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.
In January 2015, Google launched Google Domains, a Google owned registrar, currently available in the USA. Google Domains has many features popular in "Buy a domain" and Google Apps based domain purchases, such as email addresses that can be forwarded to GMail and other front end services. Private and secure cloud based file sharing, with Content Management System supported business class documents, is available using Google Drive.