Did you know that you can set up email accounts from your own domain using the power of the user-friendly Gmail browser-based email system? This means you can have any email address you want provided you own the domain name, and you’ll be able to access it from anywhere a browser is handy. Setting it up is a little intimidating, but if you follow these steps, you should be in the clear. (And you only have to set it up once!)

As an example, let’s assume you own the domain sdrive-gmail-setup.net and your name is Greg. You could easily set up coffeecup@sdrive-gmail-setup.net as your email address.

Remember, you need to own your own domain! If you don’t have one, you can always buy one from us, and we’ll set it up for you. :)

 
Gmail is awesome, we’re using it ourselves!.

We briefly considered creating our own email service, but a few things halted that process. First and foremost the simple observation that we have been using gmail for our email needs since somewhere in 2007 — and have always been more then happy with it. So why create something else for our customers?

We also wanted to keep the price of our publishing and form processing platform low and not clog our support center with email inquiries. Which is one of the main support topic for hosting providers… We also decided it should be open, so that you can use any email service you like. We happen to think that Gmail is a particularly good one.

Setting up a Google Apps account

Step 1
Go to the Google Apps Gmail page and click the button that says "Get Started".
Google Apps Get Started
Figure 1: Get email for your domain.

Step 2
Enter your informaton and click "Next".
Starting the Setup Process
Figure 2: Starting the setup process.
 

OOoops...seems the good people at Google forgot one thing!

About 30% of you will be reading this tutorial from a mobile device. Since this page is responsive, everything will still be readable and functional. So, what happens if you visit the above signup page from one of your mobile devices? Is it still as usable as it could be? Not really, Google forgot to make this page adapt to the available screen width — Oops!

Lucky for us though, because it gives us a chance to show off one of the most amazing pieces of software ever made: Responsive Layout Maker!

This app creates device agnostic layouts in a cinch — just grab the slider below and let it ripppp..

 

Interested in using a responsive design for your site? Just finish this tutorial real quick, then come back, click this link and learn all about it.


Step 3
Select the first option "Use a domain name I have already purchased", enter the domain you want to use and then click "Next".
Adding Your Domain
Figure 3: Add the domain you want to use for your email.

Step 4
Now you will create your account. Enter the information required and then click "Accept and signup".
Creating Your Account
Figure 4: Creating your account.

Step 5
Now that your account has been created, we can start the domain verification process. Click the "Start Setup button.
Starting the Setup Process
Figure 5: Start the setup process.

Step 6
Click the "Verify Domain" button.
Verify Domain Ownership
Figure 6: Begin the verification of domain ownership process.

Step 7
Domain administration is handled though your S-Drive Dashboard (not NetworkSolutions.com). Click the "No" button.
Verify Domain Ownership.
Figure 7: Verifiying your domain.

Step 8
Select "Other" from the drop down list and then click "Begin verification".
Verify Domain Ownership
Figure 8: Verifiying your domain.

Step 9
Select the "Alternate methods" tab and then select the "HTML file upload". Download the generated HTML verification file and save it to your Desktop.
Download HTML Verification File
Figure 9: Download HTML verification file.

 
Do not click verify!

You will complete this part of the process later in Step 14.


Step 10
Open a new tab in your browser (don't close the previous tab) and go to your S-Drive Dashboard and then select your website that you want to verify the domain in the drop down list located in the upper right hand corner. Next, click the link "upload files now".
S-Drive Dashboard
Figure 10: Your S-Drive Dashboard.

 
Guess What?

Did you know you can also upload files to S-Drive with our HTML Editor, Direct FTP and the Web Editor for OS X?


Step 11
Click the "Choose Files" button and then select the HTML verification file that you saved to your desktop from Step 9.
Select the HTML verification file for uploading
Figure 11: Select the HTML verification file for uploading.

Step 12
Click the "Upload Now" button.
Uploading the HTML verification file to your website
Figure 12: Uploading the HTML verification file to your website.

Step 13
Click the "View Files" button.
Verifying that the HTML file was correcty uploaded to your website
Figure 13: Verifying that the HTML file was correcty uploaded to your website.
Upload HTML Verification File
Figure 14: HTML verification file now uploaded.

Step 14
You can now close the S-Drive Tab and switch back to the Domain Verification Tab (Step 9). Once there, click the "Verify" button.
Complete The Verification Process
Figure 15: Complete the domain verification process.

Step 15
The verification process is now complete! Congrats! :-)
Verification Process Complete
Figure 16: Verification Process Complete.

Step 16:

The final step of this process is adding the Gmail MX Records to your domain. Google provides their own mail servers, which you can read about here. Switching your MX Records to the ones provided on their page differs depending on whether you use S-Drive or another hosting service.

  • If you’re using S-Drive, sign in to your S-Drive account here, then go to the domain management page and click Manage DNS Settings under the domain name you are using. You’ll need to get Google’s MX records and enter them into this page so that your DNS setup looks similar to this:
Figure 17: Setting up the MX records.

  • If you’re not using S-Drive, you’ll either need to sign into your hosting provider’s control panel and change the records yourself, or contact a server administrator to take care of this for you.
 
Congratulations! You are Done!

Remember, DNS changes may take a few hours for them to filter through the 'net so if you do not start getting e-mail right away, give it time for these settings to propagate.