When you register a domain with a hosting plan, it usually comes with an email feature which you can use for your organization. Usually, it runs in an open source platform. While days, weeks and months pass-by, you’ll notice that you’ve been receiving a lot of spam emails which eat-up not only your time deleting those emails, but also your computer resources and Internet bandwidth. Even though a spam protection is installed on your hosting server, spam emails grow by number night and day.
One available solution is to host your domain name’s email to Google Apps email. This Google service is part of Free Google Apps suite consisting of other Google services such as Calendar, Wave, Mobile, Contacts, Docs, Sites, and Chat.
When your domain is configured for Google Apps email, you’ll enjoy superb spam filtering protection, 7 GB mailbox capacity per account, worry-free email access and web-based interface access anytime anywhere. Moreover, Google offers free subscription Google Apps suite.
My assumption is that you can access your domain’s management console for you to be able to change or update DNS entries. For my domain, I can access it via http://domains.mydomainregistrar.com (this is just an example, don’t open this link). I also assume that you know how to upload files to your web server via FTP or by using a file manager from your domain’s management console.
Sign-up for Free Google Apps email is discussed in this tutorial. For different sign-up options, you may visit http://www.google.com/apps.
Here are the major steps to point your domain to Google Apps email.
1. Sign-up for Google Apps
2. Verify domain name ownership
3. Point your domain name’s MX record to Google server
Where to start?
(1) Sign-up for Free Google Apps email here https://www.google.com/a/cpanel/domain/new. Fill-out the form completely.
Create your first administrator account. You will use this account to manage your Google Apps settings. You may create any username, example firstname.lastname@example.org
After completing the sign-up process, you will be redirected to Google Apps login page as shown in the figure below. Here, you’ll have to enter the administrator account you just created.
After successful login, you will then be asked to Activate your Free Google Apps email. Click on ‘Activate Google Apps’ button.
(2) The next major step
Domain ownership verification. This means that you’ll have to prove that you are the owner or maybe the administrator of the domain.
There are many options available. The fastest verification process is by uploading an HTML file to your server. We’ll follow this verification process.
Follow the instruction and download the HTML file with Google code content in it. Upload it to the root directory of your domain, example http://yourdomain.com/googleb8ebe82e3378514d.html (this is just an example, you don’t have to open this link). You can use an FTP client program or you may access your hosting control panel. In my case, I use the CPanel which has a File Manager feature http://mydomain.com/cpanel. After upload, continue with the verification process.
Once verified successfully, you’ll see the Dashboard for your domain. You’ll notice at the bottom of the page that the email service is ‘Not Active’. It is because your domain’s MX (Mail Exchanger) records on the Internet is pointed somewhere else and not to Google.
(3) Now the Third major step
Change your domain’s MX (Mail Exchanger) record and point it to Google hosts. To do this, login to your domain’s management console. In this case, I’ll use my domain’s management console via http://domains.mydomainregistrar.com (this is just an example, don’t open this link).
Warning: If you do this, your existing email service might not work properly due to the 24 mins – 48 hours period propagation of your domain’s DNS entry. To learn more about DNS propagation, visit http://www.ultrawebsitehosting.com/glossary/what-is-domain-propagation.php. I would suggest that you do this process over the weekend. Or you may do so as long as you have a go signal from your boss.
You’ll find the DNS management link from the figure below. This is the domain management console provided by my domain registrar. If you don’t know what’s the URL, call your domain registrar and ask for their assistance.
Click the DNS link or something like DNS Entries, DNS Management, DNS, DNS records, etc.
Locate a link such as or similar to Add MX entry.
Note that the figure below shows no MX record since this is a newly registered domain name.
Repeat the process and add the following MX records and priority level (use copy and paste). See sample screenshot below.
MX Record Priority (10, 20 or 30)
Note: Just leave Zone as blank.
After adding all the MX records, you should be able to view/see a summary of the MX record entries. Here’s my example.
Wait until the DNS propagation is completed (Meaning Google server knows that your domain’s MX records are configured for Google Apps).
You’ll know it once the status of the email service becomes ‘Active’ on the Free Google Apps email dashboard.
To open your Google Apps management console http://google.com/a/yourdomainname (complete with domain suffix ex. .com)
You can also add a CNAME record to your DNS so that email users including Google Apps administration console URL can be remembered easily. In the example below, I added a CNAME record mail.mydomain.com. By doing this, email users can type http://mail.mydomain.com to access their mailboxes.
Host Name: mail.mydomain.com
Since this is also an update to your DNS entry, wait until the propagation is completed. I tried it and after an hour, I can already access the URL http://mail.mydomain.com.
That’s it for now. I hope this helps.
If you have questions, please leave your comments below.
This article was originally posted by my sister at http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-host-your-email-in-Google-mail-Gmail-using-your-own-domain-name