You might have heard, that Google Apps is no longer free. Every since the beginning of this year, you cannot register new Google Apps for free. If you did so before this time, you’re safe. Others should look for a good alternative. One of the best options is Outlook.com, the new and improved hotmail.com. The process is fairly simple and you should be done pretty fast. My domain raspberryweather.com is using the cloudns.net service for DNS hosting, and will be used to show you what to change. The process itself is similar on other sites or your hosting control panel.
Start by going to domains.live.com, click the get started button and type in your domain. Leave the “set outlook.com for my domain” checked and proceed. Create a new account with your domain. Create a new account or sign in if you have previously registered on outlook.com. I have registered a new domain and verified my account. Afterwards I visited https://domains.live.com again and clicked on get started. There you have to type in your domain again, leave the radiobox as it is and continue. After typing in the CAPTCHA, leave everything unchanged.
Now you need to prove that you really own this domain. You will be presented with some long strings that need to be added to certain records in your domain. These strings will be different for each user, do not paste my strings that are displayed here just for reference. Log in you domain management. As said before, in my case this is cloudns.net. First, change the MX record. I had to click on add new record next to MX tab. Then I pasted in something like 5f5850w7sd3779a11b1O403565f99b.pamx1.hotmail.com in the points to textbox. Same process but different text for TXT record. In my case the text was something like v=msv1 t=635850d78bd7722a7720408d652w9x. Create yet another MX record, mine looks like 6w5850x78b329d7731040425632d92.msv1.invalid but make sure the MX priority is 11. Last but not least, another TXT record for spf, looks similar to v=spf1 include:hotmail.com ~all.
I myself do not care for messenger, so I skipped that part and pressed the refresh button. It took a few seconds to check all the new records and it worked like a charm. Now you can add the accounts you want to be using for your new domain. That way you can use outlook.com instead of the obsolete webmail. You will have to set your security question the first time you log. it might cause some problems if you plan on using a client that checks for your email, so sign in with your browser for the first time.