When you buy a web domain through Google Docs, you get personalized email addresses (like me@mydomain.com instead of me@gmail.com) plus you can setup a quick website on Google Sites without having to pay for web hosting. The domains are registered privately meaning others cannot see your contact information in the public WHOIS database.

Google Apps comes in two flavors – the free edition (where you just pay for the domain name) and the business edition (where you pay for the domain and the number of users).

Tip #1: How to Sign-up for Google Apps Free Edition

For business reasons, the Google Apps homepage includes no mention of the free edition but you can use this secret link to  go straight to the sign-up form. The link  is otherwise hidden under the “Pricing” section of the Google Apps website.

Tip #2: Country Domains are Relatively Cheap at Google Apps

You can now buy country-specific domains (like .in, .org.in and even .cc) through Google Apps and the deal could be better than buying directly through the registrar. For instance, Google offers the India specific .in domain for $8 per year while GoDaddy charges $17/year for the same TLD while Indian registrars charge around $10 for .in domains.

The following chart shows the current domain registration prices for various TLDs that are available through Google Apps. Some domain extension in the chart are marked red - read the next tip to know why?

Worldwide Domains Country Specific Domains
TLD Domain Price ($/year) TLD Domain Price ($/year)
.biz $12 .be, .es, .pl $8
.com $12 .cc $15
.info $12 .co $25
.mobi $12 .cz, .nl, .com.es, $10
.name $10 .co.in $10
.net $10 .in, .net.in, .org.in $8
.org $12 .ch, .com.mx, .com.co $12
.tv $8 .mx $30

The global TLDs are registered through GoDaddy.com or eNom.com while Google has picked DomainDiscount24.com as the registrar for handling international domains.

Tip #3: Buy Unsupported Domains through Google Apps

Google has made one important change recently. They no longer offer global TLDs like .org or .net for purchase with the free edition of Google Apps. You can buy a .com domain as before but for a .org or .co web address, you have to sign-up for the Google Apps business edition.

Going back to the above chart, the domain extensions highlighted in red are only available for purchase with the business edition of Google Apps.

Google Apps - Domain Not Supported

Google Apps (free) does not support purchase of .org or .net domains?

Here’s a simple workaround though. When you are signing up for the free version of Google Apps but need a domain name that is only available in the business edition of Google Apps, take this approach – sign-up for the business edition of Google Apps (sign-up link) and once the domain is registered, just cancel your subscription.

Google won’t charge your credit for 30 days and if you cancel during this period, your Business edition will simply be downgraded to the Free edition of Google Apps.