Creating Email Accounts at your Domain
There are many benefits to have a @yourforum.com email address. First, you are able to more easily prove to services that you are, indeed, the owner of your website. Second, your forum appears more professional when you contact, or are contacted by, members and other webmasters. Creating these email accounts, however, can be more difficult than it may seem. You must ensure that your emails are not blocked by spam protection services, and that your email always functions correctly. This article is a tutorial on how to configure these email address. There are three different options which this article will cover for hosting email addresses. Each option is viable, and has its own pros and cons. 1. Hosting Email using cPanel Most web hosts today offer cPanel with their services. While not universal, many of these hosts also allow you to create @yourdomain.com email accounts using cPanel. To create one of these email accounts, you will need to follow the below steps. Step #1: Log into cPanel and visit the "Mail Accounts" section under "Mail." Step #2: Enter the email address and password. Step #3: Click "Create Email Account." Alternatively, you can set up a forwarder to send all emails to that address towards your personal email account, but that way you cannot send email using your forum email account. The benefits of using cPanel for email is that it is completely, 100% free (unless your host charges extra for this feature, which a good web host probably won't). Also, the UI for email is pretty good (RoundCube is the best option), but it could be better. The negative side of this feature is that spam identification services will often treat your emails as spam. Services such as Spamhaus deliberately mark IP blocks owned by web servers as spam, because it is very common for someone to register a shared hosting account, only to send a bunch of spam emails to a list of recipients. Because of this, there is a step #4 which you will need to follow to get your email to work for many email providers. Getting your email to work universally is very difficult, expensive, and beyond the scope of this article, unless you use one of the other methods discussed here. Step #4: Go to the Spamhaus Removal Center and request your web server's IP to be unlisted. Your IP may not be listed. If it is not, then you're in luck. If you are, then you may be able to get them to unlist your IP Address. I have done it successfully before using a Rackspace IP address, and it was not very difficult, but it may not be possible to convince them to unblock your free host's IP address. For that reason, if you use a free web host, your email may very well be seen as spam by Gmail and other services. That is why you may want to consider using one of the alternative options. 2. Google Apps for Business Google Apps for Business will take any domain name (such as yourdomain.com) and allow you to create unlimited @yourdomain.com email addresses - for a price. However, you get full access to Gmail, google calendar, and other services. It is not cheap, but for many people, it is also not terribly expensive. An important note relating to their pricing: you can have unlimited aliases. That means that your account can be firstname.lastname@example.org and that's the account you can send email from. You can also set up aliases to receive email from. For example, you can have email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, all pointed to your account. That counts as one user, and costs $5 per month. If you have a second admin on your website, then that's a second user, and you have to pay $10 per month. To set up your website with Google Apps for Business using cPanel: Step #1: Log into cPanel and go under "MX Records." Step #2: Type in the MX records for Google Apps for Business. These can be found here. Step #3: Once you have created your Google Apps account, you will receive a one month free trial. You will need to verify your domain name, which they walk you through on their website. Again, this option can be expensive. For a better price, there is a third alternative which will still prevent your email from being marked as spam. 3. Rackspace Email Rackspace, which is a good quality hosting company, also offers email hosting. Their price is $2 per month per user, although they require that you pay for a minimum number of email accounts to use their service. Rackspace email is less than one half the price of Google Apps for Business. The downside is that you cannot use Gmail or Google Calendar, but this may not be a requirement. To set up Rackspace email using cPanel: Step #1: Log into cPanel and go under "MX Records." Step #2: Type in the MX records for Rackspace. These can be found here. Step #3: Create your account at Rackspace. They will walk you through everything else. In Summary For creating email accounts @yourdomain.com, you have several options. The ones discussed in this article include cPanel, Google Apps, and Rackspace. The one which is best for your forum is a choice which depends on the needs of the individual forum itself.