Are you a freelancer or agency? If you are sending an email to your prospective clients with your @hotmail.com, @gmail.com, or @yahoo.com email addresses, well…. it doesn’t look as professional.
This is a guide for creating your own custom email address, something like @yourcompanyname.com or @yourfullname.com
You can use a more professional looking email address on your business card. Send and receive an email with the domain name of your choice.
Here’s how to set it up.
Get your domain name
The first step is to purchase your domain name from a registrar. My recommended domain registrars are Namecheap , Hover , and Google . Create an account and buy your domain name from one of those vendors.
If possible, a domain name ending in .com is highly recommended. It rolls off the tongue, and people are more used to seeing domain names ending in .com.
Your cost for purchasing a domain name shouldn’t cost you more than $15 a month. If you’re purchasing premium or unconventional domain names, then it could cost you a lot more.
Get email hosting
The next step is to redirect your domain name to an email hosting. If you’ve used Namecheap to buy your domain name, you might also host your email there for a dollar a month. Simply sign up for Namecheap’s email hosting.
The affordable alternative to Namecheap’s email hosting is Zohomail. Zohomail offers a free email hosting on their paid plan starts at $1 a month. More on that later.
And that’s all! You have your own custom email address and a way to check your inbox for about $30 a year in total. Roughly, that’s $10 to $20 a year for the domain name and $12 a year for email hosting.
Check your inbox using the email client you already use
But there are different ways to check your inbox with your new email address.
If you have your email hosted with Namecheap, you can log in to their interface to check your email.
But what if you want to use Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, or other email clients to check your email?
There’s a way to check your professional email inside Gmail or Hotmail that you already use for your personal purposes.
You can set that up using IMAP/POP. IMAP/POP is a way for the email to communicate with the email client. Even though your email is hosted in Namecheap or Zohomail, you can check your email inside Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or Apple Mail.
Namecheap and Zohomail’s a dollar-a-month paid plan include access to IMAP/POP. Zohomail’s free plan does not include IMAP/POP access. So if you signed up with Zohomail’s free email host, you could keep your cost down, but you’d have to go to zohomail.com every time you want to check your email.
What about G Suite?
Like Namecheap and Zohomail, G Suite, a business solution provided by Google, offers email hosting for $6 a month per email address — which is about $72 a year.
Using G Suite will give you access to their entire suite of Google Drive and other business services.
I do not recommend G Suite is an overkill if you are just a sole freelancer. G Suite will be a whole lot more worth it when you work in a team. For example, you can limit the access to a shared Google Docs or Google Sheets so that only team member who shares the same email domain name in their email address can edit it (such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.).
If you are a one-person business, skip G Suite. Purchase a domain name, and host the email with Namecheap or Zohomail.
Then connect your professional email with your existing personal email via IMAP/POP.
That way, you can send and receive emails in your professional email address while using the interface that’s already familiar to you.
Hover offers a “forward-only” service for $5 a year. Someone sends an email to your professional email address, and you can receive it in your personal email address. However, you cannot reply and send the email back as your professional email address. I’d rather have the ability to send email as my professional email, so I do not use “forward-only” services.
Like Namecheap and Zohomail’s email hosting services, Hover offers $20 a year (about $1.67 a month) of email host service with IMPA/POP and webmail access. The price difference is insignificant, so it really doesn’t matter if you go with Namecheap, Zohomail, or Hover for hosting email.
Will you be creating your own website?
Do you plan to create your own website with your own domain name? Then rather than purchasing your domain name at a domain registrar like Namecheap, Hover, or Google, just go straight to a hosting provider and create a hosting account.
Popular hosting companies Bluehost or SiteGround will offer one free domain name when you sign up.
If you’re going to make a website anyway, it’ll be worth it. Bluehost’s cheapest plan is only $3 a month, which includes one domain name, website hosting, and email hosting.
And you can do the same as described above. You can check your inbox using the webmail interface provided by the hosting company. Alternately, have your email routed to your personal email address or your favorite email client by IMAP/POP.
Getting your own custom email address does not cost a lot of money.
If you want to receive and send an email address with your professional email, purchase a domain name, sign up with an email hosting, then route it to your personal email or email client through IMAP/POP for convenience. My recommended domain name registrars are Namecheap and Hover.
It will cost you roughly $30 a year or less.
If you plan to create your own website with your domain name, skip the domain registrar and just sign up with a hosting company like Bluehost and SiteGround, where they give you one free domain name, website hosting, and email hosting.
It will cost you roughly $50 a year or less.