How to Set Up a Custom Domain Email + Connect it with Your Gmail
This is one of the most common technical questions I hear from people who are just getting their websites set up and looking for a more professional appearance in their business communication. After all, you as a business owner look so much more legit when communicating from someone from email@example.com rather than firstname.lastname@example.org, right?
But you probably have been using a gmail (or other) email address for a LONG time. You probably don’t want to lose all of those emails (especially if half of your clients already communicate with your gmail account), and you definitely don’t want to have to deal with switching between two email logins—especially if your custom domain email has a completely different user interface.
Before you sign up for a google apps for business email plan, here’s a solutions that will give you the best of both world:
- Here’s how to get your custom domain email address
- This option is FREE (most likely already comes with your hosting plan)
- You can send + receive email from this email address directly in your current gmail account
Figure out your hosting plan
Likely your website hosting plan already comes with a free email address (maybe even more than one!). Take a look in your hosting plan’s dashboard and see if you can find an email section.
*Note: I use Bluehost, so the above photo reflects Bluehost’s settings, but most website hosting dashboards are similar.
Once you’ve found your email option, simply create your email address + password. Then, check out configuration instructions to see if there’s any information about configuration settings (the keywords you’re looking for here are IMAP / incoming server and SMTP / outgoing server), we’ll be using that information next.
Configure your new email address in Gmail
I always assume the whole world uses gmail, because it’s the best platform, but if you’re on another platform, the instructions will generally be the same.
Go to settings > Accounts and Important > Add a POP3 email account you own
At this point you will need to know:
- Username = Your new email address (Note: gmail automatically populates this field with just the first part of your email, but usually you need the entire email address in there for this to work)
- New password to your email address
- IMAP / Incoming server information
This is the information I asked you to look for earlier on. It’s slightly different for each major hosting account, but here is the IMAP information for the main ones:Bluehost
Incoming Server: box####.BlueHost.com (those #’s are different for everyone)
POP3 Port with SSL: 995GoDaddy
Incoming server: imap.secureserver.net
POP3 Port with SSL: 993Hostgator
Incoming server: gator####.hostgator.com (those #’s are different for everyone)
POP3 Port with SSL: 995
- SMTP /Outgoing server informationBluehost
Outgoing server: box####.BlueHost.com (those #’s are different for everyone but should be the same as your incoming server)
SMTP Outgoing port with SSL: 465GoDaddy
Outgoing server: smtpout.secureserver.net
SMTP Outgoing port with SSL: 465Hostgator
Outgoing server: gator####.hostgator.com (those #’s are different for everyone but should be the same as your incoming server)
SMTP Outgoing port with SSL: 465
- Opt into the option that asks if you’d like to use your new email address as an alias (this will allow you to send “from” this address as well as your gmail address).
- In Settings > Accounts and Import, you can select how you want to use this email address. This is completely personal preference. I have mine setup so that the default email address is my regular gmail (the one I’ve been using for years), but if I’m replying to an email, it automatically replies from whichever email address the email was sent to.
- You can still manually change which email address you’re sending an email from as you compose an email.
And that’s all it is! Enjoy your new custom domain email address!