Starting on December 6, 2012, Google will no longer offer new accounts for the free edition of Google Apps. Google Apps free edition is sometimes referred to as "Standard Edition."
This announcement will bring changes to Blogger, and to custom domain publishing. Many owners of Blogger blogs published using the Google Custom Domain feature have learned to use various Google Apps wizards, to setup and to maintain their domains.
Blogger blog owners have learned (some unwillingly) to use Google Apps for various tasks.
- Access the registrar's Domain Manager wizard, after using "Buy a domain".
- Deactivate service redirects, such as the Sites service.
- Maintain domain "auto renew" settings.
- Reset the ever painful "Another blog ..." symptom of database corruption.
- Set the option to "Redirect mydomain.com to www.mydomain.com".
- Setup email delivery for the domain.
If you already have the free edition, you can continue to use it for free. This change has no impact on existing users of the free edition.
So far, we've seen some new domain owners use the Trial version of Google Apps, to recycle domain settings, when dealing with "Another blog ...". We hope that this technique will allow temporary access to the domain root redirect, and to service redirect, settings also. We are also seeing a limited functionality free version, which requires some effort to setup, in some cases.
I'm still wondering where Google will hand out Registrar login instructions, and let us maintain domain renewal settings. The popular option to have custom email addresses, based on the domain URL, is most likely gone.
I'll update this article, as details are provided.