When starting a new blog or website it’s always nice to have a dedicated email account for your new venture, something a bit more professional than the account you use to email with your family and friends.
Over the years I’ve come to prefer the fast, clean, and intuitive Gmail interface over all other email solutions. I’ve even downloaded some well-reviewed Mac email apps, but I just keep coming back to the Gmail web interface.
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For a while, I didn’t realize I could have a professional looking custom domain email address like [email protected] (as opposed to [email protected]) and still use the Google interface and Google tools like Drive and Calendar that I love.
It turns out that with a little bit of setup and a few dollars per month, I can have the best of both worlds. The solution is Google Apps for work. With Google Apps, you can turn any domain name that you own into a custom email address. For example, the URL for this site is buildingaframework.com. With Google Apps I can create an email address like [email protected] or [email protected] Let me show you how…
- Start a free trial of Google Apps for work. You’ll be asked to enter some basic information.
- Decide if you want to use an existing domain (most likely) or purchase a new one.
- Decide on a username and password. The username is the prefix for the email address. You can use your first name, “hello”, “hi”, “info”, or anything else.
- Work through the Google Apps on-screen setup process of adding new users (not necessary if you’re the only one in the business) and verify the domain.
- Verify that you own the domain. Google will let you verify domain ownership by adding an html tag to your website, adding a domain host record, or uploading an html file directly to your host. The fastest method is adding the tag to your site’s homepage. If you use a Genesis child theme, make sure you have the Genesis Simple Hooks plugin installed and then add the add the bit of verification code before the “closing head tag” in the Simple Hooks plugin. This step shouldn’t take more than a minute or two.
- Add MX records for Google Apps to your domain. These records are added wherever you have your domain name registered. This may or may not be the same place as your blog hosting. For example, Abby and I use Synthesis for some of our blog hosting, but we have a lot of our domains registered at Hover.com. In our case, we would look at our DNS settings for our domain at Hover.com and add the MX records. Again, this will only take a few minutes.
- Verify ownership. After you make these changes, Google will verify your domain ownership. Once verified, you’re all set!
If you already have a personal Gmail account, your new custom email address will work side-by-side thanks to the Google’s multiple login feature.
After the initial set up, a custom domain email address with Google Apps and Gmail won’t require any additional work or maintenance, and your blog or business will have that extra level of professionalism.