Tips for Creating a Common Start Page in Google Apps now that iGoogle is no longer?

Hi Friends,
After finally getting my school's new domain integrated with Google Apps Education Edition, I was surprised to see that Google has disabled its iGoogle start page option. (Perhaps my surprise is because of my own lack of research into this...)

I want to use Google Apps for teacher and staff communication, and was looking forward to everyone sharing the same welcome page... is there a way to do this that I am missing?

Thanks for your help!
Tom

Tags: apps, education, google, iGoogle, splash-page

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I have an iGoggle start page. It is still available
Me, too.
As far as I know, the iGoogle homepage is still up and running.
Did you hear something, Tom?
Kevin
Tom is referring to the Google Apps for Education program that does not include iGoogle. iGoogle is still available for all other Google users.
Hi Kevin,
On new Apps (as of December 8th, 2008 I think) Google stopped using iGoogle for Apps. If you had it already, it still works, however.
Thanks for the check in!
T
For Google Apps, for Education only: You can use Google sites and use the "Dashboard" type page and add the gadgets you want. You will need to have your IT dept direct your URL to this page for http://www."yourdomain".com - whatever it is.

It's not iGoogle - but it will do.
Thanks so much for the reply. I've done that and it works wonderfully. Do you know if there is a way to to have the root of the domain show in the URL instead of Google's? For example, the page shows as: http://sites.google.com/a/ourlabschool.org/welcome/Home.
I'd like it to read http://portal.ourlabschool.org/welcome/Home.
Does that make sense? If you have any ideas, I'd really appreciate it, Colette.
Thanks again for your response!
-Tom
My IT department did this for me. I'll get an answer and respond soon.
Thank, Colette!
:)
T
From IT dept: I do not think this is possible. I believe Google purposefully redirects the URL to let people know that they are on a Google server. If they have not done so already, they can redirect people who go to http://portal.ourlabschool.org/welcome/Home to http://sites.google.com/a/ourlabschool.org/welcome/Home using DNS and HTTP redirects on their web server. Even with the redirect, the end URL will always be the google.com address.

See James message below about DNS for domain name.
Thanks for the info, Colette. And for making it part of your To Do list today! Much appreciated. If I can be of any help, let me know.
T
You have to login to the site, and under "Site Settings" pick "Other Stuff" and then "Map This Site." Here you can add in the subdomain you want.

You need to then go into the DNS for your domain name, create the subdomain, and CNAME it to ghs.google.com. If that last part didn't make sense you need to go talk to your IT people. They should be able to do that fairly easily.
Colette's IT people are wrong about whether it's possible. I've set it up at http://www.asperand.org for some of my class projects. Google's official address for this is http://sites.google.com/a/asperand.org/welcome/Home

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