Google Apps & Gmail Users BEWARE!


#1

This post is less of a troubleshooting post on my part (I got the issue resolved) as it is more of a troubleshooting advice ‘article’ for other DH users to read.

This ‘article’ is about, as the title suggests, utilizing Google Apps in conjunction with one’s website and issue that can (and have) come of it.

It all started with me wanting to use Google to handle my email.

I decided that since I liked Google’s email service (Gmail) decently enough that I would be able to entrust it to handle my domain’s email,too.

Initial setup went fine - in fact, it was easy-peasy and it took less than two minutes to get it all set up from following DH’s instructions as written on the control panel to executing said directions on Google Apps’ website.

And then, trouble.

I’m not sure how and I’m not sure when, but after a few days of trouble-free email service from Google and after a day of unsuccessfully trying to log into Google Apps as an admin to create an additional email account (what the hell happened to my admin account at Apps?!), my web hosting for my domain switched over to Google.

What. The. HELL?!

The solution to that, is, of course, to switch it back (which is what I did) and that was done easily using DH’s control panel.

Despite my moment of WTF, there was no harm done and everything switched back to normal within half an hour or so.

BUT.

WHY did that happen in the first place?

Now, I admit that since I was having issues with Google Apps working right, I went to my DH control panel and turned off the email hosting for Google and turned it back on. It’s entirely possible that at this time, I might have switched my hosting, but HOW?

I clicked on ‘Mail’ and then clicked on ‘Custom Mail/Gmail’ and then changed the settings THERE and THERE alone.

I never went to my domain hosting panel to make the change; the change was made AT THE EMAIL OPTIONS PANEL.

But still, I suppose I somehow might have made a mistake at some point in time given that I had messed around with the domain control panel, too, but here’s the thing:

During this time, I switched another domain to use Gmail for its email hosting and I used the same ‘Email’ panel ONLY. I didn’t mess with the domain control panel AT ALL and this I can promise.

Guess what happened to THAT domain’s web hosting?

It became GOOGLE hosting!

WHAT. THE. HELL?

So I had to go back in and manually make the switch myself, which was, again, easy to do, but not something I was pleased to do.

For both sites, the issue got fixed, but the thing is, WHY did it even happen in the first place?

My guess is that if it isn’t DH’s control panel going nuts over people switching email hosting to Gmail, then it’s because of Google Apps itself - the big daddy Google application that you need to first gain access to before Gmail can be enabled for the domain - and the way the setup process is done.

Somehow, somewhere when I told Google to host my email, maybe it thought I wanted to host my site, too, and voila!

Presto chango alakazo -!

… Now where the HECK did my website GO?

NOT fun. NOT cool. DON’T want to mess with it anymore.

I don’t care HOW crazy-sexy-mad-cool Google Apps is, but if setting up simple email instigates sitewide changes that I never approved of, I can only imagine what setting up a calendar or startup page might do and even though I know how to ‘fix’ the problems, I don’t want to have to keep watching out for the problem to happen!

Thank god I’m not doing business on either of those sites and thank god I know more or less what I’m doing when it comes to domain and web hosting settings and the like because I can only imagine what it might be like for a newbie or a business person to suddenly see the Google partners startup page in the place of their website.

And another thing?

If you sign up for Google Apps, you have to create your admin account.

When you do so, you aren’t prompted to enter a secondary email address.

Doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if there’s something wrong with your admin account that prevents you from accessing the account - problems like forgotten or misspelled passwords or even forgotten admin login information - there is NO way for you to independantly regain access to the admin panel for Google Apps.

You CAN regain access, but you have to contact the Google Apps Support and they will make you go through a domain verification process (smart idea, really, just a bit troublesome) before they help you.

So a word of advice?

When you create your Google Apps admin account, go and edit your settings to enable the resetting and retrieval of the admin password, add a secondary email address, and then EMAIL all that information to yourself and/or write it all down where you won’t forget it or lose it!

I know the whole thing about not auto-enabling password retrieval for admin access has to do with security issues, BUT REALLY!

Google Apps in all honesty has so much potential, but without better conceptualization, implementation, and execution of procedures…?

I don’t know about anyone else, but until I figure out just what’s going on with Apps and my domain and web hosting and who switched what where and when and why, I’m not touching it.

It’s not the end of the world if some DH web hosting settings go borked, but it’s still not a good thing to happen.

Exclamation point.