Saturday, January 31, 2009

How to use Gmail to with your own domain name for free.

It is possible to send and receive email from your domain based email address using the Gmail service (currently Google do not charge for this). This includes the Gmail webmail interface, its mobile accessible version, IMAP (with a very large inbox) and SMTP delivery from email programs like Outlook. These instructions explain how to set this up.

First of all you will need a domain name with email forwarding. Many domain registrars already provide this free when you register a domain name e.g.

There are a number of things you need to do in your domain registrar's control panel, the gmail web interface and your email program.

Things you need to do in your domain registrar's control panel:

1. Decide what email address you want to use at your domain name and set up a single email forwarder in their control panel or administration system to forward mail from that address to your gmail address.

Things you need to do on the gmail web site:

1. Create a gmail account through the google web site.
2. Click on the "accounts" tab in settings and under "send mail as" click on "add another address". Enter the address under your domain that you have set the forwarder up for in our control panel. An email will be sent to this address. You will need to recover that email (it will arrive in your gmail account) and click on the link to confirm you have the right to send mail from that address.
3. Now go back to the "accounts" tab in the gmail settings and click on "make default" next to your domain based email address.

You can now send and receive from your domain based email address using the gmail web interface. If you want to use an email program like Outlook then see the steps below.

Things you need to do to use an IMAP email program like Outlook:

1. Log into the gmail web interface click on settings (in the top right hand corner). Under settings click on "Forwarding and POP/IMAP". Enable IMAP. Do NOT enable POP3.
2. Click where it says "configuration instructions" and configure your email program accordingly, making sure you set up all the advanced settings or it will not work. You need to set it up as an IMAP account in your email program.
3. Make sure you enter the log in user name for IMAP as your gmail address and gmail password.
4. You need to set the email address in your email program as your domain based address so that it sends from the correct address. For example, in Outlook Express this is the address in the general tab in account settings (the field called E-mail address).
5. (optional) In Outlook Express you can hide some of the unused folders marked [Gmail] to keep things tidy. Do this by clicking on the account in your inbox area in Outlook Express and then on the "IMAP folders" button at the top of the page. I only have inbox, sent items and spam folders showing in my Outlook Express.