Ever since I figured out how to set up an email on my blog’s URL (firstname.lastname@example.org), I’ve been wanting to pay to upgrade to Google Apps. Basically, that means I use Gmail, but it’s not an @gmail.com email address.
The only problem is, it’s $5/month, and you have to pay for a year up front. I have a very limited blogging budget ($0), so it was taking me a while to be able to upgrade.
And I hated it. I had to use one of the three provided by Bluehost, and it wasn’t pretty. The emails I sent out were text-only, so I couldn’t do any formatting or anything. It was just ugly.
Then, I found a solution on how to use Google for my blog’s email address. For free. And naturally, I had to share.
1. Set Up Your Blog’s Email Address
First, you’ll want to set up your blog’s email address. It can basically be whatever you want, but I recommend something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Be fun, but simple. Check with your domain host on how to get it set up.
2. Go to your Gmail Settings -> Accounts and Import
Once you get it all set, go to your own Gmail account. Don’t have one? Set one up for free.
You’ll want to go to settings. Once you get there, select the Accounts and Import option at the top.
3. Click on “Add a POP3 mail account to your own”
Once you scroll down, you’ll want to click on “Add a POP3 mail account to your own” under the Check mail from other accounts heading. A popup window will appear.
First, you’ll enter your blog’s email address and hit “Next Step.”
Once you hit Next Step, you’ll have to log into your email account. It will probably auto-fill the username, but make sure you change it if necessary. For example, it tried to fill in “caitlin” when it really should have been “email@example.com.”
For your POP Server info, check with your domain host. Typically, though, you’ll want to use mail.yoururl.com and Port 110.
I choose to leave a copy of the message on the server just in case anything happens. I also label incoming messages so I can see that it did, in fact, go to a different email address.
When you’ve got everything set, click on Add Account.
4. Send Mail As
Next, a screen will come up that will ask if you want to be able to send mail as your email address. Check yes and hit Next Step.
Then it will ask you to name your account. This is for organizational purposes on your settings page.
5. Set up SMTP settings
After you’ve named your account, click Next Step. Here, you’ll need to fill in your SMTP settings. Again, check with your domain host on these, but it’s typically mail.yoururl.com, Port 465.
Finally, hit Add Account.
Finally, you’ll need to open up your blog’s email address and get the verification code. This tells Google that you actually have the authority to send mail as this email address. By this point, it’s probably been forwarded to your Gmail account.
Simply paste the confirmation code into the box and hit Verify.
Voila! Now you’ve got your blog’s email address set up through Gmail without the price tag! Easy enough, right?