Type of Google Accounts
Login to your Google Accounts
Make sure you know the difference between logging in to your personal Google Account and the Google Apps Account (as an administrator).
Your personal Google Account is where you access your personal email, contacts, calendar etc.
You can login using accounts.google.com, mail.google.com or www.gmail.com
There are two types of personal Google Accounts:
Google managed accounts are linked to a gmail domain account such as firstname.lastname@example.org
Third party managed accounts are linked to an email address with third party’s domain such as email@example.com
The Google Apps Account is tied to a domain name such as mydomain.com.
Access to this account allows you to create new google user accounts (which automatically will include emails, contacts, calendars etc and new Google Sites.
Logging in to this account give you (the administrator) access to the Admin Console where you can control the administration of apps such as email, calendar, contacts etc. To login to the Google Apps Account as an administrater use admin.google.com
Types of Google Apps Account
Prior to Dec 1012, Google offer Google Apps account for free. Those who have a Google Apps account prior to Dec 2012 are grandfathered in.
You can still get a free Google Apps Account tied to your domain but you are restricted to one user. Google does not offer a direct sign up for this free account. You have to go through a Google App Engine sign up. The detail how to instruction is given here. Note if you another a second user you will automatically upgraded to a 30 day free trial for Business. I think if you cancel the subscription you get to keep the free account and can still keep account for up to 10 users according to this link.
You will need a Google Apps Account for Business if need for multiple users. Link.
Google Apps Service Status
This page offers performance information for Google Apps service. If you are not getting your email or if your Google Sites is down etc, you may want check here.
For the techie, if you want to check further on Google service disruption you can look at the Google App Engine System Status here.