You will need to update the domain’s DNS settings for Google Apps to work properly.

Navigate to Google Apps – Standard Edition (currently here).

Click the ‘Get Started’ button.

You can purchase a domain through Google or use an existing one – the instructions below are for the latter case.

Tick ‘Administrator: I own or control this domain’ and enter the domain (e.g. ‘mydomain.com’) and click ‘Get Started’.

Enter your details- I recommend you enter an email address that is not on the domain you are applying (i.e. not ‘[email protected]’ – you can sign up for a gmail address for free if required).

Set up your Administrator account (I suggest you use admin[@mydomain.com] for your administrative user).

You should receive a welcome email at this point, and will be given some information about Google’s domain verification process.

Click continue and sign in with the administrative user details you supplied them.

Verification – You need to prove to Google that you have ownership of (or at least, privileged access to) the domain. You can do this by altering the DNS settings, adding some code to the HTML of the website or uploading a special file to the webspace. If you have webspace already then the latter two are easy and I’d suggest the file upload option.

You need to upload the file the supply you with to the public HTML root of the FTP area (i.e. the folder that your homepage is in). If you are running a content management system that rewrites URLs then you may need to verify by another method (the verification file should be left where it is, and accessible).

You’re now registered and ready to follow Google’s Help Guide for linking your DNS records up for your email, etc.