Create a domain based email and connect it to Gmail

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Having a domain based email address is incredibly important to the professionalism and branding of your website. When I see a website that uses “[email protected]”, it makes me think that whoever runs the website doesn’t understand the ins and outs of their website. In this guide, I’ll go over how to create a new domain based email address from your cPanel admin, and how to connect it to your personal Gmail account to receive and send emails through Gmail.

Create custom email and access through Gmail Banner

Using you webhost as your email server

There are a lot of options available for hosting an email server for a new website or domain that you have created. There are many paid-for services (like G-Suite or MXRoute) that you can connect your domain to and host email through, but as someone starting out a new website, the base email server included in your hosting will most likely do for the short-term.

Pros of Hosting based email

There are a lot of good things about using the email server provided by your hosting account. It depends on how you’re going to be using your email accounts, but as someone just starting a new website, the default server email has a lot of pros.

1. It’s free!

You can host your email server for free through your hosting account. Paid services can range from $40 – $100+ a year, which can add up over time.

2. It’s easy!

The email server should already be setup through your hosting plan, which means no complicated setup involved. You can see bellow for the easy steps to create a new email account through your cPanel host.

3. Integrate with Gmail for free!

You can bypass clunky webmail clients provided by your webhost, and instead, receive email directly to your personal Gmail account, as well as send email through your new email address from Gmail, for free. See below for steps on setting this up

Cons of Hosting based email

While the free option of running your email server through your web hosting is great for those getting started, there can be some downsides to using it as your primary email provider.

1. Slower response

Using your hosting email server can be a little slower compared to using a dedicated email service – especially if you are accessing it through Gmail. It can both take a little more time for new emails to be received to your hosting email server, as well as additional time for it to show up in Gmail if you’ve connected your accounts.

2. Server resources

If you are sending or receiving a lot of emails, it can be a strain on your web server, and therefore affect your website. You don’t want mail issues affecting your website up-time, so hosting your email through a separate server can alleviate those issues. But if you only have a few email addresses hosted through your own email server, this shouldn’t be a problem.

3. Email spam rating

By sending emails through services such as G Suite, you can authenticate outbound mail using DKIM and SPF records, which can positively affect your spam rating. In the short term, this shouldn’t be an issue, but as you grow your website and your readership, this is something to be considered.

How to create a domain based email through cPanel

For those getting started building your website and wanted to take advantage of the free email server provided by your hosting, let’s look at both how to create your first custom email from your domain, as well as how to connect your new email address to Gmail to be able to receive and send emails through the Gmail interface. If you’re following along the How-To Create a Website series, this guide assumes you’ve already done the following:

  1. Picked a new website domain name and registered it
  2. Picked a hosting provider
  3. Registered for hosting and connected your new domain to your new hosting
  4. Installed WordPress on your new site

The following example shows how I setup domain based email on the blog that I built, BriskWP.com.

Step 1: Access your cPanel account

Start by accessing the cPanel account for your website host, typically found at yourwebsitehost.com/cpanel. Once logged in, access the“Email Account” option:

Access the Email menu in your hosting Cpanel

Step 2: Create a new email

You’ll see a default email account based on your cPanel admin account. You’ll want to create a new one by clicking the “Create” button:

Click the create button in cPanel Email Accounts

Step 3: Input new email details

Decide what you want your new email account to be (I like to use something general such as info, or admin, or contact) and set a secure password. If this is account that is going to be used by you or a main administrator, you can set the storage space to be unlimited. If you are creating this account for someone else, you may want to set a storage space limit so that their email use doesn’t get out of control and use too many resources from your web host.

Input information for your new email account

Once you click “Create”, easy as that, you’ve created a new, custom email address, based on your new domain name! Now let’s look at the best way you can access your new email address.

How to connect your new email address to Gmail

The Gmail email client is a tried and tested email service, and most people already have a Gmail account and are familiar with how Gmail works. I highly recommend using the free services Gmail provides to manage send, recieve and manage your email, as opposed to the webmail clients that your web host provides. Let’s look at how to connect your new email address to your gmail account.

Step 1: Find the Connect Devices menu

To get your host email server information, in the same Email Account menu from above, select the “Connect Devices” button for your new email address:

Click the Connect Devices option for your new email

Step 2: Get email server info

The Mail Client Manual Settings are the important pieces of information that you’re going to need to connect your new domain email address to Gmail. Set this information aside as you’ll need it in the coming steps.

Find your new email client settings

Step 3: Login to your personal Gmail account settings

These following steps assume that you already have a personal Gmail account. If you don’t, you’ll need to create one first before you can continue. Once you have an account, access the advanced settings by clicking the cog image, and the “See all settings” button.

Access the Advanced settings menu in your personal gmail account

Step 4: Add a Send Mail As account

The first step is to add your new domain email address to be able to “Send Mail As”. This means you’ll be able to write and create emails in the Gmail interface, and still have them send as though they are from your new domain email address (for example, sending an email as [email protected] through Gmail, instead of as my personal account). Click the “Accounts and Import” menu and then select “Add another email address” from under the Send mail as section

Add another email address from Accounts and Import menu - update

Step 5: Input new email address info and SMTP details

A new window will now pop-up where you can add your name, and the new email address that you want to send as. You can keep “Treat as an alias” clicked if you want to combine this email with your personal email account. If you want to access those 2 accounts separately instead, you can uncheck the box:

Fill in your name and the new email address you created

You can now input the mail server settings that you found in cPanel back in Step 2. Using the SSL settings is always preferred over the TLS settings for increased email security. Make sure that you specify the correct port number as well:

Input your SMTP server info

Once you have successfully input your SMTP server information, Gmail will send a verification email to the specified email address. You’ll now need to go back to your cPanel mail client to verify.

Verify your email address options

Step 6: Access your email account through cPanel webmail

Again, access the Email Accounts section of your cPanel account, and beside your new email address, select the “Check Email” option.

In cPanel, click check mail

This will now provide you options around which webmail client to use to check for your verification email from Google. It doesn’t really matter which one you use. Pick one, and select the “Open” button.

Use any email client available in cPanel

Step 7: Verify the account

Find the “Gmail Confirmation” email in your inbox, and click on the verification link:

Access email and click the verify link

This will take you back to the Gmail website, where you can confirm capabilities to send email as your new specified email address:

Confirm button in gmail

Step 8: Add Check Mail From Other Accounts option

Now that you’re able to send mail as your new account, you also now want to be able to receive the email that is sent to your new email address. Back in the “Accounts and Import” menu in Gmail, select the “Add a mail account” option from the “Check mail from other accounts:” section:

Add a mail account in the Gmail Accounts and Import Menu

Step 9: Add email address and select POP3 option

You’ll want to import emails using POP3 settings, which are included in your host email server settings in the earlier steps. First enter the email address you would like to add:

Input email info

Then select the “Import emails from my other account (POP3)” option.

Use POP3 option to import emails

Now using the “Incoming Server Settings” back in Step 2, input your POP3 server info. Options that I always leave on are:

  • Leave a copy on the server, as it’s always good to have backups
  • Always use SSL connections when retrieving emails
  • Label messages from your new email, so that they don’t get confused with any emails you receive to your personal email address through Gmail.

Select the “Add Account” button and the process is complete!

Use POP3 mail settings copied from cPanel

Custom email successfully created and accessible through Gmail

You now have successfully created a custom email address hosting on your web server, that you can access through Gmail. You’re now ready to send and receive email, with a professional looking email address.

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