. Click the Update email settings button to save your changes.
If Google Apps will be handling your email, go ahead and remove any existing email accounts at Slamdot. You can also delete any forwarders, mailing lists, autoresponders, or vacation messages you setup since they will no longer be necessary.
Step 5: Have fun with Google Apps!
Once Google Apps has verified that you’ve configured your DNS settings properly, your services will be provisioned. After a few moments, you can start playing around with the various services you enabled. If you’re using Google Apps for your email, you’ll need to reconfigure your desktop email software to use Google Apps for POP or IMAP access.
Should you have any trouble getting Google Apps to play with nice with Slamdot, shoot us an email and we’ll be happy to lend a helping hand. Good luck!