If you have a website hosted on a server that you own (does not matter whether it is shared or dedicated), you can always setup an email service with your domain. This allows you and other people (if you want) to use email addresses with your domain name and it should look like this: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every, standard hosting service provides some software to configure and handle the email accounts with your domain. The same thing can be done with Google apps and Microsoft Outlook as well. This article is about to setup Outlook Custom Domain for email or Google Apps for Small Business to host you email accounts.
N.B. – The Google apps used to allow 10 free email address for a domain but they recently stopped using Google Apps for free to the new signups. It charges quite a high amount per month which may be tough to afford. But Microsoft Outlook for custom domain is still free and allows up-to 50 users with a single domain.
Why should you use the third-party apps?
While you can setup the email service with your host then why you need to go for Outlook or Google apps? Using a third-party service to manage your emails has various benefits.
- The disk space is provided by the third-party services and generally it is free
- You won’t have to go through a complex procedure to setup things well. The third-party apps handle it better and need minimum workarounds
- You won’t have to worry about the mails if you change your host. They’ll be good and safe
If you are new and want to create email addresses with your custom domain, you should give Outlook custom domain a try as it is totally free.
How to Configure Outlook Custom Domain for Free Email Hosting
Configuring the total thing in Outlook is pretty easy. Here are the steps involved.
#1. Getting started
Go to https://domains.live.com/Signup/SignupDomain.aspx, provide the domain name for which you want to setup Outlook, choose ‘Set up Outlook.com for my domain’ and click the ‘Continue’ button.
#2. Signing in
You may be now asked to sign-in with your existing Microsoft / Outlook / Windows Live / Hotmail account. Note that this account will be treated as the administrator by which you can manage your domains and other settings anytime.
#3. Verifying and setting up the domain with Outlook
The next step is the main and crucial part of the setup. Make sure that you do not make any mistake in following the instructions. You will be asked to verify your domain by creating a DNS record. Outlook will provide the required DNS records along with some optional records.
Now, you need to add the MX records at your domain. The procedure of adding the MX records depends on the domain registrar / hosting provider. Some host does not allow to add any MX record by yourself. Hence, find the appropriate way to add the given DNS records or contact your hosting provider for a support. They will add the records within a few minutes.
Once the DNS records are added, wait for some time until the DNS propagation is done entirely. Once done, you can go for the next step.
#4. Creating user email accounts with Outlook custom domain
This step allows you to create the email addresses with your domain name. Click the ‘Member accounts’ option from the left pane and press the Add button.
You can create any email address. Just put the user name and the password (temporary). Thus you can create up to 50 email addresses with your domain. According to some source, Microsoft allows to create more than 50 users but you will have to send a request to Microsoft for that.
#5. Making it easy to access
You can always access those email accounts from https://domains.live.com. If you don’t like to visit this page every time, you can create a CNAME record called as “mail.yourdomain.com” pointing to “go.domains.live.com.”. Just browse “mail.yourdomain.com” and sign into Outlook email accounts with custom domain.
That’s all! If you are switching from Google apps to Outlook then you can either use the POP3 option or follow this guide to import your existing mails in Outlook.