How I become a G Suite Super Fan

Microsoft out, Google in.

The Turning Point

Back in 2007 saw the release of the very first iPhone, PCs started to come shipped with Microsoft Vista and iMacs were still the new kid on the block (oh and let’s not forget first iphoneRihanna’s Umbrella song stayed in the charts for an incredible 10 weeks.)

Microsoft was still the default choice for most things and I hated it.

Then one lazy afternoon later that same year, I read an article about the increasing popularity of the iMac and as someone who likes the underdog it wasn’t long before I purchased my first Linux based machine.

Within a week I realised just how much I loved the iMac and at the same time how much I disliked Microsoft. Using Apple’s macOS felt like a homecoming to me, everything just made sense. It worked how it should and didn’t splurge out error after error and fall over halfway through writing an unsaved letter. I swore then that I wouldn’t never venture back into the problem ridden world of Microsoft.

windows-vista

Every time I was forced to use a PC at a client’s premises, or help one of my Children on their home laptops, it added a little more to the Microsoft hate pit. Over the coming years that original dislike of Microsoft grew and festered inside of me.

I wasn’t the only person disheartened by watching others struggle with simple tasks on their Windows based PC’s. Magazines and online forums were full of people moaning about crashing PC’s, how complicated things were and how Microsoft was of little or no help. How I was glad to be in the Apple club.

The Downside to the iMac move

There was one downside to owning an iMac and that was the limited availability of software. Don’t get me wrong, things had come on massively since the iMac launch but compared to Windows software, you were in no way spoilt for choice.

I did have a copy of Apple’s iWork bundle, this comprised of Pages, Keynote and Numbers. These were OK but only that, just OK. Even though called iWork, in my humble opinion they were more aimed at the consumer than at business users. Since movingiwork to Apple I had refused to install Microsoft Office or for that matter, any Microsoft title. I am a stubborn kinder of a guy and wasn’t going to be deterred from owning a Mac. I wanted to explore other options that weren’t Microsoft so I set myself a challenge and that challenge was to erase Microsoft out of my life completely.

I know it sounds a little drastic but a challenge is a challenge and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a better alternative for me out there.

The False Start

I had a personal Gmail account, which like many others I had to wait for that all important and prized invitation. (Gmail started with a limited beta rollout, this involved giving accounts to a thousand outsiders and allowing them to invite a couple of friends apiece, and growing slowly from there.)

gmailAs much as I liked using Gmail (especially the user interface, labels and search) there were some niggles that I couldn’t get over. The main culprit being conversation view which was enabled by default and couldn’t be disabled.

Being from the old school, I was used to single view emails and just hated conversation view. There were also issues with unrelated conversations being linked together which caused me a massive headache, so I parked my Gmail account and used my Apple @me.com address instead.

Google Relents on the Conversation View Argument

I wasn’t alone with the conversation view argument and after many years of petitions and dedicated websites of hate, Google relented and decided to give their users the ability to switch conversation view off.

You can read their official post here https://gmail.googleblog.com/2010/09/turn-off-gmails-conversation-view.html

This was big news on the web and as soon as I discovered the change, my sights were firmly fixed back on Google Apps Premier Edition.

My Move to Google Begins

The Google Apps suite came with Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Sites and Google Talk, basically everything I needed to run my business. It google apps premier editionwasn’t a hard decision for me to migrate straight over to Google Apps and without a second thought I did exactly that.

Google are like Apple’s and the latest Android and iPhones, things just work. Using Cloud based software was fantastic for me as it allowed me to work from anywhere in the world without the need of having to use my own computer, very handy when working on site at a clients or on holiday.

Compatibility wasn’t an issue as Google Docs, Sheets and Slides lets you import their Microsoft counterparts documents in a breeze. Google also compatabilitygive you the ability to export any document as Excel, Word or Powerpoint compatible files.

Gmail was my favourite part of Google for Work. I loved the fact I could add multiple domains to my account and send and receive emails from multiple alias names across multiple domains. As I ran about 6 websites at the time, having more than one domain for email was absolutely essential. Search was impossible to beat and to this day still is, finding lost emails was never going to be a tiresome issue again.

Never having to worry about backups or software updates signed the deal for me, I was converted.

