But Koolaid Is So Tasty

My Mum started her own soft furnishings business, IQ Rooms, about two years ago.

At the time Google Apps For Your Domain was fairly new but it was perfect for a small business. Tanya helped Mum setup the trademarks and business name. Once that was done I registered the domain with Enetica, who I use for all my domains, and used their free, simple DNS hosting (which they apparently don't do anymore).

Once the domain had propagated I created the GAFYD account and then after pointing a few CNAME, MX and A records at Google it was all running.

Mum had gMail, gCal, Docs and gTalk all with her shiny new domain name.

The website...that took another 2.5 years :)

I put a quick placeholder up using Google Pages with the intentions of updating it once Mum got me some copy. Which never quite happened...

During our recent visit to Oz I got Mum and Dad a new PC to replace the ancient frankenstein I'd built them eons ago (it was an overclocked PentiumII with 256Mb RAM). The new box was a Lenovo ThinkCentre m57e which was on sale for $299. Throw in 2Gb of RAM, a 500Gb HDD and a DVD burner and the whole thing was still under $500, with a 4 year warranty! Crazy.

I put the latest version of Ubuntu, Intrepid Ibex, on it and copied all the old data over. After I got Picasa setup and the digital picture frame sorted, I sat Mum down to work on the website.

Since the first placeholder went up Google bought JotSpot which later relaunched as Google Sites and is available as part of GAFYD. That meant we had an easy way for me to create a website for Mum that she could later update.

Tanya and Liam worked on a better logo while I futzed with setting up the site and getting some copy out of Mum.

I was pleasantly suprised by all the integration between the various Google products.

Sites has a Picasa album widget so we were able to easily add some shots of work Mum had done to the front page. Now all Mum has to do to put new photos on the site is add them to that Picasa album.

Enabling Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to track the site was simple, both available as options in the site management screen.

Adding the business to Google Maps via Google Local Business Center was also really straight forward and the entry shows up for searches like "blinds toowoomba" and "curtains toowoomba".

So it would seem I'm drinking the Kool-aid in grand style. :)

PS. if you're looking for curtains, blinds or other soft furnishings and you also live in or around Toowoomba, give IQ Rooms a call. :)