Google Apps for Work

Screen capture of Google Apps for Work
Screen capture of Google Apps for Work.

Definition: Google Apps for Work  is a program that hosts customized versions of Gmail, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and Google Sites on a domain that you or your business owns.  

Google Apps for Work offers Google-hosted services that act as if they're hosted from your own server. This means that if you're a small business owner, an educational institution, a family, or an organization and you don't have the resources to host these sorts of services in-house, you can use Google to do it for you.

Google Apps for Work and Pricing

Google Apps for Work is not free. Google previously offered a light version of Google Apps for Work (also known as Google Apps for Your Domain), and they are still honoring grandfathered free accounts, but they discontinued the service for everyone else. In addition, users with a grandfathered account still have to log into their Google Apps dashboard periodically or lose access to the service. 

New users pay on a per user basis. Google Apps for Work is offered in both a $5 per user per month version and an enhanced $10 per user per month. Both plans offer discounts if you pay for a year in advance. The $10 per month version of Google Apps for Work offers features that would be more commonly seen in businesses wanting tighter records and information management. For example, you can search chat logs through Google Vault or set an information retention policy and put a "litigation hold" on an inbox to prevent an employee from deleting an email that may be demanded in a court proceeding. 

These services can be blended into your existing domain and even branded with a custom company logo to make it less obvious that the service was actually being hosted on Google servers. You can also use the same control panel to manage multiple domains, so you could manage "" and "" with the same tools. The administrator of a Google Apps for Work domain can selectively enable and disable services for individual users, depending on the workplace policies. 

Integrated Apps

In addition to the standard Google Apps for Work offerings, third-parties offer integration with a Google Apps environment. For example, Smartsheet, a project management app, offers Google Apps integration. Many web hosting services also offer easy Google Apps for Work configuration with your new business domain. 

Google Apps for Education

There is one exception to the "it is not free" rule. Google offers mostly the same Google Apps experience to universities and other educational institutions for free. Microsoft started offering a similar program in reaction to Google's offer. Why? If you shape the habits of young people, they will eventually be the ones in charge of making purchasing and technology decisions for their workplace. 

Also Known As: Google Apps, Google Apps for Education, Google Apps for Your Domain

Common Misspellings: Google Aps