Pretty much everyone has their own email address today. Most people simply need one for personal use. That includes contact with friends and family, or perhaps opening accounts on social networks, forums, different websites, and alike. For such purposes, Google, Hotmail ID, Yahoo, and similar email services are perfect.
However, if you are a blogger, or an online business owner, and need one for your business, that won’t do. You wish to show that you are a professional and that you take your business and clients seriously. That is why you should demonstrate it with a professional email address.
Your domain address is a much better option in that kind of situation. It doesn’t only look more professional, but it also gives credibility to the email itself. Remember that impressions are the most important things when it comes to developing trust between a business and a client. You must make sure to give off the impression of professional, capable business that they can trust.
Now, a majority of web hosting services will offer you emails as well, probably based on cPanel. This is mostly free, at least for a limited number of accounts. However, if you want some extra features like docs, hangout, and alike, you should probably use Google apps.
So that is ultimately what we are going to talk about today, and we will use Bluehost as an example. Bluehost is a good choice because it offers cPanel, and it is also one of the best hosting services around. However, if you don’t use Bluehost as your hosting service, do not worry. This tutorial will stay relevant to you on every service, as long as you have cPanel on it.
If you do not use Bluehost, but you would like to, head over there now. You will get a free domain, and it also currently offers an extra discount, so you shouldn’t miss this chance. After you purchase your hosting, simply follow the steps that we will now discuss.
How to set Google Apps on cPanel hosting service
Let’s start by saying that using the email account that your hosting provides you with is not such a good idea. If you had to migrate your site to a different hosting service, that is fine and relatively easy. However, your email won’t move that easily, and then you would have to make a new one and share it around to all of your clients.
On the other hand, if you use Google apps, all you will have to do is to update the Google apps MX records. Do that properly, and everything will work perfectly, no matter which hosting service you are on. Many users simply keep using the same apps for years without any issues.
So, let us now start with the guide on how you can set the Google apps on your domain.
The first thing that you should do is to go to Google Apps trial page. There, you will find a free trial option, which you should use. Simply fill out the small form that it will offer you, and click Next.
On the next page, you will get the ability to select a domain. If you have a domain, you can use the option ‘Use a domain name I have already purchased’. If you do now, you can go for ‘Buy a new domain now’.
However, if you go with the first option, then type in the domain name in the field below, and go to Next.
You will now have to select the primary email address for your domain. If you have a startup company, then you might want to use one of the following emails:
Next, you should provide other details. This includes the name of your organization, alternate email, as well as address. Put a good, trusty email address as your alternate email. In case that you ever need to reset a password, you want to use an email that you can count on.
After you are done with filling out the details, accept the TOS, and hit ‘I accept! Create my account’ button.
You will now have to verify your domain ownership. You can do it in several ways, but the HTML tag method (found in Alternate methods) is one of the quickest ones. All you need to do here is add the meta tag in the header of your site, and verification is complete.
After you are done with domain verification, you will get a message congratulating you and notifying you of success. Click continue, and proceed to the next page. Here, you can do things like configure different settings for different services and apps or add more users.
Now that all this is behind you, you should easily access your Google Apps email. You can do it by following this http://mail.google.com/a/domain.com. The only issue is that you still can’t use it for sending emails. First, you will have to update the MX record. You can do that from your cPanel. Also, while you are at it, you can enable SSL feature too. That way, your security will improve a lot. Do it by going to the settings of your domain, and then go to General, and to SSL.
How to set up Google Apps on Bluehost
So, if you have arrived here, then the majority of the work is already done. You now have your domain, and you are even done with its verification. Also, the basic setup of the Apps you wish to install is done as well. What you need to do next is make changes within cPanel.
The setup itself is very easy since Bluehost actually offers a Wizard for installing Google apps. In fact, this is not only limited to Bluehost. Instead, any hosting service can add the Wizard via a plugin.
Now, if you wish to install the apps, go to your cPanel, and find DNS Zone Editor under domains. When you get to the next page, select your domain name. It should show you all of the DNS records that have any connection with that particular domain.
Our goal here is the configuration of the MX record. By doing that, you will actually help with configuration of Google apps. Your existing MX record can go, so you can easily delete it. Then, add a new one.
For those who use other hosting services, you should do the same, and delete all entries under the MX record. This is not necessary for Bluehost because it offers a Wizard. However, if your hosting provider does not have a Wizard for Google apps, you will have to make these modifications manually.
Now, we also have a little optional step for you. If you want to use mail.domain.com for accessing your email, all you need is to add this line in the MX record.
Next, go to Google apps settings, and proceed to email, and then to URL. Select your mail.domain.com, and put it as an access URL. The process will take around 48 hours to finish, and then you will be able to use all of the offered features.
If you are interested, you should also make your domain-specific social services. This might include YouTube, Twitter, or some other social network that you might use. Simply use your domain email to make them, and if you decide to sell your blog some day, this will make it easier and more convenient.
Here are some more helpful points:
- For accessing your Google apps account, go here: https://www.google.com/a/your_domain.com
- If you wish to set your custom logo, go to domain settings, and then to appearance
So, now you know how to set up Google Apps for your cPanel. As mentioned previously, we used Bluehost as an example of how to do this. You can read our Bluehost Review. You can follow the same instructions on any host that offers a Wizard.
Hopefully, you have managed to complete the process without issues. It will help you a lot in the long run, so it is best to finish everything as soon as possible.