Emails feel like they’ve been around since the dinosaurs roamed the earth. That may well be an exaggeration (ok, it IS an exaggeration!) but many believe that emails just happen and they just work. However, we’ve all been there when someone says ‘did you get that email last week?’ and we check our inbox and it never arrived or hit the spam folder or whatever calamity that has befallen that email and then email stress begins! Setting up emails that work with your website domain may seem simple at first but you may need a little support to get each step covered.
In this episode I’ll walk you through linking your emails to your website and talk about separate manage email hosting as one possible solution for your email woes. Matching your email to your business name and website helps to keep you and your business professional and credible so let’s make sure each and every email you send counts.
INTRO: Hi and welcome to the Help! My Website Sucks podcast with me, your host, Amy Gumbrell. I’m a freelance web designer and I get to help others learn more about websites day in day out so I’m delighted you’re here. Hit that follow button now if you’d like to listen to future episodes. Please feel free to leave a review too and come and say hello on social media – I’m @twocowsweb. I’d like to share some of my own experiences as a web designer and some of the common questions and issues that pop up again and again. This episode is all about how to set up an email address for your website domain and why its a bit of a no brainer for you and your business. If you’re sitting comfortably, I think we best get on with it!
Firstly let’s have a bit of refresh about what we mean when we say domain name as it is essential in helping to answer this episodes question. I talked about this in a lot more detail in episode 4 so if you missed it, I’d recommend going back and having a listen to it. For my business I’ve set up a few email addresses for different purposes and they all use my domain name which is twocowsweb.co.uk so I have email@example.com for podcast emails and firstname.lastname@example.org for more general enquiries. You can choose whatever email you like – some people like to use first name only, first name and then last name and some keep it simple with job titles and roles. It is entirely up to you but just like your domain name, keep it simple and easy to remember and spell – this will help when potential new customers get in touch with you. Less room for errors!
Let’s now tackle the reason why you should care about having the same domain name as your website. I have multiple email addresses for my business so I can separate my emails and even though it is only me that looks at each of the accounts, it helps me to prioritise each inbox differently as appropriate. The key reason for doing this is for professionalism. Have you ever been to a shiny all singing all dancing website only to get to the contact page and see email@example.com? Although it is obviously not the main measure of business acumen, something just doesn’t feel right about it and you question if is perhaps a personal email address and whether you will be hearing from the business itself. Emails that come from the same domain as your website are far more professional than those that you send from a free platform such as Gmail or even Yahoo and Hotmail.
A final reason is that if you have a team who regularly send and receive email on behalf of your business, it’s great if everyone communicates using an ‘official’ email account. If there were ever any issues, technical support could easily access the mailboxes whereas if it were a personal email account, it simply wouldn’t be possible.
We’ve talked about why you should link your emails to your website and I’m pretty sure I’ve been very convincing on this topic, the tricky part is going to be helping you actually link them. Thankfully we can use managed email hosting providers. The most popular one or at least the one I come across most often is Google Workspace. This is the old G Suite but with a fancy new rebrand. A quick Google should help clear up what’s changed and why. For a fee they provide custom domain email addresses and various levels of storage from a little to a lot. By storage I’m referring to all those emails that you keep in your inbox or squirrel away into different folders. They all need to sit somewhere so of course the more emails you keep, the more space it takes up! Another option is Zoho – they offer a free basic package to get you up and running but of course you don’t get the same access to Google products as you do with Google workspace. There are quite a few options for you to choose from so here’s a few to get you started. You could try Rackspace if you just want email hosting or if you use lots of different Microsoft apps, Microsoft 365 would be perfect for you or if you are on a teeny weeny budget, try Hostinger. You can find all the links to this in the transcript or pop their name into your favourite search engine.
You may have noticed that your website hosting provider also offers emails. This is fine whilst you get yourself set up and established but I wouldn’t recommend it as a long term solution. If you are just starting out, you have probably purchased shared hosting and this makes sense, it’s usually the cheapest. But shared hosts rarely offer the same reliability and security offered by email hosting services. Have a listen to episode 3 for a recap on website hosting.
I’ve got to be honest. The technical part of linking your website to your email is a bit of a faff and there are a fair few steps before it’s all set up and working. It will involve things such as DNS settings, advanced Zone Settings, MX records and more so my advice is to take your time. There are lots of tutorials and videos you can follow and email hosts are there to help you. Do reach out and get in touch with their support team. Of course you could get an expert involved or if you have been working with a web designer to build your new website, ask them about it – you never know it may even be part of your web design package or as an added extra and if so, let them get it sorted for you!
If you aren’t crazy about the interface or the way a managed email host or even your own website hosting looks when you login to check your emails, we can sort that out no worries. You’ll be able to add your new email accounts in third-party email tools pretty easily (for example, so that you can use that new email on your smart phone or laptop). This is done using POP3 or IMAP protocols. Although there are many tutorials out there on how to do this and some of them very helpful, if you are unsure, please speak to your web designer.
OUTRO : Ding ding! Emails sorted and can now be ticked off your website to do list. Was this episode helpful? What do you currently do for your business emails? As ever I would love to continue the chat over on social media so search for @twocowsweb and let’s have a chin wag about all things web design. Cheers for listening and make sure you remember to hit follow to never miss a future episode of Help! My Website Sucks. Ta ra for now!
For more information visit twocowsweb.co.uk/podcast. Help! My Website Sucks is a Vibrant Sound Media production.