Uncategorized How-to guide to set up your own domain name Email – Medium
My last post on the importance of moving away from Gmail gained some traction unexpectedly and so I thought I would post a follow up how-to guide. For reference, here is my last post on why you should move away from your free @gmail.com account. If you haven’t already, it’s worth a quick read to understand the why.
The rough steps to setting it all up are listed below:
There are a lot of good domain name registrars. Personally, I have had good experience with Porkbun and Namecheap. Other registrars you may want to consider are Cloudflare, Gandi or Name. Try and stay away from GoDaddy if possible for reasons — I’ve heard not so good experiences with them anecdotally. The cost of the domain name should be around $10 USD or so a year. When looking for a registrar, look for one that offers free Whois privacy. This should be a standard included feature. When you register your domain you are obligated to input real information such as your full name and address. Whois privacy hides this information from the public and basically acts as a middleman for when anyone needs to contact the domain name owner.
Once you register it, there should be a setting to auto-renew your domain name. This is important, please turn it on!
If you forget to renew your domain name and end up losing it, you lose your email and potentially access to any accounts associated with it. Even big companies like Google can forget to renew their domain name. Fortunately, most registrars will send you multiple reminder notices when your domain is about to expire.
As an aside, I would also encourage not to use any identifiable information like your actual name in your domain name, just as a good privacy measure.
There are few important factors to consider when choosing email host. Price, Privacy and Usability. Keep in mind that your mail server should be trustworthy. Hypothetically, all mail servers — including Gmail — will be able to receive and read your emails, unless it is end-to-end encrypted.
An important feature to look for is support for catch-all email.
This allows any emails sent to your domain name to be routed to a specific email address. This means you can sign up to websites with emails like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive them all.
We will be walking through how to set this up with TutaNota specifically, but for reference I’ve also included host specific official links for how to set up DNS records and catch-all email too.
Generally the purpose of setting up the records is for the mail host to verify that you own the domain name. This is generally done by getting you to add a TXT type record with a specific value. The second step is then to add MX (mail exchange) type record that tells servers where your email host is located.
Depending on the host, they may also require you to set up additional records. These are mostly for security and privacy. These records (SPF, DKIM and DMARC) help ensure that other people can’t pretend to send emails using your domain name. As a good practice, it is a good idea to set these up too — and it usually doesn’t take long.
To start, go to Settings > Global Settings > Add custom domain / catch all
Enter your domain name and press next.
In the next screen there will be a TXT record check to verify that you are the owner of the domain. It should look something like the below (your t-verify value will be different).
To add this record you want to log in to your Domain Name Registrar. It should be under something like Settings > Manage Domain Name > Manage DNS records. On Porkbun it is here:
Now add this TXT record. Your t-verify value will be different. Make sure to copy and paste the value shown from the TutaNota client.
Back to the TutaNota setup, it will ask if you want to add email aliases. Adding an email alias allows you to send your email from a specific address. It is useful for when you registered for a website under a certain email and want to verify your account by sending an email from that specific address. For now though we can skip this step.
The final step is to add all the other DNS records (MX related, SPF, DKIM, DMARC). On the registrar site when you add the record you will have to specify (1) type (2) host/name and (3) value. Go through each one of the below and add them one by one. Your values will differ from what you see below, so copy and paste what is on your screen.
DNS records take some time to take effect, known as DNS Propagation. You can click on the refresh button until you get all check marks. Once that is done press Finished.
Now go back to Settings > Global Settings and under your domain, click the ellipse button and press ‘Set catch all mailbox’. If you set your catch-all email address to the free @tuta.io email there is no extra cost. For an extra 1€/month you can set your catch-all email to a specific address with your domain name (Settings > User Management > Add User). After this, you should be all set up now. You can test it by sending an email to any prefix @yourdomain.com.
Congratulations, you’re all set up!
Now you truly own and control your email. If you have questions or encounter hiccups along the way, please leave a comment and I will endeavor to help. Hope this has been helpful.
Med school dropout turned developer
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Med school dropout turned developer