How would you like to have an email address like this; [email protected] [email protected] and more of such custom email addresses? Your customers are likely to trust you more if your business brand extends to your email address. The benefit is quite enormous.
I shared a post on my other blog explaining how to do this but I think it’s more targeted to the right audience here on blogerian.com. On this post, I want to share with you how to get a professional/custom email address for your online business, blog or website without paying an extra charge on your existing or new domain. With Google Apps, you can create up to 10 email accounts for different purposes and get 25GB email storage per user all for free. Whether you are currently hosting your domain on blogger.com or wordpress, paid or free hosting does not matter as long as your domain registrar or hosting service allows you to make changes on your DNS settings; every paid domain will work for this purpose.
This free service is not for you if your blog is hosted on a third party domain like yourblog.blogspot.com, whatyounameit.wordpress.com and such.
To get started with your pro- email address for your website or blog, follow the steps below. You can start and complete the configuration in few minutes but it may take up to 24 hours for some changes to take effect. Whichever the case, your pro-email address should be ready to send and receive mails in 48 hours more or less.
To make this service work, you will register your existing or new domain to work with Google Apps free service. When we are done, your custom email will work with a more feature-rich Gmail service.
Go to Google.com Apps
Click on Get Started as shown in the figure below to go to the sign up registration for your free Google Apps Account.
Step 1 Choose a Domain name
Enter your existing domain in the appropriate box [Enter your domain name] example, blogwithiyke.com. If you don’t already have a domain and want to buy a domain from Google, use the [I want to buy a domain name] box by the right to buy a domain for $10. Click Get Started as shown.
Step 2 Fill the Sign Up form for Google App with relevant information for Account Administrator and Organization Information, for your business and submit form. Note that you will have to provide an existing email address to be contacted with for your registration progress before your email Application is activated.
On the next page, enter your desired username for your custom email like, [email protected] and submit.
Note: you can create more user accounts later, but the first selected username will be primary for the domain.
Activate Google Apps
The next step to activate Google Apps for your registered domain is to verify ownership of the domain. Your domain ownership verification status will be Not Verified at this stage. However, there are several options to prove to Google that you own the domain. Select the option that is easiest for you.
• Add a DNS record to your domain’s configuration
You can use this option if you can sign in to your domain registrar or hosting provider and add a new DNS record. If you select this option, you will be provided with a line of code to add to your DNS Record.
• Link to your Google Analytics account
Use this option if your blog/website already has a Google Analytics tracking code that uses the asynchronous snippet. You must be an administrator on the Analytics account.
• Upload an HTML file to your server
Choose this option if you can upload new files to your site.
• Add a meta tag to your site’s home page
Choose this option if you can edit your site’s HTML. This was the method I used to verify ownership of www.afterschoolafrica.com. It’s like trying to verify ownership of your blog/website when submitting to Google Webmaster tool.
Configure your Mail Exchange (MX) record
After you have proved to Google that you actually own the registered domain, next is to configure your domain MX Record to allow your domain pro-email to work on Google Apps.
Changing Mail Exchange (MX) records
Mail Exchange (MX) records control how incoming email is routed for your domain. Before Google can host your email, you’ll need to change these MX records to point to Google servers. If your domain already has email addresses, please be careful changing MX records.
Sign in to your domain hosting company’s website using the username and password associated with your domain.
Navigate to an MX record maintenance page. MX records are special DNS (Domain Name Service) records, and are often located under sections titled “DNS Management,” “Mail Server Configuration,” or “Name Server Management.” You may need to turn on advanced settings to allow editing of these MX records. Delete any existing MX records before entering new MX records.
For each MX record, enter information according to the entries below.
If you’re asked to specify the type of each record you’re adding, enter “MX”.
MX records often require the specific format of DNS records, including a trailing dot (“.”) at the end of any full-qualified domain names (e.g. “server.example.com.”)
Set any TTL values to the maximum allowed.
O ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 10
Change the SPF record to fight SPAM (optional)
You may define the SPF record to authorize only certain IP addresses to send email for your domain. This will prevent spammers from sending unauthorized email under a forged address from your domain.
When finished, go back to the activate email page on Google Apps and click on “I have completed these steps” to have Google check your MX records. Once this is done, your custom email address is ready for use.
Contact your domain registrar to make these changes on your domain if you don’t have direct access to the control panel.