Sure, Hotmail or Gmail email addresses work just fine for emailing your friends and family. But when you send and receive emails with your customers, you need to look professional.

If you’re using an email address like [email protected], that’s no bueno because your business looks unprofessional!

In this blog post you will learn step-by-step, how to create a custom email address, using your own custom domain like [email protected] and how you can connect it to your Google Gmail account.

This way, you can send and receive emails using Gmail, but your customers will see the emails as coming from your domain name.

Step 1 – Create a Custom Email Address Using Your Own Domain Name

We recommend that you use Bluehost who offer a free domain name when you sign up for hosting with them. GreenGeeks or Hostgator are also good choices for hosting with a free domain.

The good thing about getting a domain name and hosting all from the same place is that you don’t have to configure nameservers or fiddle around with DNS settings Everything is already set up for you!

Okay so you went and got yourself web hosting and a domain name, and they’re connected (again, we recommend Bluehost, GreenGeeks or Hostgator as you don’t need to do any DNS setting updates).

Now it’s time to go and create a custom email address, something like [email protected].

  1. Log in to your Bluehost, GreenGeeks or Hostgator cPanel > Email section > Email Accounts.

email account cpanel

  1. Select the domain you want your email account to be associated within the drop-down list and enter the desired email and a strong password of your choice
  2. Make a selection for Mailbox Quota (choose unlimited or set your own quota)

email storage

4. Click create account

All done! You have now created your custom email address, something like [email protected].

So now what?

cPanel Email Settings

Let’s go back to cPanel and find your email settings.

Log in to your cPanel > Email section > Email Accounts

  1. Click the cog icon that says Connect Devices/ Set Up Mail Client (next to the custom email address you created)

cpanel connect devices

  1. Under Manual Setting there’s a Secure SSL/TLS Settings box (copy & paste this or keep this window open because we need this info later when we configure Gmail)

manual email configuration settings

Good! Because you’ll need to have these settings in front of you to be able to configure Gmail to send and receive emails (later step).

Step 2 – Send and Receive Emails Using Gmail

Gmail (Google Mail) is awesome and it’s free. You get 15GB of storage and you also get access to Google Drive (cloud storage for your photos and files, and you can create and share documents, spreadsheets and make presentations).

You can also be logged into multiple Gmail accounts at once (meaning you can easily toggle between your personal and business email inboxes).

Go and get yourself Gmail account, sign up here Create Your Google Account

You should now have a sparkling new Gmail email address created, something like [email protected].

Add Email Forwarding

You do not have to set-up a forwarder from your domain email address to your Gmail address but it should provide faster delivery of new mail to Gmail.

So before we configure Gmail, we should create an email forwarder.

Let’s head back to cPanel and create an email forwarder from your customer domain email address ([email protected]) to your Gmail address ([email protected]).

  1. Log in to your cPanel > Email section > Forwarders

cpanel email forwarders

  1. Click the Add Forwarder button

cpanel add email forwarder

  1. Set what email address you want the email address from and to be forwarded to (destination).

cpanel email forwarder address

That’s it. Now all emails to [email protected] will be forwarded to [email protected].

Note that Google also offers G Suite — a paid suite of business tools that includes Gmail. It offers some advantages — especially if you are working with a team. We discuss this below in the FAQ.

Receiving Emails in Gmail

  1. Login to your Gmail Account
  2. In the top right-hand corner, click on the Settings cog icon and choose Settings
  3. Click Accounts and Import
  4. Click ‘Add a POP3 mail account you own”

add pop3 account gmail

  1. Enter your Email address, e.g. [email protected]

add email address

  1. Click the Next Step button.
gmail email settings
Refer to the cPanel email settings you made a note of before
  1. Enter your full email address as the Username
  2. Enter Password for your email account
  3. Enter the incoming POP Server. Choose the Always use a secure connection (SSL) option. Make sure the port is changed to 995
  4. Choose any additional options you may want
  5. Click the Add Account button

Sending Emails in Gmail

gmail add email address

  1. Choose ” Yes, I want to be able to send mail as e.g. [email protected]

send emails in gmail

  1. In general, you should leave “Treat as an alias” checked. This is the set-up when you have all your email coming to the same Gmail inbox. If you want to send email on behalf of another account, then untick it. This would be the case when you have several accounts that you log into separately. Unchecking this box allows you to respond to email from an account that you are not currently logged into.

gmail untick treat as alias

  1. Click the Next Step button.
add email account
Refer to the cPanel email settings you made a note of before
  1. Enter the outgoing SMTP Server
  2. Enter your full email address as the Username
  3. Enter Password for your email account
  4. Choose Secured connection using SSL. Make sure the port is changed to 465
  5. Click Add Account

confirm gmail

  1. Verify your email address
  2. Because we setup email forwarding before, a confirmation email will be sent to your Gmail

gmail confirmation link

  1. Click the confirmation link in the email or copy/paste the PIN
  2. All done! You can now send and receive emails using Gmail

Wrap Up and Enjoy Your Custom Address

If email is important to you then you owe it to yourself to get yourself a professional-looking email address. Because having a @hotmail, @yahoo or @gmail email address simply won’t cut it!

Here we have walked you through (step by step) how you can create a custom email address using your own domain name. We recommend getting a domain name and web hosting from either Bluehost (review here),GreenGeeks (review here) or Hostgator (review here).

We have also shown you how to connect this email address to a free Gmail account so that you can both send and receive emails from Google’s email solution.


Is G Suite worth paying for?

You certainly don’t need to pay for G Suite when you start out because all the tools you will need are provided for free. Eventually, however, you may want to upgrade to G Suite. One of the major advantages of G Suite is that it works well with teams; for example, administering a team with a collection of personal Gmail installs would be a nightmare. G Suite makes this easy.

G Suite offers many other advantages like 24/7 technical support, integrated team calendars, greater storage, video conferencing, and more. As your business grows, you should consider upgrading to G Suite. The entry-level plan starts at $6 per person, per month.

One possible downside of using G Suite is that the global set-up can be a bit intimidating with things like MX records. However, Google provides you step-by-step instructions that are specific to your installation so this shouldn’t be a problem. And you can use the provided technical support if necessary.

Is Gmail for Business free?

Gmail is free and it can be used for business as we’ve instructed above — “Gmail for Business” is technically not a thing. However, G Suite provides you with tools to make Gmail easy to use for your business. The per-user price of G Suite starts at $6 per month and gives you complete control of Gmail through its administration tools.

How do I get my own custom domain email account?

The easiest way to get an email address with your own domain is to purchase hosting that provides it. Both Bluehost, GreenGeeks or Hostgator (among others) allow you to do this. You can then manage these accounts through their control panels or use Gmail as we discussed above.

What are the drawbacks of using POP3 or IMAP email?

POP3 takes your email off your website’s server and stores it on your Google server. The disadvantage of this is that you will only be able to read it in Gmail and if you delete it, it will be gone. IMAP allows you to leave a copy of your email on your website’s server but this may represent a security issue if your site is not hardened.

If you want to work only inside Gmail, it doesn’t really matter which system you use. However, POP3 may be better if you are unsure about the security of your website’s server. The set-up is the same. Whether POP3 or IMAP is used just depends upon which port number you use.

Can I use Gmail with my own domain for free?

A free (personal) Gmail account works fine for your domain email account. There is a limit to the number of addresses you can do this with, however. So if it is more than a half-dozen or so, you may need to upgrade to G Suite.