When I checked Google Apps for Business last week, I found out that to set up your custom domain to use Gmail, you would have to pay 5 USD per month per user. It was no longer free! A year ago, I was using it for my startup and I remembered it could host up to 10 users for free. To figure out a way so that I can continue using Gmail for my own domain for free, I set out to hack it. And this is how I do it.
###Step 1 Of course, to start off, you will need to register your own domain name. I use Namecheap because it is easy and it covers a lot of extensions, including my new favorite .us (which is only 3 USD per year).
###Step 2 After getting your domain, let’s say yourcustomdomain.com here. You have to login into your Namecheap account and set the DNS to point to your own hosting server. I use Hostgator for years already because of its great customer service. I usually go on to their online chat and get my question answered within 5 minutes.
###Step 3 Now, you need to register a new Gmail account to connect with your email from custom domain. This will be the account you access everyday. I created firstname.lastname@example.org.
###Step 4 Head back to Hostgator, log in to the control panel. Create new email account email@example.com and set up email forwarder so that firstname.lastname@example.org will forward all of its email to email@example.com.
###Step 5 Really this is the last step, log into your Gmail account firstname.lastname@example.org, and do Settings -> Accounts. Under Send mail as:, click Add another email address you own. A pop up window should come up and ask for more information, now enter your name (Kevon) and email address (email@example.com). Leave the Treat as an alias checked.
Next step you would want to choose Send through yourcustomdomain.com SMTP servers. For SMTP Server: enter mail.yourcustomdomain.com. For Username and Password, enter your credentials for your firstname.lastname@example.org. After that, simply go to your webmail, which is yourcustomdomain.com/webmail, and log in to verify the connection.
###Final Words Now not only you receive all your emails from email@example.com in your firstname.lastname@example.org account, you can also send or reply email as email@example.com! How amazing and cost-effective is that for a startup company? I hope this helps out anyone who has this trouble.