4.1 Email Hosting

Link to chapter 1

As a managed WordPress hosting provider, we focus on what we do best, hosting your websites and making them secure and blazing-fast. Email hosting is a whole other product and can be quite tricky to get right with all the spam, bots, filters, blacklists, IP reputation management, etc so we leave that to the pros.

If you just need to be able to receive emails for your custom domains, Email Forwarding might be the most cost effective method. Many of the larger domain registrars provide free email forwarding services, or you can try other free options like IMPROV.MX (easiest) or forwardemail.net. Mailgun is free for sending 10k emails/mo, and supports forwarding as well.

If you need traditional email hosting for your custom domains there are many providers out there at minimal cost, such as HoverGSuite, Rackspace, Zoho, etc.

4.2 "From" and "Reply-to" Email Addresses

Link to chapter 2

In order to manage domain reputation and to keep emails from winding up in spam inboxes, we send all system emails (and those created by plugins, such as for contact forms and the like), from a [email protected] address.

This includes the reply-to addresses.

To customize the sending email addresses, you will need to configure WordPress to use your own email provider via SMTP. Or you can use premium transactional email providers such as Mailgun (free for 10k emails/mo, and supports forwarding), SendGrid, Mandrill, etc which all provide their own WordPress plugin for easy integration.

4.3 Email Sending Policies and Limits

Link to chapter 3

To insure important transaction email from your WordPress sites (such as password resets) get to everyone’s inbox, we work hard to protect our email reputation.

As such we do not allow sending non-transactional email from our default hosting email. This includes email subscriptions, newsletters, marketing, or mass email, even if via WPMU DEV plugins like Subscribe by Email or eNewsletter. If you need to send this kind of email, you can configure WordPress to use your own custom email provider.

As part of these protections we also limit the number of emails sent per day and month for each site. You will find a record of the number of emails sent in the ‘Analytics’ tab of the Hub for each site.

Plan

Bronze

Silver

Gold

Platinum

Daily Limit

150

300

600

1,200

Monthly Limit

3,000

6,000

12,000

24,000

 

If your site exceeds these limits, we will temporarily block email sending and notify you if you exceed your monthly quota. If your site needs to regularly send more emails than our quota allows, please upgrade your plan or configure WordPress to use SMTP or another transactional email service.

4.4 Using SMTP To Send Emails

Link to chapter 4

The easiest way to avoid our sending limits or to change the “From” and “Reply-to” email addresses is to use our Ultimate Branding plugin, which has an easy SMTP tool built right in :)

Also, see here for how to use Gmail or G Suite to send emails.

4.5 Free Email Forwarding Tools

Link to chapter 5

Email forwarding is a simple way to use an existing email account, such as Gmail, to send and receive emails from alias addresses that include your domain name. This is ideal for individuals and small businesses concerned with maintaining a professional online reputation without incurring email hosting fees.

The process of setting up email forwarding begins with selecting a forwarding service. This guide introduces three such services: improvmx.com, forwardemail.net, and mailgun.com.

The email forwarding set up is similar regardless of the service you use and begins with editing the DNS records maintained by your domain registrar. Typically, this involves adding two TXT records (to send), a CNAME record (to track opens, clicks, and unsubscribes), and replacing your existing MX records (to receive).

You can begin receiving domain emails shortly after editing your DNS records, but a separate set of steps is necessary to also send emails. A guide to setting up Gmail to send your domain emails is located near the end of this document.

 

Improvmx.com

Open improvmx.com, and in the fields provided enter your domain name and the email address where you want your emails forwarded. You can add more forwarding addresses after setting up the first one. Click the Create Free Alias button, and Improvmx will create your first alias and display instructions for updating your existing MX, “mail exchange” records. Each record has three parts: host, value and priority. Be sure to copy the information exactly as it appears.

improvmx2.png

Replace the original MX records with those provided by Improvmx, save the changes, and you’re done editing your DNS records. To test the setup,  click the All good continue button. Click the Manage your domains button, and Improvmx will send an email to your email forwarding address with a link to your Improvmx account. From your account page, you can send a test email, add more aliases or more domains, opt to upgrade to a paid account, or delete the setup altogether when you no longer require email forwarding.

