How to set up G Suite for your organization (The complete guide)
By Harsh Vardhan
Everybody loves G Suite. Why? It is an insanely powerful set of tools you can use to perform tasks effectively, collaborate with your teammates, and even connect with your customers. Let's show you how to set it up for your business.
What is G Suite - And why do you need it?
Before we look at how to set up Google’s G Suite, let’s see what exactly it is.
G Suite is a set of enterprise-grade Google Apps you can use to run your business. It includes the business version of:
Gmail, Google Calendar and Hangout Chats.
Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
Google Drive and Google Keep.
… and more.
But what exactly is the difference between the free version and business version of these Google Apps?
The fundamental difference is that the Google Apps within G Suite has features to help you collaborate with employees within your company. And these features are generally not available in the free version of Google apps.
In the G Suite version of Gmail, you get professional email addresses ending with your company name i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org. But in the free version, your email address has to end with ‘@gmail.com’.
In the G Suite version of Google Drive, you get 30GB of storage space per user (the bigger plans include unlimited storage). But in the free version, you get only 15GB.
In the G Suite version of Google Calendar, you can create multiple calendars for different purposes - each with its own members, schedules, appointments and more. But in the free version, you only get one calendar to work with.
But the biggest advantage G Suite has over free Google Apps is:
Awesome integrations: In G Suite, you can quickly create email accounts for members of your company/business - and give them access to Gmail, Google Drive, Hangouts Chat and all G Suite apps very easily.
In addition, apps work seamlessly with each other.
Simply create a document in Google Drive, share it with your team on Gmail and in one click, start a video call to discuss the contents of that document.
That’s the power of G Suite compared to the free apps, in which every single person’s account is disintegrated from one another, making collaboration very difficult.
How much does G Suite cost?
G Suite’s Basic plan starts at $6/month per user. In it, you get:
The complete set of G Suite apps with full enterprise-level functionality.
30 GB of cloud storage per person.
Basic admin-level controls that let you add/remove users, enable security and more.
If you want more features, you’ll have to subscribe to the Business plan. It starts at $12/month per user and unlocks additional functionality such as:
Cloud Search, a feature that searches through all G Suite apps to get you the results you want.
The ability to recover company data from ex-employees' accounts.
Advanced admin features that let you set how long emails and chats are retained, where your data is stored and more.
If you want even more security and control over your data in G Suite, the Enterprise plan is the best option for you. Starting at $25/month per user, it gives you:
An advanced console from where you can manage all users, apps, and devices on G Suite.
Control sharing of sensitive information.
Get advanced enterprise-grade security and reports on how your data is being used.
You get a 14-day free trial to use G Suite yourself. At the start, we recommend you get the Basic plan. It includes all the necessary features you need to run your business.
If your needs grow as you use G Suite, you can then subscribe to the Business or Enterprise level G Suite plans.
Google offers two types of pricing:
Flexible: In flexible pricing, you pay on a per month basis. And you can cancel your subscription at any time without incurring extra charges.
Annual:In annual pricing, you pay on a per-year basis. You can cancel your subscription any time but will be charged for the whole year.
If you're only testing out G Suite, you might want to go with the first option. But if you’re dead-set on using G Suite for your business, going for the second option is a much better choice.
What to do before signing up for G Suite
Before you can sign up for G Suite, you’ll need three things ready to go:
A working credit card: While you do get a 14-day free trial when you sign up for G Suite, you’ll still need to enter your credit card details. This will keep your account active after your trial ends.
A domain name: You don’t need a website to run your G Suite account, but you do need a domain name. It will be used as an extension of all the emails in your G Suite account instead of the standard ‘@gmail.com’.
An alternate email address: During sign up, you’ll be asked to enter your alternate ‘non-G Suite’ email address. This is for security purposes and can help you if you’re unable to access your account.
Hint: If you don’t have a domain name, you can find one easily at namecheap.com. As the name says, they provide unique domains at cheap rates. Plus, they have great customer support.
How to sign up for G Suite
To get started, head to gsuite.google.com. On this page, click on the blue ‘Get Started’ button.
You’ll land on the sign up page. Here, enter your business name, the number of employees your company currently employs and the country in which your business is located. After typing this info, click ‘Next’.
On the next page, enter your first & last name - and your current email address. Again, click next.
Next, click on ‘I have one I can use’ to enter your domain name. If you don’t have one, click on‘I don’t have one’.
Here, enter a domain name you want to buy. Domains can cost as little as $12 a year to as much as $50 a year. That’s because every domain has its own value, and therefore, no fixed price.
