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How to set up a custom domain email address - for free!

I'd always intended to get a custom domain email address sorted out at some point, then last week I hit upon the idea of setting up a LinkedIn company page for the blog, something you can't do without one. It was time to put good intentions into practice...

How to set up a custom domain email address - for free!

What is a custom domain email address?

Basically, this is an email address which uses your custom domain. So, instead of we're talking about

Why would I want one?

This is one instance where it really is all about appearances. Gmail - and the like - addresses are fine, but custom domain email addresses just look a bit more professional.

How do I get one?

First off, you need a custom domain. I bought mine - - from for £3.49 per annum. If you have gone fully self-hosted with that domain, chances are your email will be bundled in with your hosting package. If, like me, you're just using a 'vanity url' (i.e. your own domain name and a redirect), you have three options.

1. Paid Hosting. I don't like spending money, so this one was straight out!

2. Yandex. Sign up is in Russian, but you can always use Google Translate - there's a step by step guide to it all HERE. I have no faith in Google Translate though, so went with...

3. Zoho Mail. Zoho offers you 25 unique email addresses, with 5GB mailbox storage per user. For free. Click HERE to sign up. After clicking on the free option you'll be taken to a new page and asked to input your domain name.

Zoho add custom domain form

With that done you need to verify your ownership of the domain. To do this, log in to your custom domain account, i.e. where you bought your domain name from. Once you're into your advanced DNS settings there are three methods you can use to verify: CNAME, TXT or HTML. Whichever one you go with, Zoho's instructions are nice and clear so you shouldn't have any problems. I used TXT and it was all done and dusted in two minutes.

The next task is to set up your administrator email address. From there you can either create more users, or skip on to add MX records. This will require you going back into your domain name's DNS settings and adding a new MX type record. Again, the on screen instructions from Zoho are pretty fail safe.

You've Got Mail

No, really, you'll have the Zoho welcome emails waiting for you in your new inbox. You're now free to faff about with the settings, add new users, and promote your fancy new email address.

With that in mind, if you want to get in touch please feel free to email me at ;)

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  1. Good idea! And looks pretty straightforward as well. Thanks for sharing with #abitofeverything

    1. It really is! I was dreading doing the DNS bit but it was fine. :)

  2. This is really useful. I'm self hosted, but I think mine still took some setting up...then again I got my husband to do it - one of the perks of marrying someone who works in IT! x

    1. Hehe, I'd definitely be taking full advantage of that too!

  3. Great how to for beginner bloggers. I wish I had found more blog posts to help me in the beginning like this. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    1. I just hate paying out for things, especially at the beginning. x

  4. This is great! Thank you so much. Great research by the way! Thank you for sharing. #FabFridayPost

  5. Great idea Jess and consider it bookmarked for when needed! #sharewithme

  6. Remembered you had blogged about this and came back to find it.... going to try the zoho method!! Thank you for the great tutorial!

    1. Let me know how you get on with it! :)

    2. Okay! A month later I finally did it.. do you actually use their inbox, or do you have it set up to forward to another? Wondering about pros / cons... so hard to keep up with yet another email. *sigh* #firstworldproblems

    3. :D I know what you mean - I have way too many email addresses. I use the Zoho inbox on my laptop, but I have all my email push to my gmail address so I can still easily check everything on my phone when I'm out and about. Really I should just set up the hub properly, but I like the extra safety net of not being able to delete stuff for good on my phone!


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