 

Forwardemail.net

In some ways, forwardemail.net is as simple as is gets. There is no need to register or create an account, and everything you need to edit your DNS to send and receive forwarded emails is located on one page. Forwardemail.net is open source and encrypted, and while you can request support directly from the creator via GitHub, the service makes no support promises or guarantees regarding corrupted or lost emails.

To get started, look for the “How it Works” heading, then follow the steps as they come. Step 1 is to replace your MX records with the two MX records provided by forwardemail.net. Step 2 involves deciding whether you want a single alias or several. Depending on the answer to that question, you will add a series of TXT records based on the examples provided.

Forwardemail1-1.png

Step 3 is a bit tricky, because it involves appending any existing SPF files without altering the existing record.This record is critical to preventing spam emails from flooding your domain. The instructions are fairly straight forward, but you should read them carefully and verify your edits before saving. If you’re using a cloud computing service such as Amazon’s AWS Route 53,  you must make an additional edit and format that edit a particular way. Again, follow the provided instructions carefully.

Forwardemail2.png

Step 4 is to send a test email to confirm that the service is working. Remember, it may take some time for your DNS records to propagate. While you wait for the test email to arrive, Step 5 involves adding  [email protected] to your contacts so you and people sending you emails are notified if an email is rejected for some reason by forwardemail.net’s servers.

 

Mailgun.com

Mailgun supports large volume email senders, those who send more than 10,000 emails every month. Free accounts have access to the same features as paid accounts as long as they remain below the 10k limit. These features include a WordPress plugin that makes setup and maintenance simple, email parsing so you can organize incoming emails, email verification to ensure your emails are being seen, as well as analytics and technical support.

In order to forward emails from a custom domain with Mailgun, you have to create an account that includes payment information. Again, you will not be charged as long as you do not exceed 10k email exchanges a month.

After creating an account, the first step is to add a domain. Open your Dashboard, and look for the Domains tab in the menu on the left (If you don’t see it, click the Add a custom domain button on the right, and it should appear). Enter your domain name where indicated, and indicate whether you’re adding a US or EU-based domain.

Mailgun1.png

Click the DKIM authority and 2048 radials. DKIM is an email authentication technique, and what you’re doing is authorizing Mailgun to add an encrypted signature to your domain emails so that receiving servers can verify that the email is geniune. Doing so makes it far less likely that your emails will end up in recipients’ spam folders. 2048 is simply a higher level of security, and there is no reason not to use it.

Click the Add Domain button, and Mailgun will present you with instructions on how to update your DNS records and verify your domain. Log in to your hosting service, and locate your DNS records. Following the provided instructions, you will replace your MX records with those provided by Mailgun, then add two TXT records, and one CNAME record. Be sure to save your changes!

mailgun3.png

Click the Verify DNS Settings button, and Mailgun will send an email to the address associated with your account when your DNS records propagate. You can then begin receiving emails. Complete the Send Mail As using Gmail set up below, and you will be able to both send and receive thousands of domain emails a month.

 

How to Send Mail As using Gmail

Setting up Send Mail as Gmail is the same on the Google side of the equation regardless of the who’s forwarding your emails, but each forwarding provider is slightly different. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be showing how its done at mailgun.com.

You will find a guide to doing the same thing with improvmx.com here: https://improvmx.com/guides/send-emails-using-gmail

Start by navigating to your Mailgun domain details page, at You’re looking for the Domain Information section. Find and make note of the SMTP Hostname, Default SMTP Login, and Default Password. You’ll need them shortly.

Open your Gmail inbox, click the gear icon in the upper right of your inbox and select Settings from the menu. Select the Accounts and Import tab, and in the Send mail as section, click the Add another email address you own link.

Provide your name, the domain email address you set up when you opened your Mailgun account, and ensure “Treat as an alias” box is checked. Click the Next Step button.

Now you need those three fields from the Mailgun Domain Information section. Provide the Mailgun SMTP Hostname as the “SMTP Server,” the Mailgun Default SMTP Login as the “Username,” and the Mailgun Default Password as the “Password.” Leave the bubble next to “Secured connection using TLS” selected, and ensure the port indicated is 587. Click the Add Account button.

Gmail will then ask you to verify ownership of the email address by following a link in a verification email sent to the address, or by entering a code contained in that message. Once you do either, you should see your new email address listed in the “Send mail as” section.

You can now select your new email address when composing Gmail messages can now send and receive email using an address on your own domain!

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