Custom Email Addresses

VALUED WEBSITES DOES NOT PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR YOUR EMAIL ACCOUNTS OR USE OF ANY KIND OF EMAIL SOFTWARE / EMAIL READER. This article is provided as a courtesy. Please contact your email provider for support with any email issues. The exception is if ALL you need is a forwarder — we can set that up for you.

We recommend signing up with either Rackspace ^ or Godaddy ^ for custom email accounts. It costs very little and comes with unlimited support.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Intro
  2. Gmail
  3. Types of Email
  4. Creating Email Addresses
  5. Forwarders
  6. Set Up Gmail
  7. Email Software
  8. Email Account Information
  9. Troubleshooting
  10. Webmail
  11. Read on 2 Computers
  12. Space Usage Considerations

Intro

It’s not absolutely necessary to set up any custom email addresses. If you have a trusty old AOL.com or hotmail.com account, you can continue to use it. However, using a custom email address like info@yourwebsite.com enhances the professionalism of your emails.

You have other options:

Gmail

Google’s free Gmail service offers many benefits:

  • You can access it from any computer or mobile browser (iPhone, Droid, Blackberry, etc.).
  • It comes with over 7 gigabytes of storage, and this will grow as time goes on (you can also buy more storage very cheaply).
  • You can send and receive mail from your own custom @yourwebsite.com address, not just your @gmail.com address.
  • It has an integrated calendar.
  • It has probably the best spam filter in existence.

And if you access it exclusively through the web or mobile browser, your messages will always be synched with every device you use it with.

It’s also possible to continue to use your regular email software (Outlook, Windows Mail, Mac Mail) instead of the Gmail interface, but use Gmail for storage (25 gigs), and this costs $50/year per user from Google.

IMPORTANT: if you use Gmail, you should skip over the parts of this tutorial that discuss setting up an email account with your email software (Outlook, Windows Mail, Mac Mail).

Sign up for Gmail here. You’ll then ask us to set up a custom yourname@yourwebsite.com email address, and then you’ll sync it to your Gmail account.

If you intend to just use Gmail, stop here for now. If you intend to use desktop email software such as Outlook, Windows Mail, or Mac Mail, keep reading.

Different Types of Email

You’re probably familiar with what’s known as webmail. If you use yahoo mail, hotmail or gmail, you check your email in the browser. This is webmail.

Another type of email is known as a forwarder. It just automatically forwards any email sent to it to another address. This could mean setting up info@yourwebsite.com to forward to your existing hotmail or gmail account. Forwarders are very easy to set up but the downside is that if you reply to any of this email, the reply would come from your old email address instead of your website’s email address.

When you set up a custom email address, this is known as a dedicated email account and you’ll need to use dedicated email software to read or write email using this custom email address (or use Gmail).

Dedicated email software comes pre-installed on every computer. On Windows XP it’s called Outlook Express, on newer versions of Windows it’s called Windows Mail, and on Macs it’s called Mail. Additional email software that can be used includes Outlook (which often comes packaged with Microsoft Office) and the free Thunderbird or Eudora. They all basically do the same thing, so use the one that’s already on your computer unless you have experience with one of the other ones.

With webmail, all your emails exist "in the cloud" (ie on the server). The emails are accessible from any internet-connected computer, but most of them are not actually saved on your computer’s hard drive. With dedicated email, it’s the opposite situation — all your email will be saved on your computer’s hard drive, but some of them may not be accessible from any internet-connected computer. For most people this is fine, but if you need your email to also be accessible from any internet-connected computer, that option will be discussed further down.

Creating Email Addresses

First thing you need to do is create your custom email address(es). Just tell your email provider what email address(es) you’d like, along with any password preference. Once they’ve created it, you can then skip down to the set up email software section, or if you’re using Gmail, skip down to the email account information section to get the info to plug into your gmail account settings.

Set up Forwarders

If you want to set up any forwarders, let your email provider know what forwarders you want created. For example, you might want all email sent to orders@yourwebsite.com to forward to bob@yourwebsite.com.

Set up Gmail

Once you have a Gmail account, feel free to start using it. If you want Gmail to use your yourname@yourwebsite.com email address, that will take some setting up.

  1. Within Gmail under Settings (at top right), click on Accounts and Import.
  2. Click the Send mail from another address button.
  3. Enter the requested information. See the Email Account Information section below for the info you’ll need to plug in.

Gmail will need to ‘verify’ your custom email address by sending you a message there. See the accessing your custom email address from the web section below, which will tell you how to read your custom email address using webmail. You’ll need to do this just to read that verification email from google. Then:

  1. Within Gmail under Settings (at top right), click on Accounts and Import.
  2. Click the Add POP3 Email Account button.
  3. Enter the requested information. See the Email Account Information section below for the info you’ll need to plug in.

