Email and Gmail

Gmail LogoFor a business, its good to have your own email address.

A lot of people prefer it to a hotmail or gmail account. As we help quite a number of businesses run their websites, we also run their email server for them. So mysite.com goes with info@mysite.com (rather than info-mysite@gmail.com or hotmail.com).

But if you’ve tried to set one up or run one, you know your own email server can be a headache. I now recommend a simple way of running email using Google’s Gmail service that is a lot easier than a setup using only your own email server.

Here is how it works:

  • register your domain and setup your email addresses in the usual way. So your email is info@mysite.com
  • setup a Gmail account – free, with around 2.8Gb of storage. Lets call this info.mysite@gmail.com
  • forward your info@mysite.com email to your info.mysite@gmail.com
  • while you are at it, simplify your life and forward me@myispemail.com to your Gmail account as well.

This way, all your email sails straight through into your single Google account. And you can still send email to people from any of your addresses.

A great reason for using Gmail is that the interface is better than PC email applications such as Outlook or Mac Mail. Mainly because Gmail shows you – on a single line for each email – who the email is from, the subject, and the first line of text. This means you don’t need to scan each mail, you can see at a glance. Just sending/receiving email is easier, and of course you can access your Gmail account from any browser. However, if you like Outlook or Mac Mail or whatever, you can still access Gmail from that (its just a POP email account).

But an even better reason for using Gmail is that the spam filters are flat out the best, better than any filters (such as Spam Assassin) that you can put on your own email server.

With around 2.8Gb of email storage and good search, Gmail has really done the job. There are only two drawbacks, and these may not apply to you. One is that I have a single address book on my Mac’s Address Book application. This synchronizes to our phones (separate lists for Julia’s and mine) and across my office Mac and laptop. With Gmail, I can’t sync my Address Book into Gmail (or I can, but its a one off, not much help), so while I can reply to an email, composing emails lacks addresses. So to get around this I send new emails from Mac mail, and a copy appears in Gmail. Secondly, I like the way my Mac’s Spotlight search can scan the content of all documents and emails – currently it doesn’t scan Gmail content. I’m hoping a plugin will appear for both of these features.

I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of different email addresses. Because I am in business online, it just works that way. Using this setup, you can establish a new business presence and the email isn’t a headache.

For our customers with their own site and email, we still operate an email server for them, but forward their email to their gmail account rather than spam filtering/storing/managing the actual email content. Gmail is better at that.

Click on the icon above, or here to find out more.