Bloggers often make the mistake of using their personal email ids for blogging purposes. This approach has two major drawbacks. The first one is that our personal email gets flooded with spam emails as this address is publicly available there on the internet right on our site or blog. The second issue is with brand building and trust. Most of the service providers and visitors are not going to take our blog seriously if we communicate via our personal email. A professional email address certainly creates a sense of trust as compared to our personal email address.
Bloggers also make the mistake of purchasing a business email address from their hosting provider. This approach is also not advisable, as while switching the hosting provider we need to reconfigure our email address again. Also, we might lose valuable contact information and emails during switching if we do not create a backup.
Therefore the best solution is to keep a separate business email address independent of our hosting provider. G-suit by Google is a popular option for such professional email services but it is no longer free. It is therefore not feasible for everyone to afford a business email via G-suit. In this blog, we will explore another popular but completely free option to create a business email address. This service provider is known as Zoho. They have more than 45 million users across the globe. Let us now create a free business email with ZOHO.
Step1: Go to the Zoho email sign up page and select FOREVER FREE PLAN and click SIGN UP NOW Button.
Step2: On the next page enter our domain name and click the Add button.
Step3: Then we have to enter our personal details and also the custom business email address that we would like to have for our domain under the Administrator Account field. Here for demo purpose, I am trying to create the email address [email protected]
Once we fill in the details correctly enter the Proceed button to create our free account.
Step4: Zoho will verify our phone number using an OTP. Once we type in the OTP click the VERIFY MY MOBILE button.
Step5: Zoho takes our account security very seriously and does not rely on just our password for authenticating our login. On the next page, we can set a Two Factor authentication method. We can provide an alternate mobile number or use the secure Google Authenticator option for this secure login process. If you are not familiar with how google authenticator works, check this blog to understand the details. Once we complete the two-factor authentication set up via Google Authenticator we get a confirmation screen.
If we are not interested in downloading the authenticator app then just use the mobile number option to get the verification code every time we log in.
Step6: Once the above setup is done we can view the welcome screen.
Step7: The next important thing is to verify our domain ownership. For those who are not familiar with this process let me explain some details. Zoho needs to verify that we are the genuine owner of the domain that we have provided during our setup process. There are several available options such as using the TXT method, Adding CNAME, or uploading HTML file. The easiest approach is the HTML file option. This can be done by following the instructions on the screen. We can use FTP tools like FileZilla, CyberDuck, or CoreFTP to access our server and upload the file. This can also be done by using the CPanel interface provided by our hosting provider.
Here as per the screen instructions, I have first downloaded the HTML file from the link. Then I created a folder in my root server folder named zohoverify. For WordPress blogs, the root folder would be under the public_html folder.
I have then uploaded the HTML file to this folder.
After this click the Verify by HTML button to confirm the ownership if our domain. For non-techie bloggers, the above process may seem a bit confusing. We can always seek the help of our hosting provider for this if you find this difficult.
Once this step is completed successfully we can view the confirmation screen as below.
Step8: Now we have just one more step to complete our setup. We have to update our Mail Exchange ( MX) record. In simple language, an MX record is used to specify which mail servers accept incoming mail for our domain and where emails sent to our domain should be routed to. Configuring this record is an essential step without which our email address would not work.
We can view our required MX records in the Configure Email Delivery section of the Zoho dashboard.
For adding MX records we can go to the cPanel interface and search for MX records. In this section, we have the option to add MX records.
All the other existing MX records must be deleted to ensure that our new email address works fine.
The process of adding MX records might be a bit confusing to some. They can always seek assistance from their hosting providers.
Step9: Now we can view our Zoho mailbox.
It took us less than 10 minutes, to create a free business email address for our domain
Zoho also provides mobile apps for Android and iOS users. Zoho also has paid plans that provide premium features. I have been using Zoho for more than a year now and have faced no issues concerning mail delivery or receipt. Because the basic plan is completely free it is must-try for domain owners who want to set up a domain business email address.