This tutorial exists out there on the internet, but the ones I’ve seen make the whole process seem way more difficult than it really is and every time I do this for a friend or client, I think to myself, “I should write this down.” So here we go…
First, why I prefer Google mail to other set ups…
Storage Space, Archiving and Ease of Access
Having your emails in the cloud (stored on Google’s servers that you access via the internet) means you don’t have to worry about storage space on your local drive. Like many Google Mail users, I never delete anything! Having a full archive of your emails comes in handy! Just yesterday a client emailed me because he had accidentally deleted a font off of his system that was essential to his brand. He had remembered emailing me that file about a year ago when we did some work together and sure enough, I still had the email and the attached font that I forwarded along to him within a couple minutes.
If cloud storage makes you nervous, don’t be — Google Mail allows for you to download and make a local backup of all your emails! (I do this about once a month, just in case.) While having a backup of my messages on a local drive is reassuring, keeping my correspondence in the cloud allows me to have access to my mail anywhere an internet connection is, no mater if I have my computer with me!
Setting Up Google Mail with your Domain
This is simple, I promise — but first let’s make sure you have all your ingredients…
- a domain name (This is your websites address (i.e, cmdshiftdesign.com) if you don’t already own one, they got good prices at godaddy.com)
- web hosting (This is where your website lives. If you don’t already have this, I am very happy with my home at Dreamhost. I have also had good experiences with MediaTemple and BlueHost. Just don’t host your website with Network Solutions if you can avoid it.
So — when you first go to the Google Apps page, the options seem limited. But.. there is a free option! Choose Google Apps for Business and then click the Apps Editions menu and choose Standard. This doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Premium edition, but for most of us is MORE than enough!
Click get started and follow the set up guide. Once you enter in your domain name and some basic information, you will choose your first email address (but you can have up to 50.)Next you will have to verify that the domain you specified is infact YOURS. The easiest option for this just involves creating an html file and uploading it to your root directory.
Goolgle will take a couple minutes to check on that and once it does you are in with one small step left!
On your main dashboard, under Email, you will need to click the configure option — Google will have here specific directions on changing the MX settings with the host you are using. Just login to that account and follow the step by step instructions.
After this, it can take up to 30 minutes for all the dust to settle, but then you are good to start sending and receiving at your new address! :)