Most of the Bloggers, freelancers here are using free Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail ID which is good for personal uses, but when you are working professionally, it’s always a better idea to use a Professional Email address. For example, email@example.com, Payment@domain.com and so on. It not only adds professionalism in your ID but also add credibility to your Email. Wonder, how would it look if I send an Email to a company with my personal Email or via professional email like admin@shoutMeLoud.com ?
Now, most of the webhosting companies offer cPanel based Email service but I always recommend to use Google Apps standard, Free account for domain which is free up to 10 Email accounts. They also have Google apps for Business which offers more users and more advance features with a price tag. Though, for a Blogger or a Freelancer, a Free Google apps standard account is enough. Here I’m sharing a guide by taking Bluehost (Bluehost discount) as an example, which offers cPanel hosting. You can use this tutorial for any other hosting which offers cPanel.
Settings up Google Apps Standard on any cPanel Hosting:
I don’t recommend to use Email account offered by your hosting companies, as when you move or change hosting, migrating Email account is an issue at times. Where as, when you are using Free Google apps, all you need to do is update the Google apps Standard MX records and everything will work like the way it was. Smooth and steady.
I also use the same (Google Apps Standard Edition) for my sites and it’s been 3 years, I have never faced any issue. More over, for Bloggers who are looking to get an approved Adsense account, I always recommend to use your Professional email address to sign up, which helps in approval process most of the time. So, lets start with this DIY tutorial and I’m sure if you have not set up Google apps for your domain yet, you going to love it and find it very useful in long run:
Go to Google Apps Standard edition page and enter your domain name as shown in below screenshot, click on submit and next step is to select the domain primary Email address. I would recommend to use admin as default one, as it will be helpful in managing your account. Later on you can add info, payment and other 9 Email address. Just in case if you need more Email addresses, you can upgrade your free account to Business edition of Google apps by paying a price. Though, for a normal blog you might not need more than 10 Email addresses. Is int it?. Anyways, once you are on their sign-up page, Enter your domain address and click on submit.
After that, fill out other details like your Organization name, address and alternate Email address. While selecting your alternate Email address, use something that you always have access to, as it will be helpful to retrieve password at the time when you lose your Google apps login password.
Once you have filled out all the details, scroll to the bottom, read and accept their TOS and click on “I accept, create my account”!
On the next page, you will get two options to set up Google apps account, simply click on Express setup, as it will be fast and won’t take long.
The very first thing which is required here is to Verify your domain ownership. Here is a video which explains, why it’s required and how you can verify domain:
There are many ways you can verify, and I prefer HTML tag method in Alternate methods, which is quick. Simply add the meta tag in your site header and it will be verified instantly. If you have bought domain from Godaddy or Enom, you can refer to this tutorial for verification.
Once you have verified your domain, you will get a message saying “Congratulations, you have successfully verified your ownership of domain.com”. Now, click on continue and on next page you can add more users and configure various settings like Email, Calender and other services which comes free with Google apps. If you ever get lost, you can always add more users under “Organization and users” tab.
Once you have done all this setup, you will be able to access your Google apps Email account at here http://mail.google.com/a/domain.com , Though you won’t be able to send Email for now. You need to update your MX record from cPanel for Email sending to work. You can also enable SSL feature to enhance security of your Google apps by going to Domain settings > General > SSL.
Google Apps Wizard setup on Bluehost:
So, far we have verified domain ownership and done the basic setup of Google apps standard account. Now, we need to make some changes inside your Bluehost cPanel. Bluehost offers Google apps Wizard which makes the setup very easy. Any cPanel hosting companies can add this Wizard on their hosting using this plugin.
Login to cPanel and under domains look for Google apps wizard icon:
This wizard will guide you to start with domain verification which we have already done. On the next page, you will be selecting the domain and services of Google apps you wish to install, for example: Google Mail, Google chat, Google Calendar and so on.
Now, on the next page you have to confirm and this Google apps wizard will do all the setup part regarding setting up DNS and A record. On the last page it will show what all changes this wizard will be making. Evaluate all the changes and click on next. It may take up to 24-48 hr time for this to propagate and before you will be able to use fully functional Google apps account. In my case, I was able to start sending Email in 12 hrs.
Once done, you can give professional Email address to your team or simply create different Email addresses for your services like Services, payment, support and so on.
For any other hosting, you need to add this MX record for working on Google apps. You can delete all existing entries under MX record of cPanel:
Since, Bluehost offers handy Wizard, we don’t need to do it here. But, any other cPanel hosting which doesn’t offer Google apps Wizard, you need to enter this manually.
Optional step: Now, if you wish to use mail.domain.com to access your Email accounts (Which is handy), simply add following line in your MX record:
And under Google apps settings > Email > URL select mail.domain.com as access URL. It make take up to 48 hrs before all DNS change is reflected and you will be able to use all the features.
I usually recommend to create your domain specific social services like Twitter, Youtube and other social networking account using your professional domain Email, as it will be convenient when you are selling your blog.
- To access Google apps account: https://www.google.com/a/your_domain.com
- Setup custom logo under apps dashboard. Domain Settings > appearance
- Use this free service to check and verify MX records.
So, go on and setup Google apps standard Email for your website or organization for free and do let me know if you are stuck anywhere in the process. If you find this tutorial useful, don’t forget to share it on Facebook and Google plus. You can subscribe to my Email newsletter for more such tutorials.
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