Present Day

i_love_googleTo this very day, amid a few rebrands I have stayed loyal to Google and have strayed only the once. I am now an avid user of Google G Suite. and as well as being an authorised referrer I am also working towards being a certified G Suite Partner.

For professional reasons I have followed Microsoft’s Office 365, and have tested it on a few occasions. I will admit that they have come on a long way but ….. Office 365 is no way as user friendly as G Suite, 365 costs more (nearly double on same subscriptions) and G Suite support can not be beat.

As of January 2017, G Suite has 3 million paying businesses, and 70 million G Suite for Education users. I am very pleased that my children’s school uses Google Classroom and for them, Google is now the norm and Microsoft the underdog, who would have thought?

You can signup for a Google G Suite trial here and if you are interested in moving to G Suite then give me a shout and i’ll email you a discount code to enable you to receive 20% off your first years subscription charges.

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How to Set up abuse@ and postmaster@ in Google G Suite

Do I really need to setup abuse@ and postmaster@ addresses?

In a nutshell, yes, email best practice stipulates that you should setup abuse@ and postmaster@ email addresses on your domain.

  • abuse@ should be implemented so that individuals can easily send abuse information or complain about spam to a domain holder. A number of anti-spam systems will automatically use the @abuse to forward complaints.
  • postmaster@ should be implemented to receive queries and reports.

@postmaster is the administrator of a mail server. Nearly every domain should have the e-mail address postmaster@ so any errors in e-mail processing can be directed. Error e-mails automatically generated by mail servers’ MTAs usually appear to have been sent to the postmaster address.

How do I set these email addresses up?

Most email providers make it fairly easy to setup these two addresses. You can set them up as dedicated POP3/IMAP mail boxes, but if you pay on a per user bases this route could incur extra charges. The second and most common option is to set the addresses up as alias names, also known as email forwarders. This option sets the @abuse and @postmaster to forward to an existing mailbox(s).

You can normally setup email forwarders free of charge but I would recommend checking first, most of the big players like 123-reg.co.uk and Heart Internet offer this as standard.

Google G Suite doesn’t make it as simple

Google doesn’t have much trust in their customers so they have a reserved list of names that can’t be added as simple alias names to your associated domains.

Try and add abuse@ or postmaster@ and your get a friendly error message.

google alias

Google Quote:

How are reports of abuse, spam, and technical problems handled?

For your convenience, the Google Team monitors all mail sent to the addresses abuse@yourdomain.com and postmaster@yourdomain.com to ensure that we can properly address all reports of spam, abuse, and technical issues. Since abuse and postmaster are reserved aliases, you can’t use them as usernames or nicknames.

If you want particular users in your organization to receive mail sent to abuse@yourdomain.com and postmaster@yourdomain.com, you can create groups named abuse and postmaster. Users that are part of these groups will receive mail sent to those addresses. The Google Team will still receive the mail as well.

Learn more about how to create a group.

Because of their special status, you can only create the abuse and postmaster groups using the Google Admin console. You can’t create the groups using Google Groups.

Link to the above article https://support.google.com/a/answer/33389?hl=en

I have mixed feelings about this practice. On one hand there are some privacy concerns that need some further thought. But on the other hand, Google are only taking this step to protect their network and email delivery for their other clients. I’ll leave it down to you to come to your own conclusions.

So based on the above information, the only way to receive a copy of emails sent to these two addresses is to setup a Google Group within your G Suite account.

A Step by Step Guide – Setting up a Google Group

Google Groups can be used like a shared mail box. Email is sent to the group and then distributed to members within the group and the group can have one of more members.

A Google Group can be setup to basically work similar to a Microsoft distribution list or shared folder. Once setup, all emails sent to postmaster@ and abuse@ will be forwarded to each members Gmail inbox. The below process should be repeated for both abuse@ and postmaster@.

Step 1 – Login to your Google Administrator Account

https://admin.google.com/

Select the Domains option from the main screen (if you don’t see this option then it will be tucked away under the More Options tab at the bottom of the screen.

google admin 2

Step 2 – Create A New Group

Simply click on the yellow plus sign which is located bottom right of the screen.

crate group

Once clicked you will be presented with a pop-up box like the one below. Complete all the fields making sure to select the correct domain and to keep the default access level as Public. Setting us public allows this group to receive emails from external sources.

