Setting Up Email At Your Domain: Email Hosting

Your email hosting options

Darn Cat via theinknest.com / Nicole LaRue

When setting up your business online, you’ll need a domain name (yes, even if you only sell at Etsy and don’t have your own website). A domain name or URL is the address people can type into their browser to find your site (ours is aeolidia.com – our website is at http://aeolidia.com/ and our email addresses all use @aeolidia.com). Here is why:

  • Professionalism. Printing your own domain on your business cards helps customers trust you.
  • Flexibility. You may be on Etsy now, but if you always give people your domain name, you’ll be able to move later without confusing anyone (or reprinting anything).
  • Email at your domain. Customers want to see email coming from the domain they ordered from, and email at a free email provider or your personal ISP may look confusing at best and like a scam at worst.

Purchasing a domain name

This is a bit trickier than it looks! Some domain registrars will spam you with piles of ads, some cost too much, and some have difficult-to-use admin tools. We’re currently recommending Namecheap.

Once you have a domain, you can set it up to point to your Etsy shop, your Shopify shop, your WordPress.com site, or just throw up a quick info page to let people know about you.

How to set up email at your domain

So once you have your domain, you’ll want to set up email. If you don’t use web hosting, you may be wondering what the best way to set up just email is.

Lately we’ve been recommending Shopify for ecommerce sites. We’ve also been recommending WP Engine for WordPress hosting. Neither of these services offers email, which seems like a bummer at first, but turns out to be a blessing in disguise.

If you’ve had a domain and website for a while, I’m sure you’ve had your share of email woes, particularly if you’re using inexpensive shared web hosting. When email is considered an add-on, it’s often poorly done, with bad service, bad tools, and frustrating customer support.

When you stick with service providers that specialize, you can have your shop hosted by ecommerce experts and your email hosted by email experts. Good deal!

If you sign up for web hosting that doesn’t include email service, how do you get email at your domain?

Your domain registrar may provide email, but if not, here are some options.

Google Apps for your domain:

You can use Google Apps to setup new email addresses for your domain name. This means Google Apps will take care of all the sending, receiving and storing tasks automatically. Once this is set up, you can use Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, or any other email client software for your new email addresses.

Here’s a general overview of what Google Apps for Your Domain is.

If you use Google Apps for Your Domain, it will create a separate Gmail account that doesn’t share anything with your existing Gmail account.

Learn more about Google Apps here.

Zoho:
You may be interested in using the Zoho Email service, with calendar, tasks, notes, contacts & more.

Hover:
If you just need a forwarding address, Hover is $5 per year.

Gmail:
You will need web or email hosting to use this method, unlike the options above. If you already have email with your host, but prefer Gmail’s features or interface, here’s how to set up your email to run through Gmail.

If you have an existing Gmail account you’d like to use to check your new email in, you can use Mail Fetcher:
Centralize mail from different accounts with Mail Fetcher

Here’s how to remove the “on behalf of” that sometimes shows up in sent mail headers:
Remove ‘On Behalf Of’ from Messages Sent Using Gmail

Questions about email hosting?

I hope this was useful, and didn’t just make things more confusing! What questions do you have about domains, email, etc.?

About the Author

Hello, I'm Arianne! I am the head storyteller, idea hatcher, and yaysayer here at Aeolidia. I started making websites for friends in 1997, and never lost interest in building online homes for fascinating people. I have a great boss (me!) and I'm unafraid to play hooky to head out on an adventure. Some day I'll tell you about the time when, as a marine biology student, I was bitten by a baby elephant seal.

View more articles written by Arianne >

6 comments
  1. I recently redesigned my brand (small scale on my own) and opened an Etsy store. I didn’t want my own domain name when I was just making things for free, but now that I’m selling things, people are probably getting confused with the .weebly part. My question is: I like Weebly as a host, but their domain purchase option is way more expensive than other places like the site you recommended. Can I purchase the domain on one site and still use Weebly as the website host? Does the website where you buy your domain become your website host? This may sound silly, but I really know nothing about domains and how they work, or even what they are. :) So much to learn when your business is based online! Also, how does changing your domain name affect your SEO?

    • Hello Rachel,

      Yes, you can absolutely use a domain you purchased elsewhere with Weebly. Here is Weebly’s tutorial about how to do this:

      http://kb.weebly.com/domain-registrar.html

      I believe your site will continue to be available at your new domain and your Weebly address, so I don’t think you will lose any traffic you’re getting from search engines.

      • Thank you! Perfect! I’ve been looking into it some more and now have questions about Whois. What is it and is it necessary? I think you should do more posts on domains. I’m sure there’s lots of people with questions!

        • Thanks, Rachel! Yes, it seems like posting some more info here about domains would be really handy. We’ll work some stuff up!

  2. We use Shopify as our e-commerce platform, but bought our domain with Go Daddy. What’s great is that with the domain purchase also came 100 forwarding email addresses. I like Gmail, so what’s great is that we can now send and receive emails using our @brimfulshop email addresses, but all within the Gmail email system. I’ve been super impresses with Go Daddy’s customer service. Helpful, patient, and cheerful!

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