heya,

If you took my unconventional advice on domains and hosting from Part 8 of this series…

You’re probably wondering, “How do i get an email at my own dot com?”

Or rather, how do i keep my professional email forwarding?

And you’d be right to wonder. Because for years, there was a tradeoff i had to make by leaving Godaddy and moving my sites and domains to Google Cloud Platform–that email forwarding is no longer straightforward.

Eventually, i found a solution that works easily, it’s free, and i’ll share it below.

Look, i can’t deny it was pretty sweet having the ease of Godaddy’s mail forwarding, wildcard email addresses, and so on. I could come up with an email address on the fly, without doing any setup, and all my mail ended up in my Gmail inbox. I always got a kick out of being asked for my address by people outside our industry and telling them it’s jim at jimyaghi dot com and seeing the look on their faces.

No one realised everything ended up at sexiest_yaghi1 at gmail dot com. Couldn’t even get first dibs on it. So unimpressive, so unprofessional 🙂

So when i made the decision to move hosting away from Godaddy to Google Cloud, i had to figure out a way to keep email working. All kinds of stuff was attached to my address and i couldn’t afford to miss a single message.

At first, i setup my own self-hosted mail server to receive mail and then forward it over. The amount of spam, however, i’m subjected to on a daily basis, was so revoltingly high that i quickly used up my generous free tier limits in Sendgrid. Not on legitimate emails, but just to forward junk messages into Gmail’s junk box.

Then i setup Spamassassin on my server so it would only forward non-spam emails. While this worked to some extent, Spamassassin isn’t as good as Gmail’s filter. It was also a nightmare keeping rules up to date, configured, and working correctly. And still there were issues with forwarding and the mail server configuration frustratingly flew right over my head.

In the end, i found a way that works flawlessly.

Here’s what i used:

Zoho Mail (Forever Free Plan)

They have several paid options, but it won’t cost a cent if all you want is to have your own “name at yourdomain dot com” that forwards to your favourite mail client where you like to receive, read, and compose emails.

The “Forever free” option entitles you to mail management for 1 domain, 5GB of email per user, and a 25MB attachment limit. This is more than enough. The only time you need more than 1 domain is if you setup websites for clients (as i do), then it’s only about $1 per extra user per month.

The link below goes directly to their easy to use setup wizard, which walks you through all the steps of configuring your account.
 
 
   https://yaghilabs.com/recommends/zoho
 
 
Once you’re up and running, you can:

  a) use the Zoho mail client

  b) or, configure your favourite mail client to access your Zoho account as a POP service

  c) or, setup mail forwarding to the address of your choice.
 
 
Also, you can easily have a wildcard mailbox. This way you can invent any email address on the fly (eg, sales at yourdomain dot com or support at yourdomain dot com). Messages sent to any such addresses will go to the default  mailbox on the account.

If you’re keen to give Zoho a whirl, start setting up your Forever Free mail account at the link below…

More tomorrow,

~jim