At this stage you can select for all users within your domain to be automatically added to the group or you can wait and add users manually later. Once complete click on the create option.

create new group

If everything went according to plan you will now see the following page.

group setup

Step 3 – Time for a Tea Break

tea breakIt’s always good to have a short break (I know I need one) so go grab yourself a cup tea (or for that matter, any beverage that takes your fancy) and come back in a few minutes to finish reading this rather long and dull post. (sorry but I do try and stop myself droning on)

Step 4 – Add User(s)

Hopefully you’re now refreshed and ready to move on.

If you didn’t select add all users in step 2 then you will now have to manually add the users to this group. The easiest way is to use the add users to group option top right of the page.

add group users

The next pop-up asks to to enter a users email address, as you start typing Google will auto suggest users.

user details

You will notice an option on the right hand side that allows you to change the users permission between Owner and Member.

Google gives a very detailed explanation for both users types here https://support.google.com/a/answer/167094?hl=en But the basics are that a Owner can add more users, manage group permissions and even delete the group. A Member simply receives copies of the groups communication and can view the group at any time.

Repeat step 4 for each user you wish to add.

Step 5 – Other Options

You will also notice two other options – Roles and Permissions and Aliases. Unless you have a particular reason to do so, I wouldn’t recommend changing anything in the Roles section. The Alias settings are only needed if you want to add multiple email aliases to come to the same group. When using Google Groups for this type of setup it would be very rare to use Alias name.

That’s You Finished

finished

Congratulations, you now have working abuse@ and postmaster@ email addresses. Any email sent to these addresses will be forwarded to the users listed in the group settings. Google will still get their copies so everyone is happy.

I’d finally recommend you get your users to setup an email rule to deal with these types of emails. Depending on your company and email traffic volume you might not want all these messages clogging up your inbox. I’ll try and get a blog post up in the next few days explaining how best to handle these emails.

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My 12 Month Tech Journey

My 12 Month Journey from Google to Microsoft and back again.

Why Microsoft and me don’t see eye to eye.

A quick note from the author

This post has changed directions many times since I started writing and it’s developed into a much longer post than I anticipated. I want to apologie in advance if I have drifted off subject at times and if it’s just too long to read.

Once I started I just couldn’t stop, I got the writing bug and just went for it, so here goes.

siriI must tell someone at least once a day how much I love Google and how much I despise Microsoft and even though I am a fan of Apple I am slowly starting to question their high pricing and lack of investment into new business services like custom domain based push email and in my opinion limited Google integration.

oh and don’t get my started with how bad Siri is ….

Up until last year I had done most of my consulting work from home with only the occasional need to visit clients, with powerful applications like Google Hangouts I have never felt the need to spend hours sitting in traffic for a face to face meeting when I could be in my nice warm office making money and keeping projects on target.

I’d say that nearly every new client I have ever gained has been from a word of mouth referral or from a very specific Google Search, most prospective clients I speak to kind of already know what they want and just need someone to manage the project for them and fill in the missing gaps.

My home office comprised of an Apple iMac, my phone of choice was the iPhone 6 and most of the business applications I used were Google with G Suite being my number one OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmost used suite of programs. I didn’t own anything Microsoft and only had office installed on my iMac for the odd occasion I needed to manipulate a lot of data in Excel. I haven’t owned a PC for over 14 years, I think the last time I used a computer it had Microsoft XP installed.

As i had been self employed for so long i’d always said I wouldn’t go back to full time employment, but then out of the blue I received a proposal from a client regarding an interim CTO position within their company, with the money on the table being too good to turn down I decided to take the plunge, it was only for 3 months after all and the CTO experience would do me good.

Back to the Daily World of Corporate Grind

Last year saw me thrown back into the corporate world again when I accepted an office based interim CTO position, and being that I was used to working in my own office environment where everything was Google and Apple I was about to be put in line for a massive shock.cto

I hadn’t been in a corporate office environment since my last paid job back in 2001 so as you can imagine many things have changed over the years, the lack of a fax machine was the first thing I noticed, followed by the missing background sound of a dot matrix printer, which put a stop to any nostalgic moments I was hoping to experience, and why is no one wearing suits? What has happened to the world!

