google-hosted gmail for your domain

I have been testing the new gmail “google apps for your domain” service for some months now with great results. Although, when I first switched over, the service was down for a day or so and I panicked. Mail was being returned to senders and I thought I had made a big mistake. I temporarily went back to my normal mail server, but the amount of spam the filters were not catching was too much to bear. So, I went back to hosted gmail and haven’t had a problem since. I tried to keep my domains mail server as a backup server, but then all of my client’s email (on the same server) defaulted to server – so I bit the bullet and deleted the backup mail server settings.

The only issue I have had thus far is the inability to use the gmail notifier for my domain email. But today, I found a new handy piece of software, the hosted gmail client. This is a mini-browser that sits in your taskbar, auto loads your hosted gmail, and has shortcut buttons to inbox, create mail, addresses, settings – for those people more familiar with a desktop application. I like it because my email is not lost in the 20 browser windows I have open at any given time. It’s a barebones program at this point, but hopeful google will add gmail notifier functionality to the client app.

The other thing I like about using gmail for my work email is the handy tool to find out where your spam is coming from. Anytime you comment or signup on a website, you can use a “custom” email address tailored to that site. Something like myname+wordpress[at] anything u put after the plus sign will get delivered normally to your email account – and you can use it to filter or identify incoming mail. Very cool.

Google also offers other free services branded with your domain name… google talk, google calendar and google page creator. The service is stil beta, so you have to sign up with your google account and wait to “be invited” – but it’s worth the wait.