/ Blogging

Use Your Domain for Your Email

Are you a blogger that owns someblog.com but use someblog@gmail.com for your email address? This post will guide you through the process of sending and receiving emails with a <whatever you want>@someblog.com address, all for free using ForwardEmail.

If you've messed with DNS settings before, you can easily follow the directions at ForwardEmail. I'll be walking through those same instructions with you with a domain I purchased at Hover (referral link).

Edit Your Domain's DNS Settings

If you bought your domain directly through a registrar, you should have access to your DNS settings directly. If you bought your domain through the same company from which you bought hosting, I'm not sure if you will have access to your DNS settings. If you don't, unfortunately, this method won't work for you, and you'll probably have to do it through the hosting provider (who might charge you extra).

These screenshots are from Hover, the domain registrar I use, but your registrar should have the same settings available.

After logging into Hover, select the domain you wish to edit, and click on the DNS settings tab.

DNS_tab

You'll see that I already have some settings here (and you should too). So long as you never set up email before on this domain, you can safely ignore these entries.

MX Records

Click on add a record, and add the following MX record. Make sure to change the type to MX, and the TTL (time to live) to 1 hour (you might have to specify it in seconds).

MX

And add another MX record:

MX2

Specify Your Forwarding Address

You need to add the address that emails sent to your domain will be forwarded to. If you want to be able to reply to these emails from your domain, you will need to use a Gmail address[1].

I highly suggest you use your someblog@gmail.com address here, and not your personal email address–partly because I think you should keep your work life and personal life separate, but also because this information will get published to DNS servers and will become publicly accessible, leaving you open to spam (though if you are going to publish your email address on your blog anyways, then you're already leaving yourself open to spam).

Make sure to set the record type to TXT, not MX.
Forward-Address

The above will forward email sent to @someblog.com. If you don't want this wildcard behavior, but only want emails sent to user@someblog.com, replace forward-email=yourgmailaddress@gmail.com with forward-email=user:yourgmailaddress.com.

Set up SPF Verification

This is an anti-spam measure. Add v=spf1 a mx include:spf.forwardemail.net -all as a TXT record:

SPF-1

Send a Test Email

It will take some time (maybe 15 minutes?) for the DNS settings to propagate, but you should be able to send an email to <something>@someblog.com (or user@someblog.com, depending on how you set it up) and have it forwarded to your Gmail address.

You should also add no-reply@forwardemail.net to your contacts so it doesn't get rejected by your spam filter.

Set Up Gmail to Reply as Your Domain

You'll receive your emails in Gmail, but if you were to reply to them as is, they would be sent from your Gmail address, not your domain's email address.

To fix that, we need to change some of Gmail's settings.

Create an App Password If You Use 2FA

If you have two factor authentication enabled (which I highly recommend) you need to create an app password.

App-Passwords

Select custom for the app, and write in the custom domain email address you're forwarding.

Then copy the password that's generated.

Add the Account to Gmail

In your Gmail settings, go to the Accounts and Import tab, and click on Add another email address in the Send mail as section.

Gmail-Send-Mail-As

Type the name you want your response to show up as, and your custom domain. Leave the Treat as an alias checked.

Gmail-Add

Set the SMTP settings, using your Gmail username (not full email address), and your password (or app password if you have 2FA enabled).

SMTP

Once you add the account, you'll need to click on the link in the confirmation email that Gmail will send you. This will verify your account and allow you to, within Gmail, send email from your domain.

Set the Reply As

Go back to the Accounts and Import tab of your Gmail settings, and set the "Reply from the same address the message was sent to" option in the Send mail as section. If you don't do this, by default you'll use your Gmail address to reply to emails that were sent to your blog's custom email address.

Always-Reply-As


  1. Technically I'm pretty sure you could use any email address so long as you use SMTP, but Gmail's web interface lets you send emails through SMTP, which makes it more convenient ↩︎

Use Your Domain for Your Email
Share this

Subscribe to Seonwoo's Musings