But some things seem to have remained exactly as I remembered them, with Microsoft being one of them.

Out of the approximate 100+ people based in my new place of work, all but little old me were using PCs, with Outlook being the choice to manage email, Microsoft Office for documents, spreadsheets etc and my least favorite browser, Internet Explorer for everything internet based.

microsoft-exchange-20132And like many other companies here in the UK and world alike they housed their own Microsoft Exchange server on site, what became apparent very quickly was that this beast of a server was the cause of many of their problems and was consuming a massive amount of their IT team’s very precious time.

I had always believed I was cutting edge when it came to using the best and latest solutions on the market, but sitting there in my glass office on that very first day in my new roll, I actually felt like a tech dinosaur.

Not having used Windows 10 before I looked like a bit of a dope, trying to access my new email account and navigate my way around a PC and Windows is harder than you think

Crazy facewhen your new bosses are standing around your desk telling you how very happy they are with their choice of interim CTO.

To wing it is an understatement, thank god for my good looks and charm.

A life saver of an IT guy who saw me struggling came to my rescue and offered to add my Macbook Pro to their network and get me up and running, a very close call to say the least.

PC or not PC

Now linked to their network I was up and running with my Macbook and looking more like the professional I am and feeling right at home, but before getting to comfortable things started to go south and using my Mac seemed to mean nothing was plain sailing, everything in the office just seemed to work on a PC but trying to do simple tasks from my computer (like printing) was becoming a pain and a hindrance, trying to work away from the office without a PC wasn’t at all straightforward, connecting remotely via a VPN should have been a doddle but time after time I ran into problems, was it their network, their IT Manager or was it that the Mac just wasn’t happy sharing a network with Windows based PCs? I didn’t know and hadn’t the time to troubleshoot, so I decided to break a rule of a lifetime and invest in a new laptop, I choose a very sexy new Dell XPS …

del xps 15

Being completely honest and unbiased, using the Dell Laptop did make working in my new environment less complicated and for the first time in my working life I even started to enjoy using Windows. Windows 10, according to my non Apple disciples was apparently one of the better versions and was a far cry from the disliked Windows 8.

Problem solved, I could work from home without much hassle and could easily hook straight onto their network when onsite, I got so used to working from a Windows 10 machine that I even purchased a new home computer and sold both my Macs, what was I thinking!

I did find Outlook rather complicated and the Exchange server did struggle with speed sometimes, I also disliked OneDrive and missed Google Drive like mad, had I jumped into this PC purchase to fast?

windows 10One thing became very clear from day one, my new work colleagues liked Microsoft and PC’s and that wasn’t going to change, I could go as far in saying that in their minds there was no other options, they stared at me in complete silence when I spoke about Google G Suite and the benefits with using a cloud based solution over their very pricey Exchange server and Microsoft Office licenses.

Even though I was recruited as the CTO, my position was only a temporary one so I had to leave the Windows V Google argument to one side and crack on with more pressing projects, I remained defeated.

The IT Gate Keeper

One of the MAJOR issues with trying to sell G Suite into corporations is the IT Managers, most of the Directors and top level executives love the idea of something new, something that can actually save them money and in most cases can streamline their business better. On the other hand IT Managers that I have worked with have mainly been gate keeperthoroughbred Microsoft and networking guys, which in fairness to them is what they have been used to using and all their training and certifications have covered, and before I get a stream of hate mail, I am not saying for a minute that ALL IT Managers are like this, but I certainly think a particular age group will always be stuck with what they are comfortable with.

And I totally get it from their point of view, some new CTO comes in and wants to change everything they have worked so hard to put in place, of course I was careful not to tread on his already squashed toes but I had a job to do and wanted to do it well. Convincing some people that changes can be good and that learning new things can be fun and more importantly can also add some extra beef to their CV’s and Linkedin profiles should be easy, but in this case, didn’t happen.

