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By: Jon Berg <jon.berg|a|turtlemeat.com>
Created: August 2008.
Use Google to handle the email for your domain name

This guide will show you how to create a Google Apps account to handle all your email for a domain name.

You can then create many email addresses that ends with your domain name, and then read the emails in a web account that is similar to Gmail.

It requires that you have registered a domain name, and have access to change the dns settings for that domain name. Create your Google Apps Account for the domain name:

* Sign up for Google Apps: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/admins/editions.html

There is a free edition and an edition in which you would have to pay for.

The free edition works fine for most purposes. See the comparison.

Go to. http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/admins/editions.html We will use the free one. Click Sign up.

Now you come to a page where you have to write your organization's domain name in the input box, and click the "get started button".

Now you have to fill in some information about you as the "Account Administrator" and "Organization Information". Fill in the fields such as name and a current working email address the click "continue".

Then you get to a page where you have to create an email account the administrator account of the domain name. Fill in your name an appropriate name and password. Click the "I accept ..." button.

Now you have to verify that you own the domain name. Click on the text link: "Verify domain ownership" on the Google Apps "Dash Board". You would then have to upload a html file with a specific code, or change a field in the dns record. Do that and click the "verify" link to have Google verify that you own the domain name.

Activate email service of Google Apps Now you need to activate the email in Google Apps, from the main dash board page when you have logged in into Google Apps, click the link that says "Activate email".

Google has detailed instructions how to do this for a number of domain name providers and hosting companies.

Basically what needs to be done is to change the "MX" records of the domain name. The "MX" records tells which servers email to the domain name is to be delivered. In this case all the email for the domain name will be sent to Google's servers and those will route the email into Google Apps and into your email accounts.

Google's instructions for this step are basically to do: "

  1. Sign in to your domain hosting company's website using the username and password associated with your domain.
  2. Navigate to an MX record maintenance page. MX records are special DNS (Domain Name Service) records, and are often located under sections titled "DNS Management," "Mail Server Configuration," or "Name Server Management." You may need to turn on advanced settings to allow editing of these MX records.
  3. Delete any existing MX records before entering new MX records.
  4. For each MX record, enter information according to the entries in the following table.
    You may not be allowed to enter the priority values exactly as they appear in the table below; in that case, simply ensure that the server addresses are prioritized in the same order as they appear in the table. (i.e. The priority ranking [1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 5] should work just as well as [1, 5, 5, 10, 10, 10, 10] so long as you keep the addresses in the right order.)
    If you're asked to specify the type of each record you're adding, enter "MX".
    MX records often require the specific format of DNS records, including a trailing dot (".") at the end of any full-qualified domain names (e.g. "server.example.com.")
    Set any TTL values to the maximum allowed.
    MX Server address Priority
    ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 10
    ALT1.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 20
    ALT2.ASPMX.L.GOOGLE.COM. 20
    ASPMX2.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 30
    ASPMX3.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 30
    ASPMX4.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 30
    ASPMX5.GOOGLEMAIL.COM. 30
  5. Change the SPF record to fight SPAM (optional) You may define the SPF record to authorize only certain IP addresses to send email for your domain. This will prevent spammers from sending unauthorized email under a forged address from your domain.
  6. " Then click the "I have completed these steps button" on the bottom of the email setup page in Google Apps. This may be the trickiest thing if you are not used to fiddling around with domain name records. Maybe you can ask your domain hosting company if you have troubles figuring this out.

    * Now would probably be a good time to try to send an email to email address that is registered with Google Apps for the domain name and see if it works.

    Manage the Google Apps account: Now you should be set up to receive to receive email for your domain name in Google Apps.

    There are a number of things you can manage from your Google Apps dash board.

    - You can create a page that will have a email login form on your and customize it with your logo and so.

    - What is also useful is to set up a catch all email that gets all the email that is sent to the domain name that does not map to a specific email address. You do this by clicking from the main dash board page in Google Apps : Service Settings : Catch-all address.

    - What is also useful is to set up email forwarding of any given account. That way you can forward emails to many accounts into one email account. It can be any Gmail address or to a different email address that is not managed by Gmail or Google Apps. This is done by logging in to the Gmail account through the start page, and changing it in the Gmail account settings under "Forwarding and POP/IMAP"

    Conclusion:

    Hope this guide will get you started. Using Gmail for your own domain name is really great and there is very little reason why you should run your own email servers now days.

    The instructions that comes with Google Apps is really also very easy to follow, probably better than this document.

    Maybe you can breathe life into some of those domain names you have laying around that you have been to lazy by enabling email for them.



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