How to Use an Email at the Domain Name You Bought

How to Use an Email at the Domain Name You BoughtWhile email is one of the most used tool on the internet, it can also be incredibly confusing. Gmail, Hotmail, and others make setting up an email seem easy – you fill in a form and poof! You’ve got an inbox. Using email at a domain name you’ve bought isn’t always quite so straightforward.

What we’re doing

I’m going to walk you through the steps involved in creating and accessing an email ending with “@yourdomainname.com”. For example, let’s say you bought the domain name “PoliceBox.com”. You set up a website there and while editing the contact page, realize you want to use an email “Matt@PoliceBox.com”.

Since you have control of the domain name, you have control of the emails that go to that domain name.

Emails are told where to go by using something called DNS records, specifically, the DNS records called a “MX record”.

Creating the Emails

Domain names don’t automatically come with emails, so one of the first things you’ll want to do when you buy a domain name is set up an email on it. Let’s use the example from above. We bought “PoliceBox.com”. Next, we’ll log into our hosting account or Cpanel and go to Emails. Different hosting accounts put them in different places, so you’ll have to look around for the link.

Keep in mind that not all hosting accounts give you free email accounts. Usually if you’re buying website hosting with a company, they’ll provide you with 1 free email and a little email storage. If you don’t see a way to create an email account within your hosting account, you probably need to add on an email account for an extra charge.

No Free Email?

That might be really surprising – only a little email storage? The emails aren’t all free? It seems counterintuitive at first glance, but that’s only because we’re so used to free email. Back when AOL first started their free email service, with Hotmail soon behind them, free email became the norm. How do they do it? Ads. You get free email, and they place ads (or get information about you) in return. It’s nice for us – huge inboxes with tons of storage – and nice for them – they make money off the ads.

An email on your hosting account isn’t like that. You have to pay for the domain name every year, and the email account, and storage.

Not sure what Domain and Hosting is? Check out this Domain Versus Hosting easy explanation.

Important Settings

Now that we’ve got our “Matt@PoliceBox.com” email account set up, we have a few options.

Catch-All. First, make sure this is a “catch-all” account by checking that option in the email settings. That way, if someone emails you at “Rose@PoliceBox.com” or “NewNewNewYork@PoliceBox.com”, you’ll still get those emails here in your “catch-all” account. Otherwise, those emails will be returned to sender without any notification for you.

Forward/Send Copy. Usually the settings have an option to either forward an email or send a copy of each email over to another email account. This can be very wise for emails that don’t get much traffic. Otherwise, if you don’t have any alerts set up for this email, you might end up with emails languishing unanswered in your accounts.

Set the Storage Amount. Often you’ll need to designate a certain storage amount for that account. For example, let’s say they give you a free email account with the domain name and we created “Matt@PoliceBox.com”. They also gave us 10 MB of storage. To make sure the email works, we can set this email’s storage at 10MB. If they gave us multiple email accounts, we could set up “Matt@PoliceBox.com” with 5MB of storage and “David@PoliceBox.com” with 5MB of storage. Keep in mind that if your storage gets full, people who try to email you will get a “ping-back” email letting them know that you didn’t get the email because didn’t have any more storage available.

Getting Your Emails

Now we’ve got two emails set up “Matt@PoliceBox.com” and “David@PoliceBox.com”. How do we access them? Besides simply forwarding the emails to another account, there’s two basic options:

The most inefficient way is logging into your hosting account, clicking on email accounts, choosing the email you want, and then logging in there as well (using the password you set up when you created the email account above). Often your hosting account will give you a choice of systems to access your email on; the most popular are Mail Horde, Round Cube, or Squirrel Mail. Choose one (they’re all fairly similar in my opinion), and you’ll see your email inbox.

You can bookmark the login page if you’d like, which does bypass some of the hassle, but it’s still not a great system.

The other option is connect this email with an email app. For example, on my computer I use a Mac App called AirMail to access all my email accounts in one place. Outlook is another popular Microsoft App for accessing emails. Most mobile smartphones come with an app that does the same thing. To find the setting information, you’ll need to look in your hosting account, at the email settings area. If you can’t find the answers you need when setting up the email on the app, give your hosting account a call and they can walk you through it.

A Few Final Thoughts on Emails Through Your Domain Name

Of course it’s good to have an email at your domain name. Even an info@YourDomain.com is better than a gmail address – it makes your website just a bit more legit.

Unfortunately, emails through your hosting provider usually don’t have the quality spam blockers/detectors that Google’s Gmail or even Hotmail does, so you might get a bit more spam. Want to set up your email using your domain name but use Gmail? You can use Gmail tools for that – it does cost (though that setup is a bit outside of the scope of this article).

Ideally, you should have at least one email located at the domain name you’ve bought, even if you just decide to forward it to another email.

 

 

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