My theory is that cloud based email and collaborative solutions can scare some IT professionals into thinking that once you remove their Exchange Server and the need of installing continuous Exchange and Microsoft Office patches and updates, their jobs will scaredbecome less technical and thus making their positions less tenable, some may say I am digging a little deep with my psychology analysis of IT Managers but I honestly believe that one person’s inability to stray out of their comfort zone and look outside of the box can be massively detrimental to a company’s technology advancements, which is why it’s always important to bring in an outside consultant from time to time to run an audit and feedback their findings to the directors/board, you probably noticed a little plug for more consultancy work there.

Microsoft Office 365

I know there will be many people who will say that G Suite isn’t the only cloud based solution out there, and you would be correct, there is of course a major competitor and that being Office 365, I’ve used it and actually think it’s quite a good offering and can see how appealing it would be for those used to working in the world of Microsoft, but right now I am not going to debate which is the best, as both Google and Microsoft can both appeal to different markets but for me 365 has much more than the average company needs, plus the difference in price can be quite considerable, at the time of writing this post Google Suite were charging from £3.30 per user per month with the nearest comparison being £7.90 per month for Microsoft Office 365, even G Suites unlimited account is only £6.60 per month per user.

office 365

Another subject to consider is support, I have recently tried Microsoft support and wasn’t impressed at all, the email response I received didn’t really help fix the issue and if I compare this against Google’s support where I received a comprehensive reply within a few minutes and a follow up by phone a couple of hours later, I know which one I prefer.

Maybe some people can’t be converted and maybe some need something specific that one solution offers over another, so I get the fact I can’t win everyone over but you can’t blame me for trying.

Mobile Devices

iCloud works best on an iphone and G Suite works best on Android but where does Microsoft fit into the mobile phone market? Their Lumia phones were pretty much a failure which doesn’t leave many options for deep integration on a mobile phone, yes they have great tablet solutions and they also have good apps for both Apple and Android but they will never work as good as their counterparts.

mobile deviceI have previously used G Suite on an iPhone which in fairness has come on a lot over the past few years and works fairly OK, but there are many bugbears that overtime start gnawing away at me, I am a stickler for detail and want things to work how they should, I hate workarounds and 3rd party applications that just don’t do the job.

I am now using a OnePlus 3 Android phone, I love it, in terms of using Google Suite, it’s a dream, everything just works well and as it should, I still have my iPhone 7 in my desk draw, I can’t quite give up on it yet as my 4 children and wife all have iPhones and the one major thing I am currently missing in iMessage. Only time will tell which way I go with my phone but right now I am sticking with Android.

All Good Things Comes to an End

Three months flew by and before I knew it the interim post has finished and I was packing my things up and moving back to my home office. My first thought was how weird it was going to be working back on my own in my man cave, I needn’t have worried as almost immediately I knew I was glad to be back in my own relaxed world and ready to pick up the projects I had previously put on hold.

So it’s just me, my Lenovo desktop PC, my Dell laptop XPS and trusted iPhone, slowly getting back into the swing of things and catching up with clients and business partners. A new project landed in my in-box within a couple of days and very quickly I realised I was already missing my iMac and using Google G Suite. Most of my existing clients wereall good things must come to an end G Suite users so all the documents they send me are Google Docs rather than Word Docs, same goes with spreadsheets, trying to open a Google Doc from Microsoft Outlook isn’t a nice experience either.

My life with Windows hit a brick wall when I tried installing a new printer, it definitely wasn’t plug and play and took me ages to get up and running, I never had a single issue when using my Macbook so I knew the issues I was experiencing were due to two things, firstly my lack of Windows knowledge made everything more difficult and time consuming and secondly, I think deep down I knew I was never going to be a happy Microsoft customer.

And why oh why does Microsoft have so many bloody updates?

Back to Apple

I could go on for ages listing all the things I hate about Outlook and Windows but I think that’s for another time, I needed to get back to the cloud with Google and back to an Apple computer, so of I trotted to the Apple store in Warford and within a few hours I was back home with a new Apple Macbook Pro with Touch Bar and Touch ID.

Placeholder ImageI was up and running in no time at all and guess what? The new printer worked straight away after being plugged in, no complicated setup, just plug and play, just how life is meant to be, simple.

At this point I promised myself I would never stray from Apple or Google again, no more Windows and no more 365, stick with what I like and what I know. Can I keep this promise to myself? Am I now content with my technical life?

