How to use Gmail with your own domain name
Most of our users are already familiar with the Gmail interface, but using Gmail with as firstname.lastname@example.org isn’t very professional.
Why use Gmail instead of your desktop email program?
- You can do it for FREE
- You can easily access your email anywhere
- It SAVES SPACE on your web hosting account.
For a long-term solution, we recommend signing up for G Suite, or if you’re a nonprofit, Google for Nonprofits. It’s made to handle enterprise-level IT needs, like maintaining archives and collaborating between employees. Sign up a 14 day free trial here.
Know that if you want to switch later, it will be a pain in the butt to transfer all your emails to Google for Nonprofits or G Suite. But if you just need a fix for the time being, here’s a quick workaround to use gmail with your own, custom domain.
For just $5/mo G Suite offers:
- Business email through Gmail
- Video and voice conferencing
- Shared calendars
- Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations
- 24/7 support by phone, email, and online
- Security and administration controls
- 30GB cloud storage
However, if you don’t want these additional features, you can certainly user your own domain on Gmail for FREE. We just recommend the paid plan, since it gets you so much more for so little.
For this tutorial we’ll walk you through the FREE version of how to use Gmail with your own domain name, since the paid version setup is almost identical.
Basically, you’ll just forward all the mail from email@example.com to a Gmail account, and change a setting so outgoing mail says firstname.lastname@example.org too. That’s it! So let’s jump right in.
You probably already have a Gmail account, and you could use it for your nonprofit’s email, but just like finances, it’s best to keep business and personal separate. It will make things a lot easier down the road if you upgrade to Google for Nonprofits.
Here’s how to make the account:
- Visit the Gmail sign-up page and pick a new email address. email@example.com usually works well.
- Follow the rest of the steps to create your account, and sign in.
2) Create your custom email and forward it
Maine Hosting includes email hosting, with at least 1 email forwarder.
Below are the instructions for each of those hosts.
First, login to cPanel
- Log into cPanel (Login Instructions)
- In the Mail section, click Forwarders
- Under the Email Account Forwarders section, Click Add Forwarder
- Type in the Address to Forward (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Select “Forward to email address” (email@example.com)
- Click Add Forwarder
Note: If you would like to store an archive of your email on our servers you can setup an email account in cPanel, or use an existing setup email account and then just create a forwarder for it. This way there is always a full archive of your email stored, outside of Google.
3) Enable Gmail to send as yourdomain.org
This step will allow you to send email as firstname.lastname@example.org using Gmail’s SMTP servers.
- If you can enable “Less secure apps,” do so. If you get an error, go here to create an app-specific password.
- Return to Gmail, click the gear icon, then Settings
- Click Accounts and Import, then Add another email address in the Send mail as section
- Enter your name and email@example.com, allow Treat as an alias and then Next Step
- Enter the following credentials:
- SMTP Server: smtp.gmail.com
- Username: The part of your gmail address that comes before “@gmail.com”
- Password: Your Gmail or App-specific password
- Port: 587
- Secure connection using: TLS
4) Final Configuration
- You’ll be sent an email with a verification link. Make sure to click it to enable your new address.
- Once you are returned to the Settings page, click Make default next to your new, custom email.
- Send a friend an email to test outgoing messages
- Have them send you a message to confirm incoming messages
And that’s it! You now know how to use Gmail with your own domain name!
Quick version on ow to use Gmail with your own domain name:
- Order your own custom domain name.
- Now go to the Google Apps site here.
- Select “Start Free Trial” and then enter your info in the form that follow in order to create your free trial.
- You can select “Express” or “Custom”. We recommend Express – Much faster to get through.
- Next you need to “verify” your domain. The fastest way is to “insert an HTML tag into your site’s home page” — easier than it may sound. To accomplish this, copy the provided code into your website’s <head> section. WordPress themes, such as, Divi and Genesis, have a easy place to this, consult your theme documnation. If you can’t find it, then there’s a header footer insertion plugin you can install here that providse an easy-to-edit <head> section. Then, copy the code that Google provides in the header section.
- Click “verify” at your Google Apps page.
- Once you’ve done this, login to your Google Apps and click “Users.” You’ll see the option to add new users (i.e. custom email addresses). Adding new users is $5 per user, per month or $50 for the year. This is totally worth it to me!