Google Apps has closed its offering of free email services to new customers, but don’t panic! There’s another option. Windows Live Custom Domains is a free service where you can create professional email addresses to match your domain name. At Cytanium, we’ve been referring clients to both Google Apps and Windows Live for a couple of years because they are reliable, and easy to configure for the professional look your business deserves. Let’s take a look at how easy it is to do.
Configure Website To receive Email
Email settings within your website aren’t established by default. If you’re using WordPress, follow this tutorial for setting up email services through your WordPress website, or look for resources that help you configure your email settings if you’re using a different CMS.
Create An Account
If you don’t already have a Windows Live account for the domain you want to assign email to, you’ll need to first create an account. Navigate to the Windows Live Admin page and enter the domain name for the account. Select Set Up Outlook.com For My Domain and press continue.
Next, select Create A New Microsoft Account In Your Domain and press continue.
You’ll now fill in all your personal account information for the domain name. In the Microsoft Account Name section, enter an email address you currently have; you’ll need to access it to confirm creating the account. Once the account is confirmed, go back to your Windows Live Admin page to begin the configuration.
Configuring The Email Account
Not all hosts allow you to create your own DNS records, so you may need to ask what the protocol is with your host. At Cytanium, we allow you to create your own records. Just log into your control panel and click on the Domains tab.
Click on the domain name you want to configure email to. Next, select Edit DNS Zone Records. You’ll see a list of your current DNS settings that look like the image below.
Leave that window open and go back to your Windows Live account. Under the Domain Settings tab, you’ll see a page with different options to configure the mail accounts on the hosting server.You need to use one of these methods to prove your ownership of the domain before email service is enabled to it.
It will depend on what host you’re using, but for Cytanium, you can use the same values as the example shown.
This is what it should look like when you create the MX record
Save your record and you’ll now see it propagated in the DNS settings. Go back to your Windows Live screen and click the refresh button in the shaded section of the email configuration. Depending on your host, it can be instant or take up to several days to process the change.
Once you accept the terms, your account will be ready for use. Click on the Mail tab in the menu to open your inbox. You’ll notice that it’s configured as Hotmail; look to the bottom left and click on the blue tab to instantly Upgrade To Outlook.com. It’s a good idea to send a test email from your website to make sure everything is configured correctly.