Buyers Remorse – Have I just wasted £1700?

I am a confident man who doesn’t care much about what people think of me, but my lovely wife still scares the hell out of me at times and as childish as it sounds I hid how much I had spent on the Macbook from her, I can only guess I was embarrassed, £1700 for such a small laptop, ouch.

I remained optimistic that my remorse would fade over the coming weeks and continued to enjoy my new toy. The Macbook is a good spec, light weight, small and very fast but could I have bought more with my money?

Acer Chromebook 14

I had looked at Chromebooks way back when they first appeared on the market, I had a quick play in a local PC World showroom but at the time I wasn’t that impressed. But following a conversation with an old work colleague who mentioned he had recently invested in a Chromebook I decided to take a 2nd look.

Acer Chromebook 14

I’m not going to lie, I didn’t do much research into which model to purchase but after some digging around I decided on the Acer Chromebook 14, it was reasonably priced at £289.00 and had a decent specifications, so I decided to treat myself, being June and all …

I’ve only been using it for a week but so far I can’t find any fault with it, I get it that it’s not a full blown PC but if you want something that works well with Google G Suite, is easy to use and costs a fraction of the price of other laptops then please take a look, give me a spin and see how fast and stable the the system is.

I have also noticed just how quiet it is and that unlike other laptops I have used, it doesn’t get hot when charging, one of the first things you will notice is just how fast the system boots and how quickly it wakes from sleep.

But would I swap this for my Macbook? That’s very hard to answer, the price difference is massive but you can’t compare the two side by side, the Macbook can do a lot more than any Chromebook but for everyday office, education and personal tasks I think the Chromebook is more than sufficient.

Conclusion

Firstly I have concluded that I am a bit of a nut job and never seem to be happy with what tech I am using. secondly that I need to stop being scared of my wife 🙂 – Not Really – and thirdly that the most expensive option is not always the best.

Overall I haven’t changed my original opinion, Apple Macs are better than PC’s, Google G Suite is better than Office 365, I still hate Windows and I am still torn between my Oneplus 3 Android phone and my iPhone7.

Now I have relieved my mind of this vast amount of thought clutter I hope to be able to concentrate on other things.

I hope you enjoyed this feature length post and welcome any feedback in the comments below.

Why I use WordPress and not Blogger

As I probably say way to often in my posts, “I love Google” I always have and always will, but why then do I host this site on WordPress and not Blogger?

Below is a brief overview of the three platforms, Blogger.com, WordPress.org and WordPress.com which I have tried and tested within the last 12 months, all three have their own good points as well as bad, depending on your needs.

Quick Overview

wordpress-logo-hoz-rgb

WordPress.org

https://wordpress.org

WordPress.org is a self hosted blog/website platform which you install on your own web server. Once installed you simply upload one of the thousands of available themes and plugins, add some content and you are good to go. WordPress.org is open source so doesn’t cost you a penny, it’s fairly easy to install and setup but you will need some basic FTP and MYSQL experience.

Once WordPress is installed, you’ll have complete control over every aspect of your website. You can install custom themes and plugins to add new features to your site, or even modify the underlying CSS and PHP files to create a completely custom site.

If you don’t fancy the hassle of installing WordPress.org yourself then you have the option of using a hosting provider that provides it pre-installed, this option is becoming increasingly popular, one of the major players to offer such a service is HostGator.com.

Both of the options above are limited in terms of support with only community based support forums currently available. It’s also down to you to take care of backups etc.

wordpress

WordPress.com

https://wordpress.com

WordPress.com on the other hand, is a free, hosted version of WordPress that enables you build a simple and powerful blog or website in just a couple of minutes.

During the signup process, you’ll choose a name for your site, which will then automatically include “.wordpress.com” at the end of your site’s web address. You can purchase an upgrade which will enable you to use your own domain name, without this xxx.wordpress.com portion.

WordPress.com also includes the ability to collect feedback from your readers through polls, or ratings on your posts. You can also enable a mobile theme, which will ensure that your site is optimized for display on mobile devices.

With WordPress.com you don’t have to host anything, everything is taken care of for you, pricing is very competitive and setup is a real breeze.

