An Easy Way to Leverage the Power of Gmail with your Own Domain
Posted by Jon Roth - Feb 23, 2011
More and more data and computing is moving to cloud services and migrating away from local storage (on your C: drive or local disk). The trend is a combined result of two major factors:
1. the enormous growth in storage efficiency (at low cost) and computing sophistication made available by larger services such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Intuit, Amazon, and others, and
2. the rapidly increasing popularity of mobile devices changing the habits and requirements of the connected culture.
Data and devices are increasingly separate now that the global user base has so many options for devices that access the Internet, and has shown a preference to switch from device to device frequently without compromising information consistency.
Email is one of the first categories to lead this migration, as people want to get their email on their home computer, work computer, mobile phone, and on hotel computers while traveling without missing messages or losing access to their archives.
An added benefit is that when your hard drive crashes (yes it will happen to you sometime), you haven't lost any of your valuable messages or contacts.
Our favorite hosted email service is Google's Gmail. One of the neatest things about it is that, not only can you enjoy the benefits of web-based email across your connected devices, but you can easily use Gmail with your own domain name simultaneously with the gmail.com domain.
We have adopted the practice of using Gmail as our email client (equivalent to other software choices such as Outlook, Thunderbird, MacMail, Entourage, etc)
We find that it has the same features we look for in the other programs, but has the huge advantage of automatic cloud storage, access, and Google's outstanding email infrastructure.
Here are the steps to using Gmail as your email client to send and receive through your own domain:
If you don't already have one, create your Gmail account. It's free and easy.
Once you're logged into your Gmail account, choose "mail settings" ( from the gear menu in the upper right corner) and then select "Accounts and Import."
When on the "Accounts and Import" tab, tell Gmail which email address you'd like to receive messages at using the Gmail interface by first clicking the "Add POP3 email account" button in the "Check mail using POP3" section of the page.
Then enter your email address in the space provided.
Fill in the form with your information following the example below. Be sure that you have your mail server, user name, and password information correct. This will be the identical information to what you have entered in your current email software.
Double check the POP server field. Gmail will pre-populate it with the domain name that your email address belongs to, but you may have to edit that to input the mail server name provided by your hosting company. You should be using the same POP server name as you've entered into any other email software that you use to retrieve messages.
Make sure that you have the "Leave a copy of retrieved message on the server" box UN-checked, otherwise your in-box on your POP server will fill up and your mail will stop flowing. Let Google handle the storage for you.
In the next step after you click "Add Account", Google will ask you if you would also like to send messages from the address you just added. Answer "Yes" and move to the next step.
Enter your name and move to the next step.
Google will ask you if you would like to send through Gmail servers, or through your own. Choose the Gmail server (even though Google's recommendation for professional domains is to use your own). Your messages will still show your personal domain as the sending address and reply-to address, and you'll have the advantage of Gmail's sending power and mail infrastructure. I'm also convinced by circumstantial evidence that the clout of Gmail's servers will reduce the number of your messages that get errantly picked off by filters on destination servers that aren't updated or configured correctly.
The last step is to allow Gmail to verify that you are the owner of your email address.
The service will send a message to your address with instructions to complete the verification process. The message will contain a link that you can click, and a confirmation code that you can enter into the form online show below. You have your choice of which method you would like to use to verify your account.
Once your account is verified, you can send and receive from it through the Gmail web interface from anywhere. It works like a charm!