Custom Email Address Week: Email Address Switching Checklist

“email”

You’ve registered your domain, picked a platform, set it up, and brewed a fresh pot of coffee. Now what? Before you’re really done, here’s a little checklist of things you should keep in mind.

  • Since a lot of people will still be sending mail to your old address, you should either A. forward your mail to your new address, or B. use a mail app (like Outlook or Mail) to get email from multiple addresses.
  • Make sure your website(s) and relevant social media accounts show your new email address.
  • If any important accounts use email for login, be sure to change those over (especially if you’re actually turning off your old email address)
  • Make sure printed items like business cards show your new email address.
  • Send an email to important contacts from your old address letting them know that future correspondence will be coming from a new address.
  • Back up your emails (if you’re into that sort of thing).

Custom Email Address Week: What to Choose Before the @

“email”

With a custom email address, you’re free to put anything you want before the @ in your email address. Gone are the constraints of trying to find something unique in a platform with a billion other users. You are the mayor of your domain, and you get to pick all the email addresses within it.

But what should you use? Hello@yourdomain.com? Yourname@yourdomain.com? Me@yourdomain.com? It’s completely up to you, but here’s how I see it.

  • If you’re the only person involved in your brand, go with your name. For example, my (fake) address would be chris@hallcorp.pizza because I’m ‘Chris’ and I’m located at ‘hallcorp.pizza’. (That’s not my real email address or domain, so don’t email it.)
  • If your brand has the potential to grow, you may want to be more specific. For instance, what if your email address is chris@hallcorp.pizza, then you hire someone else named Chris? Do you use his last name? First name, last name? First name, last initial? Because I like consistent name schemes, my advice would be to pick something fairly specific from the start and stick to it.
  • If you have an email address that will be checked by multiple people, go with a generic word like ‘hello@’, ‘info@’, or ‘support@’. Remember, you can always have individual email addresses in addition to your generic one.

Custom Email Address Week: Plugging in the Domain

“email

You know that feeling when you put your shoes on before your pants? “Gah, one thing at a time, Chris.” (It happens to me a lot.) Sometimes we tech people like to identify problems, then spit out solutions, missing all the confusing steps in between.

By now I’ve hopefully convinced you to get a custom email address, and I’ve identified a few email platforms you might want to use, but it’d probably be helpful to know how the domain actually gets to the platform. Here’s the rundown:

  1. First, you need to get a domain name, because that’s the foundation of all custom email. For example, if you register mydomainname.com, your custom email address would end with @mydomainname.com.
  2. Pick out a platform you want to use. All of them work, but it’s up to you to find the one you like best.
  3. Assuming you’re still logged in on our site, head to plugins page with all our email options. (Here’s the link.)
  4. For this example, I’m choosing Zoho Mail. So I click Zoho Mail, then on the next page, click ‘Add Zoho Mail’ to the domain you want to add it to.
  5. The following page, no matter which platform you use, will remind you that you should sign up for the platform on their end, and will provide a link. Do that.
  6. On that same page, there will usually be a little box to enter a verification code, and we will usually be specific about which code you’ll need (you’ll get the code from the email platform). For Zoho, the box specifies that it wants the “CNAME method verification,” and once you type it in, just click the big ‘Install Zoho Mail’ button.
  7. This is where a lot of people trip up. Now you have to wait. Sometimes the process is nearly instant, but sometimes it takes hours for email platforms to find domains. If you need to grab a coffee, now’s the time. If you need a beer, go for it. Dog need a walk? You get the idea.
  8. If you’ve followed all the steps, waited days for things to happen, and it’s still not working, send us a message and we’ll get to the bottom of it. Seriously, as someone who has a real talent breaking things that are designed to be foolproof, I can attest that our support team is extremely patient and good at what they do. They’re kind of amazing.

And that’s it! Now you have custom email address. Feels good, right?