There are some restrictions in terms of what themes and plugins you can use but for those looking for a easy way to get up and running, WordPress.com is a great choice.

On the free plan support is community based but on all of their paid plans support is provided by email and live chat,

 

Blogger-Logo

 

Blogger.com

https://www.blogger.com/

Blogger is Googles free tool for creating Blogs. The main advantage to using Blogger is that Blogger is completely free, including hosting and analytics. If you choose to display ads, you share in the profits.

It’s very easy to get up and running but with a limited amount of templates and plugins, in my opinion Blogger is fine for those wanting to run a personal blog with limited content but trying to use it to design and host a full site isn’t as flexible as WordPress.

You can setup the blog using a sub domain of yoursite.blogspot.com  or add your own custom domain. In terms of support, it’s all community based help forums, so like WordPress.org very limited.

love-wordpress

 

WordPress.com is the best choice for me.

It’s completely down to you which option you prefer, there are 100’s of other blogging options available on the market, both paid and free and due to everyone having different needs there isn’t one solution to fit all.

Even though I try and do everything within Google I am afraid to say that when it comes to blogging Blogger just doesn’t match what WordPress offer. I am on the WordPress.com business package where I get unlimited storage space, unlimited premium themes, custom domain, VideoPress support and a recently added addition of being able to add third party themes and plugins.

Support when you need support

On all of the WordPress.com paid plans support is provided by live chat and email, I have used this on about 5 occasions and I am not exaggerating when I say that support was fantastic, even on a Sunday morning I had my chat answered within a few seconds, they know there stuff, they even helped me fix a theme issue. One of the best support experiences I have had.

If you need things fixed quick and your website blog is crucial to your business then you need good, fast 24/7 support.

Feel free to comment below and let me know your thoughts, who do you use for you blog?

 

 

Google G Suite Admin Shows Error 1000

We are unable to process your request at this time. Please try later. (Error #1000)

As I have recently acquired a new domain name I decided I would go ahead and change my primary domain on my Google G Suite account. I had done this once before without any issues but this time around things weren’t that simple.

The Dreaded Error 1000

 

error 1000

The Process of Changing your Primary Domain

The process should be a simple one, you login to https://admin.google.com/ and navigate to domains. google admin domains

Then select Add/Remove Domains

add remove domains

Then next to the domain you want to make your primary domain, select MAKE PRIMARY.

make primary

Once selected you will receive a warning pop-up like below:

change domain

You then confirm you want to proceed by clicking CHANGE PRIMARY DOMAIN and you should then be done, but wait…. what’s this error message 1000?

error 1000 small

Calling on Google for Help

I contacted Google via chat and very quickly received a reply stating that this was a known temporary issue and that I should wait 24/48 hours and try again, I put my trust in their suggestion and waited, 72 hours in fact, then tried again.

Nope, still getting the same error, so back to Google and this time by email, a full 24 hours goes by until I receive a reply stating that my case had been transferred to their admin team and I will get a reply ASAP.

The very same evening I receive a phone call on my mobile from an international number, I don’t normally answer these as most of the time they are overseas call centres trying to sell me something, but this time I decided to pick up and was greeted by a friendly American chap from Google.

Partner Program

G Shuite partner programme

After a little bit of small talk Diego jumps straight in and mentions the fact I had applied for the Google G Suite Reseller Program last year and that I had some live referrals in the system. My new best buddy then said he had spent a few hours investigating the error 1000 on my account and that the problem was caused because I had applied to be a reseller and that once you have applied Google doesn’t allow you to change your primary domain. It’s something to do with fraud prevention.

According to Diego my options were limited, I could either withdraw my application and lose my current referrals, change the domain and then apply again, or wait until I had made the target 100 referrals, be accepted into the program and make the change then.

So there you have it

Due to the hassle I abandoned the domain change idea and suggested to Google that instead of the unhelpful error 1000 they may wish to consider showing a message that simply says “As you have applied to be a Google Partner you can not change your primary domain”

That message would have saved me tons of time, I had searched Google for hours trying to find what was causing the error and found nothing useful, I would never have guessed it was being caused by my wish to Partner with Google.

I wanted to share my experience in the hope it may save someone else going through the same problems as me.

Feel free to comment below to let me know your experiences.