When setting this up, do not check the box that says Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server, unless you are for some reason also setting up email software (Outlook, Mac Mail, Windows Mail).

Set up Email Software

Please use these third-party tutorials to help you with setting up your new email account in your email software. Don’t do this if you’re going to use Gmail.

Email Account Information

The tutorials in the preceding section, or the account setting screen in Gmail will ask for various information, which includes:

  • Type of email account you have (IMAP or POP). This is usually going to be POP (sometimes also known as POP3).
  • Your email address and/or username. Try yourname@yourwebsite.com for the username, and if that doesn’t work try using yourname+yourwebsite.com as the username, or just yourname.
  • Your account password. This is your email account password, which if you didn’t tell your email provider what to use, they’ll have made one up and should have told you what it was.
  • Mail server ("host") name or names. This will be possibly be mail.yourwebsite.com (replace yourwebsite with your actual domain name), but ask your email provider to be sure.
  • The protocol the receiving server uses (IMAP, POP, Exchange, for example). This will most likely be POP (aka POP3).
  • SMTP password (if required). This should be the same as your account password. Unless it’s not. See the next section.
  • Your sending server’s hostname. This may be mail.yourwebsite.com (replace yourwebsite with your actual domain name), and check with your email provider for the actual value to use. But sometimes that won’t work. See the next section if that’s the case.
  • Whether or not the sending server uses authentication. The answer is yes unless the next section deems otherwise.

Your email provider should give you all the settings you need if asked.

When setting up your email software, you will probably come across an option to determine whether to delete the email from the server after reading. You should usually say Yes to this option, with the exception of if you have more than one computer you want to access the email from (ie work and home), in which case you should set the email software to delete the emails after one or two weeks (see section below). Keeping more email on the server for longer will use up your email quota and may cost extra.

Troubleshooting: You Can Receive But Not Send

After setting up your account in your email software or Gmail, you should test your email by sending a test email to yourself. Also try sending a test email to yourself from your older email address (hotmail, yahoo mail, etc.).

If you run into any problems, look in your account settings to make sure there are no typos.

If you can receive email but not send, the reason may be that your internet service provider (ISP) is blocking you from sending email using your custom email address. You will need to call your ISP’s tech support and find out what their "SMTP email server settings" are, and then go back into your email software’s account set up screens and replace the SMTP settings for your new email account with the SMTP settings from your ISP.

SMTP settings will include a server name (aka host name), an account name, password, and possibly a port. Valued Websites can’t really help you get this information from your ISP — you’ll just need to perservere until you can get a tech support person on the phone who knows what ‘SMTP settings’ are — not all of them do.

If they insist that this is not the case, then ask them if they need to unblock your custom email address on their end.

If you can’t send or receive email, then you probably set up your email software incorrectly, or your internet connection isn’t working right now. Try the account setup process again in case you made a typo.

Accessing Your Custom Email Address from the Web

If you’re using Gmail, this is not an issue as Gmail only works through the web.

But assuming you’re using Outlook, Mac Mail, or Windows Mail, you’ve got everything set up and you’ve gotten this far, you’re now getting your custom email addresses saved on your hard drive. But what if you’re going on a trip and need to access email while you’re traveling?

If your computer is a laptop and you can take it with you then you should be able to receive mail just like you always do as long as you can connect to the internet while you’re traveling. Sometimes you won’t be able to send email from your laptop while you’re traveling. If this is the case, you’ll need to use webmail to send (see next paragraph).

If you don’t have a laptop, or if you have a laptop but can’t send email, you’ll need to use webmail, which you can do from any internet-connected computer. Do this by logging in to your site’s admin and then click the Webmail link at top right.

Now you might be thinking, why bother with Outlook and all that and why not just use webmail all the time? The reason is that when you use your webmail, all your emails start piling up on the web server. Eventually, you will exceed your server space quota and new emails will not get delivered to you.

Reading Email on Two or More Computers

What if you have two computers (work and home) and you want emails to be accessible on both? If the email is on Gmail or webmail, then you can obviously read it from any internet-connected computer. A better option if you don’t have Gmail or the unlimited disk space upgrade, in order to avoid the email pile-up, is to configure your email software to not instantly delete the messages from the server after reading them. Instead set it to delete after one week or so. That way, email will be readable from anywhere for a week after you receive it, but then it will delete, which will free up server space.

 

For more information or if you have any questions please email info@valuedwebsites.com

 

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