Especially if it’s Google and you can’t pick up the phone and get immediate support.
I’m reading a rant on Joel on Software against Google Apps.
The short story is that he signed up for Google Apps and registered his domain at the same time. All well and good until the domain came up for renewal, and he had serious problems getting it renewed.
He’s blaming Google Apps for his trouble, when in fact the issue is something between Google and enom, the company that actually registers the domains. Still Google’s fault (for not offering human support on free accounts for domain issues), but a bit of a leap to throw the whole App package out the window.
His problem would have been avoided if he simply registered his own domain. It’s a little extra money, and some extra time to configure. But we’re talking maybe 30 minutes. I recently registered a name for 2 years for a parent group I’m involved in, with private registration, and the grand total came to around $21. Big deal.
GoDaddy in particular has a very easy-to-use interface for configuring MX and CNAME (Google provides step-by-step instructions), and it comes free with the domain name as long as you keep the name server pointed towards the default GoDaddy servers (details hidden because I’m not ready for the URL to be public yet).
Keep your domain registered separately.
Have a solid data backup plan for everything that matters.
Then, you have the option to relocate whenever you need to.