May 25, 2012
On the heels of the article about how to create a professional looking website for less than $100, questions poured in about what people needed to do to get a similarly professional looking email address. If you want a dedicated email address – i.e. @yourcompany.com – follow this basic tutorial and, hopefully, we should have you up and running in less than an hour.
The easiest way to set up your own dedicated email address is by using Google Apps. In a nutshell, you’ll set up an email address that will have the look, feel, and functionality that you’re familiar with when it comes to Gmail that you can access from anywhere in the world. Plus, with prices starting at only $5/month per user this is a cost effective way to get your own email address without hiring a tech team to get you started.
It should be noted that there are other options available for business email through companies like Microsoft Outlook, Rackspace, and FuseMail to name a few so if Gmail is not right for you just look around and you’ll be able to find a number of otheres that hopefully meet your requirements.
- Get your own domain name. First and foremost, you need a domain name that is hosted with a company before you can have a dedicated email address. If you already have this, make sure you know you know which company is hosting it (if you purchased a domain name through wordpress.com then chances are wordpress.com is hosting it). If you don’t yet have a domain name you can sign up for the domain name of your choosing (assuming it’s available) through Google Apps for $10 in Step 2 or you can use a company like GoDaddy or, my personal favorite, WordPress.com.
- Sign up for Google Apps. If you haven’t yet done so, you need to sign up for Google Apps. This part is pretty simple, painless, and you can test it out for free for 30 days.
- Once you’ve signed up, Google Apps will initiate a Setup Wizard to walk you through the next few steps that include:
- Verifying that you own the domain you’re requesting use of for email purposes
- Setting up your users. In my case I have an info@ and Jennifer@ email addresses. Don’t worry if you only know of one or two email addresses that you need at this point in time. You can always add email addresses later so, for example, if I wanted to add Greta@ so that my dog has a business email address I could do that down the road.
- Making MX Record Changes. This is the step where you’re going to tell whichever hosting company you’re using that they need to play nice with Gmail. If you purchased your domain name through Google Apps then this process is pretty straightforward. Similarly, if you’re using wordpress.com, they have a pretty seamless system that should help you get the job done quickly and fairly painlessly. Click here for the directions for Gmail integration with WordPress.com. If you’re using another hosting system this is where you’ll have to go back to them and find out where exactly you’re required to input the MX records that Gmail will provide you with.
- Do A Test. It may take up to 24 hours to fully integrate but once it does, send yourself a few test emails to make sure the system is working as planned.
- Share the News. Your email address is now live so start sharing it. Put it on your business card, add it to your website, include it on your Facebook page, and anywhere else you can think of!
*This is not a paid product placement. Infact, Gmail, WordPress, and the others listed above don’t even know I exist!