Also, note that not all domain names that you type in will be available. So it might take a few tries until you find the perfect name.
Once you find it, click on it and you’ll be taken to this page:
Click ‘Next’. You’ll land on a page where you’ll have to enter the exact address of your business. This is required to register your domain.
Fill the form and click ‘Next’.
The next page will ask you to create your first G Suite username.
Choose any username you like. It can be your name, the department in which you work or even something as simple as hello.
After that, create a secure password. We recommend you add a capital letter, a special character and a number in your password to make it as safe as possible.
Click on ‘I’m not a robot’ - and click on ‘Agree and Continue’.
You’ll land on the familiar sign-in screen. Sign in to your account. Once you sign in, you’ll be asked to review your G Suite plan. Confirm and click next.
You’ll see the checkout page. Here, enter your credit card details, review your information and click next. You’ll see your account has been created and can go to the setup screen.
The Google Admin Page - Three things you need to do
Once you’ve signed up for a free trial, you’ll land on the setup page which will look something like this.
If you can’t see this page, go to your admin panel and look for the ‘more’ icon represented with three vertical dots. It’s right below your profile picture at the upper-right corner of your screen.
This will pull up a dropdown menu where you’ll find the ‘Setup’ option. Click on it.
In the setup window, you've got three things to do:
Verify your domain address: Before you can use G Suite, you need to verify with Google that the domain name you’ve entered is yours.
Add new users:After your G Suite account is active, you can add new users from your company to G Suite.
Create groups for users: Once you've added new users, you’d want to divide them into groups for better organization.
In this section, we’ll show you how to go through these steps one by one.
Don’t worry. It isn’t as hard as it seems (except maybe the domain part).
1. Verify your domain address
Before you can use any apps inside G Suite, you need to verify your domain name. We’ll quickly list out the steps which will show you how to do that.
1. In the setup wizard, you’ll find the option to verify your domain. Click on it and the tab will expand. At the bottom of the tab, you’ll find the option to choose another tab. Click on it and select ‘Add a domain host record (TXT or CNAME)’.
2. Next, copy the code which appears in the value/answerdestination/ field:
3. Once that’s done, sign in to your hosting account, open the DNS section and click on ‘Add custom records’. There, paste the code you just copied. If this sounds complicated, click here to go to Google’s highly exhaustive table of contents where you’ll find step-by-step instructions on how to verify your domain name via your hosting provider.
Once you’ve verified your domain, your account will become active and you’ll be able to send/receive emails on your G Suite account.
2. Adding new users
G Suite is a software that’s meant to be used by a group of professionals - not just an individual person (although you can certainly do that). With G Suite, collaboration is the name of the game.
That being said, here’s how you add a new user to your G Suite account:
Click on the ‘Users’ icon on the admin panel.
You’ll see a large yellow ‘+’ icon on the next page in the upper-left corner. Click on it.
To add a new user, you just need to type in their first and last name. If you want, you can add their profile picture and secondary email (their personal one) as well.
Create a password for your new user - or click on ‘Automatically Generate A Password’ to let G Suite create a strong password for you.
Once you’ve added the details and created the password, click on ‘Add New User’ to add them to your G Suite account.
This will add the user to G Suite where you can give them access to the G Suite Google Apps.
3. Creating Groups for your users
Once you add your users, you want to divide them into groups. This will make it easier for you to control which users can use which app, which information they can access and in general, what activities they can perform on your G Suite account.
Here’s how you can create a new group in G Suite:
Go to the Admin Panel and click on ‘Groups’. If you can’t see that option, click on ‘More Controls’ at the bottom of the Admin Panel.
Next, click on the ‘+’ icon on the bottom-right corner of your screen.
Choose a name for your new group. It can be anything like Sales, Tech Support, HR, etc.
Create an email address for the group. For the sake of simplicity, make the email name same as the group name. For example, the email address of the Customer Support group can be email@example.com.
Set the desired access level for your group. Do you want it to be public, restricted or something in between? All in all, there are five access levels you can assign a group.
Once you set up the group, click on the ‘Create’ button. Then, simply go back to ‘Users’ and add the people you want to your new group.
So, to recap:
Go through the signup page: Enter your organization name, choose a domain and put in your credit card info to get started.
Verify your domain name:To start using G Suite apps, verify your domain name with Google.
Add new users and create groups for them:Add your team members/employees to your G Suite account and sort them into groups on the basis of their roles within your team/company.
By following these steps, your G Suite account will be set up. This means that you and other users within your G Suite account can now start using Google apps to collaborate and run your business.