Custom Email Address Week: Email Hosting

“email

The hardest part for most people switching email addresses from @gmail.com, @me.com, and @yahoo.com to something custom isn’t that the address is different, it’s the effort that needs to be put in to feel comfortable. And I get it. After a decade of logging into the same email system every day, your email platform probably seems like a warm blanket. Possibly a tattered blanket that makes you seem less than professional, but warm nonetheless.

Gmail users can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Google Apps is a great, familiar option for custom email. It’s not free, and you get some other bells and whistles you may or may not use, but Google Apps give you the ability to use a custom email address with the gmail interface you know and love.

Google Apps isn’t the only option though (and not necessarily the best, depending on your needs). FastMail has been in the email hosting business for a long time and has all the features you’d want in an email platform. ProtonMail is much newer to the game, but touts itself as the most secure platform around (all the data is protected by “strict Swiss privacy laws” and end-to-end encryption… think of it as a Swiss bank vault for your email). You could also go with Rackspace, by the company known for web hosting, or Zoho Mail, because Zoho Mail is free.

Free? Yeah, if you want free custom email (aside from the cost of the domain), Zoho Mail is your solution. The free tier does come with limited space, but if you’re just sending standard emails (as opposed to moving around or saving humongous files), it’s hard to beat.

Before you make a move to custom email, I can’t urge you enough to look at all your hosting options. Look at their pricing tiers, look at the features they offer, and maybe even read some reviews online of experiences people have had. Don’t let yourself become paralyzed by analysis, but don’t just choose one randomly, decide you don’t like it, then move back to your @yahoo.com account. Your business and personal brand deserve a professional looking custom email address.


There’s more coming tomorrow, but if you want to jump ahead, be sure to read The guide to getting your own custom email address.

Custom Email Address Week: Do I Need It?

“email

Let’s start the week with a “choose your own adventure.” You’re you, and you need an accountant. You ask your friends for some referrals, and you narrow it down to two private accountants, Apple and Orange. You check our their websites and find that both prominently display their email addresses:

  • apple@accountant.com
  • orange.accountant@gmail.com

The real differentiator here is that Apple is clearly using a custom email address (@accountant.com), while Orange is using gmail, a free email service. You might not think about email addresses much (or think they’re very important), but how yours looks in a professional setting says a lot about you.

  • Custom email: You’re a real business with a real domain, and you took the time to create a permanent email address. Boiled down, you take yourself seriously and you probably know what you’re doing.
  • Free email (like gmail or Yahoo): This is a part-time gig, you don’t know anything about the internet, and/or this isn’t an important enough operation to have even the smallest IT department. When I see @gmail.com as the primary address, I think, “don’t trust them with anything important.” If it’s an Etsy transaction on a secure payment gateway, fine. If you’re handling financials, as Apple and Orange are in the example above, that’s not ok.

Don’t be free email person. Getting a custom email address is as easy as getting a domain and hooking it into any of the plugins we offer. In just a few minutes you can be up and running like a real pro – and that’s what you want to be.

I’ll be going over some tips and ideas throughout the week, but if you want to know everything right now, check out our “guide to getting your own custom email address.”

Olympic TLD Stories: Pro Sports?

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I consider .my .family a .group of Olympics super.fans. We .watch all the .events and spin .my arms .in crazy circles when I want people to swim faster… like we all do.

But .professional .games? .In the Olympics? The Olympic .games are supposed .to .be a big celebration of who can swim fastest, .run hardest, throw furthest, jump highest, lift the most, and spin around .in the air with astounding grace. .It’s about breaking records, and deciding once-and-for-all who .is .best .at a thing.

So why .am I sitting here watching basketball? And .soccer? And rugby? These are sports with evolving rules and .international clubs. .In basketball .in particular, the .US players treat .it so lightly many of the .best players consider their offseason .vacations more worthy .events. Maybe they should skip the .team .games completely and do more skill-based .events like the 3-point shootout or dunk contest. Maybe Neymar and Marta should .be out there doing target shooting, .futbol .style. Let’s bring baseball back, but just do a home .run derby.

I have lots of ideas, IOC. You can .email .me anytime, day and night.