It’s time to demystify the professional email address! If you run an online business, this goes in the essentials category.
It makes me sad when I see many of you using free personal email accounts for your business, not only can these go away at anytime [mine did, Google just killed it].
It’s proven that using a professional email address gets you more business [see page 7 of this report from Google]. I’ve ranted about this in the past, so I’ll shut up about that and just get to fixing it.
This month’s email is information rich, how do professional email accounts work, how to create one, and what it takes to set up.
How Professional Email Works
Okay, a professional email account, meaning an address at your website domain like @itarsenal.com doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take some basic understanding of the web.
At it’s most basic, it’s nothing more than a bunch of directional pipes, like water for a house, going in the directions they need to in order to function, and get water to your 2nd floor apartment, and then out to the sewer.
First, email addresses are tied to your website domain, so where you bought your domain name, which is called your registrar is where to start. If you’ve bought your domain, and have a website, you can have a professional email for free in most cases or very cheap.
Website hosting often includes email hosting, but isn’t promoted as much, or simply get’s glossed over in the “setup a website” phase.
Hosts like Bluehost, and Hostgator, and Site5 include basic email hosting for free, while some hosts don’t offer email, and require purchasing that service elsewhere. Services like Google Apps, Zoho Mail, or Fast Mail provide email services.
Before we get to setup, let’s cover basic routing. The principle as mentioned, is like water to your house. The biggest take away is that the place that controls your Domain Name Servers, or DNS, controls all the routing for your website and your email. Most of the time, these things are setup automatically at the time of a website hosting purchase to all point the same place, but they certainly don’t have to. The DNS is like your water company, they lay the pipes.
Note: You’re Registrar doesn’t have to be your Domain Name Server, you can change your Domain Name Server from your registrar to be another company, many web hosting companies act as your Domain Name Server, so a common scenario is to have your Registrar point to your web hosting company, which acts as the Domain Name Server and does all the routing for that domain.Scenario’s where you need to change your routing
- Setting up professional email at a place other than your website host.
- Pointing a domain name at a website provider like Wix, or Squarespace, or Shopify
- Changing website hosting companies
- Setting up a subdomain to load from another place than your main website host ie. Load http://shop.mywebsite.com from Shopify, but load http://mywebsite.com at Bluehost
How to Create a Professional Email Address
The actual setup or creation of an email account is nothing more than typing in the address you want created, at the service vendors control panel that email is being routed to. Whoever hosts your email has a place to create email accounts, most of the time in what’s called the cpanel.
So, logging into the control panel of the company that hosts your email, again, most likely the same company as your website host, has a place to simply create email addresses.
Note: People choose different email service providers for reasons just like people pick any service, reliability, service, quality, etc. Better spam control, better webmail, cost, security, space allowance are all things people look at.
How to Setup a Professional Email Address for Use
Once an account is active, there are two methods for access.
One, is to use the email service providers webmail, which depending on the company, can be great, or horrible, and the other is setting up an email client [Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail] to retrieve the email from the email host, typically called the server.
The link to a providers webmail is found inside the service providers control panel, as are the settings for setting up your email client. They can also often be searched in Google, such as “Bluehost email setup instructions”.
These settings vary depending on the provider, your username, and the email client. They are in no way universal.
Okay, that’s it. Obviously there’s some setup and configuration required, but it’s not tech degree level difficult. Logging into a service website, making changes, and configuring an email program.
—-> However, if this is the type of thing you’d rather just not think about and you need a professional email account [you do], IT Arsenal has a professional email setup service.
IT Arsenal exists to get your online business running smoothly, this info can help do that. Forward this to a friend you know who isn’t using a professional email address for their business.
I hope this was useful and want to know about it if it wasn’t!
==== Originally published on the IT Arsenal Newsletter ====