Communicating with customers by email is a big part of doing business online. Your hosting plan gives you plenty of email addresses to use with your domain, so there’s no reason to associate your business with a personal Hotmail or AOL email address. The following example illustrates the steps and choices for setting up an email address for your business.
Suppose you’re planning to use the domain budgetingretirement.com for your business and you’d like to set up firstname.lastname@example.org as the primary email address for customers to contact you. For this example we’ll assume your hosting plan uses the cPanel interface to manage email and other aspects of your hosting. If your host doesn’t use cPanel, follow your host’s instructions for email setup, taking steps similar to those described below.
Visit http://cpanel.budgetingretirement.com to login to cPanel, and click on Mail – Email Accounts. Enter email@example.com as the email address. For the amount of space allocated to this account, you can increase it or accept the default. For reasons explained below, the space allocation will not be a significant limitation on how much email you can receive. From the cPanel main menu, click on Mail – Default Address. Have all unrouted email to budgetingretirement.com go to firstname.lastname@example.org (your “catchall” address) instead of bouncing back to the sender. You now have a basic web-based email account for email@example.com. You can read and send email by logging in at http://budgetingretirement.com/webmail or through cPanel Mail – Email Accounts.
However, you’ll probably prefer to forward copies of those emails to a location you would prefer – your desktop, Yahoo email, or Gmail, for example. Gmail is a good choice. Gmail can be accessed from anywhere, and it has features that are especially useful for business. If you don’t already have a Gmail account, create one.
From the cPanel main menu click on Mail – Forwarders. Have email forwarded to your Gmail address (firstname.lastname@example.org for example). If your business absolutely cannot afford email delivery to fail, consider adding another forwarder. That way, if the Gmail servers should go down, you have a backup means of receiving critical emails.
A powerful feature of Gmail is its capability of consolidating all of your email addresses in one Gmail account. In particular, not only can you receive email to email@example.com, you can send email so that recipients will see firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com, in the “From” field of the email.
Log in to Gmail. Make sure you’re using Standard View because some of the following doesn’t work in Basic HTML View. Go into Options (may look like a gear icon) – Mail Settings – Accounts and Import and select Send Mail from Another Address. Enter your name and email address. Select Send through budgetingretirement.com SMTP servers.
The next settings may require a little experimentation or information from your web host:
SMTP Server: mail.budgetingretirement.com Port 465
X Always use a secure connection (SSL) when sending mail
The SMTP server may be something like mail.primarydomain.com if primarydomain.com (rather than budgetingretirement.com) is the primary domain in your hosting account. Or the server and port could be different if your host has a different convention.
After you respond to a confirmation email you’ll be able to send emails from within Gmail and have them appear to be from firstname.lastname@example.org.
While in Mail settings – Accounts and Import – When replying to a message:, select “Reply from the same address the message was sent to”. This helps ensure you do not reply with the wrong address, as could happen if you’re using Gmail to manage numerous email addresses.
Since you can now manage all your business email through Gmail, the only need to login to http://budgetingretirement.com/webmail is to periodically delete old emails to keep under the account space limit.
Use the same steps to set up additional addresses under the budgetingretirement.com domain. The only difference will be that these additional email addresses won’t be the default/catchall address.
Although there are a fair number of steps in this process, the good news is that the process is more tedious than complicated. Even better, once you’ve set up your email as recommended here, you’ll have a flexible and convenient way to manage all your business email.